OBJECTIVE OF CALAVERA: The objective of Calavera is to be the player with the most points when the game comes to an end.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 Players 

MATERIALS: 6 Dice, 1 Tablet of Score Pads, and Instructions  

TYPE OF GAMEDice-rolling Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up 


Calavera is a dice game where all players want is to make as many crosses on their block as possible. The more crosses they have, the more points they earn. Players may become too ambitious and lose their points by making poor decisions. Every player will attempt to collect as many crosses as possible while staying out of the death zone.  


Setup of Calavera is simple and easy. Each player will collect a score sheet and place it directly in front of them. They will also get a pencil. The dice are placed in the middle of the playing area, within reach of all players. The game is then ready to begin.  


The youngest player will begin the game, with turns continuing clockwise around the group. On their turn, a player will roll all of the dice, re-rolling up to two times. The player will decide which dice to keep during each roll, setting them aside. After the three rolls, the player must choose a color to score.  

When the player has decided, they will place a cross in the color row that matches the color that they chose for each die that matches the color. All the dice of a color have to be used. Jokers can be used as colors if more than one has been rolled. The player’s turn comes to an end after they have recorded all of their crosses on their sheet.  

If a player rolls a skull, they must sit it to the side, as these cannot be rolled again. All players must make a cross on their sheet, with the rolling player beginning. They will choose a color to make crosses on. If three or more skulls are rolled, then the player cannot put anything on their sheet, and the other players have to use that roll. If players are able to fill up their bonus lines, they earn additional points.  

Players should continue to play until they enter the death zone, or the gray space on the sheet. Players may freeze rows to avoid entering the death zone by rolling two or three Jokers. The game continues in this manner until a player freezes points in all four color rows.  


The game comes to an end when a player has managed to freeze points in all four color rows. Players who have their final cross in the points zone of a color are allowed to score points. The players will then tally their points, including bonus points. The total points for each player is written in the bottom right corner. The player who has the most points, wins the game.  

Ellie Phillips
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