Of the 10 dice games listed below, some are scored, while others involve gambling with stakes. The games that are scored can be played alone -- you'll merely be competing against yourself and trying to beat your highest score. The rest involves gambling with stakes of your choice, from cookies to poker chips.
1. Poker Dice
It can be great fun to play poker with dice. Poker dice is played for stakes, or you can simply play it for fun. Each player needs a standard set of dice, and the object is to create the best possible poker hand in three throws.
Playing Card Equivalents
- 6 equals an Ace
- 5 equals the King
- 4 equals the Queen
- 3 equals the Jack
- 2 equals a 10
- 1 equals a 9
How to Play and Rank Hands
After each toss, the player can set aside any dice they want to keep and make another throw until they take three throws total for their turn. Just as in playing poker with cards, hands are ranked from highest to lowest:
- Five of a kind
- Four of a kind
- Full house
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- One pair
- Bust (high card, no pair)
After each person has played, the hand with the highest rank wins the round.
2. Nix the Six
This is a fast-paced dice game in which you score the most points by rolling the fewest 6s.
Supplies You'll Need
- 6 dice
- A rolling cup
- A die tray or a sturdy box lid
- Something to keep score on, such as a whiteboard and dry eraser.
How to Play
- The first player put all six dice in the rolling cup, shakes and rolls them out into the die tray or lid.
- If there are no 6s, add the numbers on all six dice, this is the player's score for the first round.
- If any 6s are rolled, the player sets them aside and rolls the remaining dice and continues playing until no 6s are rolled. This is the player's score for the round.
- If a player is down to one die and rolls a 6, their score is zero for the round.
- The highest possible score for each round is 30 (rolling all 5s).
- Write the score under the player's name on the whiteboard.
- Pass the dice around until everyone has taken a turn and the first round is completed.
- Play six rounds and add up each player's total scores at the end of the sixth round.
- The individual with the highest total score is the winner.
3. Sevens Out
Sevens Out is a simple game of luck, which only requires two dice and a score sheet. How to play:
- The players decide upon a winning score, this could be 500 or 1,000.
- Each player, in turn, throws the dice.
- Each player rolls and continues to roll the dice until they throw a 7.
- They score the sum of all the numbers thrown before the 7.
- Players announce their tally after each throw and once they have thrown a 7, their score is noted on the score sheet.
- Doubles score double the value. For example, if a player who throws two 4s making eight, their score is 16.
- The player reaches the pre-arranged total first is the winner.
4. Ten Pins
You can play Ten Pins, a dice game version of ten-pin bowling, alone or with others. All you'll need is a pair of dice and a score sheet. How to play:
- Play ten rounds or "frames." Each frame has up to three rolls of the dice.
- The player can leave one or both die at the end of any throw.
- Each player's frame score is the total number of spots shown on the die after their final throw.
- If a 6 is rolled, it said to be "off the alley," and nothing is scored for that throw.
- Rolling two 5s on the first throw is a "strike." A strike scores 10 points, plus the total of the dice made by the previous throw.
- Rolling two 5s after the first throw is a "spare." A spare scores 10 points, plus the total of the dice made on the first throw of their next frame.
- After the 10 frames are played, each player's score is totaled, and the highest score wins the game.
- If you're playing alone, your goal is to beat your best Ten Pin score.
Aces is played with five dice per player, and the players wager on the game. Each player starts the game with five dice, which they lose related to the numbers they throw. How to play:
- The order of play in Aces is determined by each player throwing five dice with the highest throwing first, the next highest second, and so on. Each player in turn throws their dice.
- Any 1s rolled are put in to the center of the table and are eliminated from the game.
- Any 2s thrown are passed to the player on their left
- Any 5s are passed to the player to the right.
- The players, in turn, roll their remaining die until they fail to throw a 1, 2, or 5 or lose all of their dice.
- Play continues around the table until the last dice in play comes up as a 1.
- The winner is the player who threw the final 1.
6. Battleship, Captain, Mate, and Crew
Five dice are used in Battleship, Captain, Mate, and Crew. It's played for a pot, but is also often is played for drinks. How to play:
- Each player, in turn, rolls the dice.
