Dice Games Shut The Box: How To Play Shut The Box Game

Learn how to play Shut The Box dice game in our Shut The Box game tutorial guide.


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Are you looking for some fun Shut the Box games?

Are you looking for some easy instructions to set up and play the game?

Do you want to play something fun at a home party or with your friends at the pub?

If you are looking for any information on the Shut the Box game, this is the only article you need to read through till the end. Why? Because here, we will share all the information you can possibly need to set up and play the game, including the number of players, materials, rules to play and keep score as well as how to win.

Also, we are reviewing some of the best Shut the Box game sets that you can easily buy online. All you have to do is read our review of each, along with their specific features, price range and pros and cons, before you decide which one you really want to buy. So without waiting, head on to the game!

What kind of game is Shut the Box? 

Shut the Box is a game that involves counting based on the dice you roll, for which you have to ‘shut’ the corresponding boxes.

Where and when did the game originate? 

There are varying assumptions about where and when this game originated, but it seems to be a popular sport in pubs in Manchester in the mid-1960s.

Is Shut the Box game known by any other name? 

The game is also known by names such as:

  • Cut Throat
  • Blitz
  • Klackers
  • Batten down the Hatches
  • Bakarat
  • Canoga
  • Trictrac
  • Jackpot
  • Fork your Neighbour
  • Cut Throat

How easy is it to learn and play?

Shut the Box is an easy, fun and fast game –you just have to be able to count.

How to play Shut the Box

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to set up the game, play and win:

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How many players can play in each round?

The game is best played by one or more players and is most commonly played in groups of fours or twos.

Materials Needed:

  • A pair of dice
  • A sturdy surface
  • Pen paper to keep score
  • A game box

How do you set up a new round?

  • Decide which player will go first.
  • Make sure that all the tiles in the box are in an ‘up’ or ‘open’ position.

Step by step instructions for playing the game

  • The first player starts the game by rolling the pair of dice.
  • Next, the player has to add the numbers on both the dice and get a final count.
  • For instance, if the player has rolled a 5 and a 4, he/she will lower an equivalent tile.
  • This means that in this round, the player will lower or ‘shut’ the number 9 tile.
  • The same player will roll again and repeat the process.
  • In case they get a 5 and 5 again, or something that adds up to 9, they can lower those tiles as they add up to 9. 
  • The same player will keep rolling till he/she does not have any more tiles left to lower. 
  • After recording the score, the next player will repeat the process till everyone has finished their turn. 

How do you keep score?

  • Once your round is over, you have to add the total number from the tiles that are still open.
  • For instance, if you have the 1,3,7 tiles left up after your turn is over, your score for that round will be 11.

How can you win at Shut the Box?

  • The main objective of the game is to ‘shut’ or lower down as many numbered tiles as you can in your turn.
  • Any player who gets a score of 45 after any round will be eliminated from the game. 
  • The last player to still remain in the game becomes the winner. 

Same game with interesting variations

If you are playing with multiple players using a multi-player box:

  • You can roll your dice, add the numbers and lower the corresponding number tile.
  • Now, instead of re-rolling again, as you would do in the regular game, you could just pass on the dice to the next player and let them take their turn.

You can also play it with the goal of playing till you have shut the entire box:

  • In this case, everyone takes their turn in its entirety to get their total score, before passing it on to the next player.
  • Here, instead of shutting out just your tiles, you can also shut down tiles anywhere around the box.
  • So, you could choose to shut your tiles, or even tiles that are there in other players’ side.
  • This is most effective when there are more children playing, as it helps them practice their addition skills.

Option #1. Front Porch Classics Circa Shut-the-Box, Wooden 9 Number Dice Game with Case for Travel

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This game of Shut the Box by the [amazon link=”B000NDZ0QS” title=”brand Front Porch Classics” /] comes in a beautiful dice shaped solid wood box with handmade wooden dice and tiles. The game also features two beautiful handmade cases that hold the dice and can also act as rolling cups. It also won the Oppenheim Gold Seal and Platinum Awards.

The game is suitable for ages 8+. The dimensions of this offer are 8 X 6.5 X 3.2 inches and it weighs a total of 1.3 pounds.


  • Beautiful and compact
  • Portable
  • Easy to store


  • Poor quality of materials used
  • Packaging is poorly done

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Option #2. Wooden 12# Shut The Box Game with A Pair of Dice by CHH

This Shut the Box game from the brand CHH comes with single sided 12 numbers with 2 dices. This choice also includes a felt playing mat. This offer comes in a beautiful wooden box with matching boxes that enhance the visual quality while playing.

The game is suitable for ages 9+. The dimensions of this choice are 6 X 2 X 6 inches and it weighs a total of 1 pound.


  • Good practice for maths skills
  • Easy for children to understand and handle
  • Box comes in a good size


  • Wooden tabs are not long enough and spoil the game

Option #3. GrowUpSmart 4-Way Shut The Box Dice Game 

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This classic game of Shut the Box by the brand [amazon link=”B0762N8MTS” title=”Grow Up Smart” /] has been exquisitely made out of natural finish hardwood. This option comes with a soft green felt surface that makes it easier for you to play on. The measurements of the board are 11.61 X 11.61 X 1.57 inches. It comes with 10 number tiles along with 8 dice as well as detailed instructions. This particular Shut the Box game comes with 4 sides that have number tiles around. This offer has enough room to roll the dice, which makes it easy to play.

The game is suitable for 2 to 4 players of ages 6+. The dimensions of this option are 11.8 X 1.4 X 11.8 inches and it weighs a total of 1.63 pounds.


  • Comes in the perfect size to play
  • Instructions about different variations to play
  • Made out of all wood


  • Not the best quality

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Option #4. WE Games Deluxe Shut The Box Wooden Board Game with Dice

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This Shut the Box that comes from the [amazon link=”B00005TNHK” title=”brand WE Games” /] has been crafted from eco-friendly as well as sustainable solid Malaysian Oak hardwood. This choice measures 13.6 X 9.1 X 1.9 inches. The game box comes with 12 number tiles instead of the typical 9 number versions. As a result, it gives you more numerical combinations to play around with. The playing surface has been lined up with brown coloured billiard felt that will give you the softest roll of dice.

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The game is suitable for ages 9+. The dimensions of this offer are 9.1 X 2 X 13.5 inches and it weighs a total of 1.5 pounds.


  • Easy to play and understand
  • Great for home, at the pub or even in the classroom with students
  • Easy to carry around and play on the go


  • Poor quality felt

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Option #5. WE Games 4-Player Shut The Box Wooden Board Game with Dice

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This particular Shut the Box game by WE Games is a [amazon link=”B008LUJ02A” title=”4 player game” /] and is best played between 2 and 4 players. The game has been made out of medium stained solid wood. This choice measures 13.63 X 13.63 X 2 inches. This version of the game features 10 wooden number tiles that help you get more numerical variations instead of the game that comes with only nine number variations. The playing surface is lined with brown billiard felt to keep it scratch-free.

The game is suitable for ages 9+. The dimensions of this choice are 14 X 2 X 14 inches and it weighs a total of 2.7 pounds.


  • Amazing looking stain
  • Easy to carry
  • Beautiful coloured dice


  • Felt not the best fit

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Now that you know how to play this game and where to buy, get ready for your next game night. Enjoy playing!

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