The traditional dice game of Chicago (also known as Rotation) is quick and easy to learn and it works well for all ages and any number of players. The basic game is driven by pure luck, but the two variants described below add a bit of choice and variety.
Object of the Game
The object of the game Chicago is to be the player who has earned the highest score after eleven rounds of play.
- Two six-sided dice
- Pencil and paper for keeping score
Number of Players
2 or more
How to Play Chicago
Over the course of the game, players will be attempting to roll each of the possible totals of two dice: 2 through 12.
Randomly choose a player to begin. (Or, alternatively, the youngest player begins, or the oldest player, or the player who last visited Chicago, etc.)
On their turn, a player makes a single roll with the two dice and attempts to score a specific number for each round. In round one, this number is 2, and the number increases by one for each successive round. So the target number to be rolled in round two is 3, and in round three the target number is 4, and so forth.
Therefore, the target number for each number is as follows:
- Round 1 = 2
- Round 2 = 3
- Round 3 = 4
- Round 4 = 5
- Round 5 = 6
- Round 6 = 7
- Round 7 = 8
- Round 8 = 9
- Round 9 = 10
- Round 10 = 11
- Round 11 = 12
If a player rolls the target number for a round, they score that number of points. So for example, a player would score 6 points in round 5 if they rolled a total of 6 on the two dice (3-3, 2-4, or 1-5). If a player rolls any number other than the target number for that round, they score no points for that round.
After a player has finished rolling the dice and determining their score, they pass the dice to the next player. Play proceeds clockwise around the table, and the game ends after 11 rounds and once each player has taken 11 turns.
At the end of 11 rounds, players add up their scores. The player with the highest cumulative score is the winner! In case of a tie, the tied players share a joint victory.
Chicago Dice Game Variants
These variants make it more likely that a player will score points on their turn.
If a player scores no points on their initial roll each turn, they may reroll one of the dice (but not both dice!).
Each player rolls three dice on their turn instead of two dice. They then get to choose which two of the three dice will be used for scoring. This variant can be combined with the Double Roll variant, where the player can choose one of the three dice to reroll if they don’t score any points with their initial roll.