For the next week or two, I am going to be posting about math games.

First up…PIG!

Enjoy!

Pig

Number of players:

You need at least 2 players. Up to 4 or 5 players can still move along fairly quickly, but for larger numbers of people, you will probably want to find more dice and divide up into smaller groups.

What you need to play:

You will need at least 1 six-sided die, paper, and a pencil or pen. If you are good at mental math, you may not need the paper and writing utensil for the basic game. More than one die is necessary only if you are playing with a larger group of people and want to divide up, or if you want to try one of the variants that requires more dice.

Goal of game:

The goal of the game is to reach 100 points first (or whatever number of points you have determined ahead of time).

Game play:

On a turn, you will repeatedly roll a die until you either decide to stop rolling OR roll a one.

Keep a running total of your dice rolls until you decide to hold. Once you decide to hold, write down your total and pass along the dice to the next player. During subsequent turns you will add to this number, trying to be the first to reach 100. If you roll a one at any time, your turn ends, and you score zero points for that turn.

Scoring Examples:

Player one rolls a five, a four, a three, another three, and then a two and then chooses to stop rolling and passes the dice to the next player. Player one’s score for this turn would be 5+4+3+3+2 which equals 17.

Player two takes up the die and rolls a two, a three, and then rolls a one. Since a one was rolled, play immediately ends for player two, and he scores no points this turn. Poor player two…

Player one takes up the dice again and rolls a five, a five, and then a two before deciding to hold. His score for this turn would be 12 which he would then add to his previous turn’s total of 17 for a grand total of 29. Not too shabby, player one…

End of game:

Game play ends when one player reaches a score of at least 100 points.

Alternate end of game:

A final round is played once one player reaches at least 100 points. All the other players are given one last turn to either tie or top the leader’s score.

Variants:

Variant 1: Make the six the “bad” number instead of the one. This variant would make the addition a little simpler for younger players since you would only be adding up ones through fives.

Variant 2: Roll two dice each turn, instead of one. Dice are added up as in the original game to produce a score; however, with two dice your chances of rolling a one are greater. Once you roll a one on either die, play ends and you score zero.

Variant 3: Roll two dice each turn, instead of one. Dice are added up as in the original game to produce a score. However this time, once you roll a one on a die, that die is retired for the rest of your turn. You can continue rolling with the remaining die until you choose to hold and take your score, or you roll another dreaded one which ends play for that turn and gives you a score of zero.

Variant 4: Roll two dice each turn, instead of one. Dice are added up as in the original game to produce a score. In this variant, double ones rolled are very, very bad, and you lose all of the points you have scored thus far in the game, including points earned from previous turns.

Variant 5: Roll two dice each turn, instead of one. Dice are added up as in the original game to produce a score. However this time, doubles are our friends, even if they are double ones. A single one however will still end your turn and score you a big zero. Points scored for doubles are as follows:

Double ones = 25 points

Double twos = 8 points

Double threes = 12 points

Double fours = 16 points

Double fives = 20 points

Double sixes = 24 points

You probably want to raise the end goal from 100 points to 200 points in this variant to accommodate the possibility of larger points scored in a single roll.

Variant 6: You are given six dice (or as many as you can manage to scrounge up from under the couch) each turn. You can choose to roll as many dice as you wish, keeping in mind that ANY “one” rolled will end your turn, and zero points will be scored for this turn. If you roll three or more ones in a single roll, you lose all of your points scored thus far, including previous turns. If you roll ALL ones in a single throw, you have to give your opponent a foot rub. 🙂