OBJECTIVE OF MARTINETTI: Be the first player to move your token to the end of the board.


MATERIALS: Three six sided dice, 2 tokens, Martinetti board

TYPE OF GAME: Dice game

AUDIENCE: Kids, Family


Martinetti is credited as being one of the oldest known roll and move games.  There are records of it being played by Roman soldiers.  Although basic in nature, Martinetti is a perfect way to pass the time with kids and family.  The game challenges players to think critically about how to use the dice roll in order to move their token along the board.  The player who reaches the end of the gameboard first wins!


The Martinetti gameboard is simple enough to quickly sketch out on a piece of paper.  However, if you would like something a little more substantial, we have provided a printable board.  Here is what the board looks like:

You do not have to use tokens or game pieces either.  Simply mark the space you are on with the first letter of your name.  As stated above, this game can be easily played with a scrap piece of paper, a pencil, and some dice.


Both players begin the game with their token off the board.  Each player will take a turn rolling the dice.  Whoever rolls the highest total goes first.

Each turn, players will roll all three dice.  In order to move their token, players must either roll the next number or a combination that equals the next number needed.  For example, at the beginning of the game, a player must roll a 1 in order to move to the 1 space.  If a player does not roll a 1, they pass their turn. 

If a player needs a larger number like a 9, they must roll a combination of dice that equal exactly nine such as 5-4, 6-3, 5-3-1, 4-3-2, and so on. 

It is possible for a player to move more than one space per turn.  To do so, players must roll the correct sequence.  For example, if on the very first turn a player rolls a 1-2-3, they may move to the number 3 space. 

Dice may also be added together in order to move more than one space per turn.  For example, if a player rolls a 1-1-1 on the very first turn, they would be able to move to the number two space on the board.  Rolling a 1 allows them to move to space number 1.  Adding the remaining dice together equals 2 which is the next space on the board.  Dice may only be used once per turn.

As another example of combining dice, let’s say a player is sitting on space number 5 and rolls a 6-4-3.   That player would be able to move to the number 6 space because they rolled a 6.  They would also be able to continue to space number 7 because 3+4=7. 

If a player is able to move their piece, they may roll again.  Once a player rolls and is unable to move, their turn is over. 

Play like this continues until one of the players reaches the end of the gameboard.  This is accomplished by ascending to the 12 space and descending back down to the 1. 


The first player to ascend to 12 and descend back to 1 wins the game.

Mark Ball
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