Best Dice Games to Play When You’re Bored: Reviews, Buying Guide and FAQs 2022

by Mike Jones

xNext 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 dice games.


Top 21 Best Dice Game Reviews 2022

Top Rated Dice Games
Top Rated Dice Games

To start you off, here are a few of the top pre-packaged dice games on Amazon. With purchase, you will receive all of the necessary playing items, instructions, and any scorecards needed.

Yahtzee - Link

  • Yahtzee

    Yahtzee

    • Dice-rollin' battle game
    • Includes 5 dice and shaker
    • Yahtzee comes with 100 score cards
    • Shaker doubles as a storage case
    Rating:

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 5
Other Requirements: Scorecards

Yahtzee is a game of chance and probability. Players take turns rolling five dice trying to score points using different methods (like most fives, 4 dice in a row, full house, etc.) The winner is determined by whoever has the highest score at the end of the game.

Setup

To start, you just need to sit down with all of the required playing items. It is recommended that you take turns going clockwise, but the order really doesn't matter.

Gameplay

Players 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.

Scoring

Scoring
Scoring

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.

How to Win

The person with the highest score at the end of the game wins! The game is over when each player takes enough turn to try for every box on the scorecard once.

Left Right Center - Link

Players: 3 or more
Dice: Special Game Dice Required
Other Requirements: Playing chips come in the set, but you can use anything (Coins, candy, etc.)

Left, Right, Center is a great dice game to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Kids can be taught their left and right while adults can use it as a gambling dice game. It is a very quick game to learn and the dice dice will tell you what to do on each turn.

Setup

You should determine who is going first and then continue play clockwise. Each player should also have three chips or whatever items you are using to start.

Gameplay

Players take it in turn to roll the six-sided dice, each of which is marked with "L", "C", "R" on one side, and a single dot on the three remaining sides. For each "L" or "R" thrown, the player must pass one chip to the player to his left or right, respectively. A "C" indicates a chip to the center (pot). A dot has no effect.
If a player has fewer than three chips left (including zero) he is still in the game but his number of chips is the number of dice he rolls on his turn, rather than rolling all three.

Scoring

The best way to keep track of who is winning is by who currently has the most chips. But that can change in a hurry! It only matters who has the most at the end!

How to Win

The winner is the last player with chips left. He does not roll the dice, and wins the center pot.

Farkle - Link

  • Farkle

    Farkle

    • It's the classic dice-rolling, risk-taking game!
    • Roll the dice, hoping for scoring combinations!
    • Be safe and take your points, or keep rolling for more and risk losing them all in a Farkle!
    • Fun family or group game!
    Rating:

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 6
Other Requirements: You will need a pencil and paper to keep score. It can also optionally help to have one or more cups for rolling the dice.

Farkle is another fun dice game and is easy to learn and fun to play. It is similar to Yahtzee except that players can take a chance and try to continue building their points before ending their turn. Try to avoid getting a Farkle!

Farkle is a fun dice game that is perfect for groups of all sizes. In Farkle, players take turns passing the dice around in a clockwise arrangement. When a player takes a turn, they will first roll all six dice at the same time. The goal is to get matching combinations that can be used to get points.

There are many variants of Farkle that are available, and some players choose to edit the list of scoring dice combinations to get the game just right. Once you have rolled the dice, you will want to pick out combinations that you will use. Some combinations offer more points, so you will need to use quick mental math to get as many points as possible.

If you are not able to create a matching combination with some of your dice, you can set aside the dice combinations that you want to keep while rolling the remaining dice again. Farkle's rules let you roll the dice as many times as you want until you get a combination that you want. Once you have selected your final dice combination, you will simply record your score before passing the dice on to the next player. The first player to accumulate 10,000 points wins the game.

Qwixx - Link

  • Gamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5'

    Gamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5'

    • This quick-playing dice game will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end!
    • Qwixx is simple to play but each decision is crucial - the more numbers you cross off, the more points you score.
    • With no downtime between turns you'll have a chance to gain from each and every roll.
    • Just one round of this thrilling game and you will be caught up in Qwixx-fever!
    Rating:

Players: 2 to 5
Dice: Two regular white dice plus one red die, one green die, one yellow die, and one blue die.
Other Requirements: You will need to either print out score pads for Qwixx or write them out manually on pieces of paper. Score sheets work best when they are printed in color ink.

Unlike most turn-based dice games, Qwixx is highly interactive because it has all players participate at the same time. On each turn, one player is selected to roll all six dice. Each player can then optionally cross off the total value of the white dice for one color of their choice on their score sheet.

