The act of gambling in India exists since the Vedic period. It was known as game of Dyuta and hence called as Dyuta-Krida. The board on which it is played is known as Chaupar and dice is called Pasha. In the present time, the game of dice is called Jua and it is offensive to play in most of the families. Though all sorts of gambling activities have been banned in many places of India, many families used to play it during Diwali due to religious beliefs.
It is believed that the game of dice was played between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati the very first time. Scriptures narrate the words told by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati, which clearly says that game of dice was created by Lord Shiva for those who want to play it for time pass, for those who want to accumulate sudden wealth and to destroy the wealth of others.
Hindu religious books mention that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati played the game of dice the very first time on the day of Kartik Pratipada. It is believed that Kartik Pratipada, also known as Bali Pratipada and Govardhan Puja, is blessed by Goddess Parvati herself. Hence the devotees believe that whoever plays the game of Dyuta Krida on this day will be blessed by Goddess Parvati.
Dyuta Krida is played as a compulsory ritual on Kartik Pratipada, which happens to be the first day of Hindu Samvat year, known as Gujarati New Year. Early morning during Pratahkal is the best time to play Dyuta. According to religious books, after Abhyang Snan and wearing new clothes on the first day of Kartik month, one should play Dyuta Krida and take Mangal Aarti from the female members of the family.
Some people play Dyuta on Diwali night, though it has no religious significance or any mention in religious books. However, most people jointly suggest playing Dyuta on Kartik Pratipada. Most of them believe that Diwali day is an auspicious day for gambling and there is more chance to win on this day. But we know that if someone has to win, someone else has to lose. The real reason why religious books suggest playing Dyuta, is not because it is an auspicious day to gamble, but this day predicts the prosperity of the coming year. That means, if someone is victorious in the game on Kartik Pratipada, then the whole year would be good for that person; and for the person who loses the game the whole year will bring bad luck.