Saving Seven is a dice game described in Dave Duncan's novel, Impossible Odds. It seems to be designed in such a way as to make it possible for a player to accidentally go in way over his head, accumulating a vast amount of debt. Nevertheless, for a dice game, it possesses a reasonable amount of betting strategy.

You Will Need:

  • Four 8 sided dice
  • At least one other idiot willing to play
The object of the game is to roll the numbers 1 through 7 without rolling an 8. Rolling an 8 means you have to start collecting numbers from the beginning again. Players take turns rolling 4d8 at a time. Each number rolled is added to your "rack". Duplicate numbers don't count except in the case of 8s, described later.

For the betting side of this game: On each turn, the player has a choice of putting in the pot the amount of money the previous player put in, doubling that amount, or dropping out of the game. Even if you drop out of the game though, you are not out of danger from losing more money, as will be described in a moment.

Saving Seven offers a slight but powerful edge to the player who goes first, the equivalent of the "dealer" in a game of cards. For the first game of a session, this honored player can be either selected at random, or gifted with that position by the other players. For each game played after that, the previous round's winner holds this spot.

The edge involved has to do with rolling multiple 8s.

  • If you roll a single 8, your rack is cleared and you have to start collecting numbers from the beginning again.
  • If you roll a double 8, you are forced to resign from this game, although you are still not entirely safe from losing more money yet
  • If you roll a triple 8, the player who started this round wins the pot
  • If you roll a quadruple 8, every player who was in the game at the start of this round, whether they've resigned or not, whether they've rolled a double 8 or not, has to pay the starting player four times the amount of money currently in the pot, and he wins the pot as well. This is known as "The Massacre"
Now of course, the chances of rolling a massacre are (1/8)4, or 1 in 4096, but such odds aren't unheard of, and with the potential for players other than the bettor to determine how much the final pot is, Saving Seven becomes a potentially devastating game indeed. Play it with actual money at your own risk.

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