Pig is a simple dice game that can be played with two or more players of almost any age. First introduced in 1945, it only requires one six-sided die for its basic rules. Playing the Pig dice game is a good math activity for teaching addition and basic principles of probability. Although Pig is simple to learn and play, the strategy is more difficult and relies on decision-making based on complex probability.
Basic Pig Dice Rules
The goal of Pig is to be the first player to reach a score of 100 points or more. On each player's turn, he gets to roll one die. After each roll, he can choose to end his turn and score the sum of all his rolls so far or to continue rolling. If the die ever lands on a 1, the player's turn is automatically over, and he scores nothing for that turn. At the end of the player's turn, he writes down his score for the round, adds it to his previous score, and then passes the die to the player on his left.
Two-Dice Variation of Pig
Pig is sometimes played with two dice instead of one. Most of the rules remain the same, with the player's turn automatically ending with a score of zero if one of the dice shows a 1. However, the additional rule is that if both dice show a 1, the player's entire cumulative score for the game is lost. This variation of Pig makes it more risky to continue rolling because each roll is twice as likely to result in losing all the points rolled so far.
Another variation of Pig that uses two dice is called Big Pig. In this variation, instead of double 1s resulting in a loss of all points for the game so far, they are worth 25 points that are added to the turn total so far, and the player continues rolling. In addition, any time doubles are rolled that are not 1s, the player gets to add twice their value to his turn total.