Did you know that dice is one of the oldest gaming implements known to man?
They got used to tell primitive peoples about their futures. Then they were evolved for entertainment purposes. They’ve gotten used for at least 5,000 years in connection to various board games.
It’s safe to say dice games have a long and storied history that has lasted until today, where they’re still valued for their fun, easy nature.
The odds are good that you’ve played a game or two (or three) including dice. They’re especially perfect for traveling, many times requiring little more than the set of dice and a piece of paper for tallying.
Here, we’ll discuss some tried-and-true favorites. Most are appropriate for all ages and skill levels. If you haven’t played them yet, it’s time to start!
Yahtzee involves five dice and as many players as you’d like. This game includes six-sided dice (but you can look here for more facts on 10-sided dice — that’s a thing!).
To start, each player rolls the five dice. The person with the highest total is the one that goes first.
There are multiple boxes on a sheet of paper that you have to fill in as you play. These get divided into two sections (of which you can potentially get bonuses).
The top section is the dice values — Aces (or Ones), Twos, Threes, Fours, Fives, and Sixes. For these, you’d add up the value of each number that shows the box you’re attempting to fill in. So if you have four 1s and one 5, and you’re attempting to fill in the Ace category, your score would be 4.
If you have at least 63 points total in the first section, you win a bonus of 35 points.
The bottom section is your fun ones — 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, Full House, Small Straight (at least four dice), Large Straight (at least five), Yahtzee (five of the same number), and Chance (the total of all five dice).
Your turn offers three chances, although you can cut off your turn at any point. Roll all five dice and see what your first roll gives. From there, you can re-roll any dice of your choice to try and fit it into one of the aforementioned boxes.
Each turn must fill in something on the Yahtzee scoreboard. So if you make a wrong decision, you may have to fill in a ‘0’ in one category.
The game ends when all players have filled in all thirteen categories. Add up your scores and determine the winner!
2. Shut the Box
This game is perfect for sitting in a small airplane chair or those bored in the backseat of a road trip.
It has a small box to play in, which confines the dice and prevents them from getting lost.
At the top of the box are the numbers 1-9 on little square panels which get flipped down throughout the game to cover the numbers. Besides the box, you only need two six-sided dice. The game is best played with two players but can have as many as three or four.
The beginning of the game requires both dice to get used. These can get added to equal the 7, 8, and 9 on the box. Once these numbers are out, a player can play with one die.
The point of the game is to eliminate all numbers. Each player’s turn lasts until they can’t do any more moves with their roll.
Throw the dice and see what correlates to one or more of the numbers 1-9. For example, if you roll a 9 (six and three), you have a few options. You can cover the 9 itself, or any numbers that equal 9 (one and eight; two and seven; three and six; and so on).
This game requires some thought, so be careful which you choose. If you end up with only a ‘1’ left, you’ll need to roll a ‘one’ on your die to eliminate it.
Whoever shuts the box first wins!
This is a fast-paced game that requires more speed than thought. This makes it perfect for competitive people of all ages and skill levels!
Tenzi comes with four sets of 10 dice, each of a different color. It can get played with 2-4 people. The objective is to be the first player to roll all ten of the same number.
It’s similar to Yahtzee in the sense that you need to choose which number you’d like to stay and which you’d like to re-roll. If you roll all ten dice and wind up rolling six 3s, you’ll likely want to stick with threes and try to roll ten 3s.
Once you figure out which number you’d like to go for, set the dice with those numbers aside. Keep rolling the remaining dice until all ten have the same number.
And don’t forget to yell “TENZI!” when you win!
4. Left, Center, Right (LCR)
This game involves three special dice (not your average six-sided) and some chips.
This game is pretty fast-paced and requires more than three players, so it’s ideal for family gatherings. It’s simple, too, and doesn’t require much thought, so make sure you get the young ones involved!
Each player starts with three chips. The goal is to be the person with the most chips at the end.
If you have 3 chips, you roll three dice. If you have 2 chips, you roll two dice — and so on.
The dice have L, C, and R written on them, with the other sides being dots that require no action. If you roll 2 Ls, you pass two chips to the left. If you roll 1 C, you put that chip in the center (where it stays, helping no player). And so on.
Continue until everyone but one is out of chips!
Dice Games Are Classics!
The great thing about dice, then and now, is that they’re simple and straightforward.
Nearly everyone can play them; they’re lightweight; they encourage a little friendly competition. Who needs the internet when there are dice games?
Our blog has lots more articles just like this. Keep scrolling for more clever ways to unwind and have fun!