Divide your group into smaller groups of 3 to 5 people, and ask them to sit in a circle.
Distribute one index card (or paper) to every person, and one pen and a pair of dice to each group.
Announce that the winner of this game will be the first person to write all of the numbers from 1 to 100 on their index card.
To start, one person shall throw the dice.
If the dice show two different numbers, the dice are passed to the next person on the left.
Whenever a person throws a ‘double,’ they must first shout out “DOUBLE.”
This person will then be entitled to grab the pen and immediately start writing the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4,… etc on their index card.
The person with the pen may keep writing until the next person, in turn, throws a ‘double.’
A person resumes writing from the last number they wrote on their card.
Game continues until the first person writes the number 100.
Video Transcript for Double Dice Game
presented by Mark Collard
So to begin with this exercise many people entering into this space would often describe, if they were asked the question how competitive are you, they would suggest they are not particularly competitive at all. Yet, what we are about to see is your competitive streak come out.
Each of your small groups has some resources. One you have an index card each, so if you would like to distribute those around, one of those cards should be in front of each person. And the one pen in your group should be right in the centre of your group.
(question is asked)
Just need one in the centre. Just think one in the centre
Oh missing a cards over there.
(Retrieves card for group)
Okay everyone has a card. Each group should have one pen in the centre, and in a moment I am going to give you one of the die, or a dice sort to speak.
Here’s how the game works. For example if I am working with this group here and I am one of the members of the group, I have a card in front of me perhaps.
You start with two die and you will be able to throw them, and every time the die show the same score, that is you show a double, so it might two twos, two sixes, two fours, or whatever.
The first thing is that you must call out to everybody else, not just your own group, but the other two groups to clearly and proudly indicate that you have scored a double by calling out (yells) “DOUBLE.”
At which point you grab the pen, in the beginning it will be in the centre, and grab it from the centre, take your index card and start writing the numbers from number one, two, three, four as quickly as you can all the way up to one hundred.
So you start at one you go to two you go to three and you keep on writing, keep on writing, as the dice continue to be passed around the group. The next person that throws them may throw a three and a four. The next person throws them, two and a five.
The next one throws two ones at which point they will call “DOUBLE.” Immediately will grab the pen out of the person who is holding it at that times hand and they will then start writing the numbers. One, two, three.
Which of course leaves you, maybe you got to fifteen on the first round before the pen was taken out of your hand. When the dice come back to you you toss it, let’s say you throw another double, you call out “DOUBLE.” Grab the pen back you resume where you left off. So if you got as far as fifteen you go to sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and you continue on.
Your objective is to be the first in your group to get to one hundred. However, you might have many many goes at getting there, but here is the most important rule.
The most important rule is that when you get to fifty and let’s say you are still writing, change hands. You put the pen in the non-dominant hand and go from fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three all the way to one hundred. So one to fifty regular hand, fifty-one to one hundred the non-dominant hand.
(The left handers are probably like yeah.)
It has got to be the non-dominant hand. Okay, got the idea? Any questions? Then I will start to hand out the dice.
You may start once I have given you the dice. Pen starts out in the centre.
(groups start playing Double Dice Game)
You guys can be the red dice team and you guys are the blue dice team. Start when you’re ready. Remember to call out doubles once you get them.
(Groups rolling dice as part of Double Dice Game)
(Double, no I didn’t get it.)
Call it out loud and proud. You want to put pressure on the other groups to think that they haven’t got any doubles.
(Groups continue to play Double Dice Game)
How To Play Narrative
I learned this wonderfully feverish game at summer camp, and have recently fallen in love with it again.
Break your group into smaller groups of 3 to 5 people. Avoid groups of 6 or more people, because you want to keep most people active as often as possible.
Distribute a sheet of paper or one index card to each person, and one pen and one pair of dice for each group. Suggest that every one sits in a circle, placing the paper in front of each person and the pen and dice in the middle.
While played in small groups, announce that the overall objective of this game is to become the first person (across all groups) to write all of the numbers from 1 to 100 on their index card. Naturally, smaller prizes shall be awarded to those, possibly in other groups, who manage to become the second, third, etc, people to write the number 100.
With one person volunteering to start (in each small group,) the two dice are thrown. If the dice show two different numbers, the dice are passed to the next person on the left.
However, whenever a person throws a ‘double’ (ie the same number appears on both dice,) their first important task is to call out loud “DOUBLE.” They will then be entitled to grab the pen – no matter where it is – and immediately start writing the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4,… etc on their index card. As soon as this event occurs, the dice get passed to the next person on the left.
The person with the pen may keep writing until someone new, in turn, throws a ‘double’ which entitles this latter person to grab the pen from the former and start writing numbers on their paper.
Note, that when a person grabs the pen (after throwing a double again,) they may resume writing from the last number they wrote on their card. That is, if the last number they wrote was 15 before the pen was wrenched from their hand, they shall resume from 16 when it is their turn to write again (they do not start back at 1.)
The game continues until the first person writes the number 100 on their paper.
As each small group will work and write at their own pace, I strongly recommend that you allow the action to continue (after the winner has been announced) to allow other people to record a century too.
Practical Leadership Tips
You can play on a table or on the floor – so long as people can easily reach the pen from the middle of the playing area, or from another player.
The bigger the dice, the easier it is to identify the numbers quickly. Not a huge issue, but if you have a choice, go big.
Many people would describe themselves as not having a competitive bone in their body, until, that is, they play this game. Observe how a strange competitive fervour takes hold of your group soon after they start playing.
For the record, to be grammatically correct, the singular of dice is die. However, according to the Oxford Dictionary the word ‘dice’ can be used for both singular and plural. It also mentions that the use of ‘die’ is becoming increasingly uncommon.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s wellbeing of enjoying a good laugh. In a small way, you could argue that the effort required to persevere (when you never seem to throw a double) speaks to the benefits of building resilient practices, but I wouldn’t stress this too much.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which the Double Dice Game could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Swapping Hands: When a person writes the number 50, they must swap the pen into their less-dominant hand to write every number from 51 to 100. This is possibly one of my all-time favourite rules.
Team Event: For very large groups, or if you don’t have enough dice, team people up in pairs (in each small group,) and require that the pen is swapped between partners every 5 numbers, ie Fred writes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, and then he must give the pen to his partner Gwendolyn to write 6, 7, 8, and so on.
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Useful Framing Ideas
Hands-up those people who would describe themselves as mildly or somewhat competitive? [… one-third of the group raises their hands …] OK, let’s see the truth of the matter after this next activity is finished…
Would you describe yourself as lucky? Do you attract more or less than an average amount of good fortune compared to other people? This next exercise involves the throwing of dice, and while statistically the odds of success are extremely random, some people will swear that they are just not lucky at all. Let’s see what happens…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this extremely fun, small group game:
What did you notice during the progress of the game?
What did you make these events or behaviours mean? Why?
Why do you think some forms of competition are so infectious, or repulsive?
Where else in your life do you get sucked into something? What is the impact?
The inspiration for the Double Dice Game was found at Blue Star Camps when I was first introduced to it as part of the tradition of summer camp staff training.