stone hand

stone hand¹ is a common bar game across the Sea of Flowers where players take turns throwing three 8-sided dice to determine who has to pay out money to who.

before the game starts, all players agree on an amount of money to wager, ideally in even units (ie: everyone plays with 25 rod in 1r pieces)². starting with an initial player³, players throw the dice and see what and see what values come up. easch possible throw has a "type", the general pattern of the numbers showing, and a "score", a point value based on one of the numbers in the throw. the throw types and how they score are:

during a round, rolls determine a table score, generally equal to the lowest score (regardless of throw type) that's been thrown. once every player has thrown, the player with the worst score (by type and score) has to pay the player with the best score⁷ an amount of their wager equal to the table score. the next round starts with the loser of the last round throwing first. with how the game is structured, players are able to join and leave pretty leisurely, but if necessary, players can be eliminated when they run out of money, with the final player winning.

as an old-ass bar game, there's some variations and added rules that have emerged in certain places, including:

generally, the game is played with three dice and a table score marker (some kinda marked stick with a clip on it), though it can be (and in casino settings often is) played with individual sets of dice and shakers per player. bars tend to have a little corner to play it at or have the equipment available behind the counter if people want to play and didn't bring dice themselves.

the specific value of a home throw is often tied to a player's home or to whoever they learned the game from. in informal games it's common for players to all share their home throws with the table, talk a minute, and then play through with all of their home throws in effect for the duration of the game. naturally this doesn't really happen in formal establishments, where instead the house decides a home throw.⁸


¹ - also known by other names like home throw, home stone, triple stone, the dice game, etc.

² - this is mostly a convenience thing. players are entirely able to bring any amount of moeny they want and pay out in whatever way works, but having it be agreed on in advance helps with fairness, especially if players are planning to stick around for an elimination game.

³ - in formal settings this is usually just the house. informally it's just random.

⁴ - in some versions, 1-3-5 is also considered a show-up.

⁵ - similarly, 3-5-7 is sometimes considered a double show-up.

⁶ - in some variants, lower-scoring junk will actually beat higher-scoring pairs.

⁷ - if there's a tie in the best-scoring throw, both tied players throw again until they aren't tied. if there's a tie in the worst-scoring throw, all tied players pay out to the winner.

⁸ - oftentimes this is just some number the house decided would be their home throw, but it's becoming more common to see the game attendant throwing the dice and taking the first junk value that shows as the home throw for a given game.