If, for example, a six and a four are rolled with the white dice, a player could cross off "10" on the red row on their score sheet. Likewise, another player could cross off "10" on their green row. There is, however, no requirement to cross anything off when you do not like the number that has been rolled with the white dice.

Once the white dice have been rolled, each player has to add together the value of one white die and one colored die to fill in the score sheet row corresponding to the same color as the selected colored die. Players then continue rolling the dice to score points using both the optional white dice combinations and the required white and colored dice combinations.

You can cross off as many numbers as you want on each row, but the trick is that you can only cross off numbers that are smaller than the largest crossed off number for each color on your score sheet. Additionally, colored dice are permanently removed from the game when any player crosses off five consecutive numbers on a corresponding color row. The game continues until someone declines to or is unable to fill in a color slot four times or all of the colored dice have been removed.

When the game ends, players add up their crossed off numbers plus bonuses specified at the bottom of each score card to determine the winner. Although the rules of Qwixx are complex, the game can be played in under five minutes with a bit of experience.

Tenzi - Link

  • TENZI Party Pack Dice Game Bundle with 77 Ways to Play TENZI - A Fun, Fast Frenzy for The Whole Family - 6 Sets of 10 Colored Dice - Colors May Vary

    TENZI Party Pack Dice Game Bundle with 77 Ways to Play TENZI - A Fun, Fast Frenzy for The Whole Family - 6 Sets of 10 Colored Dice - Colors May Vary

    • AWARD-WINNING BUNDLE: TENZI Party Pack dice game with 77 Ways to play TENZI card set. Named one of ASTRA's Best Toys for Kids, TENZI is a fast, fun dice game that encourages fast reactions and is super easy to learn. (Ages 7 to 97)
    • FAST ACTION: TENZI is fun because it's fast. To play TENZI you must roll your 10 dice as fast as you can which makes the game instantly competitive and fun for the whole family.
    • MORE WAYS TO PLAY: In addition to the original TENZI dice game instructions that give you 9 different ways to play, we've included the popular add-on card set 77 Ways to Play TENZI that provides 77 different ways to play TENZI. Making it perfect for any family game night, birthday party, sleep over or play date.
    • TEACHERS LOVE TENZI: Playing TENZI helps kids develop rapid and confident number recognition while being extremely fun and simple to play. It's perfect for early finishers and team building activities. 77 Ways to Play TENZI even includes some blank cards so you can write down any game variations that you create.
    Rating:

Players: 2 to 4
Dice: 10 Per Player
Other Requirements: None

Tenzi is an extremely simple yet fun dice game that you can play quickly with a group of friends. Tenzi gets its name because each player receives 10 dice that are rolled throughout the game. Unlike other dice games, no score cards or other accessories are needed to play.

In Tenzi, the goal is simply for each player to roll the same number with all 10 dice. When you roll for the first time, you will need to quickly count the number of dice that you get for each number to decide which number you want to focus on for the round. From there, you will roll the other dice as quickly as you can until all 10 dice are on the same number. The first player to get all 10 dice on the same number wins.

Mexico

Players: 2 to 8
Dice: 2 dice plus 1 for each player
Other Requirements: None

Mexico is a dice game where a player is eliminated each round until only one player remains. People generally regard Mexico as a simple dice game, so it is often played at parties or even at casinos.

Mexico is played in a turn-based manner where each player rolls two dice on each turn before passing the dice on. Each player can roll up to three times to pick the number that they want. The player who ends up with the lowest number gets a point. Once a player reaches six points, he or she is eliminated. All players then reset their points to zero, and players again begin taking turns rolling their dice until someone hits six points.

If you want to play Mexico the original way, you can optionally have each player use a third dice to keep track of their score. However, you can also use a pen and paper to tally up points if you are short on dice.

To make Mexico more interesting, the game uses a scoring system where numbers rolled are used to create two-digit values. To create numbers, the largest digit always comes first. For instance, if you rolled a five and a six, your score for the round would be 65. The game also assigns a special status to 21-referred to as "Mexico"-that has the player immediately end their turn. However, this player is then immunized from losing the round unless another player rolls 21.

Bunco

Players: 4 to 40
Dice: 3 dice per player
Other Requirements: Separate four-person tables

Bunco is a game that is perfect for large groups in players. In Bunco, players should ideally sit in groups of four at separate tables. If there are more than four players in a game, one table should be designated as the "head" table while the other tables should be numbered.

There are six rounds in a game of Bunco. For each round, each player rolls their set of dice. The goal is to get as many dice to land on the number corresponding to the round number as possible. Each die that lands on the round number counts as one point. However, if all three dice land on the round number, the player receives a "Bunco," or 21 points.

