Next to a deck of cards, a collection of dice is probably the most versatile piece of game equipment you could possibly own. There are literally hundreds of dice games that are fun to play, all of which require a little bit of luck and strategy to be successful.
In this article we will introduce you to several games you can play with dice, and provide a brief description detailing the rules and process for each game.
Here are just a few fun games to play with dice.
Liar’s Dice is a fun game that can be played among 2 or more people. In Liar’s Dice, each player rolls five dice using a cup of some kind, which serves to hide each player’s dice from the other players in the game. After the dice are rolled, Player 1 begins by calling out a certain quantity of dice of the same number (5 sixes, 4 threes, etc.)—the total sum of those dice held by all players in the game. The next player then has two options. Option one is to call a greater number of dice, say 6 sixes or 5 threes. Option 2 is to call out Liar, believing the number of the previous player’s call does not exist. If he chooses Option 2, each player in the game then exposes their dice and the specific number of ones, twos, threes, fours, fives or sixes is dutifully counted. If Player 2 guesses right, meaning there are NOT that many dice of that number, Player 1 is then forced to push one dice out of his cup and play continues. If the quantity that was called IS there, Player 2—the player that called Liar—will have to push a dice. The game ends when all but one player—the winner—has lost all of their dice.
Catch Up is a great game for groups of children as you need at least four and up to eight kids to play. If you have more than eight kids, you can split them into groups of four to eight players. Large families and teachers will find this game very effective and a great way to kill some time while teaching valuable skills. You will need counters or small toys for each child.
In Catch Up, the players sit in a circle around a table or on the floor with the oldest and the youngest players across from one another. You will need to divide the dice so that these two players each have one. Put the counters in the middle of the circle. The children without the dice create a rhythm by first slapping their knees (or the table) once and then clapping their hands once. Then the children begin chanting a song of some type. This chant will be repeated as play continues. Dice play starts with the command “Roll Now,” at which time the players roll the dice, hoping for anything but a six. If it is six, players must pass the die to the player on their left and take up the chant once again. A child wins the round when he is still in possession of a die and receives another from the player on his right. The winner of the round collects a counter and the first to collect 3 counters wins.
A game enjoyed by young and old for decades now, Yahtzee is one of the most enjoyable dice games people can play. In Yahtzee, which can be played between 2 or more players, participants take turns rolling 5 dice to try and make the most favorable hand, and during each turn each player gets three rolls to make the best hand possible. The result of these rolls is then recorded on a Yahtzee scorecard, and at the end of the game the player with the highest total of points is declared the winner.
A Yahtzee scorecard has a top and bottom portion. On the top half of the scorecard, there are spaces for each pip on the dice: ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes. Players try to get as many of each number as they can. Then the sum of those numbers is recorded in the appropriate space. For example, if after 3 rolls a player gets 3 fours, a 12 (3 x 4) is recorded in the “fours” space.
The bottom portion of a Yahtzee scorecard has spaces for several poker-style hands, including 3 of a Kind (all dice are added up), 4 of a Kind (all dice are added up), Full House (25 points), Small Straight—a 4-card straight worth 30 points, Large Straight—a 5-card straight worth 40 points, Yahtzee—a 5 of a Kind worth 50 points, and a Chance space in which players simply sum up all the dice.
The game of “Knock Out” is a very simple game for kids—a game that uses just two dice. As soon as a child can recognize their written numbers, they can play this game.
The Object of the game of Knockout is to avoid throwing certain scores and being knocked out of the game. To start, each player in the game (2 or more) selects a “knock out number” – either a 6, 7, 8, or 9. More than one player can choose the same number. Players take turns throwing both dice, once each turn. They then add the number of both dice for the score. If a player throws a 6, 7, or 8, they are knocked out of the game until the next round.
The game of 24, which is also called Midnight, is a great dice game to play on your next game night with friends. In this fun, action-packed game of dice, the participants (2 or more players) take turns rolling 6 dice from a dice cup. After each roll, the players must keep at least one die. Players must roll a 1 and a 4 to “qualify.” With the other four dice, they are seeking to roll as high of a total number as possible, with the perfect score being 24 (6 x 4).
The game of 24 requires both strategy and luck to be successful. For example, even if a player rolls four sixes in his first roll, he will still need both a 1 and a 4 to qualify that hand. Because of this, keeping all four 6s right off the bat can be a truly risky play.
Ship, Captain, Crew
In the dice game known as Ship, Captain, Crew, each player (2 or more) takes turns rolling five dice. As with the game of 24, each player is required to keep at least one die on every roll, and each player only gets three rolls to make their hand. The goal of the game is to get a 1, 2, and 3 to qualify, which represents the Ship, Captain and Crew. If both players in the game achieve this goal, they then add the total of the remaining two dice and the player with the highest total wins. If neither player gets the 1, 2 and 3, a draw is called and the game goes on.
Ten dice is a very simple dice game that is fun to play with a lot of people. Each participant antes into the pot (chips, dimes, quarters or whatever value you decide). To start the game, 10 dice are loaded up into a dice cup, and each player has three rolls to make the best possible hand. The ultimate goal of the game is to roll—in 3 turns—10 dice that all match numerically, and, of course, 10 sixes is the best hand you can get in the game. After each player has taken their three-roll turn, the person with the highest quantity of a given number wins. However, if 2 or more people have the same high hand, the pot is rolled over and each player in the game will again be permitted to take a turn.
Another very easy dice game to teach and learn, Razzle is a game that is played in much the same way as poker, only dice are substituted for cards. To start, each player in the game will ante a designated amount of money (chips) into the pot. In Razzle, each player gets 3 rolls per turn, rolling five dice from a dice cup. The goal is to make the best possible 5-dice hand, ranging from one pair to 5 of a Kind. Possible hands include one pair, two pair, three of a kind, full house, four of a kind and five of a kind. Straights do not count in Razzle. After all of the rolls have been completed, the person with the highest poker hand wins the pot. There are many variations of the game Razzle, including those in which one of the dice, usually the “ones,” are declared wild.
image: Max Pixel