Theres no need for dice in most types of poker, but there is one poker game that uses five special dice, with no playing cards needed. These games can be a lot of fun and the rules are very simple.
The classic poker dice game isn’t popular these days, which is why you might not have heard about it. Nowadays, players choose Texas hold ‘em and Omaha without even knowing you can play poker with dice.
We’re going to explain how to play poker with dice, as well as Liar’s Dice, which includes bluffing.
Rules of the Classic Poker Dice Game
The game uses a set of 5 dice, each with 6 sides like regular dice, with no game board used. Each poker dice has an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, ten, and nine. The symbols on the faces don’t look like standard dice though, since standrad dice have the numbers 1-6 on the faces.
The suits are not standardized among poker dice sets, though there’s usually an Ace of Spades included.
To Play Classic Dice Poker You Need:
- 1x cup for shaking the dice (preferably leather or plastic).
- 5x poker dice (not regular dice), each with an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, ten, and nine.
Note: There is a version that can be played with a wooden board, but most people are going to have a hard time getting their hands on one.
There is a draw element to classic dice poker, just like 5-card draw or Badugi. Each player gets a total of 3 rolls. They can choose which dice to roll and which to hold, in order to create the strongest possible hand.
5-card draw has a similar concept, but it can be played online at PokerStars, not just at home with friends. You also don’t need to buy any dice to get signed up and start playing. Along with their draw games, try out more than a dozen other poker formats.
Let’s Play Dice Poker: Step By Step Rules
The hands you can make in the poker dice game are slightly different to regular hand combinations. Because there are no suits, we can’t make flushes or straight flushes. Having 5-of-a-kind is possible in dice poker, but not in classic poker games like Texas hold ‘em and Omaha.
Step 1: Players start by rolling their 5 dice using a special cup. Roll the dice onto a table and then arrange them beside each other.
Step 2: Decide which (if any) dice you want to re-roll. There’s no need to roll again, but you are allowed to exchange one or more dice, but there’s no requirement to do so. Players can re-roll up to 3 times.
Step 3: Once a player finishes their rolls, take note of the hand combination they’ve made. The dice then go to the next player and the process repeats.
Here’s the hand ranking for poker dice combinations:
- Full House (Three-of-a-Kind + a Pair)
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card
If two players get the same final dice combination, they need to roll another turn to establish a winner.
The strategy for a game of poker dice is very simple. You’re always trying to make the strongest combination, so re-roll the dice that don’t support that. For example, if you roll two Queens and two Jacks, re-roll the 5th dice and try to make a full house!
If you’re playing dice poker to get friends together, you might enjoy our Poker with Friends article. We’ve got tons of options there to get your private home games up and running (play for free or with real-money stakes). You’re in control of the crowd at the table, the games, stakes, and more.
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Liar’s Dice: Bluffing With Dice
This style of dice game showed up briefly in Pirates of the Caribbean when Will Turner played against Davy Jones to buy his father’s freedom. Liar’s Dice has many names, such as Doubting Dice, Perudo, Mexicali, Call My Bluff, and even Pirate’s Dice.
Instead of the face-up poker dice game, Liars Dice has an element of deception and bluffing.
After players roll their dice, they keep them hidden from the other players at the table. Now begins a game of announcing what you have under your cup, or what you want others to think you have.
For example, everyone at the table rolls their dice and Jamie says “three 2s”.
Rosie calls out from across the table; “four 2s!” she says.
“Five-2s” says Brandon, to which Jamie says “I challenge that!”
Once a challenge has been made, all players at the table show their dice and see if the challenge was legitimate.
If the player who was challenged can not show the dice they claimed to have, then the challenger wins. If they did indeed have the dice they claimed to have, the challenger loses.
Usually, there’s a wager involved, but no betting rounds. For example, in Pirates of the Caribbean, Will Turner wagers his and his father's freedom on a single game of Liars Dice. If Will wasn’t successful, he would lose his freedom for supporting his father.
If you’re curious about poker games, but you aren’t ready to put your father’s freedom or real money on the line, you should try some freeroll tournaments. We keep a well-stocked list of free tournaments on major sites like 888poker and PokerStars. The only thing you need to invest is time and focus to take a shot at cash prizes. Some freerolls run daily, so check out listings for the schedule.
Dice Games Are Better Offline: Try Online Poker Instead
There are so many online poker sites, but it’s hard to know which ones are best for players. We’ve tested all of the major poker rooms and clubs to find the biggest bonuses, the best range of poker games, and the most trusted providers.
PokerStars is considered a top poker room around the world; that’s something almost every poker site agrees on. Since the very start, they’ve always been deeply involved with online poker. They have more variety than any other site, with over 17 different kinds of poker.
Most players are at the Texas hold ‘em and Omaha tables, but games like 5-card Omaha are gaining popularity. There’s never a problem finding action on PokerStars because of their high traffic. Cash game tables remain busy around the clock (except for the less popular formats like Razz).
Our PokerStars review covers everything from software and app compatibility to poker formats and bonuses.
If you’ve got specific or general questions about poker sites, our experienced staff members are standing by. There’s absolutely no obligation; getting in touch with our team is pressure-free and we’ll work to guide you in the right direction.
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