Bones is a dice game in which players take turns rolling five dice in an attempt to score points. The first player to score 10,000 points is declared the winner. Bones features an element of strategy in that a player may continue to roll the dice in an attempt to build a larger point total but can lose points with one bad throw of the dice. You can play the game with two or more players and one set of five dice.
Take turns rolling one die. The player with the highest roll plays first and play continues in a clockwise direction.
Roll all five dice on your turn. Set aside any dice that come up with five dots or one dot. Also set aside any group of dice with three or more of the same number of dots. If you do not roll any of these values, your turn is over.
Roll the remaining dice and add up your score using all five dice. The scoring for Bones is as follows: Three of a kind is worth 100 times the number of dots on one of the dice, with the exception of rolling three "ones," which is worth 1,000 points. For example, three of a kind of three dots is worth 300 points. Five of a kind is worth 10,000 points. Each extra die with one dot is worth 100 points and remaining five-dotted dice are worth 50 points each.
Roll your remaining dice again if your score does not equal 600. Continue to roll your remaining dice until you achieve that score.
Continue rolling and keeping score either until you decide to “Stand” and end your turn or until you roll no scoring dice (one, five, three or more of a kind). Add all your points to your total score if you Stand. If you roll no scoring dice, you lose all points gained during your roll and your turn ends.
Pass the dice to the next player who repeats the rolling process. Play continues until one player Stands and his total score is 10,000 points or more. The total score is made up of the current turn and any previous turns which ended in a Stand.
There are multiple variations of Bones using six dice instead of five and featuring different scoring methods.
- dice image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com