The Ultimate Guide to Tenzies

The Ultimate Guide to Tenzies

I’m A Budgie!

I’ve been part of some hilarious Tenzie game nights where we ended up laughing until tears. One game that involved about eight of us around a big kitchen table became so frantic and frenzied that when my friend Nancy suddenly got the rolls she needed she was so excited she forgot to call out ‘TENZIES!” and instead yelled “I’M A BUDGIE!”  I have no idea where that came from but omg we laughed so hard and now it’s stuck in our mythology forever.

So now you really want to know more about this game, right?

What is Tenzie?

Tenzies is a fast-paced, addictive dice game that’s perfect for family game nights, parties, or any gathering where fun is on the agenda. It’s really simple to learn but endlessly entertaining. 

Tenzies can be played in various ways, ensuring that no two games are ever quite the same. Here’s your guide to getting started with Tenzies, including the basic rules and a few twists to keep the game exciting.

The Basics of Tenzies

At its core, Tenzies requires nothing more than ten six-sided dice per player and a flat surface to roll them on. The objective? Be the first to get all your dice to show the same number. It sounds straightforward, but as any seasoned player will tell you, the real fun of Tenzies lies in its unpredictability and the frenetic energy of players racing to match their dice.

How to Play

Setup: Each player starts with ten dice. There’s no limit to the number of players, but each will need their own set of dice to participate. At first this was offputting as purchasing ten dice is expensive! However, Amazon and other game stores now offer a good collection at reasonable rates.

The Goal: The aim of the game is to roll your dice until all ten show the same number. Which number you choose to match is entirely up to you and often depends on what you roll initially. There are also variations on this, which we’ve listed below. It might be five pairs, or sequences, or even numbers – the variation for each round is decided by the winner of the previous round.

Rolling the Dice: Players begin by rolling all ten of their dice simultaneously and this is what makes the game so frantic – a table of players all rolling many dice at the same time! After the initial roll, quickly scan your dice for the most common number, as this might be the easiest to match.

Selecting Your Number: Once you’ve chosen your number, set aside any dice that show this number. These dice are now “locked in” but you can always pick them up and roll them again if you change your mind.

Continuing the Game: Roll the remaining dice, setting aside any that match your chosen number. Continue this process, rolling as quickly as you can, until all your dice match.

Winning the Game: The first player to have all ten of their dice showing the same number shouts “TENZIES!” and wins the round.

Round Variations

While the basic premise of Classic Tenzies is simple, you can introduce numerous variations each round. The winner of a previous round gets to pick a variation for the next round. We’ve listed some ideas below and recently we saw a deck of cards that can be used with Tenzies Dice – each card suggesting a different variation. I thought this would be a fun way to keep the game interesting. Each round, you draw a new card, and shout Go!

  • Classic Tenzies: All dice must show the same number.
  • Five Pairs: Roll until you get five pairs of matching numbers.
  • Even Stevens: All dice must show an even number.
  • Odd Ones Out: Roll until all dice display odd numbers.
  • Sequential Tenzies: Get the dice to show sequential numbers from 1 to 6 (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4).
  • High Five: Achieve a combination where five dice show one number and the other five show another number.
  • Three of a Kind Times Three: Roll until you have three sets of three dice showing the same number, with one die left as a wildcard.
  • Low Ball: All dice must show a number less than or equal to 3.
  • Upper Hand: All dice must show a number greater than 3.
  • Lucky Number Seven: All dice must total to a sum of 77.
  • Prime Time: Roll until all dice display prime numbers (2, 3, 5, or 7).
  • The Full House: Achieve a full house by rolling three of a kind and a pair.
  • Add It Up: The sum of all ten dice must equal a predetermined number (e.g., 50).
  • 2-4-6-8: Roll until half the dice show even numbers and the other half show odd numbers.
  • Mirror Mirror: Roll until you have two sets of numbers that are mirror images (e.g., 112233).
  • Quads and Twins: Get four dice to show one number and two pairs to show different numbers (e.g., four 4s, two 3s, and two 6s).
  • The Straight: Roll a straight sequence (1 through 5, plus one additional number).
  • Split Decision: Half the dice must show one number, and the other half must show any combination of numbers except the first one.

Game Variations

Game variations of Tenzies take things one step further.

  • Speed Tenzies: Implement a timer to limit how long players have to achieve Tenzies, adding pressure and excitement.
  • Team Tenzies: Play in teams, where each member must achieve Tenzies before the team can claim victory.
  • Leftzi-Rightzi: Switch hands after every roll
  • Noizi: Make a sound (cow, cat, whatever) after each roll
  • Silent Tenzies: No talking allowed during the game. If someone speaks, they start over. A partygoer who has gone to be early might appreciate this one!
  • Tenzies Knockout: Players start with ten dice each. The first to get Tenzies knocks one die from everyone else’s set. Last player with dice wins.
  • Challenge Tenzies: Before each game, players draw a card that gives them a special challenge to complete during their turn, like rolling with only one hand. You could use some recipe cards and write up some interesting challenges before your guests arrive for the game.

There are so many more variations and fun that can be had with this game –

Family Time Tenzies

In addition to being incredibly fun, Tenzies can also be educational for younger players, helping them with number recognition, counting, and basic probability. There are some co-operative versions of the game that can be fun for kids not ready for the world of win-lose.

So, grab your dice, gather your players, and get ready to roll your way to victory. Whether you stick to the classic rules or introduce your own variations, Tenzies is sure to become a fast favorite in your gaming repertoire.



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