Discover the thrilling Martinetti Dice Game which is easy to learn and only requires 3 standard dice and basic playing pieces such as bingo chips or game pawns. Get ready for a fun and engaging dice game!
I love to teach my high school students to play dice games, so I am always on the lookout for dice games which are easy to understand and teach the rules. For example, I love teaching students to play farkle, but it can take a good ten minutes to explain the rules of farkle to a classful of students.
This Martinetti game is much simpler than farkle, and I especially love that it is super easy to explain the rules. I especially like that this is a game where a player can be behind for almost the entire game and still end up winning!
Unlike Left Center Right which is another favorite dice game, this game uses supplies you should already have around your house or classroom!
The Martinetti Dice Game is also known as Round Dozen, Centennial, or Ohio depending on your region of the country or world. According to gamerules.com, Martinetti is one of the oldest known roll and move games. Apparently, it used to be played by Roman soldiers to pass the time.
In order to play this game, participants need to be able to recognize the numbers rolled on six-sided dice and quickly find their sums.
It is best played by either two or three players. You could play with more, but this will dramatically slow down game progress, and the game might be deemed as too slow and boring.
- 3 Standard Six-Sided Dice
- Some sort of playing piece for each player. You could use coins, bingo chips, two colored counters, or even small bits of colored paper. I recently invested in a set of multi-colored game pawns from Amazon because my oldest kiddo has been wanting to play all the games.
- Printable Martinetti Game Board – Available to download for free at the bottom of this blog post!
How to Play Martinetti
The goal of Martinetti is to be the first player to move from 1 to 12 and back again.
Game Play Instructions
Place each player’s piece next to the number one on the game board.
On your turn, roll all three dice. You may advance to the next space if one of the dice matches that number or if the sum of two or three dice matches that number. Continue advancing spaces until the next number can no longer be matched.
For example, at the beginning of the game, you may only advance to the 1 space if you roll a 1. But, if you happened to roll a 1, 2, and 5, you would be able to advance to 1 because you rolled a 1. You would be able to continue advancing to 2 since you also rolled a 2. Finally, you would be able to advance your playing piece to 3 since 1+2=3. Your turn would be over after that, however, because you cannot use 1, 2, and 5 to make 4 by summing dice.
A much better first roll in the game would be 1, 2, and 3.
- You can use the 1 die to move to 1.
- You can use the 2 die to move to 2.
- You can use the 3 die to move to 3.
- You can use the 3 and 1 dice to move to 4 since 3+1 = 4.
- You can use the 3 and 2 dice to move to 5 since 3+2=5.
- You can use all three dice to move to 6 since 3+2+1=6.
Game play continues until one player makes it all way through the game board back to 1.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some variations of Martinetti?
Some sets of instructions for this game do not allow dice to be used multiple times in a single roll. For example, if 1, 2, and 4 were rolled on the first turn of the game, you could advance to 1 and then on to 2. But, you could not advance to 3 since 1 and 2 have already been used.
I think this greatly slows down game play and takes away a element of fun.
What ages would this game be appropriate for?
I have personally used this game both with my four year old son and high school juniors and seniors. I would confidently recommend this game for ages 6 and up. You can play with younger children if they have strong counting skills.
I also challenge my husband to a few rounds. I wouldn’t say it is the best game ever to play as an adult, but we enjoyed playing a few rounds and learning a new dice game!
Ideas for Using in the Classroom
I taught my students to play Martinetti this year as one of our fun end of year math activities during the last week of school craziness. We pulled out our jumbo tub of dice and a bag of bingo chips, and they had a lot of fun.
It was fun to walk around the classroom and hear shrieks of delight as students realized that they could move their playing piece not only one or two spaces but sometimes four or five!
I just made one mistake. I taught them to play Martinetti the day after we played Farkle. They said Martinetti was okay, but Farkle was way more fun. So learn from this mistake. Teach them to play Martinetti before you teach them to play Farkle.
Free Download of Martinetti Dice Game Board
You can download a copy of the game board I created for the Martinetti Dice Game both as a PDF and an editable Publisher file.
More Dice Games
- Slam Dice Game
- Martinetti Dice Game
- Left Center Right Dice Game
- Tic Tac Toe Dice Game
- Divisibility Rules Dice Game
- Pi Day Dice Challenge
- Cover Up by Frank Tapson
- Skittles Game
- Blocko Probability Game
- Free Printable Farkle Score Sheet (with Scoring Guidelines)
- Scientifico – A Bingo Style Game for Practicing Scientific Notation
- Game of Greed Statistics Foldable
- Probability Bingo Game
- Greedy Pig Dice Game for Practicing Probability