Crib Dice   -- an Original Dice Game

Invented by Howard Fosdick (V 2.1) ©

Overview: This exciting game makes the perfect party or pub challenge. You throw dice to race your marker across a cribbage board. The longer you choose to throw, the further you can go... and the greater the chance that your turn will amount to nothing.

Players: 2 to 5 individuals. Or 4 or 6 players paired into partnerships.

Equipment: 7 dice and optional tossing cup.

A cribbage board. Ideally with one lane for each player. Or use different colour pegs in the same lanes.

Goal: Win the Game by advancing your peg furthest off the cribbage board. Win the sitting by winning the most games.

Play: Roll two dice. Highest total goes first. Others take turns clockwise after the leader.

To start his turn, a player rolls all 7 dice to determine his point value or point. The point is a set of two or more matching dice the player selects to set aside or freeze. The player is required to establish his point in his first roll of 7 dice.

Now the player has a choice:
  • He can toss all unfrozen dice in an attempt to match his point value and thereby increase his score
  • He can accept his current score, move his peg forward on the cribbage board according to the Scoring Chart, and end his turn by handing the dice to the next player.

Whenever a player continues his turn after establishing his point:
  • He rolls all unfrozen dice. If he rolls one or more dice showing his point value -- or if he rolls a 1 -- he is safe.
  • He freezes any dice matching his point value, and thereby increases his score. (He does not freeze dice showing 1's unless that is his point.)
  • If the player did not roll at least one die matching his point -- or a 1 -- he wipes out. His turn ends without scoring.
  • A player may not change his point value once he has established it.
A player may continue his turn in this manner for as long as he wants to or is able.

Piddle and Rollover: Once a player obtains either five or six matching dice, he faces a choice. He can either stop his turn and accept his current score, or he may piddle in an attempt to get another turn.

To piddle, throw two dice:
  • If the player rolls doubles for any value other than his point, his turn ends immediately with no score. Pass the dice to the next player.
  • If the player rolls doubles that match his point value -- no result. Roll again.
  • If the player avoids rolling doubles, he keeps all points scored thus far in his turn and rolls 7 fresh dice. This is called a rollover. After the rollover, the player follows the same procedure of play as before, but with 7 new dice. A rollover is just like a second turn.

The Rollover: A rollover is just like starting a new turn with 7 fresh dice. The player chooses any new point value through the usual procedure.

If a player wipes out (fails to roll his point or a 1) at any time after a rollover, his turn ends and he scores no points for the entire turn.

If a player stops while safe after a rollover, he scores all points he accumulated both before and after the rollover.

A player can rollover as many times as he is able.

Ending Your Turn: A player's turn ends if:
  • He declares this turn over and accepts the currently accumulated points as his score
  • He wipes out (fails to roll either his point value or a 1)
  • He piddles and fails

Automatic Rollover: Should a player obtain 7-of-a-kind without piddling, he automatically rolls over. He may then continue or end his turn as he chooses.

Scoring Chart: A player only moves his peg on the cribbage board after completing his turn. He moves his peg forward one position per point:


2 of a kind
5-5 scores 2 points
3 of a kind
The number on the die 5-5-5 scores 5 points
4 of a kind
2 times the number on the die 5-5-5-5 scores 10 points
5 of a kind
3 times the number on the die 5-5-5-5-5 scores 15 points
6 of a kind
4 times the number on the die 5-5-5-5-5-5 scores 20 pointss
7 of a kind
5 times the number on the die 5-5-5-5-5-5-5 scores 25 points

Fuchle: If a player has 3 consecutive wipeouts -- turns in which he does not score -- he has fuchled and must remove his peg back to the starting point off the board.

Game End : The game ends when at least one player has moved his peg off the board and all remaining players have had a chance to complete their final turn in that round. Whoever has run his peg furthest off the board wins the game.

Once you've played the game a few times, we strongly recommend adding the "Advanced Rules" below.

Example Play: In a player's turn, he:

  1. Rolls 7 dice. They show 5-5-2-2-1-4-6. He chooses to set aside or "freeze" the two 5 dice. 5 is now his point value or Point.
  2. The player chooses to roll the five unfrozen dice (2, 2, 1, 4, and 6). He throws 5-1-6-6-6. The player freezes the 5, so his scoring combination is now 3-of-a-kind with 5's (i.e., 5-5-5). (A player is not permitted to switch his point value once he establishes it by freezing dice, so this player cannot switch his point to the higher-scoring combination of 6-6-6.)
  3. The player chooses to stop. For his 3-of-a-kind, he scores the number on the die, as per the Scoring Chart. He moves his peg forward 5 positions on the cribbage board and hands the dice to the next player.

Say the player chooses instead in step (3) to continue. He has frozen 5-5-5 and rolls the remaining four unfrozen dice.
  • If he does not roll at least one die that is either his point value (5) -- or a 1 -- he wipes out. His turn ends and he scores no points for the turn.
  • If he rolls one or more 5's, he adds them to his frozen dice. He may then either continue his turn or stop and score his existing point total.
  • If he does not roll any 5's, but he rolls one or more 1's, he is still safe -- though he has not increased his total score. He may then either continue his turn or stop and score his existing point total. (If the player chooses to continue, the 1's are not frozen -- unless they are his point value).
If the player reaches a point where he has frozen either five or six 5's, he can either stop his turn and move his peg as per the Scoring Chart, or he may continue by piddling. To piddle, he rolls two dice:
  • If he rolls doubles with his point value, he has "no result" and must roll both dice again.
  • If he rolls doubles for any value other than his point, his turn ends without score.
  • If he avoids rolling doubles, his turn continues anew with a rollover, a fresh role of all 7 dice.
If the player wipes out at any time during his turn, he loses all points accumulated both before and after the rollover. If the player ends his turn safely (i.e., voluntarily), he scores the total of all points accumulated both before and after any rollover(s). Players may roll over as many times as they are able.

