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Pig is a simple push-your-luck dice game for any number of players. There are many variations of this game.

## Pig

The earliest reference to this game I have found is from John Scarne, who wrote about the game in 1945.^{A[p. 357]} It is also sometimes called Greedy Pig^{B} or Pig-Out.

The simplest form of the game is as follows: on each player’s turn, they roll one dice and count the number of points shown as their score (e.g. a roll of counts as 6 points). They may keep rolling and adding points to their total for that turn as long as they want, but if the die ever shows a , they lose all accumulated points for that turn and pass the die to the next player. Otherwise, if they stop their turn before rolling a , then they add their points for that turn to their total points.

The first player to exceed 100 total points is the winner. To make the game fair, a full final round should be completed (e.g. if the second player gets 100 points, then the third, fourth, … player should still take their turn afterward), so that every player has the same number of turns overall. If multiple players achieve 100 points, then the highest score wins.

## Big Pig

This version is also called Two-Dice Pig. Many books give this as the only version of the game: it is played the same as the basic game but with two dice. If *either* die shows a , that ends a player’s turn.

When playing with two dice it is common that **doubles** are special and their value is doubled, so that counts as 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 points. In this case, it is also played that does not end a player’s turn and instead counts for 25 points.^{C[p. 20]}

### Variations

Reiner Knizia gives the optional rule that a *resets* a player’s score for the turn to 25 points, regardless of how many points they had already acculumated.^{D[p. 131]}

Alternately, it may be played that resets a player’s *total* score to zero and ends their turn.^{E[p. 446]}

Another variant is that do not end a player’s turn, but that any roll totalling 7 does.^{D[p. 131]} (See also Pig Dice, which follows.)

In the version “Piggy”, it is doubles that end a turn instead of .^{F[p. 64]}

## Fast Pig or Hog

In this variant, players must choose the number of times they will roll the dice before they take their turn. (Equivalently, they choose the number of dice that they will roll simultaneously.)^{G[p. 186]}^{H[p. 141]}

## Skunk

Skunk^{I} is a variation where all players share the same roll, and there are exactly five rounds played. To begin, each player prepares a score sheet by writing the letters SKUNK across the top. They will record their score for the first round beneath the S, the second beneath the N, and so on.

All players start each round by standing, while one of them rolls two dice. If the roll has a , any standing players have *skunked* and score 0 for the round (cross off their score). Otherwise, the points are added to each standing player’s total for that round (write them in a column beneath the letter for the round). The players may sit down after any die roll, and the rolls continue for the round until all players have sat down or skunked.

The player with the highest total after all five rounds have been played is the winner.

## Pig Dice

This is a commercial variant released by Parker Brothers in 1942, using special dice where one die has the replaced by a pig face, and the other has the replaced by a pig tail. The head and tail modify the game in the following way:

- a head and a tail doubles the current score for the turn
- a head and anything else scores double the value of the other die
- a tail and anything else subtracts the value of the other die

A total of 7 zeroes the player’s score for the turn, and there are no special rules for doubles. After a player reaches 100, all other players have one more roll of the dice.

## Piglet

This version of the game is played with a coin instead of a die.^{J[p. 28]} Each turn, a player flips a coin until they decide to stop, in which case they score the number of ‘heads’ that they have flipped, or until they flip a ‘tail’, in which case they score zero. The winner is the first to reach a chosen target number.

## Strategy

⚠️ I have yet to complete this section; in the mean-time, the Wikipedia article is a useful reference.

## References

Scarne, John (). Scarne on Dice (8th edition). Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Co.: Hollywood, CA, USA. ISBN: 0-517-54124-6.

Ministry of Education (publisher) (). ‘Greedy Pig’.

*New Zealand Maths*. Ministry of Education: New Zealand.Frey, Skip (). Complete Book of Dice Games. Sphere Books: London. ISBN: 0-7221-3681-1.

Knizia, Reiner (). Dice Games Properly Explained. Blue Terrier Press. ISBN: 978-0-9731052-1-6.

Neller, Todd W. and Clifton G.M. Presser (). ‘Pigtail: A Pig Addendum’. The UMAP Journal vol. 26 (4): pages 443–458.

Peterson, Ivars and Nancy Henderson (). Math Trek: Adventures in the MathZone. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA, USA. ISBN: 978-1-4352-7898-1.

Fendel, Dan, Diane Resek, Lynne Alper, and Sherry Fraser (). Interactive Mathematics Program: Year 1. Key Curriculum Press: California, USA. ISBN: 1-55953-633-0.

Mathematical Sciences Education Board (). Measuring Up: Prototypes for Mathematics Assessment. National Academy Press: Washington, DC, USA. ISBN: 0-309-04845-1.

Brutlag, Dan (). ‘Choice and Chance in Life: The Game of “Skunk”’. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School vol. 1 (1), : pages 28–33.

Neller, Todd W. and Clifton G.M. Presser (). ‘Optimal Play of the Dice Game Pig’. The UMAP Journal vol. 25 (1): pages 25–47.

Neller, Todd W. and Clifton G.M. Presser (). ‘Practical Play of the Dice Game Pig’. The UMAP Journal vol. 31 (1): pages 5–19.