Shut the Box (also called Canoga, Klackers, Batten Down the Hatches, kingoball and Jackpot), is a game of dice for one or more players, commonly played in a group of two to four for stakes. Traditionally, a counting box is used with tiles numbered 1 to 9 where each can be covered with a sliding mechanism.
Unconfirmed histories of the game suggest a variety of origins, including 12th century Normandy (northern France) as well as the mid 20th century Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) thanks to a man known as Mr. 'Chalky' Towbridge. There is also a printed evidence of a dice game known as "shut the box" being played in Manchester pubs in the mid-1960s. Some say that for more then two hundred years it has been a favorite game among the sailors of France, who had introduced it to other countries through the seaport fraternity. Shut the Box was also the basis of a popular TV quiz show “High Rollers” during the 1970’s and the 1980’s. The game is also very popular in the beer bars of Thailand using special rules.
At the start of the game all levers or tiles are "open“ (showing the numerals 1 to 9).
During the game, each player plays in turn. A player begins his or her turn by throwing or rolling the dice into the box. If the sum of the remaining open tiles is 6 or less then die should be used, otherwise, the player must roll both dice.
After throwing, the player adds up the pips (dots) on the dice and then "shuts" (closes / covers) one of any combination of open numbers that equals the total number of dots showing on the dice.
• For example, if the dice show 2 and 6 (the total number of dots is 8), the player may choose any of the following sets of tiles to shut, as long as their sum equals the sum of the dots shown by the dice (in our example, 8), therefore the options are:
To shut tile 8 or to shut tiles 7 and 1, or to shut tiles 6, 2, or to shut tiles 5, 3, or to shut tiles 5, 2, 1, or to shut tiles 4, 3, 1.
Note: Only ‘open’ tiles can be shut (closed). Once a tile is closed the player cannot reopen it.
The player then rolls the dice again, aiming to shut more numbers. The player continues throwing the dice and shutting numbers until reaching a point at which, given the results produced by the dice, the player cannot shut any more numbers. At that point, the player scores the sum of the numbers that are still uncovered. For example, if the numbers 2, 3, and 5 are still open when the player throws 2 and 4 (6 dots), the player's score is 10 (2 + 3 + 5 = 10). Play then passes to the next player.
Note: The scored numbers are bad points (are those numbers you did not shut). In order to minimize your bad score you may want to have some strategy added to your moves (like for example shutting the bigger numbers first... etc.).
After every player has taken a turn, the player with the lowest score wins.
If a player succeeds in closing all of the numbers, he or she is said to have "Shut the Box" – the player wins immediately and the game is over.
You can also change the rules as you and the other players see fit. For example, many players decide to continue playing in turns and the game is over for a player when reaching 45 (bad) points. The other players may continue to play until there is one player left – the winner!
Great family game! Fun is guaranteed!
Note: Inner color may vary.