There are three versions of Snakes and Ladders games in India. They vary slightly, and are played by Jains, Hindus and Muslims. On a numbered board, players make their way as if through life – and the squares are associated with specifc vices and virtues, punishments and rewards. The number of squares also varies; the western format, with 100 squares, copies the Muslim game. Whatever the version, there are always more snakes than ladders… Kismet Snakes and Ladders; Germany, 1895; Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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