On its surface poker dice is a relatively simple game. It requires five, six-sided dice, and players will roll them twice. On any particular roll a player can set aside any given number of dice the same way he or she might hang onto certain cards during a hand of poker. The goal is to form the strongest hand from the dice where the six represents the Ace, and the one represents the nine.
There are a variety of different hands in poker dice, and each one is worth a different score. The highest hand is five of a kind, where all of the numbers are the same, and it’s worth 50 points. A large straight, which is one through five, is worth 40 points. A small straight with four numbers in a row is worth 30 points. A full house, three of one number and two of a different number, is worth 25 points. Four of a kind and three of a kind are worth the sum of all the numbers of the same kind added up.
Most gambling is just a matter of playing the odds right, but nowhere is this more true than when it comes to dice games. With poker dice it’s important for players to carefully weigh the odds and to see what their best bets are. Most importantly though players need to keep the biggest rule of probability in mind; previous rolls of a die do not affect future rolls.
The chance of rolling a particular number on a given die is roughly 16 percent. So even if someone has four ones, that doesn’t make rolling a fifth one any more or any less likely. If someone has three of a kind and has to roll two more dice the chance of rolling five of a kind is the same as a full house at that point. Players cannot forget that when looking at their first round of rolls and deciding what to keep and what not to keep.
Secondly, players need to weigh the potential consequences of their first round rolls. A pair of ones might be worth little to nothing on their own, but if they can be used to make a full house, or if all three of the remaining dice come up ones as well then that’s a huge point gain on the part of the player who took the risk. It’s a safer bet to keep higher numbers whenever possible though; even if the hand one wants isn’t achieved, sixes and fives are worth more on a chance add up than ones and twos. Keeping high numbers, provided there isn’t already a higher hand with lower ones, results in a hand that’s worth more even if there’s no combination.
If possible it’s a good idea to go last in the round. The last roller knows what he or she needs to beat the other rolls, and that can influence which actions are taken. For instance, if the first player rolls five of a kind out of the gate, then a player knows he or she has to match that. It’s not easy, in fact it’s a long shot to even try, but it helps to know who has the high roll before deciding when to stop rolling.