421 … A French dicegame. Materials. Rules.

Door Jacobjones gepubliceerd op Thursday 23 October 14:27

In this article you find the rules of the game 421 (In French it is called quatre-vingts-et-un), a dicegame that is played in pubs with three dices. The looser usually pays a round.



Materials :

What do you need to play the game 421 ?


1. First you need a piste like you see on the picture below. You place it on a table and you throw the dice in it.




2. You also need three dice.

3. You need beer felts(cards) or chips who are distributed during the game. For a game up to four players you need 11 chips. Per extra player who joints the game you add two extra chips.

4. You also need a piece of paper and a ballpoint. Before you start the game you decide how many rounds a player has to loose to pay a round. When a player looses a round you mark it on the scorecard. With few players it is usually three rounds. With many players it’s two rounds because the game takes too long.



The rules described beneath are these rules I played for many years. In certain pubs some rules can be different. Before you start the game it’ important you ask the other players about the rules to avoid difficulties. Beneath I describe the game for maximum four players.


Part One:

In the first part of the dice game the 11 chips or beer felts are distributed. The player who starts the game is decided by a throw in the piste with one dice. Each player puts one dice on the rim of the piste and throws it in. The player who trows the highest point can start the game and distributes the chips.



He or she can throw one time with the three dices. Thereafter the player who sits on the left side of him can throw and so one until everyone’s turn have come. The player who throws the lowest point gets one or more chips, dependent on the highest combination that has been thrown. In the situation where two or more players threw both the lowest point, they both have to throw again in order to decide who gets the chips. (in reverse order)

The player who got the chips, throws first for the next chip(s). The first part ends when all the chips are distributed.

In the table below you see the value of the dices from high to low and the corresponding number of chips you can distribute to the player who throws the smallest point:

Thrown point:                                        Number of chips:
421 8 chips or all chips (only in part two)
111 7 chips
116 6 chips
115 5 chips
114 4 chips
113 3 chips
666 3 chips
555 3 chips
444 3 chips
333 3 chips
222 3 chips
112 2 chips
654 (suite l'Amour) 2 chips
543 (suite) 2 chips
432 (suite) 2 chips
321 (suite) 2 chips
665 1 chip
664 1 chip
663 1 chip
662 1 chip
661 1 chip
655 1 chip
653 1 chip
652 1 chip
651 1 chip
644 1 chip
643 1 chip
642 1 chip
641 1 chip
632 1 chip
631 1 chip
554 1 chip
553 1 chip
552 1 chip
551 1 chip
544 1 chip
542 1 chip
541 1 chip
533 1 chip
532 1 chip
531 1 chip
522 1 chip
521 1 chip
442 1 chip
441 1 chip
431 1 chip
422 1 chip
332 1 chip
331 1 chip
322 1 chip
221 (ninette) 1 chip

The person who throws a dice out of the piste, gets the lowest score that is also called ninette.


Note: The chips are not cumulated. For instance if someone throws 114 and another player 321 only 4 chips are distributed to the player with the lowest score.


Part two:


Everyone who got chips in part one, can participate in part two. If one person has all the chips in part one, he automatically looses the round and part two isn’t played. Part Two is often called “decharge”.


The goal of the second part is to get rid of all your chips as quick as possible. The person who has all the chips at the end of this part, looses the round.


Who starts part two?

The person who got the last chip(s) in part one.


How is part two played?

The player who starts part two can decide if he throws one, two or three times with the dice. After the first throw he can put one or two dice aside the piste in order to get a high combination. For instance he throws 431 in the first throw. He can decide to take out the 1 and throw with the 4 and the 3 in order to get another 1. If he doesn’t succeed he can decide to throw a third time.


Note: Once you took a dice out of the piste, it has to stay out. You can’t take it back before the third throw for instance.

The other players can play as many time as the first player. If the first player throws 654 in one and stops the other players have also one throw.  The player with the highest score gives one or more chips to the player with the lowest score. (421 is for all the cards) 


Part two ends when one player has all the chips.

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