Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dice Games

Last night, I was at the bar having a beer and playing some word games on the machine. But, I also got a chance to play some dice games for drinks. I learned a couple new games, but the only one I played for drinks was one I already knew how to play from previous experience.

Anyway, here are the 3 games we played.

Liar's Dice

This is the game we played for drinks. We played it 4-handed, and each time someone lost, they would set aside a die. Eventually, someone will lose all 5 dice, and at that point, they'd buy the round. So, in terms of winning drinks, you basically needed not to come in last place.

I won two beers!

This game, if you're unfamiliar with it, is simple. You figure out who starts (usually, the previous loser). Then you call out something like 3 5's. If you call this, you are saying that of ALL the dice in all the rolls, there are 3 5's. The next player then either calls you out, or ups the bid. So, he might say, 5 4's. And, so forth. At some point someone is called out, and all rolls are revealed. Either the bidder is a liar, or the caller is wrong. In either case, someone loses (and loses a die in the process).

We played this where 1's were wild, and it got a bit nuts. But, it was a fun game. It's certainly my favorite dice game.

Ship, Captain, Crew

This wasn't really that fun a game, and just seemed silly to me. Anyway, the variation we played was a bit different than the rules I read online. Both 1-2-3 and 6-5-4 were allowed as (ship - captain - crew).

Basically, the way we played it (heads-up), you each get 3 rolls total. On the first roll, both players uncover their dice. If anyone has a 6-5-4 or a 1-2-3, then their ship is complete with captain and crew, and whatever was left over would be their score. So, if I had rolled 1 1 2 3 4, I would have 5 points (1 2 3) + (1 4).

If no one had any points (lack of a ship, captain, and crew), then you would keep the components you had, and re-roll the rest of them. So, say I rolled a 2 3 3 4 6, then I would keep only the 6, and re-roll the other 4 dice. I can't keep the 4, because you can't have a crew without a captain.

It would be up to the current loser to beat the best score, but before the current loser gets a chance, the current leader would have the option to start all over. The important thing is that each player gets up to 3 rolls, and that's it.

So, here's an example of a game and why it might be best for the current leader to start over.

Roll 1 (both): A = (1 2 4 5 6) vs B = (1 2 2 5 5) -- A has 3 points (1 + 2). B has only a ship and a captain, so he gets to re-roll 3 dice keeping the 1 and 2. Player A allows B to continue, and does not choose to start over.

Roll 2 (only B): Kept (1 2), New (2 3 3) -- Now, B has 5 points (2 + 3). So, A gets to re-roll his 2 dice to try and beat 5. Player B might choose to start over at this point, since it is his option to do so. Reason is that it's likely that Player A beats 5, and if he does then Player B has exactly one roll to beat Player A, who still has one more roll (his 3rd).

Boss Dice

This game was pretty much a simplified poker game. Both players roll 5 dice and then uncover their rolls. You are basically looking for a single, a pair, 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, or 5 of a kind. Two Pair, Straights, and Full Houses don't count. So, both players see what their strongest poker hand is, and the best one is deemed the Boss.

Now, the Boss takes the made part of his hand aside. And, he rolls the rest of his dice in secret. He then has a choice. Do you start over, or do you allow your opponent to draw to his hand by re-rolling whatever he wants. Only if the opponent is given a chance to re-roll and a showdown takes place can the game end. At the showdown, Full Houses and Two Pair count, but straights do not.

Here's an example game:

A = (2 2 5 5 6) B = (3 2 1 6 6)

B is the boss with a pair of 6's. A has only one pair (5's)... remember, Two Pair does not count on the first roll.

B sets aside the 2 6's, and rolls 3 dice in secret. Say B rolls a (2 4 5). B can now choose to let A try and catch up, or choose to start over. If he lets A try and catch up, A technically could win by keeping his 2 pair (Two Pair is allowed on the showdown), but A would not know that B hasn't improved his hand. In this spot, B probably chooses to just start over.

Basically, this is repeated until you have a winner. And, we played this game best out of 3.

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