Release Date: 
Monday, May 15, 2000
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Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

by Jonathan Leistiko


Complete Goal cards and gain points by rolling different combinations of colored dice. A game ends when a player has completed Goals of three or more colors with a total value of more than 100 points.

You Need

  • A deck of RYB cards.
  • Two red, yellow, and blue six-sided dice for each player (six dice per player).
  • A flat surface to roll dice and play cards on.
  • Some way of keeping score (like a pencil and paper).

Setting Up

Shuffle the RYB deck. Deal out cards as follows:

  • 2 players: 5 cards each
  • 3 players: 4 cards each
  • 4 players: 3 cards each
  • 5 players: 2 cards each

You may look at the cards in your hand at any time.

If you are playing a friendly game, or are playing with children, play with the cards in your hand face-up on the table.

Place the remaining cards face-down in the center of the table; this is the Draw deck. (In a friendly or children’s game, keep the Draw deck face-up.)

Each player gets two red, two yellow, and two blue dice. Your collection of dice is called your Dice Pool.

Peacefully choose someone to go first.


Starting with the first player and proceeding to the left, each player takes a turn. On your turn you must Refill or Dump, and then Play A Card. you may also Attempt to Complete a Goal.

Refill: If you have less cards in your hand than you began the game with, draw cards from the Draw deck until your hand is replenished.

(If the RYB deck runs out of cards, shuffle the Discard pile and create a new Draw deck from the shuffled discards. Disregard this rule if you are playing with only two players.)

or Dump: Instead of Refilling, you may choose to Dump—discard your entire hand, and draw a whole new one. If you do so, your turn ends immediately afterward.

Play a Card: Play a card from your hand. Descriptions of all of the cards are provided below. Playing a card is mandatory.

Attempt to Complete a Goal: You score points in RYB by completing Goals. Any attempt to complete a Goal card consists of three separate steps: Declare, Attempt, and Bank or Tally.

  • Declare: Declare to the other players which of the Goal cards in play you wish to attempt to complete. If there is no Goal card in play, your turn ends.
  • Attempt: Select dice from your Dice Pool that match the color of the Goal card you declared above.
    • If you are attempting to complete a Primary Color Goal—one that is red, blue, or yellow—simply select the dice that are that color.
    • If you are attempting to complete a Secondary Color Goal—one that is green, purple, or orange—you must select combinations of dice.
      • Orange Goal: red and yellow dice because red and yellow make orange.
      • Green Goal: yellow and blue dice because yellow and blue make green.
      • Purple Goal: blue and red dice because blue and red make purple.
    • If you are attempting to complete a Black Goal you must use dice of all three colors.
    • Roll the dice you have selected and total them.
    • Important: When trying to achieve a goal of a secondary color (orange, green, or purple), add up all the dice of one color, and add up all dice of the second color. The smaller of the two totals is the total number of points of the secondary color you’ve generated. Similarly, when totaling points from all three colors of dice for a black goal, you will take the lowest of three different totals—red, yellow, and blue.

      See an example of how to total dice1.

    • If the number of color points you’ve generated equals or exceeds the Target of the Goal, you may remove that Goal card from play, put it in your score pile, and proceed to the Tally phase. If you did not generate enough color points, proceed to the Bank phase.

      See an example of attempting to complete a Goal2.

  • Tally: Add up the value of your completed Goal cards, including the one you just completed. If you have at least three different colors of Goals, with a total value of more than 100 points, you win! Otherwise, the next player gets to start his or her turn.
  • Bank: If the number of color points you’ve generated is less than the Target on the Goal, you may choose to bank points on that Goal. You can store points on it which will count towards future attempts towards achieving that Goal (by any player). You may bank none, some, or all of the points you generated. If there already were points banked on that Goal, you must add at least one point to the existing total. Each point banked on a Goal decreases that Goal’s Target by one.

    An easy way to keep track of how many points are banked against the Target is to place another die (like a polyhedral one) on top of the Goal, with the total number of points banked on that Goal face-up.

See an example of a round of play3.


There are two different types of cards in the RYB deck: Goal cards and Action cards. If the card has the name of a color printed across the top of it, it is a Goal card; otherwise it is an Action card.

Goal Cards: Play during the Play a Card step. Goal cards are played in the middle of the table, face-up.

Goal cards have a color, a target, and a value.

Color: The card’s color is printed across the top of the card. Goal cards come in seven colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, and Black.

  • Red, Yellow, and Blue Goal cards are called Primaries; you only need one color of die to complete them.
  • Orange, Green, and Purple cards are called Secondaries; you need two colors of dice to complete them.
  • Black Goal cards are called Tertiaries; you need dice of all three colors to complete them.

