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Shut the Box Rules: How Do You Play Shut the Box?


Shut the Box is a simple dice game played by one or more players and a set of two dice.


Download a score sheet or each player can simply draw 12 squares on a piece of paper.

The object is to cross out or “shut” all the squares (boxes) on the paper by rolling dice to equal the box number(s).


Player one rolls their dice, rolling a 5 and a 4, totaling 9. That player can cross out the number 9 or any two numbers that total 9, such as 3 and 6, or 4 and 5. Player one rolls again until they cannot cross out any boxes. It is then player two’s turn.

If a player has successfully closed boxes 7-12, that player only rolls one die from that point on. Alternate Shut the Box rules allow the player to roll both dice and subtract the numbers from each other. For example, a roll of 5 and 2 would give that player a 3. If they can cross the 3 off their list of boxes, they do so and roll again. If they cannot, it is the next player’s turn.


The first player to cross off or “shut” all the squares (boxes), wins.

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