General

General is a very popular game in Puerto Rica and is similar to Yacht. It is easy to play at home with just five dice and a score sheet. (You can draw your own score sheet or click here [8 kb] to open a new window with a printable score sheet.) It is known as a 'category' dice game since you try to win by achieving the highest score in ten categories.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2 or more (4-5 is good)

Equipment: Five dice; Score pad and pen/pencil

Time: 15 minutes+

Aim: To get a Big General (immediate winner!) or the highest score over ten rounds.

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1. Players throw one die, with the lowest score going first. Each player has ten rounds to achieve a Big General, or to make the highest overall score. There are ten categories, one per round, in any order. Players try to maximise their score in eight categories and achieve the other two categories, by throwing five dice up to three times per round.

CATEGORYPOINTSEXAMPLE
Big General (Five of a kind on the first throw)Immediate Winner!5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (on first throw)
Small General (Five of a kind on the second or third throw)605, 5, 5, 5, 5 (on second or third throw)
Four of a Kind45 on first throw; 40 on second or third throws*3, 3, 3, 3, 6 (45 or 40 points)*
Full House (any three of one kind and two of another kind) 35 on first throw; 30 on second or third throws 2, 2, 2, 4, 4 (35 or 30 points)
Straight (Either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)25 on first throw; 20 on second or third throws 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (25 or 20 points)
SixesTotal of the dice with sixes (max. 30 points) 1, 5, 3, 6, 6 (6+6=12 points)
FivesTotal of the dice with fives (max. 25 points) 2, 4, 5, 1, 3 (5 points only)
FoursTotal of the dice with fours (max. 20 points) 4, 1, 6, 4, 4 (4+4+4=12 points)
ThreesTotal of the dice with threes (max. 15 points) 3, 1, 5, 6, 3 (3+3=6 points)
TwosTotal of the dice with twos (max. 10 points) 4, 5, 4, 3, 1 (zero points)
Ones (Aces) Total of the dice with ones (max. 5 points) 5, 1, 4, 6, 6 (1 point only)
*Note: If a player throws Four of a Kind on their first throw but tries to throw one die for a Small General (and fails), they only score 40 points for Four of a Kind, not 45 points.

2. Player One throws all five dice. If the dice make a Big General (five of a kind on the first throw of any turn) they win immediately. If it is a Straight, Four of a Kind or a Full House, that score can be entered immediately on the score sheet if they choose. Otherwise, Player One may choose to keep some of the dice and to throw the remaining dice again to try to get a good score in any category.

For example, if Player One threw '6', '3', '3', '2' and '3', they may decide to try for Four of a Kind by keeping the '3s' and throwing the '6' and '2' again. If the second throw was a '3' a '1', Player One would keep the '3' (to make Four of a Kind) but could throw the '1' again with the hope of achieving five '3s' (a Small General). At the end of the third throw, Player One must decide which category they will enter their score. If they had five '3s', they could enter it as a Small General (60 points), Four of a Kind (40 points) or Threes (5x3=15 points). A Small General would give them the highest score (and is the hardest to achieve) so it is the obvious choice.

3. Players proceed in a clockwise direction to throw the dice (up to three times per round) in order to achieve their best score in each category over the ten rounds. Players can only enter a score in each category once, even if they throw a better score for that category later on in the game. This means that some categories may score zero if, for example, you have throw three '5s' and are trying for Four of a Kind. If you end up with '5', '5', '5', '3' and '6', and you already have scores for Threes, Fives and Sixes, you may need to put that round as zero for Ones so that you can still hope for a higher score in other categories in later rounds.

4. It is good strategy to try for the largest scores in the beginning of the game. You may also choose to score zero in some of the lower scoring categories (Ones and Twos) rather than lose some of the higher scoring categories.

5. Players add up their total score at the end of the tenth round. The highest score wins the game. (The best possible score is 270 points.)




Double Cameroon is an alternative form of General which uses ten dice. Players roll them three times (as above), then divide them into two groups of five dice. Each group is allocated to a different category, so players only have five rounds in a game.

CATEGORYPOINTSEXAMPLE
Five of a Kind505, 5, 5, 5, 5 (50 points)
Big Cameroon (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)302, 3, 4, 5, 6 (30 points)
Little Cameroon (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)211, 2, 3, 4, 5 (21 points)
Full House (any three of one kind and two of another kind) Total of the five dice (maximum 28 points) 2, 2, 2, 4, 4 (14 points)
SixesTotal of the dice with sixes (max. 30 points) 1, 5, 3, 6, 6 (6+6=12 points)
FivesTotal of the dice with fives (max. 25 points) 2, 4, 5, 1, 3 (5 points only)
FoursTotal of the dice with fours (max. 20 points) 4, 1, 6, 4, 4 (4+4+4=12 points)
ThreesTotal of the dice with threes (max. 15 points) 3, 1, 5, 6, 3 (3+3=6 points)
TwosTotal of the dice with twos (max. 10 points) 4, 5, 4, 3, 1 (zero points)
Ones (Aces) Total of the dice with ones (max. 5 points) 5, 1, 4, 6, 6 (1 point only)


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