Grab It   -- an Original Dice Game

Invented by Howard Fosdick (V 1.1) ©

Overview: In this game you roll dice to obtain combinations that score points. It's similar to Yahtzee ® or Kismet ® but more exciting and competitive because only one player scores in each category.

Players: 2 or 3 individuals. Or 4 or 6 players paired into partnerships.

Equipment: 5 dice plus the enclosed scoring sheet.

Objective: Achieve the highest score.

Start: Roll two dice. Highest player goes first, others follow clockwise.

Play: In your turn, you:

1. Roll the five dice up to three times to obtain any of the scoring combinations

2. After the first and second rolls, choose the dice you want to keep and roll the remaining dice again

3. Stop rolling the dice at any time if you achieve a satisfactory combination

4. After your three rolls, you must write a score into one of the boxes on the Score Sheet

5. Only one player scores for each category. When that happens, all others must write in a 0 for their score for that category.


Combo: Points: Description: Examples:
5-of-a-Kind 70 Any five dice that show the same number 1-1-1-1-1 or 4-4-4-4-4
4-of-a-Kind 50 Any four dice that show the same number 1-1-1-1 or 3-3-3-3
Full House 40 Three of any one number, and two of any other 1-1-1-6-6 or 3-3-3-2-2
High Dice
40 All dice are 4s, 5s, or 6s 4-4-5-5-6 or 4-5-5-5-6
30 Three of any one number 1-1-1 or 4-4-4
Two Pair 20 Two matching pairs 2-2 and 3-3 or 6-6 and 1-1
Odd Flush 30 All dice are odd numbers 1-1-3-5-5 or 1-3-3-5-5
Even Flush 30 All dice are even numbers 2-2-4-4-6 or 2-4-4-4-6
Big Straight 50 All five dice in sequence 1-2-3-4-5 or 2-3-4-5-6
Small Straight 40 Four dice in sequence 1-2-3-4 or 2-3-4-5 or 3-4-5-6
Skip Straight 20 Three dice in skipped straight sequence 1-3-5 or 2-4-6
Sum of Dice varies The sum total of all dice Any random set of 5 dice

Games: Play a number of games that is some multiple of the number of players. So each player rolls first in an equal number of games.

Whoever wins the most Games wins the Session. In case of a tie, add players' scores for all their games together, whoever has the highest overall score wins the Session.

Partnerships: Playable with 4 or 6 players paired into partnerships. Partners play together and alternate turns with the dice.

Click here to print a PDF Score Sheet.

Click here to print a JPG Score Sheet.

Or use this score sheet...

Combination: Player 1: Player 2: Player 3: Player 4:
5-of-a-Kind   (70)
4-of-a-Kind   (50)
Full House   (40)
High Dice     (40)
3-of-a-Kind   (30)
Two Pair       (20)
Odd Flush     (30)
Even Flush   (30)
Big Straight     (50)
Small Straight (40)
Skip Straight   (20)
Sum of Dice (varies)

Tips for Play: Assess the odds after your first roll when choosing your target combinations. Be aware that the points awarded for various combos do not strictly reflect their statistical likelihood.

A big part of this game is targeting a high-scoring combination, while having a lower scoring combo as your "Plan B" if you fail to achieve the higher scoring one. You can also often target two similar combos at once, and let the dice tell you which one to score.

Be flexible enough to change your target combination(s) in mid-turn when appropriate.

Carefully consider where you'll score any 0 entries. This can be a useful defensive tool and not just a failed roll.

The easiest categories to obtain are Sum of Dice, Two Pair, and the Skip Straight. The hardest is 5-of-a-Kind, commonly called the Bomb. Second-hardest are the Big Straight and 4-of-a-Kind.

Totals for "Sum of Dice" range from 5 to 30, with a median of 17.5. A good roll here can equal or even exceed the 20 points you'll score for some of the easier combinations.

The odds for obtaining a 5-of-a-kind in a turn is roughly 4.6 percent. Thus you can anticipate one bomb about every 22 turns.

You can find other odds through any of several free online "dice calculators".

Note that a Big Straight scores higher than a Full House. This reflects dice probabilities rather than the chances for these combos with playing cards (where the relationship is reversed).

Analysis: Dice games of this kind are often called "category games". The basic idea is that players must score in each category of their scoring chart.

Category games include commercial offerings such as Yahtzee ® and Kismet ®. Grab It! is a faster-moving game that features head-to-head competition between contestants for the most valuable points.

License: Feel free to print, copy, and distribute these rules, so long as you retain this paragraph. Invented by Howard Fosdick © 2024, distributed under Creative Commons License BY-ND.      HOME