The game bầu cua cá cọp (meaning squash crab fish tiger) is a Vietnamese gambling game using three dice. The six sides of the die, instead of showing one to six pips, have pictures of a fish, a prawn, a crab, a rooster, a calabash gourd, and a frog. Players place wagers on a board that has the six pictures, betting on which pictures will appear. If one die corresponds with a bet, the better receives the same amount as his or her bet. If two dice correspond with a bet, the better receives two times the money. If three dice correspond with a bet, the better receives three times their money. For instance, if you place $3 on fish, and the dealer rolls 2 fish and one frog, then you would get $6.
Bau cua tom ca is similar to Hoo Hey How (or, fish prawn crab) in China, the dice game Crown and Anchor played by British sailors, or chuck-a-luck played in America. Bau cua tom ca is often played at Tết (Vietnamese New Year).
The board and dice are still wrapped in their original plastic casing, so the game is in excellent condition. Four dice, instead of three, however, are included with the game.
For those who like a bit of the “luck of the dice,” the Old Fish-Prawn-Crab Dice Game would make for a wonderful and surprising gift. For those who collect Asian games and toys, this dice game is ideal for such a collection.