In Bunco, scores are kept both individually and for each team. All of the players sitting at one table constitute a team. The sum of the points received by all players on a team is assigned to each player. Additionally, players are able to add their total score from Buncos to get their final number of individual points.

After scores are tallied at the end of each round, the scores of all players are sorted from high to low. Players with the highest score join the lead table while the other players are divided across the other tables in accordance with their scores. When Bunco is played seriously, many party hosts will give a door prize to the player who gets the highest score in a round.

Balut

Players: 2 to 8
Dice: 3
Other Requirements: Balut score sheets

Balut is a dice game that is named after the famous Balut duck eggs that are eaten in the Philippines. The goal of the game is to roll scoring dice combinations to get the highest number of points.

Unlike most dice games, getting points in Balut is not always guaranteed. After rolling the dice, you can only get points when some of your dice land on four, five, or six. Additionally, you get points when you get a straight or a full house. However, you do not need all dice to land on a combination since you can choose to count just two dice for a given combination. Moreover, you can roll up to three times to get the right combination that you want.

Balut is generally played across 28 rounds. Consequently, rounds of Balut can take a significant amount of time since each player can roll up to three times per round. You can, however, shorten up a round by agreeing in advance with the other players to reduce the number of rounds in the game. At the end of the game, players add up their total points to determine the game's winner. As with many dice games, players often pool their money together to award a purse to the winner of a round.

Shut the Box - Link

Players: 1 to 12
Dice: 2
Other Requirements: Shut the Box Board

Shut the Box is a game where players take turns rolling dice on a game board to get winning number combinations. Unlike most dice games, Shut the Box requires a large game board with a soft rolling area and numbers that fold down. Although you could theoretically play the game without the proper equipment, doing so would adversely affect entertainment value.

To play Shut the Box, you will first need to set up the board with all of the numbers folded up. The first player will then roll two dice on the soft rolling area to get their first number combination. You can use either the sum of the rolled numbers or any two numbers that add up to the total amount rolled. For instance, if you rolled a four and a five, you could either push down the four and the five on the board or push down the nine. You could also push down the six and the three or the eight and the one.

The player continues to roll the dice until they are unable to push any additional numbers down on any single roll. If the seven, eight, and nine are lowered at the same time on the board, the player can optionally choose to use only one die for the remainder of their turn. Upon completing a turn, the value of the tiles that are left standing up are added together. The sum is then recorded as the player's score for the turn. All of the tiles should be flipped back up before the next player's turn.

After all players have taken a turn, the next round can begin. However, if any player scores over 45 points in any turn, they automatically lose the game. In most cases, Shut the Box is played in a way where the last player who remains wins the game. However, there are also variations of Shut the Box where score impacts the value of winnings when money is at stake.

Pig

Koplow Games Pig Dice Game 5 Dice Set with Travel Tube and Instructions
Koplow Games Pig Dice Game 5 Dice Set with Travel Tube and Instructions

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 1 or 2
Other Requirements: Pig score sheets

Pig is a dice game that has been played for centuries because it is very straightforward. If you have never played Pig before, you will be able to pick up the game in a matter of minutes with little difficulty.

Each player takes turns when playing Pig. The first player should roll one die upon starting their turn. Playing with two dice is optional, but doing so is often recommended to increase the quantity of number combinations to make the game more interesting.

If you are playing with one die and a player rolls anything except a one, the number should be recorded on the player's score sheet. When playing with two dice, you can choose to either keep the scoring numbers the same or to use odd or even values.

Players are free to roll as many times as they want on any turn. The key to making Pig fun, however, is that rolling a one causes the player to lose all of the points that they got that turn while ending their turn immediately. Therefore, you have to use strategy to decide whether you should keep rolling the dice and risk losing all of your points or to stop rolling and take your points. The first player who reaches 100 points wins the game.

Chicago

Late for the Sky Chicago-Opoly
Late for the Sky Chicago-Opoly

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 2
Other Requirements: None

Chicago is a simple game of chance that is also known as Rotation. The best part about Chicago is that it does not require any game boards or other equipment. Some players use a pen and paper to keep track of their score, but most people have no problem using their memory to keep track of their progress in the game.

In Chicago, players start by rolling two dice. The sum of the two numbers that are rolled is then used to get the player's final number for the round. The goal is to get every possible number combination that can be made with two dice. Players are given 11 turns to get all of the available number combinations.

When you play Chicago, you will usually not get all 11 combinations in just 11 rounds. You will, therefore, have to use the scoring system to determine the winner. To calculate your score, simply add up all of the scores that you received throughout the game. A perfect score with all of the dice combinations is 77, so it is usually easier to subtract the combinations that you did not get from 77 at the end of each round. The player with the highest score wins.

