Just like today, people of the 18th Century enjoyed parlor and tavern games, often gambling. At most Living History events, there are long periods between major events. One of the best ways, asside from giving talks and meeting the public, to pass the time is with a game. There are two primary types of parlor games: card games, and dice games.
Card games are, of course, played with playing cards. While bringing period reproductions is important, you can also create teh same impression using modern (cheaper and more durable) cards.
Its no surprise that dice game use standard six sided dice.
Other Tavern Activities
Have fun but beware, the Army takes a harsh view on soldiers playing games of chance as shown below in Washington’s General Order from May8, 1777.
“As few vices are attended with more pernicious consequences, in civil life; so there are none more fatal in a military one, than that of GAMING; which often brings disgrace and ruin upon officers, and injury and punishment upon the soldiery: And reports prevailing, which, it is to be feared are too well founded, that this destructive vice has spread its baneful influence in the army, and, in a peculiar manner, to the prejudice of the recruiting Service, The Commander in Chief, in the most pointed and explicit terms, forbids ALL officers and soldiers, playing at cards, dice or at any games, except those of EXERCISE, for diversion; it being impossible, if the practice be allowed, at all, to discriminate between innocent play, for amusement, and criminal gaming, for pecuniary and sordid purposes… The commanding officer of every corps is strictly enjoined to have this order frequently read, and strongly impressed upon the minds those under his command. Any officer, or soldier, or other person belonging to, or following, the army… presuming, under any pretense, to disobey this order, shall be tried by a General Court Martial.”