How to Play the Dollar Game

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The Dollar Game is a type of gambling game.
Image Credit: Julia_Sudnitskaya/iStock/GettyImages

High-stakes poker, the spinning roulette wheel, baccarat, blackjack and other casino games challenge a player's pocketbook. Another entertaining gambling game, usually played among friends, is the dollar game.

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Your risk is limited to not hundreds of dollars but to three dollars, and your gain depends on the number of players around the table. The roll of the dice dictates your direction and, ultimately, the outcome of the game. Winning is a matter of pure luck, making it everyone's game.

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Playing the Dollar Game

The dollar game can be played by people of all ages. There's no skill involved, and there's no thinking about what move to make. Reading the numbers revealed on the roll of the dice and following the rules of play are all you need to do to either increase the pile of money in front of you or lose it all.

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The dollar game is best when it is played by five or more people. The pot is bigger, the stakes are higher and the excitement grows with each play. Sit around a table in as close to a circle as you can get, knowing that play revolves around a clockwise turn.

The number of dice is based on the number of dollars with which each player starts. Each player starts with three dollars, so start with three dice. Use a table with a baize or tablecloth to prevent the dice from rolling away.

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Start the Play

Choose who goes first by rolling the dice to see who gets the highest number of pips (dots) face up in a single roll.

  • Player one rolls the dice. Each pip dictates the play.

  • If one, two or three pips are face up on one dice, you do nothing.

  • Four pips indicate that you put one of your dollars in the center (the pot).

  • Five pips say to pass a dollar to the person on your left.

  • Six pips say to pass a dollar to the person on your right.

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The number of dollars you have dictates the number of dice you roll. Read each of the dice and do what each says. On your next turn, only play the number of dice equal to the number of dollars in front of you.

Same Game, Different Name

Also known as left-center-right, specific dice with individual markings are manufactured for a purpose-driven game. One dice is engraved with a large L, another a large C and the third a large R. The other sides have a single pip. If you roll the single pip, you do nothing.

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L-C-R-Wild makes the game more exciting when a wild card is entered into the mix. If you're using regular dice, make the single pip a wild card. When you roll the wild card, you make whatever move you want. If two single pips are up, do the same with two players and if three single pips are rolled, you win!

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You’re Not Out When Out

You may be facing play with no money in front of you, but that doesn't mean you're out of the game. You must pass your turn when you're out of money, but don't despair. Someone on your left or right may be forced to give you a dollar, allowing you to play by rolling one die and forcing only one move. You may be the lucky one and end up with all the dollars in your pile and winner of the game.

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