Hey folks. I’m back again. This time we’re going to Vegas! We’re going to be visiting 6 different casinos and trying to win the most money. We’re rolling dice and taking Vegas by storm! We’re playing Vegas Dice Game. I need to get better at this in my reviews. This is a game by Rüdiger Dorn and produced by Ravensburger games. In my previous reviews, I often just write the company that makes the game and components. I really want to make sure I give credit to the game designers as well. So, I’ll eventually go back and edit my past reviews to include this as best as I can. Vegas Dice is actually an area control, dice rolling game for 2-5 players and plays in around 30 minutes.
Rüdiger Dorn has some other titles under his belt. If you’re into board games, these titles might sound familiar. Istanbul, Karuba, and more recently Luxor. Luxor and Karuba have both been previous Spiel des Jahres nominess. Istanbul was a Kennerspiel des Jahres winner. Kennerspiel des Jahres was created in 2011 to award more advanced games than the typical family style games covered by Spiel des Jahres. Don’t let the more advanced game turn you away from Vegas Dice Game.
Vegas Dice is a reskinning of Las Vegas, still designed by Rüdiger Dorn, and released in a smaller box. This comes in a cube box, designed like a die. It comes with 54 money cards, sets of 8 dice in 5 different colors (40 dice total), 6 casino tables, 1 dice bag, 1 starting player card, and the instructions.
To set up, place the casino tables on the table. They should be in order from 1 to 6. How do you know what numbers they are? This version has the dice facings on the tables. The money cards are valued $10,000 to $90,000. Shuffle these cards and starting with table 1 you’re going to deal money cards until each table has at least $50,000 totaled. Next, each player picks a color and takes all those dice. And that’s set up.
Game play is over 4 rounds. Players are trying to get the most dice at a single table to win the pay out. The starting player rolls all 8 dice. They pick one number rolled, and places all the dice with that number on the corresponding casino table. So if you rolled three 1s and picked 1 as your number, then all the 1s would go to table 1. Then it’s the next players turn. This goes on until all dice are allocated. If you run out of dice, and other players still have some left, then you simply pass until the other players are done. Once the last die is placed, the casinos pay out to the player with the most dice at a location.
Starting with table 1, pay out to who ever has the majority of dice. Seems simple right? What happens if there’s a tie for first? Here comes a little twist. If any of the tables have a tie for dice amounts, they cancel out. So you and another player each had 5 dice and the 3rd player had 1. Guess what, that 3rd player is the winner now because the 5 and 5 cancel each other out. What about if there are multiple bills? Say a $30,000, a $10,000, and a $90,000? It depends on how many people are there. Starting with the player with the most dice, they take the highest bill. Then the next player takes the next, and so on. If you’re the only one at a table with multiple bills, you just take the highest and put the others face down in the money deck. Keep the bills in front of you, finish cashing out the tables, then start another round.
After 4 rounds, the player with the most money is declared the winner at Vegas Dice. This is a simple and fast game. It’s area control, but at first I didn’t even think of it as area control. I was ready to say it was another push your luck game, but Board Game Geek labels it as Area Control. After reading that, I had an eye opening experience! That makes sense, and I didn’t consider it due to the simplicity of the game. Now, it’s not as Area Control as Small World or Risk, but it’s there.
So, what do I think of the game? I really enjoy this one. I liked it so much, I found some more dice and upped the player count to 8. Instead of 4 rounds, we did 3. Instead of $50,000 at a casino, we did $60,000. It’s easy to explain, fast to play, and it’s one that everyone has enjoyed so far. Much like gambling, there’s something satisfying about having a lot of bills in front of you. Component wise, the dice are good quality, the casino tables are nice chunky cardboard, and the deck of feel like standard playing cards. The dice bag is nice with even the game’s name printed on it. What drew me in was the box. The dice shaped box. I like dice games, and when one is kept inside a box that looks like a die, I can’t say no. I picked this up for around $7 when it was on clearance. I didn’t know the gem I had. If I did, I probably would have bought more to gift out. I really like the game play. Rolling the dice, picking one number, and placing all those dice. Then, the ability to cancel out other players was the icing on the cake. I like Take That games, and even though this isn’t categorized as that, it still can have those elements in. It was great watching players roll their dice, look at their options, and then start the mischievous grinning. Because, they know what player banked $90,000 last round, and is about to get another high bill this round. That is until they rolled just the right amount to cancel them out! And that’s how this one usually goes. First round is people figuring out the mechanics. Next rounds there’s usually one to two that use the cancellation rule to screw some people over. Then, the next round is usually retaliation. Yeah, it’s still about the luck of the roll. However, with 8 dice, there’s plenty of options when beginning the round. With how the casinos pay out, I’ve tried to get 2nd or 3rd majority to spread out my chances of wining bills. Being spread out too thin was easy to either cancel me out or another player out number me. I was able to play this with family and friends. My grandma is someone who loves casinos. She likes the slots, but the draw to a game with Vegas in it was enough for her. She enjoyed this game, it was easy to understand, and easy to play. This is one that I’ll keep in my collection. You might not see it in any of my background pictures of my shelf. That’s because I have a special spot for it. When you have a shelf and a box that’s shaped like a die, you’ve got to display it with the other dice. Rüdiger Dorn has made a great area control dice game that’s becoming a family favorite. I recommend this game to anyone that enjoys rolling dice, trying to win the most points/money, and enjoys a hint of area control.