Going to Boston

Players: 3 or more
Dice: 3
Other Requirements: None

Going to Boston is a game of chance where the goal is to win the highest number of rounds relative to your opponents. Although only three dice are needed to play Going to Boston, some players give each player a separate set of three dice to make the game easier to play. When you have enough dice for everyone, you do not have to pass the dice around on each turn. The game can, therefore, be played a bit faster. Otherwise, you will not need any additional equipment to play the game.

Players will first need to agree on the number of rounds that they will play. In case there is a tie, you may want to choose an odd number of rounds. Once you have decided how long your game will be, each player will take turns throwing three dice. When the dice land, the die with the highest value should be set to the side. If more than one die lands on the highest value, you should still only set aside one die. The two remaining dice should be thrown again, and the highest-numbered dice should also be set aside.

When there is one die left, you should simply roll it one final time. From there, you can calculate your score for the round by adding up all three dice that you have. Once all players have taken their turns, all players in the game should compare their scores. The player with the highest score wins. If there is a tie, an additional round should be played to decide on the winner for the round.

The final winner of the game is determined based on who wins the most rounds. However, some players choose to tally up the scores from all rounds to determine the final winner. You should also keep in mind that there is a variant of Going to Boston called Multiplication where the third die is used a multiplier to get a player's final score.

Cho-Han Bakuahi

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 2
Other Requirements: A tall and non-transparent cup

Cho-Han Bakuchi is a traditional Japanese gambling game that has been played by peasants and nobles alike for at least two millennia. Many people outside of Japan refer to the game as Cho-ka Han-ka or even Cho-Han. Regardless of what you want to call the game, the bottom line is that it is a simple and very fun game of chance that you can play with friends or your whole family.

To play Cho-Han Bakuchi, you will first want to choose a dealer. It is important to select someone who is not likely to divulge secrets because only the dealer should know what is rolled each round. Therefore, you will need a tall glass that is not transparent so that the dealer can see what dice have been rolled without revealing the secret to other players.

The dealer should start by shaking the cup to shuffle the dice. If you playing with people who may be prone to cheating, the dealer may want to cover the cup to prevent people from seeing it. If you are playing Cho-Han Bukuchi for money, you should have each player place their bets at this time. From there, to dealer should point to each player to have them guess whether the dice are odd or even. If you want to make the game especially fun, you can use the Japanese word "Cho" for even and "Han" for odd.

Cho-Han Bakuchi was created as a gambling game, so it does not have any specific rules for when more than one player correctly guesses whether the dice combination is odd or even. However, you can break a tie by simply playing another round of the game.

Liar's Dice

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 5 dice per person
Other Requirements: A tall and non-transparent cup

Liar's Dice is a fun dice 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

Players: 4 to 8
Dice: 2
Other Requirements: None

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.

Knockout

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 2
Other Requirements: None

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.

24

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

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 5
Other Requirements: None

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

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 10
Other Requirements: A dice cup

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.

Razzle

Players: 2 or more
Dice: 5
Other Requirements: None

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.

MUKIKIM The Genius Square Dice and Pule game - Link

The Genius Square - Game of The Year Award Winner! 60000+ Solutions STEM Puzzle Game! Roll The Dice & Race Your Opponent to Fill The Grid by Using Different Shapes! Promotes Problem Solving Training
The Genius Square - Game of The Year Award Winner! 60000+ Solutions STEM Puzzle Game! Roll The Dice & Race Your Opponent to Fill The Grid by Using Different Shapes! Promotes Problem Solving Training

Apart from being one of the best dice board games on the market, the Genius Square by MUKIKIM is also one of the most challenging.

This award-winning game is playable by 1 to 2 players at a time. The game is specifically designed for kids aged 6 to 15. The game usually takes less than one minute each round which adds an exciting level of competition when playing against another player.

GAMEPLAY

The objective of the game is simple. Two players have a grid on the board. There are seven dice in the game set. All seven dice are rolled at once to determine where each player must place their blocker piece on their respective grid.

At the start of the game, each player must try to fill their grid board with all nine blocker pieces. The player that fills theirs first wins. Each round lasts about a minute.

Replay Value

This is one of the biggest issues associated with dice board games and even all board games as a whole. This would be better discussed in the buying guide section.

All you have to know about MUKIKIM's The Genius Game is that it offers incredible replay value. The manufacturers claim there are over 60,000 possible grid arrangements and we are very much inclined to agree.

