30 Jun

How to Gamble with Dice (7 Games for 2 Dice)

How to Gamble with Dice - Play Dice Games for MoneyYahtzee and Craps may be the first dice games we all think of, but there are many more worth mentioning; some perfectly designed for a friendly wager. In this written dissertation, you’ll learn about seven exciting ways to play dice games for money. They can be found at land-based casinos, online casinos, or played at home among friends.

Seven Ways to Play Dice Games for Money

Some of these games will surely be more familiar to you than others. Everyone has heard of Craps, but did you know there’s more than one way to play? The first three game son this list are craps-style rules. The remainder are unique dice games I’ve ranked by difficulty (easiest last). Click any title for a full description.
  1. Casino Craps: This classic casino game can be played online or in a land-based casino. One player – the shooter – rolls the dice. All players bet on the outcome.
  2. Street Craps: The street version is similar to the casino version except that the shooter places one bet, and the others bet against it (i.e. the shooter is the house).
  3. Hazard: Akin to craps, this game allows the shooter to choose a “Main” number (5-9) to automatically win. If he chooses 7, the game is played like casino craps. Bets can be against the shooter, or a house.
  4. Mexico: A unique, poker-style dice game where players consistently pay into a pot. The player who rolls the lowest score pays in each round. When only one player has money left, he/she wins the pot.
  5. Shut the Box: This is a game of many names and rules variations, but the goal is to shut all of the tiles, labeled 1-12, in the box.
  6. Under-Over 7: This simple game requires bettors to choose whether the two dice rolled will be under 7, or over 7. You can also bet on exactly 7, paying odds of 4 to 1.
  7. Cho-Han Bakuchi: This is a basic game of evens or odds. One player rolls two dice from a cup, while the others bet if the number will be Cho (even) or Han (odd).
  8. More Dice Games: Looking for more? Check out these other dice games you can play with friends. They aren’t traditional gambling games, but we’ll give you some ideas on how to incorporate a friendly wager.
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:


1. Learn How to Play Casino Craps

Anyone who’s entered a resort-style casino has seen or heard this game in action. If there’s a craps table in the house, on a busy night, you can hear the raucous crowd chanting the shooter’s success from a mile away. It’s not the simplest game to learn – although it’s much easier than a lot of people think – and most will agree, craps offers more excitement than any other table.

The rules for playing craps in person or online are exactly the same, but you will find there’s a slight advantage to the virtual edition; that being the ability to bet against the shooter without getting booed off the table. Betting against the shooter slices a fractional percentage off the house edge, making it the right move in most strategic situations.

We’ve already written up a complete rules and strategy page for online casino craps. It details all the types of bets, how to place them, and how much you can win for doing so. Rather than rehashing the same text, I’ll direct you to that page for further reading.

How to Play Craps Online the Winner’s Way

2. Read How to Play Street Craps

Street Craps is the colloquial name for Craps when played socially, outside a casino. Any amount of players can join in. The game’s rules are incredibly similar to that of traditional Casino Craps, except that there is no house to bet against. Instead, the shooter take son the roll of the bank, but in a more controlled stakes environment.

Each round of play begins with the shooter placing a bet. This bet should be relatively large, because everyone else who places a bet will do so in smaller proportion to the shooter’s bet. All player wagers combined cannot exceed the value of the shooter’s wager. This way, the shooter is able to guarantee that he or she can cover all bets.

For example, let’s assume there are five players in a game of Street Craps. One is the shooter, and the other four are the players. If the shooter posts a $100 bet, then the players could agree to bet no more than $25 each. However, that’s just good manners, not a requirement. If player 1 bets $25, Player 2 bets $20, then Player 3 bets $40, then player 4 cannot bet more than $15.

If the players combined bets are not high enough to cover the shooter’s total bet, the shooter must retract the remainder of his or her bet.

Street Craps Rules – Play by Play

To start, select the first shooter. Before rolling, this player must place a wager. All other players can stake any amount against the shooter’s wager, so long as their cumulative bets do not exceed the shooter’s. Players are also free to place side bets between one another, especially on proposition bets, like the total of the next dice roll, a specific combination, doubles, etc.

