1. Heads or Tails?

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    We are all familiar ancient game when we throw up a coin and guess which side up it will fall. It is widely believed that the probability of an eagle and tails the same - 50%. However, the organizers of the study "Heads or tails?" Questioned this and suggested that we experiment.

    'Museum of money' with interest attached to the study - because we also like to make discoveries!

    Did you know that the classical name of the game in the "eagle and tails" - Orlyanka?

    Here is the definition from Wikipedia: "Orlyanka - old gamble widespread in many countries. The meaning of the game is as follows: toss a coin of any value, and the one who guesses what side she falls, wins it. "

    Interesting historical roots toss. In the book EV Krivonosov "Orlyanka" tells its origin from an even more ancient game called grain. Here is an excerpt from the text on gambling, and then - particularly of grain:

    Gambling in Russia originated in ancient times, as an essential sign of commodity-money relations.

    In a well-known monument of medieval Rus' Domostroi "in Chapter 28," On the Life of the unjust ", along with all kinds of sins like gluttony and drunkenness, those who" every devil The Site works, and buffoons and their deeds, and plyasanie nozzles demonic love songs and grain and chess, and Tavlya "" All right, together will in hell and zde damned. " Already since the middle of the XVI century it was punishable by fines and corporal punishment, which is reflected in state statutes - "... in order to service people in the grain and not playing cards; Point of the same cards and dices selecting, burn and punish perpetrators whip. "

    Of the most frequently mentioned gambling Complete Collection of Laws: cards, dice, dices. We are interested in the latter - the grain. This is sort of a kind of dice game, only having an important feature: the bone had two sharply distinct sides - white and black.

    Interestingly, the word "passion" comes from the French «hasard» - «case", "risk", "dice", which, in turn, got into the French language through the Spanish word «azar» - «dice "and in Spanish - from the Arabic" al-Zahra "-" die. " Some similarity to our word "grain", is not it?

    Literally: "Found the same cards and dices selecting, burn and punish perpetrators whip."

    Forbidden fruit is sweet. Maybe it forced players to replace bone playing penny?

    There was another name of the game - "spear al sieve."

    Read on:

    The basic coin after the reform Elena Glinsky, mother of Grozny with 1533 before the introduction of regular coinage coins at the beginning of the XVIII century. was penny.

    I think the expression "spear al sieve" has emerged in the pre-Petrine era. Just look at the penny-flake to see the "spear" on the obverse and "sieve" - that is, the letters - on the reverse, it should be taken into account: with a sieve population was familiar to many times better than with a diploma.

    The question may arise, why did not the king (rider), not a horse, and a spear?

    Simply when striking on a wire rod is not the whole image fits on the coin. Spear was in the center. And if from the rider and horse were sometimes "horns and legs," that the spear is almost always easy to see on the obverse cents-scales.

    Javelin - dominant obverse. From spears and name penny gained.

    So, we can see clearly, what is connected with coins the term "spear al sieve?". It goes in the semantic meaning selection means (akin to "sink or swim?"), And hence the risk and excitement inherent in the game - that is, without playing with them there, with someone else, and, ultimately, to fate would not have arisen and issue. So penny becomes an element of the game.

    So toss a coin in Russia began with the appearance of an ancient penny. Over the years the penny has changed shape, but the game remains the same.

    This game is popular in many countries, differ only in its name, depending on the appearance of the coins. Can the shape of a coin affect the outcome? We decided to investigate the matter and provide you with our results.

    In photos: penny Fedor Alekseevich (1676-1682 gg.) From the collection of the "Museum of money '.

    Evgeny Korolev-Shcherbakov, director of the "Museum of money '

    Machine translation
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