- Each has three throws of the dice and tries to roll and put to one side a 6 (the ship), a 5 (the captain), and 4 (the mate).
- The ship, captain, and mate must be rolled in order. If the first throw contains a 6 and 4, but not a 5, only the 6 is put aside. The remaining dice are thrown again, including the 4.
- If a player fails to roll the 6, 5, or 4 after their three throws, they score nothing.
- If, after three rolls, a player has put aside the ship, captain, and mate, the remaining two dice (the crew) are totaled for the player's score.
- If all three in the sequence, 6, 5, and 4, are rolled in a player's three rolls, the remaining two dice (the crew) are rolled in the player's remaining turn(s). These rolls increase the player's final score.
- The winner of the game is the player with the highest crew total.
- If there is no winner, all players must play the round again.
Centennial is played with three dice and requires a board, which can be drawn on a large piece of paper. The board consists of a row of 12 numbered squares. Players record their positions on this board by using their initials or some other distinguishable marker. The aim of Centennial is for each player to move, in sequence, from the first square on the board, up to 12, and then back to one again.
- Each player, in turn, throws three dice. The value of any single dice, the sum of any two, and the sum of all three may be counted. For example:
- If a 1 is rolled, they move to square one.
- To move to square 2, the throw must contain either a 2 or two 1s.
- To move to square three, the throw must contain either a 3, three 1's, or a 2 and a 1, and so on.
- A player can move more than one square in any single turn by using more than one combination of dice values. For example:
- If a player on their first throw rolls a 1, 2, and 4, they can use the 1 to move to square one on the board.
- The 2 takes them to square two.
- The 2 and 1 together takes them to square three.
- The 4 goes to square four.
- The 4 and 1 gets the player to square five.
- The 4 and 2 go to square six.
- The 1, 2, and 4 takes them to square seven.
- A player may also move if an opponent overlooks a number they require. In this case, any other player, requiring the same number, may claim it, as long as they do so as soon as the dice are passed on.
- The winner is the first player to make the round trip from square one to 12 and back again.
8. Dice Golf
If you're a golf fanatic, a die version of the game can be played with three dice and a score sheet. How to play:
- Each player, in turn, tees off by rolling the three dice until a double is rolled.
- Each throw that doesn't show a double counts as a stroke.
- Any roll that contains a double counts as the hole.
- The number of strokes it takes to get a hole are counted and written down on each player's score sheet.
- Eighteen rounds are played. Each round represents one of the 18 holes of a golf course.
- The player with the lowest total of throws at the end of the game, wins.
Fifty is a simple, fast-moving game played with two dice that requires a score sheet. How to play:
- Each player, in turn, throws the dice and scores points when they throw a double.
- A double 6 scores 25 points.
- A double 3 cancels out a player's score, and they go back to zero.
- Doubles other than a 3 or 6 scores 5 points.
- The scores are recorded, and the first player with a total score of fifty points, wins.
Slam is played with three dice, and the object is to lose rather than win. The aim of the game is to leave the game by scoring 15 points as soon as possible. You do this by rolling a slam.
- The first player rolls one die to decide the slam. The slam is the number everyone will try to throw.
- Each player, in turn, rolls all three dice and keeps rolling as long as they get at least one slam.
- For every slam, the player scores one point. If a roll does not contain a slam, the player's turn is over.
- A small slam is when two dice both show slam. A small slam scores 5 points.
- A player must score 15 points exactly to get out of the game. This means if a player already has 14 points and throws a small slam, their roll is not valid, and their turn is over.
- A grand slam happens when all three dice show a slam. This immediately gives the player 15 points (regardless of what they had before then).
- The last player left in the game is the loser.
Playing Dice Is Fun and Entertaining
There are simpler dice games for kids, but there are many fun dice games for adults that can be played alone, with adult friends, or even at a party. Whether you are stuck in a waiting room or at home or just want to socialize with friends, playing dice is a fun and entertaining way to pass the time.