CHINGONA

Number of dice:                      Five.

Ante:                                       Usually the price of a round of drinks, but if played as a gambling game we suggest a 2-unit ante.

Object of game:                     Too complicated to state in one line, read on.

Chingona is really a simple game and can be learned in ten minutes from someone who knows it. It is usually played to settle who pays for a round of drinks, and either all concerned can play it, or some eliminating game is played, i.e. poker, a-flip-and-a-flop or high numbers in one roll, until only two are left, then they play chingona. The latter way, two players only, is more usual and is described first.

METHOD OF PLAY

1.         To decide who starts, each player sets a die aces up and kings towards you, and then flicks it to roll over. The one whose die reads higher starts the game (the order being A, K, Q, J, 10, 9). If both are alike they are flicked again as they lie.

2.         The starter now rolls up to three times, leaving out the dice he wants and re-rolling the rest. He may stop on his first or second roll at his discretion

His normal objective is to get as many as possible of the highest value possible, with the gimmick that any number of which he has a pair or more is wild. For instance, A-A-9-9-Q or A-9-9-9-Q would both rank as four wild aces.

Alternatively the player can call numbers, which is simply the total of all the 10’s, 9’s and 1’s showing.

3. Whatever hand the first player calls, the second now tries to beat it. The word calls is important because the value of a hand is not automatic. For example:

9 9 9 A 10 could be called

            either   three natural nines

            or         four wild aces

            or         38 (numbers).

The call includes the number of rolls which the first player used and the second player can only take the same number. (When all three rolls were used, the call is often expressed as all day or all night).

There are no ties: the second player must beat the first one’s hand as called.

If called natural (meaning no wild numbers used) only a better natural roll will beat it four wild tens or aces do not beat three natural jacks.

NOTE: Much of the art of winning at Chingona lies in knowing when to stop; hands like two aces, three jacks, or 29 are strong in one roll but weak in three rolls.

4. At the end of the first game, the reverse procedure is followed. The second player now sets up a hand for the first one to try to beat. The score is tallied and the first to win four games wins the round, and the other plays up.

In summary: the hand is called as either:
            so-many wild, or
            so-many naturals, or
            number total,
            made in 1, 2 or 3 rolls.
The challenger has to beat the hand as called.

VARIANTS

Any given group of Chingona players has decided on its own variants of the main game. Probably it is best to try them all and then decide on your own house rules.

1. If the challenger ties the hand in fewer rolls than were called, this may be treated as a win, i.e. four wild kings in two rolls would beat the same in three rolls.

2. Ties on all hands, but more usually only on numbers calls, may be permitted and those games replayed.

3. Mexicans. If the first player sets up a very weak hand, something like 9 9 J Q K, in his three rolls, he can select any number showing and call (for example) Mexican Queens. This means that the challenger can only beat him with a pair of the number called. (Surprisingly often he fails).

4. Parson’s Benefit. If one player wins four games in a row, play continues, and if the challenger can now manage to win four in a row, then he is the winner.

5. Automatic win with five aces. If the starter rolls five aces, whether wild or natural, he wins the game and keeps the cup to start the next one.

6. Four natural aces = five wild aces. This odd rule is only played, in our experience, at the Valle Arriba Club in Caracas, where variant 5 is in force.

Play with more than two players:

The mechanics of the game and the variants remain the same, but the odds change. Players roll in turn, and the winner of each round starts the next one. They drop out as they win four games, and the last one left in pays the bill. (Or, if gambling, the first to win four takes the pot.)