The randomness of the dice outcome means you don't ever get bored of the game. If you are looking for a game that can help improve your kid's logical and spatial reasoning as well as sharpen their problem-solving skills, look no further!

TIP: Think of this game as a board version of the popular Tetris video game. The only difference here is that there is an option for a single-player as well as a multiplayer mode.

Pros

  • Fun and challenging game to help improve kids' spatial reasoning as well as their problem-solving skills.
  • Blitz rounds
  • About 60,000 different grid arrangements are possible
  • Recommended for kids aged 6 to 15.

Cons

  • Not suitable for adults
  • Only a maximum of two players can play the game.

Buying Guide for the Best Dice Games

Dice games are fun to play. They require fast thinking and good spatial reasoning which gives them a lot of replay value. They are also a great addition to game nights. As a result, it is not so surprising to see that there is an incredibly wide variety of dice games on the market today.

Although this means you get to choose any dice game you love the most, it can also be a bit challenging to make the right choice. This is especially true when you consider how quickly one can get bored of a dice game if it does not have great replay value. And since dice games are suitable games for both younger kids and adults alike, knowing what to look for in a dice game is very important.

Hence, we have decided not to review a lot of dice games but instead discuss the things you need to consider before buying a dice game. With this dice game buying guide, you can then decide which dice board game best fits your taste.

Game type or Genre

Dice Games, like any board game, have different types of genres. The major types of dice games you will come across are strategy games in which the dices determine your action in the game. However, there are other genres of board games you can play with dice.

There are deckbuilding games that players have to roll a dice before playing a card on the board. There are action-adventure board games that the outcome of a player's dice roll determines how much a player can move in the game.

The important thing to note is that it is important to consider the type of genre you love before getting a dice game. Since not all dice games are next-level strategy games, taking the time to research a particular game before buying it would go a long way!

Replay Value

Unlike a computer or video games, board games come with a game set which you have to use to play the game. Each game set is fixed and does not increase or decrease unless you lose some of the game pieces.

The implication of this is that one can easily get bored after completing or beating the game; especially if it is a single-player dice game. For dice games that allow 4+ players to play, there is much more randomness to the outcome of the game which can help retain the player's concentration while the game is on.

Thus, you must understand how the game works and whether it would be fun to play for a long time. An effective way to do this is by checking online reviews of that board game done by people who already own the game.

Number of players

This is not much of a problem unless of course, you take your single-player dice game to a gathering of more than two people.

All dice games have a varying number of players that can play the game together at a single time. The most common player limit you will see is two (2) players. Such games are also ideal for single players to play against the time on their own. However, there are also dice games that can accommodate three (3) or more players (up to ten (10) players at a time).

It is therefore important to properly understand how the game works and how many players can play it. Once you do that, you can then decide if it would suit the purpose you are buying it for.

For instance, buying a two (2) player dice game when you plan on taking it to a family games night isn't very great. Since it means only two people in the gathering can play the game at a time.

Dice board games all come with the respective age limit they are designed for. It is often very hard to find dice games that are suitable for both kids and adults to play together.

You need to consider why you are buying the dice game. Are you buying the game because you love dice games? Are you buying a dice game so you can play with your kids? Do you want to buy a family-friendly dice game that everyone in your family can play at the same time?

These are important questions you need to ask yourself before buying any dice game.

What Is a Dice Game ?

Dice games have been played for centuries. They can be found in various forms and under many different names: Farkle, Zilch, 10000, and Yahtzee for instance. No matter what name they go by, they all follow the same basic rules which are easy to learn.

There are two dice involved in these games. The first is called the "scoring dice". This is the die that determines whether or not a score will be awarded for a particular roll. The second die, often referred to as the "action dice", determines which scoring combinations (if any) are considered valid and how many points they are worth.

Before the game starts, the scoring dice are separated from the action die. Each player has a turn to roll both dice up to three times in an attempt to score points. After the third roll, play passes to the next player. Scoring can occur on any of these rolls if one or more "scoring combinations" are rolled.

The scoring combinations can be found on the score sheet. They are also known as "dice combinations". Each combination must be rolled in proper order (from top to bottom) before any of it's values can be added to a player's score.

The scores for each possible roll range from 50 points for rolling five-of-a-kind to -125 points for rolling three-of-a-kind. A score sheet is included in this article at the end.

Once all possible combinations of the scoring dice have been exhausted, play passes to the next player. The scoring dice are separated from the action die and a new turn begins by rolling both dice. The player must roll the scoring dice in order to score on this turn and can choose whether or not they want to roll the action die.

