Pig (dice)

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Pig is a jeopardy (risk) dice game played with one die. In jeopardy dice games, a player decides to roll or hold (stop rolling). A player that rolls risks a turn total, and may gain a higher turn total or score nothing. A player that holds scores the turn total.

John Scarne wrote about Pig as a common dice game in 1945.[1] Optimal (perfect) play has been computed.[2] Teachers often use Pig for fun lessons.[3][4]

Rules[change | change source]

On a player's turn, a player can roll or hold:

  • roll: The player can roll a die.
    • When a player rolls a 1 (called a "pig"), the turn ends and the player score does not change.
    • When a player rolls a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, the turn continues and the player adds the roll to the turn total.
  • hold: The player says "hold" and gives the die to the next player.
    • When a player "holds", the turn ends and the player adds the turn total to the score.

The first player to score 100 or more points wins.

Example Play[change | change source]

For example, Ann begins a turn with a roll of 5. She could hold and score 5 points, but she decides to roll again. Next, Ann rolls a 2. She could hold with a turn total of 7 points (2 + 5 = 7), but she decides to roll again. Next, Ann rolls a 1 ("pig"). She must end her turn. Her score does not change. She hands the dice to the next player, Bob.

Bob rolls a 4, 5, 3, 5, and 5. He then decides to hold. Bob adds 4 + 5 + 3 + 5 + 5 = 22 points to his score.

References[change | change source]

  1. Scarne, John. 1945. Scarne on Dice. Harrisburg, PA: Military Service Publishing Co.
  2. Todd W. Neller and Clifton G.M. Presser. Optimal Play of the Dice Game Pig, The UMAP Journal 25(1) (2004), pp. 25–47.
  3. Links to Pig websites
  4. Computer Science Resources for the Game of Pig

Other websites[change | change source]