Shut the Box

2 minute read

Shut the Box is a dice game. Shut the Box is a form of a patience game that can be played with two or more players in a competition. For more than two hundred years it has been a favorite game among the sailors of Normandy and some other parts of the French coast. They doubtless carried the game on voyages to help whittle away the long hours under sail and may have introduced the game to other countries through seaport routes.

What You Need to Play

  • A shut the box board or a sheet of paper with 9 numbers written on it.  See game board below.

Object of the game To be the last player still in the game with a score of less than 45.

Game Board Traditionally, it is played with a specially made board that includes nine compartments with hinged lids, numbered one through nine.  Players attempt to shut all the numbered boxes according to the roll of the dice.

Alternately, the game can be played by writing the numbers on a piece of paper and crossing them off to simulate the closing of each lid. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

How to play the game At the beginning of a player’s turn, the hinged lids of the numbered compartments are lifted.  The player rolls the two dice (usually onto a green felt area of the game board, directly below the row of numbered boxes).  The sum of the numbers shown on the dice, or the two individual numbers shown, allow the player to shut the box or boxes that are correspondingly numbered.  For example, if the dice show a 2 and a 3, he may close the boxes marked 2 and 3, or the box marked 5.

A turn is over when the player cannot shut a box on a throw of the dice because the numbers shown on the dice do not correspond with the numbers on the boxes that remain open.  When the totaled numbers of the open boxes amount to six or less, the player throws only one die until he has shut all the boxes or throws an unusable number on the die.

At the end of each turn, the total of the boxes still open is added to the player"s score.  A player is out of the game when he has a score of 45 points or more.  The last player to remain in the game is the winner.

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