Dice Box

Release Date: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2000
PDF icon dicebox.pdf319.25 KB
Setup Time: 
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Play Duration (experienced): 
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by Jonathan Leistiko


Place colored dice on a grid in a way that maximizes your points and minimizes the points that you must concede to your opponents.

You Need

  • 6 red, 6 yellow, 6 blue, and 6 white dice (total, not per player).
  • 1 die that is a different color from all others. This die is called the “Seed.”
  • A 5×5 grid with dice-sized squares.

Setting Up

Assign the colors red, yelow, blue, and white to the players, one to each. If playing with two players, you may choose to assign two colors to each player.

Distribute the dice among the players as follows:

  • Two players: 3 dice of each color (R,Y,B,W).
  • Three players: 2 dice of each color (R,Y,B,W).
  • Four players: 1 of each color and two additional dice. (Randomly select a player to start. Each player picks one die, then go back around in reverse order.)

Peacefully choose someone to go first. This player rolls the Seed and places it on the center square of the grid. All players roll their dice, producing rolls for the first round of play.


On your turn, place one of your rolled dice on the grid. The square you fill must be adjacent to at least one other filled square.

Adjacent: A square that shares a complete side with another square is adjacent to that square. Squares that share only a corner are not adjacent.

The die you place must be showing one more or one less pip than those displayed on all dice in adjacent squares. For example, if you had rolled a 4, you could place it in the green (+) square, but not the red (-) one. (In this example, no roll could ever yield a result that would allow it to be placed in the red square.)

1 2 3
- 3 +
5 4 5

If you can play a die (of any color) on your turn, then you must do so. After you have placed one die on the grid, play passes to the left. Do not reroll your remaining dice.

If there are no valid plays available, then you must roll all of your dice, producing your rolls for the next turn. This takes up your turn, and play then passes to the left.

The game ends when all vacancies that can be filled on the board have been filled.


At the end of the game, tally the point value of all dice of your color by counting their pips. The player with the highest tally wins.

If playing with three players, also tally the points for the unclaimed color. If this tally exceeds the highest player’s tally, then the player with the lowest tally wins instead.

Origin and Credits

I set out to make a game with the following premises:

  • Uses six-sided dice.
  • Plays like dominoes.
  • Involves colors (red, yellow, blue, and white).
  • Players have colors associated with them. At the end of the game, they get points based on the color that they’re associated with.

In many ways, this is a sequel to . I like the idea of creating a strategic dice game, since dice epitomize the idea of randomness and chance for many people. Although I’ve been mulling over this game for over three months now, I’d assert that it really took about two weeks to go from conception to a rough approximation of what you see here.