After three turns, the game ends and each player adds up their total score (including any bonuses). The highest possible score is 999,975 points:

  1. Rolling five-of-a-kind on all three scoring dice (not possible on the action die)
  2. Rolling five of a kind on two of the three scoring dice (not possible with the action die)

If both players roll higher than 999,975 points in the same game, they tie and play another game to determine the winner. There are no real losers in dice games.

History of Dice Games

Dice games are among the oldest documented forms of gaming. Dice (singular die or dice; from old French dès) were used long before recorded history, with the oldest known examples being neolithic dice dated to about 3000 BC. These early forms were simple agate, serpentine, or bone cubes, similar to those found in modern day dice games. Roman soldiers apparently chewed on bones while bored, and because of the patterns found on worn dice, it is believed these were used for fortune-telling purposes (known as sortes or astragals).

These early dice were in use by gamblers and occultists in various parts of the world well into medieval times. The earliest dice were made from the ankle bones (talus) of hoofed animals like sheep or deer, and dates back to at least 3000 BC. It is uncertain where they originated; some think it was somewhere in Asia, but other scholars say this isn't true - there are several cultures that have legends about their first creation by their own gods, suggesting an independent invention.

The oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon-like game set at a Burnt City excavation site in south-eastern Iran. Another early form of dice was made from painted pebbles, dating to around 2000 BC; the Senet game, found on the board of the Royal Game of Ur (also known as Game of Twenty Squares), was played with this type of dice. Senet is believed to be one of the world's earliest board games, and may have been developed independently from proto-chess.

Though it is no longer popular today, playing cards were apparently invented in China dot markings similar to dominoes. These were eventually printed, and the first decks of cards often displayed these dots as numerical symbols that were thought to indicate chance. The Chinese made wooden dice with rounded corners for use in playing games.

The modern die shape, according to Peter Sarrett, an American game designer and author of several books on board games, was invented by French mathematician Gérard-Carles Canclaux in 1796 for a new version of " Hazard " (a form of Craps), using ivory polyhedrons with pips carved into them to determine the outcome of rolls. This is also referred to as "Earthquake Dice" due to both its original design and how it works - pips are carved around each face instead of only marking the "ones" spot.

E. Molins & Co. of London patented a version in 1819 with rounded corners, and the die design has remained constant ever since - though they have been made from just about every available material, including wood, bone, ivory, glass, metal (both precious and common), ceramics, Bakelite, plastic, and acrylic.

The 20-sided die is the most commonly used today, followed by the 12-sided die (or dodecahedron). The 4-, 8-, 10-, 16- and 18-sided dice are also fairly common. The icosahedron (20 sides) is typically only seen in games that include complicated rules, such as backgammon or role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. A 12-sided die (dodecahedron) is used in the popular game of Shadowrun, though it is sometimes referred to as a "D12" (a D10 with the 10s replaced by two 0s). A 20-sided die is incorporated into the dominoes game of Palio and a 24-sided die is used in Quiddler.

A 12-20 or 20-12 sided die is also used in Star Trek dice games. A 12-sided die is part of Q's Winter Wonderland, which can be seen at various parts throughout the series Deep Space 9.

A 30-sided die was offered as an unlicensed accessory for the game Hero Quest, though it can be closely simulated using two 10-sided dice. The original set included the numbers 1 through 9 twice on each side, with multiples of five (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20) represented by the appropriate number of marks in the center of each side. More recently, a 30-sided die has been published for Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition. This type of dice is also used for role playing games such as Shadowrun and GURPS, and various computer games including Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, which uses a truncated icosahedron, also known as a "d30" die.

Variations of the Dice Game

If you're playing with 2 dice, then the sequence of numbers that can be rolled is as follows: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. This sequence continues indefinitely and each new number is attained by adding a value of one to the previous highest number. The question then becomes: What's the sum of all possible probabilities of rolling one particular value?

To answer this question, first we'll look at the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "12" is concerned. This number can be attained by using two dice with values {1,2} or {2,1}. The following table gives us the combinations for each die and then tells us how many of these combinations will result in a value of "12."

Table 1

Table 1: Number of Combinations for All Possible Values Die 1 → Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={1,4}={5}={6}={7}={8}={9}={10}≈{11}={12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}={5}={6}={7}={8}={9}≈{10}{11}{12} 1

Since there are only two possible dice values that will result in "12," this value has a probability of 1/36.

The same procedure can be followed for all other values and the probabilities of each will be summed in a similar fashion. For example, Table 2 shows that there are four possible combinations for "6," three possible combinations for "5," two possible combinations for "1," one combination for "2" and zero probability of rolling a "3."

