Deck or Die

Final version of the Deck or Die © prototype.

Deck or Die © is a board game of strategy and luck for up to five players!

Designed by R. Bassett Jr. and family in 2018.

Required Parts

  • Game board
  • 1 Six sided die
  • Partial deck of cards (2s, 3s , 4s, Queens, Kings, Aces, Jokers)
  • 2 character pieces per player (or more for a longer game)

How To Play
The object of the game is for the player to get both of their pieces to the finish line before the other players. Players take their turns in order, one after the other.

Determining Who Goes First
Have each player roll the die. The player with the highest roll goes first. For the rest of the players, either go clockwise around the table or from highest to lowest rolls, whichever is most convenient. Handle instances where two players roll the same number as you see fit.

Player’s First Turn
Place all pieces in the starting area. The player rolls the die and takes an action based upon the result. The actions are as follows:

1/2/3/4 – Move the rolled spaces down your choice of Spade Ln., Club St., or Heart Rd.
6 – Pick up a card and take action based on the card.

Card Actions:
Numbers 2/3/4 – Move the displayed spaces.
Face Cards and Jokers – Move to the square on the board that shares the same face.
Aces – Move to square on the board for that Ace or move one space.

The player may move any of their pieces for their first turn.

Subsequent Turns
Repeat the actions of the first turn, moving pieces from their current positions towards the finish. Think carefully about which piece should be moved and what actions would be best to take at the time.

Gameplay Rules
– Player may move any of their own pieces on their turn and must move the first piece they touch, provided the piece may move within the rules. “Touch you move it!”.

– The player may not move backwards towards start area down Spade Ln., Club St., and Heart St. This includes when leaving the Circle.

– The player must roll correct number of spaces to for their piece to reach the finish area. For example, if the piece is 3 spaces from the finish, the player may not move their piece if they roll a 4 or 5 and instead must move a different piece or end their turn.

– Cards should be placed face up in the discard pile. Should all the cards end up in the discard pile, shuffle the cards and deck and use it again.

– If any of the player’s pieces are resting on a Card Square at the benining of their turn, the player may choose to pick up a card instead of rolling the die.

– If the player lands on a Happy Face Square, that piece moves diectly to the Joker’s Circle.

– If a player lands on a Black Hole Square, that piece moves directly to the starting area.

– While in the Circle, even numbered rolls or cards move the player clockwise, while odd number rolls or cards move the player counter clockwise.

– The player may exit the Circle by passing through the King, Ace, and Queen of Hearts, however they may only exit down the Joker’s Run using an even number.

– While on the Joker’s run, even numbered rolls and cards move the player towards Heart St. while odd numbered rolls and cards move the player towards the Circle.

Download a Printable Version of the Rules

Deck or Die © is the sole property of Semi-Nerdly (R. Bassett Jr.) and may be produced or sold with written permission from Semi-Nerdly. Manufactures may purchase a world wide license to produce and sell the game, for a period of ten years, for the cost of a $5 royalty per game produced.

The general public is welcome to craft a Deck or Die © game for their own personal, private use and enjoyment whenever they’d like! I made ours on the inside of a cardboard cereal box and it works great. 🙂

Development Photos

First draft of the rules. Play testing with the girls helped refine them.

Surprising my kids with a new game to play together!