Once all bets are placed, the shooter rolls the initial come out roll. If that roll is a 7 or 11, the shooter instantly wins all bets staked against his or her wager. If the come out roll is a 2, ,3 or 12, the shooter instantly loses all bets. When any other number rolls, that number becomes the Point. All player bets will transition to a new winning condition.

If the Point is rolled again before a 7 comes, the shooter will win all bets. If a 7 rolls before the Point, the shooter loses all bets. When any other number is rolled, nothing happens. The shooter must continue rolling until the Point or a 7 comes.

Once this happens, the dice are passed to the next shooter. Or, if everyone is in agreement, the same player can be the shooter again.

3. Find Out How to Play Hazard with Dice

Hazard is best described as a combination of Casino Craps and Street Craps with a twist. Players can either bet against a house, or bank, known as the Setter, the same as Casino Craps, or stake against the Caster (shooter), as they would in Street Craps. The twist is that the caster gets to choose the ‘Main’ number.

In traditional Craps, 7 is always the winning number on a come out roll, or the Crap Out thereafter. In Hazard, the caster can choose any Main number between 5 and 9. If the caster chooses 7, he or she is essentially choosing to play a traditional game of Craps. This is actually quite common, since 7 is the most probable number to roll. However, if any other number is chosen as the Main, different rolls of the dice and have a different effect on the rules.

Hazard Rules – If This, Then This…

If This Happens…

Then This Will Happen…

The Caster rolls the Main

Caster Nicks (wins)

Main is 5 or 9, and the roll is 11 or 12

Caster Throws Out (loses)

Main is 6 or 8, and the roll is 12

Caster Throws Out (loses)

Main is 7, and the roll is 11

Caster Nicks (wins)

Main is 7, and the roll is 12

Caster Throws Out (loses)

Note: If the caster Throws Out, his round of casting is over. The caster may choose to place another bet, set another Main, and start a new round, or pass the dice to the next shooter. If the caster has lost three consecutive rounds, he or she must pass the dice to the next shooter.

If the caster rolls any other number besides the Main, or any of the scenarios detailed in the table above, the rolled number becomes the Point (like traditional craps). All subsequent rolls are known as Chance rolls.

All bettors may now keep or raise their bets on whether the Point will come again before the Main rolls. If the Point rolls first, the caster wins. If the Main comes up before the Point rolls again, the caster loses all bets. When any other number rolls, nothing happens. The caster continues rolling until the Point or Main comes up.

4. Discover How to Play Mexico Dice Game

Mexico is another two-dice game that’s ripe for wagering. It’s easily compared to poker. Player take turn rolling the dice and adding money to the pot until someone wins it all. Any number of players can participate. All you need is a surface to roll on. If you’re playing on a table, a shallow box to roll the dice into is a good idea for a backstop.

Important Notes on Betting & Game Length

Before you start, all players need to agree to a static amount of money to wager over the course of the game. Divide each player’s total bet into a minimum number of rounds to be played. The more players you have, the less rounds you should enforce, or it could become a very long game.

For example, in a 4-player game where everyone is betting $5, you could divide it into five $1 bets. Only one player will lose each round of the game. This player will feed the pot (add $1). Then another round starts, and so on, until only one player has money left. This player is the winner, claiming the entire pot. This game should take anywhere from 15 to 19 rounds of play to complete.

If you had 8 players with 5 bet increments, the game could last 35-39 rounds. Unless you like a good long game, it might be better to drop the number of bets to 3, reducing the min/max rounds to 21/23. For reference, the max number of rounds is determined by multiplying the number of players by the number of bet increments. Then subtract one, because the winner has to have at least one bet increment remaining.

Mexico Dice Rules

Decide who will roll first. Have everyone roll one die – highest goes first. In case of a tie, the tying players roll again. The first player, known as the lead, will have an advantage, so this is important. This player determines how many times each player will be able to roll the dice on their turn, up to three. Subsequent players may roll fewer times than the lead player, but not more. After each round of play, the dice are passed to the next player on the left (clockwise). This person is the new lead player for the next round.

The following table depicts the different ways a roll can be recorded, ranked highest (best) to lowest (worst).




2 – 1

21, Mexico

A roll of 2-1 has the best possible score in the game, known as a Mexico. Nothing beats it.

