The Expert Guide is not intended to teach you the rules of the game. It’s designed to make you a great player! Learn the rules first, then come here for the secrets. You can learn tricks in any order, but we recommend going in order.
BACHELOR OF GAMES
Roll management is critically important. 30 rolls may seem like a lot, but for 10 turns, it’s averages out to exactly 3 rolls per turn. Every extra roll you take means one less for a later turn. The easiest mistake to make as a novice player is to take too many extra rolls early in the game, because “I still have plenty of rolls left.” NO. YOU DON’T.
So where should you spend your extra rolls?
Take more rolls on the higher-scoring boxes where your roll will make a difference. Take fewer rolls where it won’t make much difference.
Don’t take a series of rolls hoping that the red number that you need shows up. But when you do get a red number you need, build your turn around it.
The 6 is often the highest-scoring box in the game, and 5 and 4 are pretty high-scoring too. Don’t ever score these without the red number.
Don’t leave 4s 5s & 6s for too late in the game.
That doesn’t mean you should never flip a red 6, for instance, to something else, especially early in the game, but try not to leave the 4 5 and 6 boxes for too long, because if you’re near the end of the game and have one of these boxes open, there’s a real chance that the red number you need won’t show up before you run out of rolls.
MASTER OF DICE
Let’s say you have 1-2-3-4-4-6, and you’re thinking about going for a RUN. So you might re-roll one of two 4s hoping for a 5. But which one should you roll?
If one of the two 4s has the red 5, DON’T roll than one, unless you are actually trying to score the RUN in the 5 box.
Why? If the first die has a red 5 and the second has a red 1, you can only get a 5 on the first die by rolling the red 5, but you can get it on the second die by rolling either the 5 or the red 1. You’re twice as likely to roll a number when it’s NOT the red number on the die.
Also, Don’t spend too many rolls on RUNs.
While they’re not very hard to roll, they’re only worth 21 points. Go for RUNs when your first roll of a turn leaves you a 1-die roll for a RUN.
In a situation like this, don’t roll the 1 to try and match the 4. Roll both the 1 and the 4.
If you roll just the 1, you have to match the 4 to make a SET. You might match the 5 or , but then you would have to roll again with the 1 this time.
Unless you roll a Little Pepper, there just aren’t many points to be scored in the 1s and 2s boxes, so try to use a red 1 or red 2 to score a RUN or SET in those boxes.
In fact, you should consider doing that even if your RUN or SET boxes are still empty.
Don’t spend too many rolls trying to repair a band hand – SUM is your safety valve
Sometimes your roll is pretty bad. A bunch of dice with no reds, few pairs, maybe even small values. You might even have a red number, but it’s for a box you’ve already scored. What now?
This is a good time to think of the SUM box. Score what you have and end your turn, saving your rolls for later. It’s rarely worth spending an extra roll to try and improve any 1s or 2s in your hand.
For this reason, consider not scoring the SUM box until later in the game, to keep it available as a safety valve.
Remember that you get a 5-point bonus for each unused roll. Let’s say you have 6-5-5-5-3-2 and you’re thinking of going for SUM. Should you re-roll the 3-2? Consider that the best possible outcome is to improve 3-2 to 6-6, which is only about 11% likely. Saving the roll is worth at least 5 points as a bonus, or you may use it for something with a better return. If you’ve played some of the popular dice games that give you up to 3 rolls per turn, you would go ahead and roll the 3-2 because the roll is “free”, there is little downside other than the risk of getting a lower total. In Spicy Dice, the Expert player looks at the opportunity cost of each roll.
If you decide to always try for Peppers, you that you will usually lose against decent competition.
When you luck into a near-Pepper, that’s the time to go for it.
If you try for only Peppers, you will average a little over 3 Peppers per game, with a score around 175.
DOCTOR OF SPICYNESS
When your choice of roll was, mathematically speaking, a good idea, but you just didn’t get the roll you hoped for, that same choice is almost always the best choice for your next roll.
For example, let’s say you have five 5s and you’re going for the Big Pepper. You roll three times, but you don’t roll that elusive sixth 5. What now?
The answer is, almost always, roll that last die again. And again. Even though you might get a string of ten bad rolls, the best thing to do right now is the same as it was before – spend a roll for a 1-in-3 chance of adding 25 points to your score.
If a roll was a bad idea before, it’s still a bad idea.
Gamblers often think that a given number is “due” after a long period of not showing up. IT ISN’T. If it was a bad idea, you tried it anyway, and it didn’t work, don’t “throw good rolls after bad” and make the same mistake again and again.
Until late in the game, the number of rolls you have remaining should have very little impact on your strategy
This may seem counter intuitive. After all, if you are short of rolls, you might think you have to save rolls when you can.
Remember that each roll carries a 5 point bonus. In reality, an average roll scores about 8-10 points, so its value tends to be higher when rolled.
If you would try a roll early in the game, it’s probably worth trying until very late in the game.
Usually, ignore your opponent’s score.
Just play your own game for the best score you can.
When you have a lead over your opponent, use the optimal strategies we have discussed. Don’t play aggressively. This is also the best strategy when the score is close.
However, if your opponent takes a big lead or a late lead, that’s the time to get aggressive, which means taking risks that aren’t normally sound.
Let’s say you’re down to 4 rolls and one box, and let say it’s the 2s box. You do have to take at least one roll, but then it’s time to think.
Let’s say you’ve rolled a single white 2. Your 3 remaining rolls are worth 15 points of bonus. That’s not easy to score in the 2s box without the red 2. A Pepper seems pretty unlikely in the 3 rolls you have left, and if you don’t pick up the red 2 you’ll score no more than 10 points.
So what should you do? Maybe, just stop. Score the paltry 2 points for 2s and the entire 15 point bonus. You’ve just pulled 17 points out of thin air.