Ship, Captain & Crew

Number of dice:                     Five

Ante:                                       1 Unit

Object of gaship, captain & crew” (= 6, 5 & 4) and as high a score as possible with the other two dice.


Players roll in succession as follows:

All five dice are rolled “open”. If the combination 6-5-4 shows, these three dice are put aside.

If only a 6 or a 6-5 shows, these are put aside and the remaining dice are rolled “open” a second time, hoping to complete the combination 6-5-4. Assuming that this “ship, captain and crew” combination is obtained on the second, or more rarely the first, roll, the player has now to consider the total of the other two dice. If high, he can stand pat, but if low he can roll again, twice or once as the case may be, to complete his quota of three rolls. These rolls are “closed”.

NOTE: the two dice must be rolled together: it is not permitted to keep a high number and roll a low one.

If the ship, captain and crew are not set up in two rolls, the player completes his turn with a closed roll, leaving the 6-5 or 6 outside if already showing. (To make the point perfectly clear, a player may not hold a 5 until he has a 6 showing, nor a 4 until has both 6 and 5.)

When a player gets his “ship, captain and crew” within two rolls, he can call on preceding players who have rolled “closed” to lift their cups, so that he can decide whether to stand pat or roll again.

If a player gets 6-6 (“boxcars”) with his last two dice, this is called an “automatic” and he wins the pot. The players who would normally follow him forefeit their turns. However, this rule only applies if the “automatic” is claimed before the next player rolls. Furthermore, an “automatic” on a closed roll, if unclaimed, does not tie one claimed by a later player. Except for automatics, the highest total of the last two dice wins. The procedure is that after the last player’s roll, those who have rolled “closed” lift their cups and the winner is decided.

The one tie, all tie rule applies in this game. If no one has put to sea (i.e., got 6-5-4), it is an automatic tie.


1)             The game can be played low boy, i.e., lowest score wins.

2)             The game can be played progressively, players taking it in turn to declare a single number as the winning score, renewing the ante and playing successive rounds until someone finally gets the declared score.


The commonest score is 7. Scores of 9 or higher are good enough to stand pat or to accept a tie with a preceding player.

The game can be played entirely with open rolls, but the method of closed rolls as described above adds to the suspense.