6 – 6
5 – 5
4 – 4
3 – 3
2 – 2
1 – 1


Doubles are the next best thing to rolling a Mexico. Any double beats any non-pairing total except 21 (i.e. 11 beats 65). The higher the value of the double, the higher it scores against other doubles (i.e. 55 beats 22).

Anything else


Any other number combination is called a Mixed Roll. The value is determined by placing the highest digit first, and lowest digit second. For example, a roll of 6 – 5 is “65”. This is the highest possible mixed roll, beaten only by Mexico (21) or doubles. The lowest possible score you can roll is 3 – 1, or “31”.

Key Points

Here are some important things to remember when rolling the dice.

  • If a player is not pleased with their score, they can roll again, up to three times, provided the lead player has rolled that many times. If the lead player only rolls once, other players may only roll once, too. Unless…

  • If the lead player rolls a Mexico (21) on his first, second or third roll, his turn is over. The next player will receive the dice, and may roll one, two or three times. The number of times this second player rolls will determine how many times each subsequent player can roll. Should this player also roll Mexico, the same rule applies, and so on. If everyone rolls Mexico… stop playing and head to the nearest casino! (Ha-ha) Actually, it’s an all-way tie. You’ll have to replay the round.

  • When the lead player rolls a Mexico, the player who loses the round must pay double the stake to the pot. This rule only applies to the lead player’s roll of Mexico.

  • Only the lowest scoring player per round must place a bet into the pot. If two or more players tie for lowest score, they will face off in a tie-breaker round to decide the loser.

  • Once a player loses enough times that they run out of bet increments, they are eliminated from the game.

  • The last player with any money remaining is declared the winner, and is awarded all the money in the pot.

5. Explore How to Play Shut the Box

How to Play Shut the Box Dice Game for MoneyShut the box is just complicated enough that a pictorial display could do wonders for your understanding of it. Have a look at the image on the right. This is what a classic Shut the Box board game would look like (with tiles 2 and 7 closed). Refer back to this image as you read the following rules to get a better idea of how it works, because it’s actually a very fun and easy game, and one that can be just as easily played with nothing more than two dice, a pen, and a piece of paper – and a friendly amount of cash to wager on it, if you like.

This game goes by a lot of names. Depending where you grew up, you might know it as Batten Down the Hatches, Canoga, Klackers, Shut the Box, or Zoltan Box. Back in the 1970s, followed by a short-lived revival in the late 1980s, the game was featured as a television game show called High Rollers, hosted by none other than Alex Trebek.

Common Variants of Shut the Box

The tiles in a classic game box will be labeled 1 thru 9, wherein the object is to close all 9 tiles. This is the most popular version of the game (pictured above), and the one we’ll be describing the rules for below.

Another common variant is known as a “Full House” game, where tiles numbered 1 thru 12 are used. There are also a number of variants designed to shorten the length of the game. They include:

  • 3 Down Extreme: The 1, 2 and 3 are closed, leaving only 4 thru 12 open for play.
  • Against All Odds: All even tiles are closed, leaving only the odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11) open for play.
  • Even Stevens: All odd tiles are closed, leaving only the even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) open for play.
  • Lucky #7: This quickest variant of all (and not too popular because of it), this variation of Shut the Box closes all tiles except the 7. The players take turns rolling the dice, and the first to roll a 7 wins.

No matter what variation you choose to play, here’s how you do it…

Shut the Box Rules

Decide who will go first by having each player roll both dice. The highest value goes first. Each player then takes turns rolling the dice in an attempt to close all of their tiles.

A player’s first turn begins with all tiles turned up. This player will roll the two dice into the box. They can then do one of the following:

  • Add the sum of both dice, then close the tile with that number.
  • Add the sum of the dice, then close two tiles that add up to that number.

Important: To make the game a little easier, once tiles 7, 8 and 9 are closed, a player can choose to roll just one die instead of two.

If neither of the above plays apply (not enough open tiles to complete the play), the player’s turn is over, unless they’ve rolled doubles. Rolling doubles grants an extra turn, and allows the player to use just one of the numbers rolled instead of both, if they so choose.*

Example 1 – Mixed Roll

Player 1 rolls a 6 – 3. Any of the following tiles or tile combinations may be closed.

