Sunday, September 14, 2008

BC Advanced Strategies: Blew It

I recently learned this dice game from Paul J., the Co-President of PLAY. "Blew It" is a dice/betting game that is simple to play and incredibly addictive. All you need to play this game is a set of six dice. Strategy (or the rules even) isn't that complicated either, so it's easy to pick up and play. There are many different variants of this game but I'll just show you one that Paul J. taught me. Here are the rules as I know them:

A player takes the six dice and rolls them on the table. Depending on what you roll, you will get points. Any dice that are worth points you can choose to save/hold on the side and continue rolling the remaining dice to gain more points. If what you roll doesn't produce any points then you "blew it," meaning your turn is over and you lose the points you you were saving on that turn. You only earn points when you end your turn without blowing it. Whenever you blow it or save points, you pass the dice to the next player. There is no limit to how many players can play.

The goal of the game is to get 10,000 points. You score points by rolling certain dice combinations. Here are all the possible ways to get points:

1. Each 5 is worth 50 points.
2. Each 1 is worth 100 points.
3. If you roll all six dice and get a straight (1,2,3,4,5,6), you receive 1,200 points.
4. If you roll all six dice and get three pair (i.e. 6,6,2,2,3,3) you receive 1,200 points.
5. Six consecutive 1's results in 10,000 points. Consecutive means that you save only one 1 on each turn and on your sixth turn when you are only rolling one dice, you must roll a one to get all 10,000 points.
5a. Six consecutive 5's results in 5,000 points.
6. Any three-of-a-kind is worth the dice number shown times 100. (i.e. three 5's=500 points).
6a. Three ones is worth 1,000 points.
7. A four-of-a-kind is worth the value of three of a kind times 2 (i.e. four 4's= 800 points.)
7a. A five-of-a-kind is worth the value of three of a kind times 4.
7b. A six-of-a-kind (lucky bastard) is worth the value of three of a kind times 8.

NOTE: Four-of-a-kind and higher have special rules attached to them. The remaining dice must have some sort of value in order for the four, five-of-a-kind to count. In order words, the remaining dice must either be a 1 or a 5. If you do not have a one or a five, you must roll the remaining dice to "prove" the four, five-of-a-kind. Failure to roll a one or a five results in one losing everything you have gained on your turn. Alternatively, you can choose to only count the three-of-a-kind and not try to prove the four, five, or six of a kind. Also, since six of a kind has no remaining dice (obviously), then you must roll all six dice to prove your six-of-a-kind, in which case ANY point combination will result in you proving your six-of-a-kind.

All of the above rules (except for 5 and 5a) apply to one roll on your turn. In other words, if you save two 1's and then roll a another one on your third turn, you will NOT have a three-of-a-kind. The three-of-a-kinds and higher must be rolled in one roll. Same goes for three pairs and the straight.

If you manage to get points on all six dice (i.e. 1,1,5,6,6,6,), then you can roll all six dice again and let the points ride. In the example shown in this paragraph, the player currently has 850 points. The player can choose to save the 850 he or she has earned and end their turn, or the player can choose to roll or six dice again and potentially add on top of his or her point total.

Also, you must first earn at least 1,000 points before you can save points under 1,000. In other words, the first time you score must be worth a 1,000 points or more. Anytime after that you can save any point value you want. When one player reaches 10,000 points or more, every other player gets one more chance top the leader's total. One other quirky rule is that if you only rolling two dice, any doubles that you roll can be re-rolled.

The rules sound confusing but they quickly stick with you once you start playing. Refer back to this page while you are playing if you forget how to properly keep score.


Like I said before, there isn't much strategy to this game but choosing when to save your points can be the difference in you winning or losing. Here is some strategy I picked up when I played this game last week:

1. If you finish out all six dice, roll again. The probability of you rolling all non-point dice on all six dice is pretty low. It can happen but, the reward far outweighs the risk. On a full roll, you can earn the special 1,200 point combinations or have a good shot a rolling a three-of-a-kind.

2. Three dice is the cutoff. This is more of a personal choice but I feel the probabilities get a little too dicey (pun!) when rolling less than three dice. With three dice you can get a three-of-a-kind, a one, or a five. With two dice you're relying on ones or fives. You should roll two dice though, when you rolled a four ones or four sixes. 2,000 or 1,200 points respectively is a lot of points not to take a chance on.

3. Get on the scoring board as fast as possible. The game just started and you rolled three 1's. You could roll three dice and go for more points. Don't. Take chances when you are at least on the board. Getting 1,000 points isn't exactly easy, so take what you can to get on the board.

4. In the lead? Save small point totals. Saving little point totals like 400 or 500 points is lame, but if you're in the lead it makes sense to do so. You're not chasing anybody so you should take it slow and steady until you reach 9,500 or somewhere around there. Little point totals can really discourage other players who are trying to go big and catch you. The 1,200 point bonus and the three-of-a-kind on 1's will result in people catching up to you, but if you are in lead, just keep chopping away.

5. In the end-game, stay right behind the leader in points. Whenever someone reaches 10,000 points or more, everyone else gets one more shot to take out the leader. If you're right behind the leader when he hits 10,000, then you won't have to make up to much ground. Also, the leader may take more chances going for a big score to put some distance between himself and other players which gives you more time to do the same or get right under 10,000.

6. Score is close at the end-game? Aim for 9,950. This is especially important if you are the leader in close games. The second-place person will likely try to follow strategy #3. Once at 9,950, all you need is one more good point run, somewhere over 1,200 points. If however, you are leading by a lot at the end-game (1,500 or more), just finish out anywhere above 10,000 and hope no one gets lucky.

There are some more strategy with this game but I think I'll leave you with the six outlined above. Try playing this game sometimes with some friends; you'll really enjoy it. If you find some more strategies post them in a comment. I'd love to hear what you think.

Photos: From now on click on the photo to find it's source.


Anonymous said...

I learned this game like 10 years ago; good stuff. Don't have any extra strategy to contribute, but this did teach me a name for the game, I just called it the dice game.

Shawn R. said...

Dude, the Easter Egg dice tricks guy is INSANE.

Casey said...

Been playing Farkle with my family over the holidays. Now I know why it seemed so familiar! I used to play this game with my grandma, but she called it "blow it".

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