The Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game Rules

The Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game is a fun and easy dice game for 2 or more players. The game is also known by many other names, such as Cap’n, Bos’n, Mate, 6-5-4, Ship of Fools, and Destroyer. The game aims to roll a ship, a captain, and a crew with three dice and then score as many points as possible with the remaining two dice.

Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game Rules

To play the Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game, you will need five standard 6-sided dice and a way to keep score. You can use a pen and paper, a smartphone app, or a dedicated scorepad.

Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game
The Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game Rules 3

Before the game begins, decide how many rounds or points you want to play. A standard option is to play five rounds, but you can also set a lower or higher number or a target score.

To determine who goes first, each player rolls one die. The player with the highest number starts the game, and the play proceeds clockwise. If there is a tie for the highest number, the tied players roll again until one gets a higher number.

How to Play Ship Captain and Crew

On your turn, you roll all five dice at once. You can then set aside any dice that are part of the ship, the captain, or the crew, and either end your turn and bank your points or roll the remaining dice again to try to score more points. You can roll up to three times per turn.

Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game Rules
The Ship Captain and Crew Dice Game Rules 4

However, if you roll the dice and none are part of the ship, the captain, or the crew, you lose all the points you accumulated on that turn, and your turn is over. This is called a “bust” or a “Farkle.”

You must roll a 6 (the ship), a 5 (the captain), and a 4 (the crew) with three dice in that order to score. The remaining two dice are the cargo, and their sum is your score for the round. For example, if you roll a 6, a 5, a 4, a 3, and a 2, your score is 5 (the sum of the cargo).

Scoring

The dice can score points differently, depending on the number and combination of dice. Here are the most common scoring rules:

  • A 6 is the ship and must be rolled before the captain and the crew, worth 0 points.
  • A 5 is the captain and must be rolled after the ship and before the crew, worth 0 points.
  • A 4 is the crew must be rolled after the ship and the captain, which is worth 0 points.
  • The remaining two dice are the cargo, and their sum is your score for the round. For example, if you roll a 6, a 5, a 4, a 3, and a 2, your score is 5 (the sum of the cargo).

Some variations of the game may have different or additional scoring rules, such as:

  • A 1, a 2, and a 3 are the ship, the captain, and the crew instead of a 6, a 5, and a 4.
  • A pair of 1s or 5s in the cargo is worth 100 points instead of their sum.
  • A straight of 1-2-3-4-5 or 2-3-4-5-6 in the cargo is worth 500 points instead of their sum.
  • Rolling five of the same number in one roll is an instant win.

You can agree on the scoring rules before the game starts or use a standard set of rules.

How to Win Ship Captain and Crew

The game ends when one player reaches or exceeds the target score or when the agreed number of rounds is completed. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.

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