Thursday, March 20, 2008

1-4-24 Dice Game

Went to the bar yesterday for a little while after a long day at work. Anyway, I learned a new game called 1-4-24. We played for dollars, and I ended up winning enough to cover my drinks plus some. Fun game.

Here's how it works for 2 players.

Someone starts (this person has the disadvantage, so when we played, the winner of previous round starts). That person rolls 6 dice. On each roll, you are required to keep at least one of your dice, and you re-roll the remaining ones. You do this until all 6 dice have been kept. For example, you can choose to keep anywhere from 1 to 6 dice on the first roll. If you kept two of them, then you'd re-roll the remaining four dice, and you can choose to keep 1 to 4 of them. And, so on.

Anyway, here's how scoring works. Of your 6 kept dice, you need a 1 and a 4 to qualify. So, set aside the 1 and 4. The sum of the remaining 4 dice becomes your score. A maximum score is 24, with final dice being 1, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6.

The second person goes after the first one, but has the advantage due to the ability to know when to simply just stop trying for higher score while taking on the risk of getting a lower one. Say the first person scores a 17. And, as the 2nd player, your very first roll is 1, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, you can simply stop right there and claim a win with 18 points.

That's it. It's really simple, and I was entertained. If there's a tie, you ante up again, which builds the pot. When we played, if you don't qualify, you lose an extra dollar. If neither player qualifies, then both throw in an extra dollar for the next pot.

For a 3-, 4-, or more player game, only a single distinct winner can win the pot. So, say in a 4 player game, 2 people score 22, 1 guy scores 18, and another scores a 16. Since there is no distinct winner due to two top scores tying, there is no winner this round. All players ante up again, building the pot. All players are still in the game, and therefore, are eligible to win. You play until there is a single distinct winner, who scoops.

Like I said, fun game... good times.

Edit: I worked on a simulation for this game with some strategy information. Please find a link to that here.


CB said...

I played this game 15 years ago. I had SO much fun! I had forgotten the rules. I have been searching the internet to find it. Thanks for posting!
Mary :)

Brute Force said...

It's a year and a half later, and I got thinking about the game again. For anyone interested... I ran some simulations and produced probabilities that cover two basic strategies and also a 'go for broke' strategy.

Find it here:

Elliott Starno said...

Hey, just wanted to point out that:

A) This is an AWESOME game.

B) It is coming soon as a gaming app for the iPhone!!

Josh said...

Interesting twist to the rules the way that I learned the game last year:

The dice are rolled in an opaque cup like one from Yahtzee. The cup should be just the right size to let the six dice all lie flat with perhaps a little additional room. Some children's cups are best for this.

Anyway, after the dice are rolled and the cup is face down the roller has a chance to call "bottoms." If this is called the dice scores are inverted and the roller takes all scores from the bottom side. So, if you think your luck is crap and call "bottoms" all of your 1s become 6s.

Lastly, when rolling the dice in the cup if there are dice stacked on top of the others this is called "condos." Players are not allowed to build "condos" and so the only offending player contributes another dollar to the pot and re-rolls (which also offers another opportunity to build "condos." I have seen players become hysterical when they roll several condos in a row.

Again the size of the cup used should provide just enough room to let the dice all fall to the table with perhaps room for almost another die.

I love this game.

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