Balut, a popular dice game, was invented by an US soldier, who lacked conventional playing cards to play Poker, towards the end of the 2nd world War. He invented the game with the aim of throwing effective dice combinations so as to earn points; bonus points would then be granted for each successful Balut’. Balut here refers to a 5-of-a-kind die throw.
Apart from this game gaining popularity among Danish business persons, it has been introduced in different parts of the world.
It currently enjoys a consistent following, thanks to the numerous organisations and gaming clubs established specifically for the enjoyment of the same.
The objective of Balut, played for fun either in teams or as different groups of players, is to collect the largest number of points over 7 rounds of play. At tournament level, the game is usually played on tables of four, though any other reasonable number of players can play.
Players score the maximum points if they successfully roll the best dice-throw combination. A player who eventually collects the highest number of points wins the game.
You need 5 standard dice, a mat or any flat surface, a vessel for throwing the dice in, and a pencil and score card.
Playing Balut involves each player throwing the dice up to three times in turn. A player is allowed to, take out of play or return back into play one or more die after each throw. After returning a die back in the container, a player is not allowed to take it out. After three throws, or even earlier, should the player opts for less, the sum of points on the remaining dice are taken to be that round’s score.
The score pad contains 7 rows. Each row can only be scored once. If, after three throws the player has not scored a single point, one row is ‘scratched’, that is, cancelled and will not be played for again. All score for each and every player is obtained by summing up the pips on the dice, except Balut, which usually scores 30 points.
· 4-any combination of 4’s (4, 8, 12…)
· 5-any combination of 5’s (5, 10, 15…)
· 6-any combinations of 6’s (6, 12…)
· Straight-a line of 1-2-3-4-5 that scores 15 or 2-3-4-5-6 that scores 50
· House-3 of one number and 2 of another, for instance 3*6 and 2*5 scoring 28, or 3*1 and 2*5 that scores 7
· Choice-the summation of all the pips
· Balut-five of any single number that always score 30
One player, referred to as a scorer, registers the scores on the scorecard in a column.
All players throw the dice in turn, for six rounds. Each player hands over to the next after throwing once. A player can either score or scratch one of the rows, leaving one vacant row after each player, a feature called ‘Half Time’.
At Half Time’, scores so far collected, for each player, are announced by the scorer. Another round is then thrown followed by another announcement of scores by the scorer.
· Each player is allocated a Balut Scorecard
· Each player rolls the five dice in turn before recording his score on the scorecard.
· Since there are seven categories of dice-combinations, as well as, 4 attempts in each category, each Balut game lasts a total of twenty eight rounds.
Usually, as a player approaches the end of the 28 rounds, the score he or she collects tend to diminish. A player is however not permitted to ‘pass’ their turn, because rolling a low score combination and being compelled to record the same essentially allows other players to get ahead in pips, making it possible and simple determine the winner.
If, after a player throws the dice, they leave the surface or do not lie flat on the designated surface, the throw is considered ‘cocked’. Every time a player gets a ‘cocked’ throw, he or she is compelled to retake the throw.
This is intended to minimise disagreement on what exact score a player should record. If, for instance, a die lie in such a way that none of its surfaces is perpendicularly facing up, a player can be tempted to record the highest score from the faces partially facing up.
Balut is a fun game to play. The rules are simple to grasp, and since it is played by two or more people, it provides a very interesting way of passing time in the company of friends.
The game is also available at a commercial level in some clubs where gamblers can bet on Balut score and win a lot of money. Introduce this interesting game to your friends, and start enjoying its excitement.