Home » Cards and Dice » How to Play 3 Dice Game | Rules & Instructions

How to Play 3 Dice Game | Rules & Instructions

You may know three dice already as a bender’s delight or three’s. Contrary to the name, this game is played with five dice, not three as you would expect.

The game is derived from street games, often played by children in back streets or the family home.

It’s a popular game that the whole family can enjoy, even the younger ones because the rules are simple to follow and there isn’t much skill involved.

You can play this game with two or more players, and the aim is to get the lowest numbers on the dice. The perfect score to win three dice is zero.

Throughout this guide, I will give you a broken-down, step-by-step instruction manual on how to play the game so that you can easily teach it to your family and friends during your next get-together.

About 3 Dice

About 3 Dice

Dice games date back to a time before we could even research. So the whereabouts of where three dice originated from is pretty much impossible to discover. For all we know, it could have been made up by cave dwellers.

As I said before, 3 Dice is a game known to that we can play on the streets. It’s often popular with street gamblers and played in bars for small change. However, families have introduced it as a game you can enjoy at home.

Due to the game’s basic rules, this is one of the first dice games ever invented, which is a pretty cool outlook.

What You’ll Need to Play?

You will need two or more players to play three dice game, but the more, the better. You will also need a set of dice. The kind of dice you use is entirely up to you, as long as they have six pips, but I like these colored acrylic six-sided dice.

On Sale 50 Pieces Colored Dice, 6 Sided Dice for Board Games

Also, if you want to add a wager to your game, you will need some coins or chips and perhaps a bowl to collect the winnings, but this is a personal preference. It might add a little more excitement to the game for some people, especially adults.

Instructions and Rules

Instructions and Rules

Firstly, you’ll be glad to hear that no setup is required to play three dice. So long as you’ve got your players and dies, you’re good to go.

Secondly, you’ll be even more pleased to hear that the rules for three dice are incredibly straightforward, so they’ll not be sitting everyone down trying to explain the instructions for half an hour to get everyone to understand what they’re doing.

Always a bonus, especially when you have a large group of people.


Now, if you’ve decided to ramp things up and throw gambling into the mix, you will want to determine a wager at the start of the game. This can be coins, sweets, chips, or anything you like; feel free to get inventive. Once you’ve decided, place your prizes in the center of the playing area.

Next, you’ll need to decide who’s going first. After the first round, the next player to go first is the person to the left of the previous first player.

 We usually pick this by choosing the person whose birthday is coming up next; however, once again, you can put your spin on this and decide however you like.

To take your turn, roll all five dice simultaneously. If any of the dice shows a three, these count as zero. However, you need to add many numbers on the face of the dice together to get a score. This is where the game gets its name from.

From here, you can go one of two ways:

  • If you have a low score, you may pass on your turn to the next player.
  • If you have a high score, you can try rolling again by putting aside the lowest die. You can do this up to five times, discarding a low-numbered die each time.

So to clarify, the final score is all the five dice added together that have been put to one side over the five rolls.


Scoring the game is simple. The winner is the person who gets the lowest score, as close to zero. A perfect score would entail a player getting five threes.

Another top score that will instantly win you the game is five 6s. However, this is a near-impossible score to reach, which is why it’s called Shooting to the Moon.

In the case that two players have the same score at the end of the rounds, then those players should each roll another turn.

Last But Not Least

So, that’s how you play the historical game three dice. A simple, family-friendly game that people of all ages can enjoy.

There are some other variants of 3 dice, and you can adapt the rules as much as you like. For example, you could give some of the dice different values or assign actions to specific scores to make things a little more interesting.

I love playing three dice. I enjoy the simplicity and lack of skill, especially if you’ve had a night of playing other, more technical games. If you want to find out about other dice games, you should look at this guide on how to play the Tenzi dice game, or if you want an adult-only game, then take a look at this three-man dice drinking game guide.

About Bar Games 101

Bar Games 101 is a website devoted to helping you learn about the best games to play with your friends. We review the games, research the rules, and uncover helpful tips and strategies.

Get our free guide to the 50 Best Bar Games.