The perfect dice game for large gatherings has a few qualities: it's fast-paced, super simple to learn and relies on chance instead of skill so everyone has an equal shot at winning. With those requirements, Chicago, sometimes known as Rotation, is the perfect easy dice game for your large group get together.
But just so you know, it's also fun with small groups! You can play Chicago dice in your living space at parties, family gatherings, or even in the classroom when kids have free time. If you've played Martinetti, a dice game with a counting board I shared earlier, the concept of a climbing target roll will be familiar to you. (Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
How to Play Chicago Dice
Objective: to have the highest cumulative score after 11 rounds.
What you need:
- 2 dice. We love having festive dice like these vintage colored dice.
- Pen and paper for scoring; alternatively, use our printable scorecard Use the email form box directly after step 6 of the instructions to get it.
CHICAGO DICE GAME INSTRUCTIONS
- Gather together!
Gather your group around the table on in a circle in your living space or classroom.
- Pick a Starting Player and Score Keeper
Chose one player to be the score keeper.
If your group is moderately sized, every player rolls one die; the highest roll indicates the starting player.
If your group is very large, the youngest player goes first.
- How to Score
Game play consists of 11 rounds. Each round has a target score. The first round's target score is 2, the second round is 3 and so on up to round 11 with a target score of 12.
If a player rolls the target score on his turn for that round, he scores that total.
For example, if it is round 8, the target score is 9. If a player rolls any combination that add up to 9 (e.g. 4-5, 6-3), he scores a 9.
If a player does not roll the target score, he earns zero points for that round.
- Player One Begins
The first round has a target score of 2. The first player has one roll. If he rolls a 1-1, he scores 2 points. Any other roll scores zero. He passes the dice to the player on his left.
- Play Continues
Continue playing for 11 rounds.
- Determine a Winner
At the end of 11 rounds, add up the total score for each player. The player with the highest cumulative score is the winner!
Notes on Playing Chicago Dice
Since the Chicago dice game is based purely on luck, everyone has an equal chance of winning, no matter their skill level or age, making this a great game for mixed age groups.
Yes, some players may indeed end the game with zero points! But remember, players could start out scoring in the early rounds, but a couple, or even one high score at the end can push a player with zero points into the winner's circle!
More fun dice games:
- Drop Dead aka Stuck in the Mud
- Buck dice game
- Pig dice game
- Dice games with 5 dice
- Martinetti - a dice game with a similar counting up techniques as Chicago, aka Rotation.
I’ve never heard of this game, it sounds quite fun. But I think if I was to play it with my family I would alter the rules just a little. I would play 12 rounds and on round 1 everyone could only roll one die.
That sounds like a fun variation!
Delia Candelaria says
Love it! Definitely our Thanksgiving table game after turkey dinner ! Thank you !
Cheryle Katribe says
I can't seem to find the scorecard for Chicago Dice. I would really like to be able to print copies of it to use when playing this great dice game. PLEASE POST IT on your site after the game instructions!
Look between step 6 and "Notes on Playing Chicago Dice." The form to fill out to get the score card is there.
I can't find the way to print the Chicago game board.
Under the text "6. Determine a Winner
At the end of 11 rounds, add up the total score for each player. The player with the highest cumulative score is the winner!" and just before the text, "Notes on playing Chicago Dice," there is a box titled "want the Chicago Scorecard?" You'll need to enter your email to print out the score sheet.
Sounds like Bunco