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How to Make a Horse Racing Dice Game

The Horse Racing Dice Game simulates the fun and excitement of a day at the track.
Horse Racing image by Wimbledon from Fotolia.com

Spending a day at a horse track, betting on the many races which occur, is a fun way to spend a day, particularly when attending with friends. Tracks can often be difficult to get to, however, and gambling brings the risk of losing money which can get out of hand if left unchecked. The Horse Racing Card Game allows players to run dice-simulated races at home while playing with game money, preventing the players from actually losing throughout the course of the races.

Creating the Game

Draw a rectangle 11 inches wide and 1 inch tall 1/2 inch from one edge, and 1/2 in from each side of the poster board. Divide the rectangle into 11 1-inch-wide squares, and label them from 2 to 12.

Draw an additional two rows above the numbered rectangles, and divide each into 11 squares.

Draw another row above the rows from step 2, this time only 9 squares wide, with the first and last columns not featuring a square. Continue adding a new row, removing a square at each end, until the final row, consisting only of a square in the 7 column is complete. This is the race track.

Trace around four cards in the empty space above the race track. If you are using playing cards, trace a playing card. If you are using index cards, cut a card in half, and trace around that. These spots will hold the four scratched horses. Label the first tracing "1X", the second "2X" etc.

Prepare the horse cards for the game. If you are using playing cards, remove the aces and kings from the deck, leaving only the 2 through Queen of each suit. If using index cards, cut the cards in half, yielding 44 cards, and label four cards "2", four cards "3" and so on up through 12.

Playing the Game

Place a playing token on each of the 11 numbered squares on the board.

Distribute an even amount of money to every player participating in the game.

Shuffle the horse cards and deal them out to the players until all players have a card, and have each player pay the pot the desired entry fee for the race. Do not worry if some players receive more cards than others, as this will even out as the deal passes around the table.

Have the player to the left of the dealer roll the die. Whichever number is rolled, that horse is scratched, and the four cards bearing its number are placed in the "1X" rectangle. Each player holding a card with that number must pay the pot an additional fee equal to the race's entry fee, and the horse's token is removed from the board. Repeat three more times, with the die passing around to the left, until four unique horses have been scratched.

Begin the race once four horses have been scratched, and seven remain, by having the next player in rotation roll the die. If the number rolled matches a horse in the race, move its token forward one space. If it matches a scratched horse, the roller must pay a fee equal to the entry fee multiplied by the scratch modifier of the horse. For example, the third horse scratched is on the "3X" spot, and would cost the roller three entry fees to the pot.

Continue rolling until an active horse's number is rolled while it is at the final space in its column. This horse is the winning horse. The more likely a number is to be rolled, the more times it must be rolled to win. The number 7, for example, must be rolled 8 times to win, while 2 or 12 must only be rolled 3 times.

Split the winnings in the pot among all four winning tickets.

Continue running races either for a set number of races (until everyone has dealt, for example) or until a player has run out of money. The player with the most money left wins.

Things You'll Need:

  • Poster board, 12 in. by 12 in.
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • 22 Index cards, or a deck of playing cards
  • 11 tokens
  • Play money (from Monopoly or similar game) or poker chips
  • 2 Die
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