Table 2

Table 2: Number of Combinations for All Possible Values Die 1 → Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}={7}={8}≈{9}{10}{11}{12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}={5}={6}={7}≈{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1

In this instance, the sum of all possible probabilities equals 66/36 or 1.77777.... In other words, on average about 1.77 rolls will yield a value of "6."

Now we can calculate the probabilities for all possible values and sum them to obtain the total probability of rolling a particular number.

Table 3

Table 3: Probability of Rolling One Particular Number Die 1→Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}={7}={8}= {9}{10}{11}{12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}={5}={6}{7}≈{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1

The total probability of rolling a value between 1 and 12 is the sum of all these probabilities or 511/36 or 13.89889....

In a similar fashion, the probability of throwing one particular number with two dice can be summed as shown in Table 4. The sum is equal to 292/36 or 8.33333....

Table 4

Table 4: Probability of Rolling One Particular Number Die 1→Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}={7}= {8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}={5}{6}≈{7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1

The given question asks us to find the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "12" is concerned and this has already been answered. The probability of throwing any other number between 1 and 12 can be found in a similar fashion as shown above. For example, the probability of throwing any number between 2 and 11 inclusive with two dice is 291/36 or 8.27778....

Now we can determine the probability of throwing any number other than "6" with two dice. This is equivalent to determining the probability of throwing a number between 2 and 11 inclusive or any number other than "6." Table 5 shows all possible numbers that must be thrown to yield a sum of 7 with two dice.

Table 5

Table 5: Values Thrown to Achieve Sums of 7 Die 1→Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1

So, the probability of throwing any number between 2 and 11 inclusive or any number other than "6" with two dice is 292/36 or 8.33333.... Subtracting this from the total probability of rolling a particular number as given in Table 3 yields a probability of.55556....

The probability of rolling a "6" or any number between 1 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "6" is concerned as shown in Table 4. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "1," the probability of throwing a "1" or any number between 1 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "1" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "2," the probability of throwing a "2" or any number between 2 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "2" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "3," the probability of throwing a "3" or any number between 3 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "3" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "4," the probability of throwing a "4" or any number between 4 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "4" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "5," the probability of throwing a "5" or any number between 5 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "5" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "6," the probability of throwing a "6" or any number between 6 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "6" is concerned as shown in Table 2. In a similar fashion, since there are two possible dice values that will result in a value of "7," the probability of throwing a "7" or any number between 7 and 11 equals the sum of all possible probabilities where the value "7" is concerned as shown in Table 2. We can perform this calculation for each of the numbers in turn. The result is shown below in Table 6 under the probability column.

Table 6

Table 6: Probabilities of Throwing Each Number (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 1

Probability 1.1111111...

Using this procedure we can determine the probability of throwing any number between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" with three dice. This is equivalent to determining the probability of throwing a number between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" with each of three dice and then adding those probabilities. Table 7 below shows the probabilities for rolling a "1," "2," etc., with three dice.

Table 7

Table 7: Probabilities for Rolling Each Number (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.1111111...

The probabilities for all possible numbers other than "6" are calculated in the same fashion. The results are shown below in Table 8 under the probability column.

Table 8

Probabilities All Numbers (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.1111111...

The probabilities for all possible numbers between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" for rolling with each of three dice and adding those probabilities is shown below in Table 9. For example, the probability of rolling a "4" equals the probability of rolling a "1" plus the probability of rolling a "2" plus the probability of rolling a "3."

Table 9

Probabilities for Rolling Between 2 and 12 (or Any Other Number Except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.1111111...

Notice that the probabilities for rolling a "2" and a "3" with each die as well as the probability for rolling any number between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" have been calculated several times. In fact, these probabilities have been calculated one time less than those for which we've computed overall probabilities so far. The remaining probabilities can be computed one final time as shown below in Table 10 through Table 13 under the probability column.

Table 10

Probabilities for Rolling a "2" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 11

Probabilities for Rolling a "3" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 12

Probabilities for Rolling a "4" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 13

Probabilities for Rolling a "5" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

The probabilities for each of the numbers from "2" through "12" and any number other than "6" for rolling with three dice can be tabulated as shown below in Table 14. For example, the probability of rolling a "5" equals the probability of rolling a "1," a "2," and a "3."

Table 14

Probabilities for Rolling Each Number (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 15 below shows the probabilities for rolling a "1," a "2," etc., with each die as well as all possible numbers between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" for rolling with three dice and adding those probabilities together. For example, the probability of rolling a "4" equals the probability of rolling a "1" plus the probability of rolling a "2" plus the probability of rolling a "3."

Table 15

Probabilities for Rolling Each Number (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

The probabilities for all possible numbers other than "6" can be summed as shown below in Table 16 under the probability column.