Target: The big number in the middle of the card is the card’s starting Target. As points are Banked on the card, the Target will decrease correspondingly.

Value: The number in the lower right-hand corner is the card’s Value, which is the number of points you win when you complete the goal.

Goal cards stay in the middle of the table until they are completed.

Action Cards: Action cards include Gimme!, Swap, Do-Over, Red Rover, Shanghai, and Variable cards. They are played during the Play a Card phase of your turn. Once obeyed, they are discarded, face-up, into a discard pile.




Take one die from any player’s pool and add it to your die pool.



Roll any number of dice in your pool (of any color). If their sum is 10 or less, you may put them in any player’s die pool and take an equal number of dice (of any color) from that player’s die pool.



Play this card immediately after you make a roll to Attempt completion of a Goal. Reroll all dice you just rolled.


Red Rover:

Declare a number from one to six and choose a player. That player must roll all dice in their pool. Any die that shows the number you chose is placed in your die pool.



Choose a player and a die color present in his or her pool. Borrow all dice of that color from his or her die pool for your Attempt at the completion of a Goal. Return all dice taken in this fashion at the end of your turn.



In the basic game, this card acts as a Reset: All players’ Die Pools return to the starting state: 2 red, 2 yellow, and 2 blue dice.



Variable Cards

Before the game begins, you can agree amongst yourselves to use one of these rules for the Variable cards.




All players’ Die Pools return to the starting state: 2 red, 2 yellow, and 2 blue dice.



Choose a player. That player must give you dice (his or her choice) until you have as many or more dice than he or she has.


Tea Party!:

Choose a side, left or right. All players must pass their dice to the player on the side you choose. Like the Mad Hatter, call out “Clean cup, clean cup! Move down, move down!” as you pass dice.



Take a card from the discard pile that can be played during the Play a Card step and play it immediately. (So this excludes Do-Over and De-nied.)



As long as this card is in play, you may trade dice and cards from your die pool and hand with any and all other players in the game, and they may trade with you. You must have the permission of the other player for each exchange that you make. Other players cannot trade amongst themselves; they must go through you. Discard this card when your turn ends, or when three minutes have passed, whichever comes first.



Choose a player and a die color. That player must give all dice of that color away to any player or players of his or her choice.


Swiss Bank:

Play this card on a Goal in play. You may bank points on this card instead of on the selected Goal. Points banked on this card only count for your totals. Discard this card when the Goal it is attached to is completed.



Play this card when a player chooses you as the target for a card and before the effect of that card is resolved. The card that is targeting you has no effect and is discarded.



Instead of attempting a Goal in play this turn, you may attempt to complete a Goal that another player has already completed. If you do not complete the Goal, you may bank points on it, but you may not attempt it again without another Raid card.



Origin and Credits

I made this game up on the bus on my way home from work in early October of ‘99. It took me about three hours to get it all down-pat. I have no idea where this really came from - I just thought that it would be neat to create a math and color-oriented game. The target audience I had in mind is children from the ages of 7 to 9.


10/27/99 @ 9:33 PM
Ugh! Attempting to write this clearly and succinctly was a bear-and-a-half. I’m not in any shape to write up variants on this right now. I’ll definitely write some up later though… Take care all; I hope you enjoy the game. – JAL

10/27/99 @ 9:40 PM
All right, I just thought of a variant. Instead of giving all players their dice to start, put the dice in the center of the table. One randomly selected player takes a die from the middle and puts it in their pool. This procedure proceeds clockwise until all players have taken a die. Now the most recent player to take a die picks one out, and the procedure proceeds in reverse back to the first person. Keep going back & forth like this until all players get six dice. (There should be no dice left in the center. If there are, you’ve messed up; try again.)

If you want to make this even more interesting, you could have players select their dice after they have their five cards.

1/27/00 @ 9:33 PM
Here’s another variant that I had originally designed as a rule for Peds II: Downtown Cabbie. Players may re-roll all dice rolled in any one roll by doing any of the following immediately after the roll has been made (pick one variant):

  • discarding a card of their choice.
  • discarding a Goal card from their hand.
  • discarding a card at random.
  • moving a completed Goal card from their completed area back into the “in play” section of the table.

1/27/00 @ 10:15 PM
One more variant: A player may cancel out the effect of an Action card by discarding a card of the same type immediately after the card to be canceled is played. The canceling player’s hand is not refilled until the beginning of his or her next turn.

