All About Dice Games (Plus Games & Rules)

All About Dice Games (Plus Games & Rules)

by Alex J. Coyne © Gifts for Card Players

Card decks and pocket chess sets aren’t the only portable ways to have fun. Dice games can be carried anywhere, played any time, and enjoyed by players of all ages. All you need is access to a flat surface. And there’s something exciting about rolling dice, anticipating their outcome which makes dice one of the world’s most popular game pieces.

Dice and their forerunners are the oldest gaming implements known to man. Sophocles reported that dice were invented by the legendary Greek Palamedes during the siege of Troy, whereas Herodotus maintained that they were invented by the Lydians in the days of King Atys. Both “inventions” have been discredited by numerous archaeological finds demonstrating that dice were used in many earlier societies. Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/dice

Got dice?

Here’s our look at some of the most popular dice games in modern times, plus where to find the rules if you haven’t played before (or for a while).

The Rules First

It took way too long before I realized that the most common way I’ve played Uno, wasn’t the correct one: if you think you know the rules already, it’s always a great idea to still read through the official rules of any game before you play it. Choose a designated player to keep track of rules, and to referee games. If you start the game as friends, you want to end it that way too!

Here are some of the most common game rules for your enjoyment.

Various Games (with 5 Dice)

Drop Dead, Ship Captain and Crew, Plus and Minus, Aces and Mafia Dice are just a few of the many games designed to play with five dice. This page has rules for many of these games. 

Simple Dice Games

Many more dice games can be found at We Are Teachers that can teach you the rules for various different dice games, all easy enough for anyone to enjoy. 

Seven Best Dice Games

BarGames101 is a site that’s meant for adults, but there are also many games listed here that would make great family games too – and they’re not just for pubs and bars. They include a list with seven of the best and most popular dice games to play as quick, friendly matches.

10,000 Dice Game (Farkle) (6 Dice)

In the game of 10,000 Dice, known as Farkle in its boxed version, the object is to be the first person to score 10,000 points. The game can be played by 2 or more people, but is best if played with 3-8. Similar to Yahtzee, players roll and score on various combinations. You can find a great set of rules to this game, and others, on Dice Game Depot

Tenzi (10 dice)

Tenzi is a great, family friendly game – and is played at a fast pace. Every player has their own set of 10 dice. As many people can play as you have sets of 10 dice. The more the merrier. I’ve been part of some pretty hilarious Tenzi games over the years (psst – it’s a really fun party game). Everyone rolls their dice at the same time and then sorts them and continues to roll until a pattern is achieved. A pattern might be all twos or all nines for example. The first player to achieve this yells TENZI and wins that round. Winner chooses the ‘pattern’ for the next round.

The game is somewhat new and I was daunted with the cost of the dice at first. But now most major outlets have Tenzi sets that are reasonably priced

The Dice Game (6 Dice)

The Dice Game is one of the easiest games to play: similar to Yahtzee, but with simpler rules, it’s a fantastic introduction to general dice games for anyone. You can download the rules and scoring sheet, print them, and keep track of your scores as you go. PDF Rules and Scoring for the Dice Game

Yahtzee (5 dice)

There’s absolutely no way that we could leave out the game of Yahtzee: it’s one of the most popular dice games known to modern humankind – and if you haven’t played it yet, get ready to be glued to the scoreboard for what could be hours. As with all dice games, it’s not necessary to buy a costly game box as the rules are simple. Click here for PDF Yahtzee Rules

If you don’t have dice on hand, you can find an easy-to-play online version is available here at CardGames.io.

Gambling Dice Games

Of course dice are used in many many different games where money bets are placed.  Here are a few

CHUCK-A-LUCK Chuck-a-Luck is a simplified casino dice game version of Sic Bo. The player has a chance to bet on several possibilities from a roll using three dice. You get to make any of five basic bets: Single Number (10 to 1) Field Bet (1 to 1) Over 10 (High) (1 to 1) Under 11 (Low) (1 to 1) Triple (30 to 1). Once you place your wager, you shake your dice and roll it. If the outcome is in your favour, you get paid, and the game starts over.

KLONDIKE – This five dice gambling game gained immense popularity in frontier America and has continued to grace casinos worldwide. When playing Klondike, you aim at rolling a better (poker) hand or a combination that surpasses the banker to strike a win. The banker begins rolling the dice to create a benchmark, after which the players interchangeably roll theirs. Getting a one I equivalent to an Ace and is the highest-ranking.

HAZARD – this two dice game is the original version of Craps. Any player can be the first to roll the dice. The shooter, referred to as the caster, throws the dice to create the main point represented by any number from five to nine. Getting this main point may sometimes require more than one throw. The caster loses when he throws aces or deuce-ace or when he throws 11/12 to a main of five or nine, eleven to six or eight, and twelve to seven.

The Best Dice Games (You Can Buy)

Now let’s buy some dice!

You might not have dice in the house, may have lost ones you thought were somewhere, or just need more of them. (Hint: like card decks, there’s always room for at least one more!).

Here are some of the greatest dice games you can buy.

Liar’s Dice

https://amzn.to/3iIgLBI

Liar’s Dice is meant to be played by 2 to 4 players, and this set gives you everything you could need – including 20 game dice and 2 dice shakers. For this game, the object is bluffing – and even when luck is on your side, not every player is great at this tabletop skill!

Shut-the-Box Dice

https://amzn.to/3VDENN5

Shut-the-Box Dice is an interesting spatial turn-based dice game meant for 2 to 4 players. Players roll their turn, and the corresponding number rolled will flip over part of their side of the “box”. The first player to roll their box closed, wins. While it sounds easy, it’s not!

Tenzi Set

https://amzn.to/3Faih7k

Tenzi is a newer game, which falls under the category of games that can be easy to learn – but very, very difficult to win. This set comes with six sets of 10 dice – yes, that’s 60 of them – and it’s just under USD40.

Portable Dice Kit

https://amzn.to/3XW7uq9

This great portable dice kit is made for almost any dice games: it comes with 12 dice, though also contains chips, dice shakers, and fancy velvet dice bags where you can store them in. This is the perfect gift for anyone who regularly needs dice.

Classic Yahtzee

https://amzn.to/3Fajn3b

The classic, most known version of Yahtzee is made by Hasbro, and can be part of the board game collection for just under $15. Every family or group has that one person who just happens to be freakishly good at lucky rolls.

From Bridge eShop: 109

https://www.bridge-eshop.com/en/109-dice-tracks

Dice Tracks

5 Prestige Harlequin Dice

https://www.bridge-eshop.com/en/accueil/4416-box-of-5-prestige-yam-s-harlequin-dice.html

Know someone who likes their fancy dice? This set of Prestige Harlequin Dice comes with 5 particularly beautiful dice – and they’re just under 30USD. You know you want to!

Farkle Classic Set

https://amzn.to/3urY4ov

Farkle is a game that many people have known for years – and if that sentence didn’t quite sound right to you, then you have yet to discover it! Played with 6 dice, Classic Farkle is available with 25 scorecards and storage box (and as for the rules, you’ll find the particulars of Farkle listed amongst our list of dice rules in this post).

Derby Day

https://amzn.to/3VDCGIX

Derby Day is a great game for any group who loves to bet or wager on random things (you’ll know who you are!). This game comes with dice, cards, game currencies, and a horse-racing board.

Horse Racing (But With Dice)

https://amzn.to/3FajN9w

If Derby Day wasn’t quite enough for you, there’s also this great Horse Racing game – that comes with the game board, a deck of cards, a pair of dice, and paper currency.

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