Number of dice: Five
Ante: None: players pay out or rake in as explained below
Object of game: To roll high numbers, in particular to accumulate more than 24 spots in successive rolls; if achieved, this qualifies the player to try for a bonus, as below.
Players roll in succession as follows:
All five dice are rolled (open) and the player must keep at least one of them (the highest face-value exposed). At his discretion he may keep more than one of the same value (normally sixes or fives). But he may not keep a mixture (e.g. a six and a five) unless he declares his roll finished. He now re-rolls the remaining dice, and again keeps at least one, and repeats to the last dice unless he declares his roll finished.
He now totals the spots on the dice and follows one of these three procedures:
1) If he has exactly 24 he “qualifies” and neither wins nor loses any money on his rol
2) If he has more than 24, he subtracts (e.g. 27 less 24 = 3) and gets two rolls to accumulate as many as possible of the number indicated (from 1 to 6, in this example 3). If he gets one or more of the desired number on the first of his two bonus rolls, he only rolls the remaining dice on his second try. His winnings are based on the number of spots obtained on the two bonus rolls: for example, if he rolls four threes, his score is 12.
All the other players now pay him at the rate of 1/4-Unit per spot: so in this example he would get 12 x 1/4 = 3 Units from each player.
(The maximum possible is by rolling five sixes in the first stage, qualifying the player to roll for sixes (30-24) on his bonus rolls: if he then gets five sixes again, he gets 7-1/2 Units (30 x 1/4) from each other player: it doesn’t often happen).
3) Now comes the snag! If he has less than 24 in the first stage, he has failed to “qualify”, and must subtract in the opposite direction (e.g. 24 - 21 = 3) and now he has to pay out at the same rate, in this example three 1/4-Units to each player.
As a hedge against disaster with a very low score, it is optional to play that if a player goes through the motions of the first stage and ends up with a score of 10 or less, he automatically wins 5 Units from each of the other players. This, again, rarely happens.
It can be agreed that if a player “qualifies” and is rolling for a certain number with his bonus rolls, but fails to get any, then he pays out as if he was the same number short of qualifying. Example: he qualifies with 28, therefore rolls for fours (28-24), doesn’t get any, so pays out 4 x 1/4= 1 Unit to each player. This variant encourages screams of anguish.
When a player has qualified to roll for a bonus, other players often offer to settle beforehand: example, if he is rolling for threes he may be offered 1 Unit and is at liberty to accept or refuse.