Dice games

Dice games for Kindergarten to Year 8 students.

Kindergarten

Collect 10

Recognising numbers and counting.

A game for pairs of students

Equipment

To play this game you will need:

  • a regular dice for each student (the dice used for this game can be varied according to the needs of the students)
  • counters

Players roll their dice and the player with the higher number showing scores a counter; if both throw the same number they both score a counter. The first player to collect 10 counters is the winner.

Variations

The player with the lower number scores the counter each time.
Start with ten counters and the player with the higher number on the roll of the dice takes away this number of counters. The first player to have no counters is the winner.

Kindergarten to Year 1

Addition

Same as Collect 10 above, but each student has 2 regular dice and the total is obtained by adding the numbers rolled.

Year 1 to Year 2

Addition

Same as Collect 10 above, but the total is obtained by adding three regular dice.
Note: Encourage the students to find quicker ways of adding the numbers.

For example:

  1. Doubles: 4+4
  2. Doubles plus one: 4+5(4+4+1)
  3. Doubles less one: 4+3(4+4 -1)
  4. Combinations to 5: 1+4
  5. Combinations to 10: 6+4

Cross out

Addition

An activity for two students.  Each student writes the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 on a piece of paper. They take turns to roll two regular dice, add both numbers rolled and cross out the total on their piece of paper. The first player to cross out all the numbers is the winner.

Year 2  to Year 4

Make 24

Addition

This game for individuals requires only 1 dice. The player throws the dice repeatedly, listing the numbers thrown in columns as follows.

123456
12 4 6
 2 4  
 2    
      
      

The player has to keep a running total of each column in their head and stop when one of the columns reaches exactly 24 (The fifth column will never reach 24). Players play the game several times and compare their findings.

Year 2 to Year 6

Take 100

Subtraction

Each student begins with 100 points.  In turn, students roll a regular dice and subtract the number from their 100 points. The first player to reach zero is the winner.

Variations

Change the number of points to begin.

The students may roll two regular dice and either add or multiply the numbers together before subtracting from the total.

Cross out 9

Addition strategy

An activity for two to four players.

Equipment

Two regular dice, paper and pencil
Each player writes the numbers 1 to 9 on a piece of paper. The first player rolls the two dice then crosses out the numbers shown on the dice or the sum of the two numbers.

For example, student rolls a two and a three. On this roll, the player may cross out 2, 3 or 5 (2 + 3).

When six numbers or less are left only a single dice is used. The player’s turn continues until they cannot cross off any more numbers. The remaining numbers are totalled and this is the score for that round. After five rounds the player with the smallest total wins.

Year 4 to Year 8

Make 100

Addition subtraction, multiplication, division

An activity for two players.
Equipment: two regular dice, paper and pencil

The aim is to make a total of 100 or as close to 100 as possible. Players take turns to roll the two dice and combine the numbers with any operation to produce a score. The player who reaches 100 or is closest to 100 is the winner. Encourage players to record their choices and calculations. For example:

Dice throwCalculationRunning total
4 and 6

4 x 6 = 24

24
1 and 4

1 + 4 = 5

29
2 and 5

2 x 5 = 10

39
6 and 6

6 x 6 = 26

75
5 and 3

5 x 3 = 15

90

Double, halve or stay

Multiplication, division

An activity for two to four players
Equipment: two different coloured regular dice
Decide on one coloured dice to represent the tens and the other to represent the ones. Choose a target number between 5 and 122. Players take turns to roll the dice. Once the dice are rolled a number is formed. The player then makes a decision to produce a number that is as close as possible to the target number. They can choose to:

  • double their number
  • halve their number
  • keep the number as is

The player closest to the target is the winner.

Total three

Addition, subtraction, multiplication

An activity for two players.
Equipment: two regular dice, paper and pencil
Players take turns to roll the two dice and complete the following calculations on each roll:

  • add the two numbers shown on the dice
  • find the difference between the two numbers
  • multiply the two numbers
  • add the three numbers to produce the score for that round

For example:

  • 6 + 3 = 9
  • 6 – 3 = 3
  • 6 x 3 = 18
  • Score = 9 + 3 + 18 = 30

After 10 rounds the player with the highest total is the winner. To make the activity more challenging change the type of dice used to 8, 10, 12 or 20 sided.

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