Table-top dice games
Dice have been around a long time, with their use dating back to before recorded history. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of these gaming pieces, they’ve been found at archeological sites in Ancient Egypt and beyond. Today we mostly use dice for playing social games where they are thrown, rolled, or cast from our hands or a dice cup. Most people likely grew up playing at least a couple of dice games. They’re are easy to learn and a great way to spend a quiet evening with friends or family. Here’s a list of some of the most popular dice games today.
Yahtzee is a classic game to play with five six-sided dice. The goal when playing is to roll certain combinations of numbers; each combination results in a different score, and players get three rolls each. Although there’s some luck involved, strategy is arguably more important. A wealthy Canadian couple accidentally invented this fun game as a source of entertainment while traveling on their yacht. Yahtzee is an adaptation of earlier dice games, so, for those willing to learn more about the origins of the entertaining pastime, playing it is the best way.
Fort those planning to stay in this weekend instead of going to see one of the new blockbuster movies, Backgammon could be just the ticket. This may be one of the oldest games on this list, with nearly 5,000 years of history, and it’s one of the most popular of all time – for good reason as it’s a lot of fun to play. Players get 15 checker pieces moved between 24 pointed triangles based on the outcome of a roll of two dice. The goal is to be the first play to bear off by moving all 15 of the checkers off the board. A sound strategy and a bit of luck are necessary to be successful at playing this game, but whatever the outcome, players are guaranteed to have a lot of fun.
For anyone at a bar with a set of dice, it’s time to give Bar Dice a try, also known as Captain, Crew, and Ship. One plays the game with six-sided dice, and a bar really isn’t necessary for the gameplay. All that’s needed are as many friends and family members as possible to have a good time. To play bar dice, each player takes turns rolling five dice at a time in an attempt to collect points from their opponents. Players have to find the numbers six, five and four in that order before they can start accumulating points. The six is the ship, the five is the captain and the four is the crew. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Anyone who’s never played Boggle is missing out. Invented by Allan Turoff for Parker Brothers in 1972, this popular game uses dice with letters instead of numbers. The goal is to use the plastic grid to find words sequences in adjacent letters. The round starts as players shake the covered tray filled with lettered dice; players then have three minutes to create as many words as possible from their letters. The longer the words they create, the higher the score, and the player with the highest score at the end of the game winds. Boggle has made cameos on several popular TV shows, including The Big Bang Theory.
The last game on the list is Dice Chess, a spin on regular chess that adds an element of chance to the traditional strategy game. Dice chess has several variants that all change the way a game of chess is played. In the most basic variation, players roll a pair of six-sided dice to determine the moves in the game. There’s no check or checkmate in this game, but the goal remains capturing the opponent’s king.
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