Low-High Dice Game

A dice game inspired by the stock market (and playing lots of Martian Dice). Roll a bunch of dice and choose which sets to keep. Choose your strategy wisely!

Stuff You Need
Two-to-Six PLAYERS
A PENCIL and PAPER to keep score
Thirteen standard six-sided DICE

How to Play

The shortest player takes the first turn. On your turn, first roll all thirteen dice. Several dice will have matching results. These are called SETS. (A single die result is a set, too.) You must choose a set to keep. For example, your first roll results are 111124445555. The sets are four 1s, one 2, three 4s, and four 5s.

After keeping a set of dice, lock them up in a row. This is called the GOOD TRACK. For example,  you could keep the set of four 1s, one 2, three 4s, or four 5s. You decide to keep the four 1s and line them up in your good track.

After keeping a set, you may end your turn or re-roll the remaining unlocked dice. When you re-roll, immediately set aside any results that are equal to or lower than a set you’ve already kept. Lock these up in a separate row. This is called the BAD TRACK. For example, out of three previous rolls you kept four 1s and three 2s. You have six unlocked dice remaining and you decide to roll them again. The results are 112446. You must immediately set the aside the two 1s and one 2 to your bad track.

Out of the remaining dice, keep another set and add it to your good track. You may continue re-rolling as long as you have unlocked dice available or until you choose to end your turn. For example, after losing dice to the bad track, you have the following choices: 446. You choose to keep the two 4s and end your turn.

At the end of your turn, discard one good die for each bad die. If good dice remain, score one point per die. If bad dice remain, lose one point per die. For example, you have three dice in your bad track. That means you must discard the first three dice from your good track. Luckily, you have five dice remaining in your good track, so you get five points this turn.

End of the Turn
After your turn ends, clear your good and bad tracks. Hand all thirteen dice to the next player, who will begin a new turn.

End of the Game
The first player to earn 30 points wins.

For higher scores and more variance, you can score based on pips instead of dice. When canceling out dice at the end of your turn, do so in ascending order. The lowest results in your good track are canceled out first. Alternately, you can cancel out the highest results first for a lower scoring game.

It's tempting to keep the lower results, but those will be quickly negated if you decide to continue rolling. Perhaps that's your strategy, to build up a defense as you pursue larger sets from future rolls. You could also play it safe by just keeping the largest set out of your first roll, but then you might get outpaced by a more aggressive player. Choose your path wisely!


  1. Why does it matter which dice you cancel? Does the track somehow carry over from turn to turn?

  2. D'oh! An earlier draft had you score points based on the pips, so canceling in specific order mattered more. :P

    Just updated the post for clarity: See "End of the Turn" and "Variant."

  3. "At the end of your turn, discard one good die for each bad die. If good dice remain, score one point per die. If bad dice remain, lose one point per die."

    Following this algorithm strictly, you never discard any bad dice, so all your bad dice always remain.

  4. Well if you trust the player to do _arithmetic_, you could skip the canceling and just do this:
    "At the end of your turn, score one point per good die, then lose one point per bad die."
    It's result-isomorphic, but it replaces a simple cancel operation with a potentially more complicated subtract.

    "At the end of your turn, score one point for every die by which the good track is longer than the bad track. If the bad track is longer, instead lose one point for every die by which the bad track is longer."
    I wasn't able to get this one as concise as I wanted, but this one emphasizes the length comparison shortcut -- just line the two tracks up next to each other.

  5. I would love to be able to play this game, but the illustrations don't seem to follow the examples given in the instructions.

    For instance: in the first example, you gave only twelve dice results not to mention wrong dice distribution for each pip.

    The first illustration shows: 4 '1's, 1 '2's, 4 '4's (Not 3 '4's as it says in the example), and 4 '5's.

    There is probably more errors in the instructions, and being a visual person, this kinda keeps me from being able to play what may be a beautifully elegant game. Please address these errors so I can try to make heads or tails about this game. I would greatly appreciate it as an avid-game player.

    P.S. I could somewhat see a decent solitaire dice game somewhere in this. I would love to see what your thoughts are in taking this game in that direction. Maybe a variant can come out of this :)


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