  • 9
  • 3 and 6
  • 4 and 5
Example 2 – Doubles

Player rolls 4 – 4. Any of the following tiles or tile combinations may be closed. An extra turn is granted if none of these plays are available.

  • 4*
  • 8
  • 2 and 6
  • 3 and 5

*Normally, both dice would have to be used in a roll. When doubles are rolled, the player can use only one die, closing the 4. Their play is not over because the doubles grant an extra turn. This is not a universally accepted rule, so make sure you discuss its eligibility with your group before you begin playing.


A players turn ends when they are unable to use both dice to close one or more tiles. The score is tallied by adding up the total of all tiles that remain open. For example, if a player still has tiles 1, 5 and 7 open, they would have a score of 13. The lowest scoring player wins the game.

Betting on Shut the Box

There are multiple ways you can go about wagering on this game. For beginners, I would suggest placing a small, static wager per player, such as $2 each. The winner takes all. In case of a tie, the pot is split.

Advanced players may wish to accept variable bets, based on the difference in total scores. You could do this as quarter per point, where a loss of 14 to 6 would cost the loser $2. This is simple enough in a 2-player game.

Sample 4-Player Game & Payouts

With a larger group of players, everyone would compare their score against each player individually. For example:

  • Player-A scores 15
  • Player-B scores 4
  • Player-C score 12
  • Player-D score 22
The payouts would be as follows:
  • A pays B 9 quarters ($2.25)
  • …and pays C 3 quarters ($0.75)
  • C pays B 8 quarters ($2.00)
  • D pays A 7 quarters ($1.75)
  • …and pays B 18 quarters ($4.50)
  • …and pays C 10 quarters ($2.50)
So, the end results are…
  • B wins $8.75
  • C wins $1.25
  • A loses $1.25
  • D loses $8.75

6. Study How to Play Under-Over 7

One of the simplest dice gambling games you can play for money is Under-Over 7. The rules are implied in the name of the game. You can bet that the roll of the two dice will combine for a total of under 7 (1-6), or over 7 (8-12). Or, if you’re feeling particularly lucky, you can bet that the total will be exactly 7.

Once all bets are placed, the dealer will traditionally roll the dice down a transparent chute. In some cases, the dice are rolled inside a cup. If a cup is used, the dice should be rolled in the cup, then the cup swiftly turned upside down to ensure the result of the roll is hidden. Bets are taken after the roll, but before the result is revealed (i.e. before the cup is lifted).

Odds and Payouts

The odds and payouts for all available wagers are as follows:

Under-Over 7 Bets

Odds of Winning


Under 7 (2-6)


1 to 1

Over 7 (8-12)


1 to 1

Exactly 7


5 to 1*

The house edge on these bets are an astronomical 16.677%, which is outrageous compared to most casino gambling games. Despite its already greedy advantage, some casinos will only pay 4 to 1 on an Exact 7 bet. Consider yourself warned, on both counts.

7. Know How to Play Cho-Han Bakuchi

Another super-simple dice game to bet on is Cho-Han Bakuchi. It is a basic game of Evens (Cho) or Odds (Han). The traditional version, originating long ago in Japan, required a dealer to roll two dice in a bamboo cup. Once shaken, the cup was quickly turned face down on a flat surface so as to conceal the result of the dice roll. At this point, players would be allowed to place their wagers on Cho (even) or Han (odd).

Because there is no advantage in betting on odd or even, all bets are paid out at 1 to 1 (even money), minus a small commission collected by the house (casino). This ensures the gambling house makes money on the game. If you’re playing Cho-Han Bakuchi at home among friends, you can omit the commission for a truly fair game.

Once all bets are placed, the cup is lifted to reveal the outcome.

Winning Cho numbers are: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

Winning Han numbers are: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11

8. How to Gamble with Dice on More Games

There are many more dice games out there, and each one can be gambled on; provided all players are above the legal age limit for doing so. You can play Yahtzee for a simple monetary bet. It also makes a great penny-a-point style betting game. Farkle is another great option, also perfect for static or per-point wagering.

You can find the rules for these game, as well as some betting ideas, by visiting any of the following pages.

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