Dice games can be a fun way to pass time, either with a group of people or as a single player. Many single-player dice games can also become multiplayer games, but they're also fun on your own. Most games require just dice and a pencil and paper.
The popular game of Yahtzee is also known as “Yacht,” “Cheerio” or “Yam.” The game requires five dice, and you can play it with several people or as a single-player game. The score sheet lists all rolls that count as points. The top of the sheet includes the total of all ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes. Other scoring rolls are three- and four-of-a-kind, a full house, low or high straight, five of a kind and chance. The full house consists of three of one number and two of another number. The low straight consists four consecutive numbers, and the high straight is five consecutive numbers. A player has one scoring chance roll -- a roll that does not score well in any other category -- per game. Each turn includes three rolls of the dice. After each roll, you can set aside the dice you would like to keep and roll the remaining dice. Total the scores as follows: The single-number rolls score the total of all occurrences of that number, the three- and four-of-a-kind and chance rolls score the total of all dice, the full house scores 25 points, the low straight scores 30 points, the high straight scores 40 points and a five of a kind (Yahtzee) scores 50 points. (see reference 1)
Farkle, also known as “10,000” or “Dix Mille,” requires six dice and may take place with several people or as a single-player game. A turn in Farkle can last as long as the player wants, provided that she sets aside at least one scoring die with each roll. Players can also set aside more scoring dice if desired. If a player throws no points, his turn is over and he player gets no points. If all dice score, the player may pick up all six dice and throw them again. A one scores 100 points, a five scores 50 points and a roll of three ones scores 1,000 points. Any other set of three numbers scores 100 times that number; a roll of three sixes scores 600 points, for example. A run from one to six scores 3,000 points, and a roll of three pairs of the same number scores 1,500 points. The game ends when the player reaches 10,000 points or after 10 rounds.
Shut the Box
Shut the Box is played with two dice and a box with the numbers one through nine on tabs that flip down or have sliding covers over them and a space in which to roll the dice. Each roll of the dice allows a player to cover or close that number or more than one number that adds up to the number of the roll. Thus, a roll with a total of seven allows the player to cover the seven or cover the three and the four. The player rolls until a roll cannot cover or close a number on the box. The total of the remaining numbers becomes the score.
The game Ten Pins, a dice version of bowling, lasts ten rounds, or frames, of three rolls each. Players may keep one or both dice at the end of each throw. The player must throw the remaining dice again. If the player keeps both dice, the round is over. Any six is a “gutter ball” and scores no points. A double five thrown on the first throw is a strike and scores 10 plus the total of the dice on the third throw. A double five thrown on the second or third throw is a spare and scores 10 plus the total of the dice on the first throw of the next round.
Based in Laramie, Wyo., Joanna Swanson has been writing in her professional life since 2004. She currently writes for various websites and enjoys reading a wide variety of books. Swanson holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming.