Description of equipment
The “box” is an open tray with a baize interior. A row numbers one to nine also appear along the top length. Each number has a corresponding square panel cover which can either slide or swing to cover the number. Two dice are the only other requirement, although a dice cup may be used if desired.
A round of the game consists of each player taking one turn to try to shut the box. A turn consists of a player repeatedly throwing the dice until he or she cannot continue. Each throw of the dice is taken as follows:
- If 7, 8 and 9 are all covered, the player decides whether to throw one die or two.
- If any of these 3 numbers are still uncovered, the player must use both dice.
The player throws the die or dice into the box and adds up the pips. The player must then cover available numbers that add up to the total thrown. So for instance, if the total is 8, the player may choose one of the following options:
- 7 & 1
- 6 & 2
- 5 & 3
- 5 & 2 & 1
- 4 & 3 & 1
Assuming that one of the options is available to be played, the player selects one, covers the selected number or numbers and proceeds to throw the dice again.
If none of the options are available because at least one number is already covered in each case, then the player’s turn finishes and the player scores the sum of the numbers that are still uncovered. For example, if numbers 1, 5 and 9 are uncovered and the player throws a 4, options are 4 or 3 & 1, neither of which are available – so the turn finishes and the player’s score is 15.
If anyone succeeds in shutting the box i.e. closing all the numbers, that player wins outright immediately and receives double the stake from all players. Otherwise, after each player has taken one turn, the winner of the round is the player with the lowest score.
Shut The Box for 4 Players
It is possible to buy a Shut the Box game featuring 4 sets of flaps and sometimes 4 sets of dice. Just use the normal Shut the Box rules in one of the following 2 ways:
1. If there are just 2 dice or the dice are the same colour, people take turns to throw the dice and flip their flaps until they can’t go any longer.
2. If the central area is big enough and each player has a pair of dice of different colours, then everyone throws the dice at once each turn until they can’t go any longer.