Mooncake Dice Game — DIY how-to’s

Every year, we gather together sometime in September (or October if our schedules don’t permit) to celebrate the Mooncake Festival. From a historical point of view, this actually celebrates the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty. From my point of view, I’ve been playing the annual dice game every September ever since I was a little girl — with my family, with Chinese associations, with friends…

Mooncake Dice Game

So anyway, we have a blogger version of this ongoing for 3 years now. It’s pretty fun. All you need are:

  • 6 pcs of dice with rounded corners (can be bought from Binondo for less then P100)
  • any wide-mouthed bowl with a smooth surface (preferably ceramic or glass)
  • prizes — we ask everyone playing to pay a certain amount (P500 per player for prizes in our case)

I made a chart on how to interpret the dice rolls below:

Mooncake Dice Game
  • 1st Prize (1 unit) – There is only one 1st prize. This year it was P1,000 cash inside a Chinese red packet (hong bao / ang pao). Normally there’s a mooncake that goes with it, lol. Anyone who rolls at least four 4’s (can be five 4’s or six 4’s) is eligible to win. Who gets the prize is determined by the total of the remaining two dice, the highest numbers win. If you look at the example above, the dice roll shows four 4’s + 5 + 6. That can be trumped by four 4’s + 6 + 6 or five 4’s or six 4’s.
  • 2nd Prize (4 units) – This can be won in two ways… either you roll 1,2,3,4,5,6 or two 3-of-a-kinds of any number except 4. We had four (4) second prizes consisting of P500 GCs for different establishments.
Mooncake Dice Game
  • 3rd Prize (4 units) – You have to roll a 4-of-a-kind (except 4) to win this. Our 3rd prize consisted of various food items priced at P350 each.
  • 4th Prize (20 units) – You have to roll three 4’s for this. Our 4th prizes were food and beverage items that cost P100 each.
  • 5th Prize (40 units)- You have to roll two 4’s for this. Our 5th prizes were food items worth P50 each.

Mooncake Dice Game
  • 6th Prize (60 units) – This is the easiest to get as all you have to do is roll a single 4. Our 6th prizes consisted of snacks which cost around P25 each.
  • No Prize – Any other combination not listed does not merit a prize. I have a couple of examples above.

The dice game goes on and on until all the prizes are won and someone rolls 1st prize. When there’s no more prizes left, one last round is played starting with the first person who rolled in the game to compete for the 1st prize one last time. The 1st prize is awarded to the person who rolls the highest.

Mooncake Dice Game
So here’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes.
Mooncake Dice Game
Here’s 5th and 6th prizes.
Mooncake Dice Game
A closer look at the 5th prizes.
Mooncake Dice Game
Photo Credit: the canDIshhh tales

We had the game after lunch. Lunch consisted of food from Shakey’s, Amber, Country Fried Chicken, etc. and then the costs were split amongst the participants. It came out to P200 per head so all in all each of us paid P700 per player.

You can always adjust how much the prizes cost depending on your budget and this is a great way to spend some together time with friends and family. 😀


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