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Home > Traditional Games (Parlor Games) > Dice Games > Balut Dice Game Rules and Scorecard

Dice Game Rules and Strategy

Balut is a popular dice game which served as inspiration for the commercial game "Yahtzee".

Balut was invented at the end of World War 2 by an American soldier who lacked playing cards in order to play Poker. He thus invented Balut with the object of throwing successfull dice-combinations in order to earn points, with bonus points granted for each "Balut" -- a 5-of-a-kind die-throw. Incidentally, the name "Balut" is derived from a Philippine delicacy made of a fetal duck or chicken egg, which is a popular street food in the Philippines.

Let's Play Dice! Dice game "Balut" uses 5 dice and a special "Balut" scorecard

Play this game with Dice and a scoresheet or, knowing the rules, just a blank pad of paper!

Widely popular among Danish businessmen who frequent Asia, this game has been travelled and introduced to various parts of the world, and enjoy a consistent following via its numerous gaming clubs and organizations established for the enjoyment of the game.


What's Needed to Play a game of Balut:

* 2 or more players

* 5 throwing dice

* Balut scorecards (1 for each player)

* Pens

Objective of a Game of Balut:

* To score the most points by rolling the best dice-throw combinations. The player who accumulates the most points through 28 rounds of play wins the game.

General Guidelines for Balut:

* Each player is given a Balut scorecard.

* Each player takes his turn to roll 5 dice (limited re-rolls are allowed according to the rules of the game) and record his score on the Balut scorecard.

* There are 7 categories of dice-combinations, and 4 attempts at each category, and so each game lasts 28 rounds.

How a Game of Balut is Played :

Each game lasts 28 rounds. Each round is played in this manner:

* The player rolls all 5 dice

* The player is given the choice to reroll any or all of the dice to arrive at a satisfactory combination. He may reroll twice.

Portion of Balut scorecard
Portion of the Balut scorecard where rolls are scored

There are 7 categories to which dice-throws can be assigned: Four's, Five's, Six'es, Straight's, Full House's, Choice, and Balut -- represented in the rows in the table above. The four columns represent Rolls 1 through 4, since each of the 7 combinations requires 4 rolls in order to complete the game.

* The player records the score of his roll on his Balut scorecard. To do this, he must choose in which category to record his final dice-combination. There is no option to pass.

Towards the end of the 28 rounds, it becomes more and more likely to get low scores.

No player is allowed to 'pass' his turn, since rolling a bad combination and being forced to record it essentially allows others to get ahead in points, which makes it possible to determine a winner.


Basic Scoring for Balut:
(applied in each round)

* FOURs .. Add the dots only on all Fours rolled

* FIVEs .. Add the dots only on all Fives rolled

* SIXes .. Add the dots only on all Sixes rolled

* STRAIGHT .. There are two ways to score a Straight:

** Small Straight .. A combination of 1-2-3-4-5 is worth a score of 15

** Big Straight .. A combination of 2-3-4-5-6 is worth a score of 20

* FULL HOUSE .. A Full House is a 5-dice combination of a 3-of-a-kind and a 2-of-a-kind. For example, 3-3-3-5-5. Simply add all dots on the face of the dice to arrive at the score

* CHOICE .. This category describes any combination of the player's choice. To score this roll, just add all the dots on the face of the dice.

* BALUT .. Balut describes a 5-of-a-kind dice combination. For example: 1-1-1-1-1. To score this roll, the player adds all the dots on the face of the die to 20. Thus, a roll of 1-1-1-1-1 is scored 25. And a roll of 5-5-5-5-5 is scored 45.

Score earns Points:(at end-game)

The total score earned during the game earns or loses points for the player.

Total Score
Point Adjustment
20-299 Deduct 2 points
300-349 Deduct 1 point
350-399 - no adjustment -
400-449 Add 1 point
450-499 Add 2 points
500-549 Add 3 points
550-599 Add 4 points
600-649 Add 5 points
650-699 Add 6 points


Dice Big Straight


In addition, points are awarded should the player meet the qualifying condition in each category, as follows:

Qualifying Condition
Points Awarded
FOURS score 52 or more 2 Points
FIVES score 65 or more 2 Points
SIXES score 78 or more 2 Points
STRAIGHT all Straights 4 Points
FULL HOUSE all Full House 3 Points
CHOICE if score over 100 2 Points
BALUT for each BALUT, add 2 Points

Points decide the Winner (Balut):

The player who earns the most points wins the match.

Related Links:

Fun Free Party Games - Free Printable Balut Scorecard: Download, Print and Play! [PDF] [GIF]

Balut [dot] Org - A Free Balut Java Game

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Animated GIF FreeFree Printable Balut Dice Game Scorecard
(download, print and play!)

This is the scorecard you use to play Balut. You may download and print as many copies as you need. [PDF format here]

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