How to Play the "Four Twenty-One" Dice Game

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The "Four Twenty-One" dice game is a traditional game from Europe which has had a gambling aspect added to it. Players place antes into a pot, and try to roll the best three die hand. The player with the best three die hand wins a round. The first person to win five rounds wins the entire pot.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 dice
  • Poker chips
  • Organize a home game night. The game of "Four Twenty-One" is best if it is played with a group of friends that enjoy gambling. It is even a game that fits well into a home poker night. The minimum number of players is 4, and the maximum number is 9. The ideal number of players is between 5 and 7.

  • Direct each player to pay an ante into the pot. This ante should be the largest poker chip, because this game takes considerably longer than a single poker hand.

  • Choose a player to roll first, and have them roll three dice. The goal is to get the highest ranking three-die hand. The highest hand is a roll of a 4, 2 and 1. The next highest hands are three-of-a-kind, with three 6s being the highest three-of-a-kind and three 1s being the lowest. The lower-ranked hands are a pair, with the higher face value pairs being higher than lower face value pairs. If two players tie with a pair, the third die is used to break the tie.If the first player wishes to stop after his first roll and keep his hand, he can do that. He can choose to take a second roll as well, but then all three dice must be re-rolled--none can be saved from the first roll.

  • Pass the dice to the next player at the table in a clockwise rotation around the table. She either has one or two turns to roll all three dice to defeat the hand of the high hand at the table so far. If the first player only took one roll, each player only gets one roll. If the first player took two rolls, the roller can then take up to two rolls on her turn.

  • Continue around the table, taking turns until every player has had a turn. The player with the best three-die hand wins a point, and another round starts. It is recommended that a new player starts each round. The game ends when one player has 5 points for winning 5 rounds. That player collects the antes that were placed into the pot at the beginning of the game.

Tips & Warnings

  • As there is very little skill involved in "Four Twenty-One," it is a great game to play while you and your guests eat dinner during the poker night.
  • This game should only be played once or twice during your home poker night, as it can be very time-consuming.
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