Advanced Rules:

Once you're used to the game, we strongly recommend adding these rules:

Piddle Points: Obtain 2 extra dice that are only used for piddling.

When a player piddles, if either one or both of the two dice he rolls matches his point value, he adds those to his score prior to the rollover.

Examples: a player obtains 5-of-a-kind in fours (4-4-4-4-4) and chooses to piddle. In his piddle roll, one die turns up a 4. The player scores for 6-of-a-kind (assuming he ends his turn safely).

If the player threw two 4's in his piddle, he scores for 7-of-a-kind. 7-of-a-kind is the maximum score obtainable through piddle points.

The Bomb: If a player selects 1's as his point and then obtains at least 6-of-a-kind in 1's, he has rolled the bomb and may exchange his peg with the leading peg on the board.

If the player reaches 5-of-a-kind in 1's when going for the bomb, he must announce his intent to bomb prior to piddling. When he piddles, if either or both dice turn up 1's, he has successfully bombed, and may swap the lead peg on the board for his own. If his bomb fails, the player scores no points for the turn. Success or failure, the player's turn now immediately ends.

Double Fuchle: If a player's peg is off the board due to a fuchle and he wipes out 2 more times while off the board, he is eliminated from the game entirely.

Skunk and Double-Skunk: Any player who has not advanced his peg more than half way round the board (at least 61 spots) when another player wins is skunked and loses 2 games. Any player whose peg is off the board (fuchled) when the game ends is double-skunked and loses 4 games. If playing for drinks or wagers, those who are skunked or double-skunked must pay doubled or quadrupled penalties, respectively.

One Peg per Hole (Bumping): If you're playing with more than one peg per track, you could have a situation in which the hole your peg is supposed to move to is already occupied. In this case, place your peg in that hole, and move the previous occupant 5 holes back.

Alternate Rules:

"Find a Loser" -- Game continues until only one player is left on the board. That player is the designated loser and buys drinks or snacks for his opponents.

"The Long Game" -- Players to go double the distance to win -- down the cribbage board and back again to Start. Player who pegs furthest off the board at Start wins. Double the distances for skunk and double-skunk, too.

"Partners" -- For 4 or 6 players, play as either 2 or 3 partnerships. Partners take turns rolling the dice for their team and must make all decisions jointly.

"Pandemonium" -- Play a wilder game by requiring only 5-of-a-kind in 1's for the Bomb, instead of 6-of-a-kind. Change Fuchle to 4 consecutive wipeouts, up from 3. (So 6 consecutive wipeouts eliminate a player from the game instead of 5.)

Tips for Play: Here's an easy way to compute scoring. Mentally remove two dice from your matching dice and sum the rest.

Example: You have 6-6-6-6-6-1-3. That's 5 matching dice. Mentally eliminate two of them, that gives you three 6's. Thus your current score is 6 + 6 +6 = 18.

Example: You have 4-4-4-5-5-3-1. That's 3 matching dice. Mentally eliminate two of them, that gives you one left. So your score is 4.

When their point is a high number like 5 or 6, players often proceed cautiously to preserve their points. When their point is a low number like 2, they figure they have little to lose and play more aggressively.

Two consecutive wipeouts encourage players to act cautiously because a 3rd wipeout fuchles them back off the board. Two more wipeouts eliminate them from the game entirely.

Players' strategies often change depending on their relative board position. Those behind may assume greater risk to catch up. Those desperately behind may focus on throwing the bomb.

If tracking games during a session, keep in mind that failure to advance to board position 61 loses 2 games, while being off the board entirely loses 4 games. So going for the bomb sometimes risks a more severe loss.

The player who leads sometimes turns more conservative to preserve his lead. However, if trailing player(s) become more aggressive, the leader may wish to assume greater risk to end the game quickly and limit exposure to bombs.

Picking 1's as your Point gives you the chance to try for a bomb. However, it also reduces your chances to continue your turn as you roll, because your Point and the safe die are the same single value.

For easier scoring, use two pegs. Keep one peg where it was when you started your turn, and move a second peg forward as you score points. If you wipe out during the turn, just remove the second peg and you're back where you started.

Keep track of consecutive wipeouts in the game counter section of most cribbage boards. Then there's no dispute when someone fuchles.

Click here for a Scoring Summary Chart.

Dice Probabilities: Optimal play requires knowledge of probabilities. For n rolls of a die, the probability of rolling either the point number or a 1 is found by the formula:
     Success = 1 – Failure n

Assuming the point value is not 1, the chances of rolling either the point value or a 1 with:

5 dice
4 dice
3 dice

Probabilities for piddles are:

    Success:    Failure:  No Result:
30/36 = 83% 5/36 = 14% 1/36 = 3%

License: Feel free to print, copy, and distribute these rules, so long as you retain this paragraph. Invented by Howard Fosdick © 2023, distributed under Creative Commons License BY-ND.      HOME