By James Ernest and Joshua Howard
Equipment: 10 six-sided dice for each player in two colors (These rules assume Red and White), and some Poker Chips. To play $1.00 ante, as described below, players should start with at least $40.
To Begin: Each player antes $1.00.
Rolling your Hand: Each player rolls his starting hand as follows: Your dice are always locked in pairs, one red and one white, so you can’t just roll all your dice at once. Instead, you roll five pairs of dice, one pair at a time.
Arrange your dice so that there is a clear Red and White hand. It is helpful to put the better hand on top, so you can more easily compare hands with the other players.
The Value of Hands: The Hands in 10-Die Poker are the same as those in Poker, except that there is no Flush. The rank of Hands, from lowest to highest, is: High Die, Pair, 2 Pair, 3 of a Kind, Straight, Full House, 4 of a Kind, 5 of a Kind.
The value of your whole hand is always equal to the better of your two sets of dice. For example, if your Red hand is a pair, but your White hand is a straight, you have a straight. If two players have identical high hands, they compare low hands. If both hands match, which is very rare, those players are tied.
Challenges: The best hand is the “leader.” The worst hand now becomes active, and may elect to either fold, or challenge the leader.
If you fold, you are out of this round, just like in Poker. If you challenge, it costs you an amount equal to half the pot, rounding up. So for example, if there is $5 in the pot, it costs $3 to challenge. This brings the Pot to $8, making the next challenge cost $4.
If you challenge, you may re-roll some or all of your pairs of dice. You must pick up all these pairs before you roll any of them; you can’t decide piece by piece. And you must roll both dice in each pair, not just one or the other.
If your new hand beats the leader, you become the new leader. If not, you have lost and you drop out.
Winning: This process continues, with the low hand always challenging the high hand, until everyone either fails a challenge or folds. Then the survivor takes the Pot.
Tied Hands: If two players are tied for high, they split the pot. If two players are tied for low, they must choose randomly which one of them will challenge (or fold) first.
Ending the Game: Like Poker, this game is continuous and cyclical. Any player may enter or leave the game after any round. If you finish with more money than you started with, you’re winning.
Strategy: A Straight probably isn’t going to win the game, and it’s a very tough hand to improve. When deciding whether to challenge, be aware of the dice in both hands. If you have a decent hand on both halves of the pairs you are keeping, your chances of beating the leader are pretty good. Otherwise, think twice. Also, be sure to note the chances of the leader coming back to beat you, even if you do win the challenge.