1/30/00 @ 1:29 PM
So, last night Sharon and I went over to Justin’s house to play RYB. This was the first time that RYB had ever been played and quite a few changes were made to the game that evening:

  • The Shanghai card (current form) was created by Justin that evening.
  • The Do-Over card was added and the Dump card (which allowed you to dump your hand) was removed. The “pass your turn to dump your hand” rule was added.
  • I adjusted the point values to their current levels. (Primaries were x2, Secondaries were x3, and Tertiaries were x4.)
  • The rule that a player must have over 100 points and Goals of at least three different colors was created.
  • The rules for drawing cards were modified and the first step of the turn (Draw up to 5 cards) was created.
  • The Trade card was modified, and at the time of this writing is still under revision. Right now the Trade card is an “Equalizer” that one can play on a player with more dice than you. The target must give dice to the player of the card until they have an equal number of dice (round in favor of the donor).
  • The banking rules were revised, creating the current banking rules.

Yesterday, Sharon & I played RYB with frends over at Ben’s house (it was Sharon’s birthday). We played a four-player game with reduced hand sizes (everyone had three cards). It worked just fine and the rules for less cards with more players were created. Playing with a hand of five cards at all times makes the game degenerate into a dice-stealing bout.

The Equalize card, which was the Trade card, became the Wild card. The Reset ability of the Wild card was created shortly thereafter. The additional Wild card abilities were created later that evening as well.


1 Example: How To Count Dice Totals

Let’s say you have two red, two yellow, and three blue dice in your die pool. You roll all of your dice and get the following results:

  • Red (2 dice): 4, 4
  • Yellow (2 dice): 2, 5
  • Blue (3 dice): 3, 4, 4

This roll would give you the following Primary color point totals:

  • Red = 4 + 4 = 8
  • Yellow = 2 + 5 = 7
  • Blue = 3 + 4 + 4 = 11

...the following Secondary color totals:

  • Orange = lesser of Red & Yellow = lesser of 8 and 7 = 7
  • Green = lesser of Yellow & Blue = lesser of 7 and 11 = 7
  • Purple = lesser of Blue & Red = lesser of 11 and 8 = 8

...and the following Tertiary color total:

  • Black = least of Red, Yellow, and Blue = least of 8, 7, and 11 = 7

2 Example: Attempting to Complete A Goal

Say you’re trying to complete a Purple Goal that has a target of 9. You have three red dice, three blue dice, and one yellow die in your die pool. You pick out and roll your three red and three blue dice, because red and blue make purple. Your red dice roll 1, 4, and 5—a total of 10 red points. Your blue dice roll 3, 5, and 6—a total of 14 blue points. You can mix these together to make 10 purple points, with 4 blue points left over. 10 points is one more than what you need to complete the Goal, so you can take the Goal and put it in your pile of completed Goals.

3 Example: A Round of Play

In the following example, dice are noted in the following format: [#x], where # is the number rolled on the die, and x is the color of the die (r, y, or b).

Al, Bruce, and Catherine are just beginning the first round of a game of RYB. They have their six dice, and five cards. (I’m not going to get into which cards they have – I’ll address that as we go along.)

  • Al goes first and plays a Green-9 Goal card. He rolls two yellow and two blue dice from his die pool and gets [4y], [5y] and [2b], [5b]. This only totals 7 Green, and the target on the Goal is low enough that Bruce or Catherine could complete the card fairly easily if he were to bank points on it for later. Al chooses to bank no points and end his turn.
  • Bruce goes next. First he plays a Gimme! card on Al and takes one of his yellow dice (making Bruce’s total 3 and Al’s 1). Bruce also decides to try to complete the Green-9 Goal and rolls his two blue dice and three yellow dice. His results are [1y], [4y], [5y], and [3b], [5b]. Bruce also fails to complete the card and does not bank any points for a future attempt.
  • Catherine begins her turn by playing a Red-18 Goal card. Next, she rolls her two red dice in an attempt to complete the Red-18 Goal. Unbeknownst to Al and Bruce, she has a Swap card in her hand, and plans to grab the red dice she needs to complete it at the beginning of her next turn. She rolls [3r] and [4r] and chooses to bank all seven points on the Red-18 Goal card.

At the end of the first round, Al has two red, one yellow, and two blue dice. Bruce has two red, three yellow, and two blue dice. Catherine has two red, two yellow, and two blue dice. There are two Goal cards in play: a Green-9 with no points banked on it and a Red-18 with seven points on it. There is one Gimme! in the discard pile, and all players have four cards in their hands. At the beginning of their next turns, each one will refill his or her hand to five cards.