Shut the Box

Shut the Box, also known as Canoga, 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.

This traditional dice game, played in the North of France, requires two dice and, usually, a special wooden box. The box has a tray for rolling the dice in, and a row of numbers, from 1 to 9, with sliding covers which are used to conceal the digits. You can play without the box by drawing up a row of numbered squares on a piece of paper and using coins or counters to cover them as necessary.

Each player takes it in turn to throw the dice as many times as they can and try and cover as many numbers as possible. They cover the numbers by adding the dice values thrown to form a total and then choosing numbers to cover that add up to the same amount.

For example if a player has thrown a total of 8, they may cover either the 1 and 7; 2 and 6; 3 and 5; 1, 2 and 5; or the 8. They continue to throw the dice and cover numbers that are exposed until they fail to cover a combination that is equal to the dice total. A player has the option of throwing a single die once the 7, 8 and 9 are covered.

A player’s score is the total of the numbers still exposed at the end of their turn. The player with the lowest score after each player has had their turn, is the winner.

There are boxes available with 10, 11 or 12 numbers.


How to play…