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Left Center Right Dice Game

Left Center Right was first published by George & Company LLC in 1992. It is an entirely luck-based dice game for groups of three or more players. I received a copy of the game several years ago for a gift, and I have been using it in my math classroom ever since then!

I have used this fun dice game with students at the beginning of the year as a first week of school activity. I have also incorporated it into a unit on data analysis and probability. It also makes a great activity for the last week or so of school when attendance numbers start to drop off like crazy.

Other games that I recommend for the math classroom are the Train Game, Farkle, Make a Million, Sprouts, SET, Tenzi, Witzzle, and the 5 x 5 Game.

Though some might not be a fan of the game due to its lack of strategy, I find it to be a fun community-building activity. I especially like that the winner of the game isn’t really determine until the very end of the game. There could be a player who spends 90% of the game without any chips who still ends up winning!

Last summer, I was able to pick up five copies of the Left Center Right game at Dollar Tree to keep in my classroom. I’ve been on the lookout for more copies of the game this summer, but I haven’t seen any on my last few trips to Dollar Tree.

five copies of left center right dice game

Game Supplies

  • 3 Chips for Each Player – If you purchase a copy of the Left Center Right game, it will come with three chips for each player. There should be enough chips for six to eight players. If you want to play in a larger group, then you can substitute your own bingo chips or poker chips.

    To make the game last longer, you could distribute four or five chips to each player.

    A former coworker of mine would play the game with starbursts or wrapped candy instead of the plastic discs.
  • 3 Left Center Right Dice – Each individual die has three faces labeled with the individual letters L, C, and R and three faces labeled with a circular dot.

    If you are trying to play the game in your classroom on a budget, you could make your own dice using wooden cubes.

Instructions for Playing Left Center Right

Left Center Right must be played with at least three players. I find that the game is much more fun and engaging with more players, though.

Distribute three chips to each player.

Choose a player to go first. This player takes all three LCR dice and rolls them at the same time.

For each L or R that is thrown, the player must distribute that number of chips to the player on their left or right, respectively. For each C that is thrown, the player must place a chip in the center of the playing area. That chip is now out of the game. Nothing must be done for any dice showing a circular dot.

Play continues around the circle.

As game play continues, players will begin to have varying numbers of chips in front of them. A player is only allowed to roll as many dice as chips they currently possess. So, if a person is down to two chips in front of them, they will only roll two of the LCR dice on their turn. If a person has five chips, they will roll all three LCR dice.

If a person is completely out of chips, they are not allowed to roll. They are still allowed, however, to receive chips from the players on either side of them.

Game play continues until only one person remains with chips. This player is the winner.

Game Play Reflection

Here’s an excerpt of a blog post I wrote in August 2016 about using this game with my students.

With one of my classes, they had already done Petals Around the Rose last year, so I decided to have them play Left Center Right instead.

left center right game in packaging

I actually had more students than the chips in the tube allow to play, so I used colored bingo chips in lieu of the chips in the tube.  

We sat in the floor in a giant circle and played for a good 10 or 15 minutes.  I thought my students (juniors and seniors) might think it was a lame game, but they got really into it.  

They even asked if we could play again some time.  This game is actually more stats-related than trig-related, but it was a fun community-building game for my small class.

Game Variants

In Monday Must Reads Volume 26, I shared a math variant of Left Center Right.

“I love playing Left Center Right with my students, so I was super excited to see that Sandra Hinckley had math-ified the game a bit using positives and negatives. ”

Students playing integer version of Left Center Right
Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsHinckleymath/status/913900339262361600

Last year, I received a copy of the Left Center Right card game, but my husband and I decided we much prefer the dice version of the game. Amazon also shows that there is a Left Center Right Wild version of the game, but I have not played it.

Melissa

Saturday 6th of August 2022

"For each L or R that is thrown, the player must distribute that number of dice to the player on their left or right, respectively."

Is that supposed to say "the player must distribute that number of chips"?