Shakuni – in Mahabharata
Shakuni’s character cannot be underestimated in the context of Mahabharata. He has been a highly intelligent person and a brave warrior. He had been a matermind to lot of plots to help Duryodhana gain upper hand on Pandavas. The most notorious and damage inflicting was the game of dice.
There are lot of therories which say why he left his own kingdom (gandhar) and was living at Hastinapur. One theory says that he was appalled because of his sister was forcefully married to a blind prince and he decided to take the revenge. But I doubt, as his actions were directed towards only one thing, welfare of Duryodhana.
He played many clever tricks like building the house of Lac, sending the dangerous saint Durvasas to the forest, waging war on the kingdom that hosted the Pandavas secretly (so that their hide out was exposed before end of stipulated one year and they were forced to start the exile de novo), etc etc All perfect designs befitting royal strategy of high order.
His Grandest act
Shakuni’s grandest act in mahabharata was inviting Yudhisthira to the game of dice and ensuring that he lost everything to Duryodhana. The plan was very beautiful, and it would have ensured the kingdom to Duryodhana, had they have been able to identify the place of hiding of Pandavas agyaatvaas. The condition was such that Pandavas had to spend twelve years in forest and one year in hiding and if they were discovered during the year, they have to repeat the cycle. Pandavas hid themselves well in kingdom of Virata during the year.
It is said that the dice which were used in the game of dice were made from his father’s bones and they obeyed him. He was killed by Sahdev in the war of mahabharata.
His father was Subala, who also had 100 sons. Youngest of them was Shakuni.