Shut The Box Rules

Shut The Box Dice GameShut The Box is a traditional dice game for one or more players that uses a special counting box.

Shut The Box apparently originated in Europe as early as the 12th century, and is also known under such names as "Tric-Trac, "Canoga", "Batten Down The Hatches", "Klackers", "High Rollers", and many more. Although some folks play Shut The Box as a gambling game, today it is a popular family pastime, and is often used at home or in schools to help children learn their numbers.

The game uses two six-sided dice and a box with hinged tiles numbered 1 to 9. The box is used as both game board and scoring device, and also serves as a container for easy and convenient storage (see our selection of commercial Buy Shut The Box sets).

Each player rolls the dice and lays down any combinations of tiles that match the roll. For example, If you roll a 7 flip up the 7 tile, or the 5 and the 2, or the 4, 2, and 1 tiles. If every tile higher than 6 is covered, the player has the choice of rolling one or both dice. The player keeps rolling until they can't match their roll on the remaining tiles. The total of the tiles left open are ten totaled, the score is recorded, and all the tiles are flipped up, and the turn passes to the next player. After each player has played, the game is over, and the low score wins. If you can lay down all the tiles, you've "Shut the Box".

A game may consist of one round, or many. Typically, the game proceeds thru several rounds, until a player's accumulated score surpasses an arbitrary number, such as 50 or 100. The winner is then the player with the lowest total score.

Shut The Box Variations

  • The standard Shut The Box game is played with numbers 1 through 9, but some boxes use 1-10 or 1-12. Gameplay is the same with the larger sets.
  • If you don't have a box, you can write the numbers on a piece of paper, then use a coins or poker chips to cover the numbers during the game.
  • Shut The Box can be played as a solitaire (solo) game, but it's obviously more fun with friends!
  • Wikipedia lists a few more variations in play, setup, and scoring.

See also: Other Dice Game Rules, Buy Shut The Box Games

Last Update: December 22nd, 2012