Posted by: Osmyn | June 22, 2008

Hot Dice Rules


Hot Dice Master

This incarnation of Hot Dice was invented in the mid-1990’s by Kelly V. Muller and friends while living in Minnesota. Hot Dice is very similar to other dice games, such as Farkle and Cosmic Wimpoout.

The game is played with 5 dice. Points are awarded for rolling ones, fives, multiples (3 or more) of any number, or five-straight (e.g., 1,2,3,4,5).

To begin a game, each player rolls one die and the player with the highest rolled die goes first; any ties result in roll-offs.

After a roll, a player must separate out a scoring die or dice combination and roll the remaining dice. If no score is made from a roll, then the player’s turn is over and no points are awarded. If all five dice are separated out as points, the player must pick up all five and roll again before their turn is finished. The player can pass the in-play dice to the next player to end the turn and collect their points. If the next player has a non-zero score, the in-play dice can be rolled and scoring will start at the previous player’s turn total; or the player can roll all five dice and start from zero points.

One-thousand points are required to initially “get on the board”, i.e. a player must earn at least that many points in a single turn before their score can be recorded on the score card.

Once any player reaches ten-thousand points, each other player will take one more turn to see if any can tie or beat the player. If successful, each player gets another chance to tie or beat that score. The game ends when the player who has scored more than ten-thousand is not tied or beaten after each other player gets one turn’s attempt – the player is then dubbed “The Hot Dice Master”.


Individual dice values

For each roll, 1s are worth one-hundred points and 5s are worth 50 points. All other individual dice values are worth nothing.


Three or more of a kind rolled at once (not combined with previously rolled dice) count as a multiple. Generally, three of a kind are worth 100 * dice value, except three 1s are worth 1000 whereas three 2s are worth 200, three 3s worth 300, etc.

Four-of-a-kind is worth twice what three-of-a-kind is worth (four 1s: 2000, four 3s: 600).

Five-of-a-kind is worth twice of what four-of-a-kind is worth (five 1s: 4000, five 6s: 2400).


A string of dice rolled all at once that are in order (1,2,3,4,5 or 2,3,4,5,6) count as a straight. A straight is worth 1,500 points.


Roll 1: 1, 1, 2, 3, 4 – Each 1 is worth 100 points and the player can separate out one or both of them and roll the remaining dice.

Roll 2: Holding one of the 1s from first roll and rolling the other 4 dice: 2, 4, 5, 6 – The 5 is worth 50 points, so the player separates that die out and now has 150 points.

Roll 3: The player rolls the three in-play dice: 4, 4, 4 – A multiple is rolled worth 400, now the player’s score is 550 and all dice are out-of-play. The player must pick up all 5 and roll at least one more time before the turn can be ended.

Roll 4: 1, 3, 4, 4, 6: The player separates out the 1 and has a score of 650. At this point, the player can end the turn and collect the points if he or she is already on-the-board (has at least 1,000 points on the score card), or continue rolling. (As an aside, if the player hadn’t scored any points on this roll, his or her turn would be over and no points would be awarded – a “cosmic wimp-out”)

Let’s assume the player is on the board and takes the 650 points. The points are added to the player’s total on the scorecard and it is now the next player’s turn. If this player is on-the-board, he or she can optionally pick up the remaining 4 dice that are in-play and roll them adding to the 650 points from the previous player. Otherwise, all 5 dice can be rolled and turn’s points start from zero.

Roll 1: Assuming the player decides to build on the 650 points: 1, 1, 5, 6: The player can take up to the full 250 points and add it to the 650 for 900 points. He or she can then pass to the next player or roll again. Let’s assume the 250 points are taken and the player rolls again.

Roll 2: 4 – The player did not have any scoring dice on this roll, so the turn is over and no points are awarded or recorded on the scorecard for the turn. The next player’s turn begins with all five dice and at zero points for the turn.



  1. Mustn’t forget to mention House Rules! Rules that only count in one location of play (or if you’re on the road, the owner of the tent/hotel room/dice may decide the house rule(s)).

    Our house rules:
    The 420: If your roll currently totals exactly 400 points and you have one die left, rolling a 2 with that die unofficially makes 420 points, so you get to re-roll the 2 and try for a 1 or a 5.

    The 5150: If at any time your total written score totals exactly 5150, a note is made of it and when the game is completely over and final, you get one additional roll on your own to add to your score (“because you’re crazy,” says Josh). Nobody can roll your remaining dice.

    Jeffy’s house rule (The Hard Six): If at any time during your turn you have only a single die to roll and that die gives you a 6, you may re-roll that die.

  2. Variations on name and rules for this game abound. Since learning it from a hippie friend in Minnesota (who claims to have learned it from his grandmother, originator of the warcry “HOT DICE!”), I’ve seen it played with special dice, called by a handful of different names, and even caught a glimpse of prison inmates playing it wit dice made from mashed-up toilet paper on a tv documentary.

    The most common name for this game seems to be “Ten Thousand” – a bit dry for my tastes. The rules seem to be the same as Hot Dice, except they play with 6 dice instead of 5. Cheaters.

    Apparently, the game is even older than a hippie’s grandma. It was played by folks in the Renaissance era under the name of Farkle. It should be noted here that our own friend “Chicks Dig Pale Skinny Guys” Tom played Farkle with his grandmother over holiday visits. Farkle is also played with 6 dice.

    Cosmic Wimpout is a game popular with the follow-the-band-for-the-summer crowd, and I picked up a set of these special dice last X-mas in my stocking (Santa loves String Cheese Incident). The name comes from having a good score going in your turn when you get “hot dice” and roll absolutely nothing that can be scored.

    There seem to be a few names for the game based on blowing a good turn, such as “Zilch” and “Crap Out” – leaving me to believe the object of this game may be less about reaching 10,000 points and more about mocking the pain your friends experience when they lose.

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