Shut the box

This dice game originates from France, in particular, Northern France. The game is actually one that sailors have always particularly enjoyed, seeing as it does not require big tools to play. The only things you need to play the box are the following:

→ 2 dice
→ 2 to 6 players
→ 9 board-game pieces or similar
→ Paper and a pen

The rules of the dice game

As the name Shut The Box indicates, you need to try to close the boxes. As a player, you need to avoid closing the fewest number of boxes. This means that the game is all about closing as many boxes as possible. Those who close the least amount of boxes will be penalized with minus points.

The first thing to do is to take a writing tool and a piece of paper. Then, draw two long lines on each line. In the lines, write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, so that it is divided into boxes. See the illustration below.
From here, you can select the player to start. If this cannot be chosen, you may want to play for it. The easiest thing is to make a dice throw where the lowest value will be the person to start. Should two people end up having the same low value, these two can throw again until there is a winner.

Once the person is found, the game can start. The trip goes clockwise. When it’s a player’s turn, it’s all about being hit, and you can no longer close a box. When closing a box, place a pole on the number that you close. There are two ways to close a box. You can either close a box, which is done by the sum of the dice giving the number of the box you close, or, you can close the two boxes that the dice represent. However, you must not only close one. Here, both must be closed. If no player has the opportunity to close any boxes, let the ride and dice move onto the next player. Here, the minus points will be calculated. The boxes that you have not been able to close will drop the player into minus points – this is the sum of all your closed boxes. Should you be fortunate enough to complete box numbers 7, 8, and 9, you will have the chance to continue throwing dice. However, if you prefer to maintain both cubes, it is required that you only close boxes through the sum of the two dice, and thus, no longer will two boxes be represented by the value of each dice.

Example of gameplay

We will now go through an example. Dice up, shake, and throw the dice. Let’s suppose your dice shows the value 3 and the value 5. Let’s say that we now choose to close box 8, meaning we must place a pole on number 8. You must pick up the dice again and make another dice box. This time, the dice shows the value 5 and the value 6. Now, you have no choice as to whether you want to close the sum of the two dice or whether you want to close the two boxes – each representing the values of the two dice. Therefore, you must place a pole on box number 5 and on box number 6. You can pick up the dice again and make your dice box number 3. This time, the dice shows 2 and 6. You cannot close the sum of the two dice, seeing as you have already closed box number 8. You cannot close box number 6 either, seeing as you have already closed it. Therefore, you can no longer close any boxes, and we now have to tally your negative points. Your negative points will be the sum of the remaining boxes that you have not closed. Therefore, boxes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9 will collectively give you 26 minus points. It’s important to note these minus points, and continue the trip clockwise. Only when all boxes are closed can you name a winner and loser.

If you do so well that you beat two even 5’s or two identical 6’s in your first dice box, you will receive the maximum number of minus points, which is 45. In this case, the trip will continue in a clockwise direction. This only applies if no boxes have been closed yet.

It should be noted that, in this dice game, you can make different variations of the game if it is more appealing to your company. If we look at the example above, you could say that when the person strikes 2 and 6, you could close box number 2, after which you could be allowed to play with a dice. The only rule is that all rules must be agreed upon before the game starts.