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Dice Games

Games played solely with dice are often compelling and the suspense can be high. Luck plays a great part but strategy and skill may also be needed. Children often enjoy dice games because of their simplicity and because they are fast moving but adults will enjoy many dice games too.

The games described require dice, but you may need pen and paper for some and others require stakes, and for yet others a throwing cup is recommended. For stakes, you can use counters, matchsticks, chocolates, pennies or, to make things really interesting, hard cash. Any mug or beaker can be used as a basic throwing cup.

Some dice games are banking games. These games are played against an operator who collects and pays out on bets made against him. If you're going to play a banking game, socially, with friends, then each player should take an equal number of turns holding the bank. This is because, in nearly all dice banking games, the odds are weighed in the operator's favour.

The order of play in a game is usually decided by each player rolling a single die with the highest number throwing first, the second highest throwing second and so on. If an equally high number is thrown by two or more players, they throw again. Seating may be rearranged so that the dice are always passed to the left (clockwise). Alternatively the player with the highest throw starts and the other players take their turns in a clockwise direction, regardless of what number they threw, without the trouble of reorganising players positions. This process is sometimes referred to by the slang term "flop", as in "let's flop to see who goes first". Some games are exceptions to the rule and have their own particular method for determining order of play. These exceptions are described in the text.

Unless otherwise stated, the dice games explained are for any number of players. Strategy and tactics are on the whole left for you to develop for yourself.

Should a die not land flat on one side, but tipped at an angle, then it is declared cocked and all the dice must be re-thrown.  Similarly, if a die is resting on top of another it is declared stacked and all the dice must be re-thrown.




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