My players are often interested in gambling away their fortunes instead of spending their ill-gotten gains wisely. Here are some popular dice games you can play in those tavern and back alley scenes, particularly when you want something more in-depth than "roll higher than me on a d20."
When referring to dice, I generally use six-siders so as not to have to screw with the odds, but feel free to mix things up if you want to bring out the d4s and d12s.
Beat the Moneylender
The operator/hustler throws two dice and sets the point. The player must throw the dice and beat the score to win the stakes. The operator wins ties. Multiple players can shoot against a single operator.
The first player, the shooter, places the bet he wants to make in the middle of the play area. Anyone who wishes to bet against the shooter places their stakes down as well. This is known as fading and those who cover the shooter's stake are known as faders. The total amount staked by faders can't exceed the shooter's bet.
The shooter throws the dice; this is known as the come out throw. The shooter usually must shake the dice and throw them so they rebound against a backboard to keep things fair.
If he throws a 7 or 11, he wins and picks up the faders' bets.
If he throws a 2, 3, or 12, he loses. This is known as craps.
Any other throw establishes the point, and the shooter continues to throw until he either throws his point again or throws a 7. If the throws the point, he wins. If he throws a 7, he loses. This is known as seven out.
Wins are referred to as a pass, losing throws are said to miss.
To begin, identical stakes, the ante, are placed in front of each player.
Each player rolls five dice, using a dice cup for concealment. The first player begins bidding, picking a face number on the die (between 1 and 6) and quantity. The quantity is the claim of how many of the chosen face have been rolled in total on the table. Play proceeds clockwise.
Players make two choices during their turn: make a higher bid, or challenge the previous bid. Raising the bid means increasing the quantity of the bid, either on the same face value or a new face value. In this variant, any player can jump in to challenge a bid at any time.
When a bid is challenged, all dice are revealed. If the bid is valid, the bidder wins. Otherwise, the challenger wins.