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Shut the Box Rules

Shut the Box, also known as Canoga
Game Rules

Shut the box is an easy game that can be played solitaire, with one opponent, 
or with as many players as you wish. 

An ideal education game for children of all ages, also lots of fun.

Traditionally played in English pubs, Shut the Box is an original gambling pastime with each of the players paying an agreed amount into the 'pool' at the beginning and the winner collecting the pool at the end of each round.
Play it for fun or why not a small wager.

There are nine 'boxes' numbered 1 to 9 (or 12 number) and all the boxes start open.
The aim of the game is to close all of the boxes exactly, then you win.
For each of your turns, you throw a pair of (ordinary 6-sided) dice and look at
the total you have thrown. For example, if you have thrown a '3' and a '5' then
your total score is '8'. You must then close a collection of the open boxes
whose numbers add up to your total score. If you cannot use up your roll by
closing open boxes then you lose.


Solitaire Play
Shut the box can be solo-played quite easily. All you need to do is raise all of the number pegs, so the numbers are visible, and roll the dice. Whatever the total of the two dice equal is the number you are working with for this round. You can close any combination of tiles that would equal the total of the two dice. For the example to the right, you could close the eight and the four, or the one, two, three, and six, or any other combination equaling twelve. If you can close tiles that sum up to your number, you roll again, and repeat this action, trying to close all of the tiles. If you only have the one, two, or three tile remaining, you may roll just one die instead of both dice. If you close all of the tiles, you win!

Two Player Game
In a two player game, one player begins by trying to open, or raise, as many tiles as he or she can by rolling the dice as described above. If the player is successful, he or she wins, otherwise, when you get to a point where you are stuck - that is, you cannot raise any more tiles to equal the sum of your current roll - then it is your opponent's turn. Your opponent's goal is to close all of the tiles you opened, using the same method with the dice that you used to open the tiles. This continues back and forth until one player succeeds in either opening or closing all of the tiles. Unlike the solitaire version, you may not switch to just one die if the only remaining open (or closed) tile is a one, two, or three. You must continue to use both dice regardless of what tiles remain.

Multi-player Game
With a larger number of players, it will be necessary to have some way to keep score. Pencil and paper are quite useful, or a chalkboard can be used for a more traditional look and feel. Each player's name should be on the scoreboard, and someone should be appointed to the position of score-keeper. The first player can be determined by whatever method you choose (commonly highest roller goes first). The first player opens all of the tiles, and attempts to close as many as possible using his die rolls. If he succeeds in closing all of the tiles, he gets the total amount of the tiles summed as his score. If he is stopped by an unlucky roll, his score then becomes the sum of all the tiles he did close. Then he passes the box to the player on his right, and that player starts from the beginning, with all of the tiles up. Whatever tiles he closes, he sums up, and that becomes his score for the round. All scores for each round are added, and the first player to reach a predetermined score is the winner. This can be played to 200 points for a short game, or to 500 points for a longer game. Four people playing to 500 points takes approximately 20 minutes to play.
Shut the Box 
 
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