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As a dice game for two players, baseball can be played in several different ways. Of the three described below, the most popular is probably the two-dice game.

1) one, two, or three dice, according to the type of game being played;
2) the one-die and two-dice games require at least three counters for each player to represent his men;
3) a sheet of paper with a simple diagram of a baseball diamond drawn on it;
4) another piece of paper for recording scores.

The objective is to score the highest total number of runs in the nine innings per player that constitute the game. If the two players have equal scores after the usual nine innings, an extra-inning game is played. (Note that, in Baseball, each player's turn at bat is called a half-inning).

Baseball diamond, showing moves of 2, 2, 4.  

One-die Baseball
The players throw the die to decide who shall bat first (i.e., shoot the die first). Each player in turn then throws a half-inning. A half-inning is ended, when a player has thrown three outs (see below).

Value of the throws
At the start of the game, or whenever all bases are empty, a throw of 1, 2 or 3 permits the player to put a man (counter) on whichever of those three bases he has thrown. A player may have only one man on a base at a time.

If he throws 1, 2, or 3 again, this permits him to move the man around the diamond by the number of bases thrown, and to place another man on the base that bears the number thrown. For example, if he has a man on 1, and throws a 2, the man advances to base 3 (1 + 2) and a new man is entered on base 2.

Each time a man reaches the home (fourth) base, or home plate, a run is scored. A single throw may give a score of more than one run, if it results in more than one man reaching home base. (The rule against more than one man on a base does not apply to the fourth base.) For example, if a player with men on bases 2 and 3 throws a 2, both men advance to home base and two runs are scored.. At the same time a new man is entered on base 2.

A throw of 4 counts as a home run, and advances all men on the bases to home base. The score is thus the home run plus one run for each man brought home.

First throw of two
Second throw of two
Throw of four
Moves Throws

Out (with one on base)

Out (with bases loaded)

Out (with runners on bases one and two)

Out (with runners on bases one and three)

Out (with runners on bases two and three)

Throws of 5 or 6 are outs.

5 = Out!
A throw of 5 is as though there had been a hit and a throw-in, so that men on the bases may also be out, as follows:

a) If the shooter has only one man on the bases, he is out;

b) if he has men on all bases, the man on base 1 is out;

c) if he has men on bases 1 and 2, the man on base 2 is out;

d) if he has men on bases 1 and 3, the man on base 1 is out;

e) if he has men on bases 2 and 3, both are safe.


Men on the bases, who are not out, remain where they are.

A throw of 6 is also an out, but it is as if the batter were out without striking the ball; men on bases are safe, and remain where they are.

Note that three outs end a half-inning. The other player then throws his half-inning, to complete the inning.

Two-dice Baseball
Two-dice Baseball is similar to the one-die game, but the dice scores count as follows:

Any 12 or 2 is a home run.

Any 4 or 10 is a one, any 11 a two, any 3 a three. With these, all men already on bases advance the appropriate number of bases, and a new man is entered on the appropriate base.

Any 6 or 9 is an out, and the men on bases do not move.

Any 8 is an out, except for double 4 (4 + 4), which is a walk. On a walk, a new man is entered on first base, and other basemen advance only if they are forced on by him.

Any 5 is an out, but any basemen advance one base each (sacrifice).

Any 7 is an out, and, if there are any basemen, one of them is also out. When there is more than one baseman, it is the one nearest home base; the others do not move.

Three-dice Baseball
Three-dice Baseball is the simplest, and perhaps least satisfying, version of baseball dice.

Each player throws the dice in turn, scoring one run for every 1 that is rolled. When he fails to throw a 1, a player's half-inning is ended, and his opponent takes over. The game consists of the usual nine innings, with extra innings to decide any tie.

From 'The Official World Encyclopedia of Sports and Games'
© Diagram Visual Information Ltd 1979

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