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‘A game of dice for one or more players, mostly played in a group of two to four (possibly for stakes, gambling). Alternatively it could be played with a sheet of paper. Variations exist where the box has up to 10 or 12 tiles.’
Shut the Box is believed to originate from the Napoleonic Wars, introduced by sailors as a popular gambling game. Today Shut the Box is one of the most popular coffee table games and is still played by many in public houses around the country, often for small stakes.
Shut the Box's appeal is due to it's simplicity of play, easy to grasp gameplay and challenging decision making in deciding your strategy. Farscape Games offers several versions of Shut the Box as seen above and can come in a 9 number (or box) version and 12 numbers.
Any number of players can play Shut the Box and the number of rounds to be played must be agreed before play commences.
Start with all the wooden slides covering the small numbers 1-9. (or 1 to 12 if you have a 12 box version). Both Dice are always thrown.
Players, in turn, throw the dice and use the points value of the dice to cover as many of the large numbers as possible by moving the wooden slides forward or flipping the wooden covers closed ie Shutting the Box! The exact sum of the dice thrown must always be used, but in any combination that is available. See examples below.
Each player on his turn attempts to shut as many of the boxes as possible and his turn continues until a number is thrown which cannot be used. The remaining uncovered numbers are totalled and scored, play then passes to the next player on the left.
A player who successfully covers all the numbers on their turn and Shuts The Box immediately wins the round or the kitty regardless of the score at that time. An optional variation is that any player remaining that has not yet played must match the feat to share the kitty or play a 'play off round'.
Remember, both dice must always be thrown so it is beneficial to remove the number 1 as soon as possible. The boxes must meet the total spot value of the dice exactly.
Throw a 7 and you may close...
1, 2 & 4 OR 1 & 6 OR 3 & 4 OR 5 & 2
Throw a 3 and you may close...
1 & 2 OR 3 only
You get the idea!
There are two ways to win Shut the Box.