OBJECTIVE OF FOUR TWENTY ONE:  Be the player with the highest score after ten rounds

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or more players

MATERIALS: Three 6 sided dice for each player, way to keep score

TYPE OF GAME: Dice game

AUDIENCE: Family, Adults


Four Twenty One is a fast paced dice game that challenges players to build the best dice combination possible each round.  During their turn, players will get up to three rolls and are allowed to keep as many dice as they wish.  Players can even choose to roll dice they previously set aside if it helps them possibly make a better combination. 

To decide who goes first, each player should roll all three of their dice.  The player with the highest total goes first.  The player with the lowest total keeps score.


During a player’s turn, they begin by rolling all three dice.  After the roll, they may set aside as many dice as they wish.  Any dice remaining are rolled again.  After the second roll, players choose which dice to keep (if any). If a player chooses, they may also roll any dice they previously set aside again.  Players only get three rolls per turn. 

Here are the possible combinations and their rank from highest to lowest:

1.4-2-1The highest combination possible.  If a 4-2-1 is rolled on the very first roll, that player earns 2 extra points.
2.TriplesAll three dice are the same number.  6-6-6 is highest, and 1-1-1 is lowest.
3.DoublesTwo dice have the same number. The third dice is a tie breaker.  6-6-5 is the highest double combo, and 1-1-2 is the lowest.
4.UnmatchedAll of the dice are a different number.  6-5-4 is the highest, and 3-2-1 is the lowest.


Player 1 rolls all three dice.  They roll a 4-4-1  They choose to set aside the 4-4.  On their second turn they roll a 3.  They choose to take one more roll and get a 2.  Their combination for the round is 4-4-3. 

Player 2 takes their turn.  They roll all three dice and get 2-2-1.  They set aside the the 2-1 and roll the remaining die.  They get another 2.  This time they decide to keep that 2, and roll the 1 they previously rolled again.  Their gamble pays off as they roll a third 2.  Their final combo is 2-2-2. 

Player 3 takes their turn. They immediately roll a 4-2-1.  This player has the highest ranking roll for the round.  This player also earns 2 extra points for rolling a 4-2-1 on their first try.


The player with the highest combination at the end of a round earns 1 point.  If a player rolls a 4-2-1 on their first roll, they earn 2 extra points.  In the event of a tie, the players who are tied get a single roll each.  The player with the highest ranked combination after the single roll wins the round.

If two players both roll a 4-2-1, they both earn 2 points regardless of who wins the tie breaker.

The player with the highest score at the end of the tenth round wins the game.

Mark Ball
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