Table 16

Combined Probabilities for Rolling Between 2 and 12 (or Any Other Number Except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Notice that the probabilities for rolling a "2" and a "3" with each die as well as the probability for rolling any number between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6" have been calculated several times. This is because these probabilities are shared by all possible numbers between 2 and 12 inclusive or any number other than "6." The remaining probabilities can be computed one final time as shown below in Table 17 through Table 20 under the probability column.

Table 17

Probabilities for Rolling a "2" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 18

Probabilities for Rolling a "3" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 19

Probabilities for Rolling a "4" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

Table 20

Probabilities for Rolling a "5" Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

The probabilities for each of the numbers from "2" through "12" can be summarized by adding all the probabilities in Table 17 through Table 20 together as shown below in Table 21. The probability for rolling any number other than "6" can be calculated by subtracting the probability for rolling a "6" from one.

Table 21

Probabilities for Rolling Each Number (except 6) Die 1→Die 2 →Die 3 Sum {1,2}={3}={4}={5}={6}= {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3 {2,1}={3}={4}\{5}{6}{7}\{8}{9}{10}{11}{12] 3

Probability 1.0000000000000000

FAQs about Dice Games

Here are some frequently asked questions about dice games that will hopefully answer any unanswered questions you have:

How many players can play a dice game?

The number of players that can play a dice game is not fixed. It depends on the type of game you are playing.

Mostly, dice games can be played by one or two players at a time. However, there are certain board games, specially designed for family game nights. These dice board games can allow as many as 8 to 10 people to play at once to compete against each other.

NOTE: The best way to know how many players can play a particular dice game is to research the game. That way you, you know for sure you can play it with your friends or just with yourself.

What is the best Dice board game for kids and adults?

The answer to this depends on personal preference. For us, we have reviewed a dice game in their article, MUKIKIM's The Genius Square.

Does this mean it is the overall best dice game on the market right now? Definitely not. Does this mean it is suitable for both adults and kids to play together? No.

This goes to show that the definition of a great game is entirely down to who is making the decision. The Square Genius is one of the best kids dice games right now and you would be hard-pressed to disagree.

What is the best dice game for a family game night?

Family game nights are always fun and exciting. There is often a plethora of games to choose from at such gatherings. Most dice games on the market only allow 2 players to compete at a time. Some are not even suitable for adults to play.

That said, there are still some incredibly fun dice games to play at a family game night. Two that quickly comes to mind are:

  • George and Company LLC Left Centre Right: Suitable for payers aged 5 and above.
  • Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game: Suitable for players aged 8 to 57.

Do I need dice trays to play a Dice board game?

No, you don't. Dice trays are often rectangular trays that you can roll dice in when playing a dice game. The only advantage they bring to the game is that they prevent the dices from rolling too far or scattering. This can be quite useful if the game you are playing requires rolling more than one or two dice at a time. They are relatively inexpensive but are not a must-have tool when playing dice games.

Buy them at eBay, Walmart, Etsy (quality guaranteed)

Bicycle Dice 10 Pack - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Hey! Play! Shut The Box Game - 12 Numbers (Includes Dice) Brown/Green, 1.375x12x8.75 - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Hasbro Yahtzee Dice Game - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Mr. B Games Liars Dice 30th Anniversary Edition - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

LCR® Left Center Right™ Dice Game - Blue Tin - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Gamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5" - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

TENZI Dice Party Game - A Fun, Fast Frenzy for The Whole Family - 4 Sets of 10 Colored - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Boggle Junior, Preschool Game, First Boggle Game, Ages 3 and up (Amazon Exclusive) - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Trademark Innovations Giant Wood Yard Dice with Carry Bag, 3.5" - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

GoSports Giant 3.5 Inch Wooden Playing Dice Set with Bonus Rollzee Scoreboard (Includes 6 - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Gamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5' - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

TENZI Party Pack Dice Game Bundle with 77 Ways to Play TENZI - A Fun, Fast Frenzy for The Whole Family - 6 Sets of 10 Colored Dice - Colors May Vary - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Bits and Pieces - Wooden Shut The Box 12 Dice Game Board - Classic Tabletop Version of The Popular English Pub Game - Measures 7-3/4' x 14' x 1-1/4' Includes 2 dice and Instructions - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Conclusion for Dice Game Buyers

If you're looking for a dice game that's simple and fun to play, we recommend trying out Farkle. The rules are easy to learn and the gameplay is fast paced. Even if you've played other games like Yahtzee before, it will be new and exciting when playing with our high-quality custom dice set!

About Mike Jones

As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family."

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