Freeze-Dried Games Pack:
Dice Games

This is an ongoing project to collect rules for interesting games that can be explained in no more than 100 words, and which (mostly) require no more than a deck of cards, six dice and a pen and paper. Any ambiguities can be rehydrated through common sense (eg. if a game uses points but specifies no winner, the most points win).

See all 80 Freeze-Dried Games

Needs: dice

Catego

Draw a grid of eleven columns numbered 2-12, with a row for each player. Take turns to roll two dice and enter the total into any column on your row. When a column is full, the player with the highest score in that column (if any) scores the number of the column. Tally the scores as you go. The game ends when the grid is full.
2-4 players
by Reiner Knizia
Needs: dice

Cinq-O

Take six dice, one of them a different colour as the "hi/lo" dice (1-3 = low, 4-6 = high). Roll any number of unbanked dice, then "bank" one or more. Repeat up to five times. If your hi/lo dice was low, score 14 minus the total of the other dice (minimum 1), multiplied by the hi/lo die. If it was high, score the total of the other dice minus 21 (minimum 1), multiplied by three less than the hi/lo die. A straight and five-of-a-kind always score 10 before being multiplied. First to 100 wins.
1-6 players
by Mark Sargent (adapted)
Needs: dice

Farkle

Take turns to roll six dice. Whenever you roll, if you roll any scoring combinations (100 times the face value for a triple, 1000 for a triple 1, 100 for a 1 outside of a triple, 50 for a 5 outside a triple) set at least one combination aside and either reroll what's left, or end your turn, scoring the combinations you set aside. If you ever make a roll that scores zero, your turn ends immediately, scoring zero. If you set aside all six dice, remember those combinations' total and continue with six fresh dice. First to 10,000 wins.
2+ players
Traditional
Needs: dice

Golden Sixteen

Put two chips per player in the middle. Take turns to: roll three dice, then (optionally) reroll some of them, no more than twice, then score the total. If your dice total ever exceeds 15, you are eliminated and take a chip. After each round, the player(s) with the lowest score that round takes a chip, unless they are the only uneliminated player. When all chips are taken, phase two begins: continue without taking chips; instead, discard a chip if you alone have the highest score below 16 in a round. A player with no chips during phase two wins.
2+ players
Traditional
Needs: dice

Liar's Dice

Each player rolls five dice in secret. The starting player predicts the minimum number of times a particular digit appears across all dice (eg. "eight 5s"). 1s are wild, always counting as the predicted digit. Going clockwise, a player may either raise the previous player's bid (either a higher quantity of the same digit, or any quantity of a higher digit) or challenge it. When challenged, all dice are revealed - the loser of the challenge discards one die and leads the next round. If you lose all your dice, you're eliminated. (Also playable with banknote serial numbers, barcodes, etc.)
2+ players
Traditional
Needs: dice

Shut the Box

Lay out nine face-up playing cards numbered 1 through 9 (or note them on paper if you have no cards). On your turn, roll two dice and then "shut" (turn face-down) any group of un-shut numbers whose totals add up to the dice total. (So a roll of 6 may shut either 6, 5+1, 4+2 or 3+2+1.) If 7-9 are shut, you may choose to roll just one die. Repeat until you produce a roll which can shut no numbers, then score the total of unshut numbers. Each player takes five turns, lowest overall total wins.
1+ players
Traditional
Needs: dice

Six Six Six

Players take turns to roll three dice, concealing the roll beneath a cup or cover. They peek and call out the result in descending order ("5-3-1"), which must be higher than the previous player's call, and may be a lie. They then pass the dice, covered, to the next player, who either challenges the call as a lie (the loser of a challenge loses one of their three lives) or accepts it. After the first turn, a player can choose not to reroll some of the passed dice before calling.
2+ players
Traditional
Needs: dice

Take-Back-Toe

Draw or imagine a 3x4 grid. Place 10 tokens in each of the four squares on the middle row; the other two rows are players' "home rows". On your turn, roll a six-sided die and move that many chips from a single space to an orthogonally adjacent space, or pass. (You can't undo your opponent's previous move.) If three spaces in your home row contain the same (non-zero) number of tokens, you win.
2 players
by James Ernest
Needs: dice

Yahtzee

Categories are named: "1" through "6" (score = total of that number rolled), "3-of-a-kind" (score total on dice), "4-of-a-kind" (score total on dice), "Full House (triple+pair)" (score 25), "Small Straight (sequence of four)" (30), "Large Straight (five)" (40), "Yahtzee (5-of-a-kind)" (50) and "Chance (any dice)" (score total on dice). Take turns to: roll five dice, then reroll any number of them, twice. Pick a category and score it for your final roll; each player can only score each category once. If you score a Yahtzee, further Yahtzees score 100. Scoring more than 63 in first six categories gives 35 bonus points.
2+ players
Traditional

Show only: Pen-and-paper games, card games, dice games, miscellaneous-prop games, equipment-free games, or two-player or more-than-two-player games.

Games with a gold border are personal favourites. Those marked as "adapted" have been crowbarred a little to be playable with a standard deck of cards, or to fit within a hundred words.

Thanks to those who suggested games: Raven Black, Jo Coleman, Martin Griffiths, Guilherme Töws, Alex Fink, Parker Glynn-Adey, Halceon and John. Other invaluable sources include David Parlett's Penguin Book of Word Games and Penguin Book of Card Games, Reiner Knizia's Dice Games Properly Explained, Walter Joris's 100 Strategic Games for Pen and Paper, and Jim Gladstone's Games to Go.

The Freeze-Dried Games Pack was started in November 2012 by Kevan Davis, and last updated on the 22nd of March 2017. The most recently added game is Last Word.