The Chess Variant Pages

Vegas Fun Chess


Vegas Fun Chess is a chess variant, where special dice are used to decide what pieces to move.

In an email to Hans, Edward Collins writes:

I've played this several times. It can be fun. Somewhat silly, but fun.

Since most people won't have the special dice that are included, it is possible, although maybe a little inconvenient, to use a deck of cards, or even two normal dice, (as long as each dice is different) and achieve the same thing as these special dice.

The sample game that was included was actually written in descriptive notation, but I took the time to convert it to algebraic.

Thanks for putting together such a neat site.


Vegas Fun Chess, Official rules by George Koltanowski, orthodox chess Master. [The rules given below are not as written by George Koltanowski. They have been reworded by the editor. -Ed.]

Vegas Fun chess is played on a orthodox chess board, with the orthodox chess pieces in the standard setup. 2 special six-sided dice are used, each face of the die having a chess symbol on it, plus an "optional" indicator for one side. Two conventional six-sided dice could be used interpreting the numbers as follows:

Die 1       Die 2
----------  -----------
1=pawn      1=pawn
2=knight    2=knight
3=bishop    3=bishop
4=rook      4=rook
5=king      5=queen
6=pawn      6=optional

Turn sequence: Each turn, a player first must roll the two dice. The player must then move a piece of the type shown by either die. If the player is unable to legally move a piece of either type, then the turn is passed, and it is the opposing player's turn. The "optional" symbol indicates the player may make any legal move.

Giving check: A player giving check does not roll the dice on their next turn. They simply make any legal move. Or they may pass their turn. A player may also pass their turn when the "optional" symbol is showing.

Check: A player that is in check does not roll the dice on their turn. Instead they must make a legal chess move to remove the check.

Castling: A castling move is interpreted as moving the King.

Stalemate: If a player's king is stalemated, and the player rolls a King on one of the two dice, then the game is a draw.

Sample Game

Bishop, Queen    1.pass       Rook, King       1...pass
pawn, Knight     2.e4         Bishop, Rook     2...pass
Knight, Knight   3.Nf3        Knight, Rook     3...Nc6
Bishop, King     4.Bc4        Rook, Queen      4...Rb8
Optional         5.Ng5        Rook, Rook       5...Ra8
King, Rook       6.0-0        pawn, Bishop     6...e6
pawn, pawn       7.d4         Bishop, Bishop   7...Be7
Bishop, King     8.Be3        Queen, King      8...Kf8
Knight, Bishop   9.Nxf7       Knight, Rook     9...Nf6
pawn, pawn      10.d5         Knight, Bishop  10...Na5
Bishop, Rook    11.Bb3        Knight, Knight  11...Nxc4
Optional        12.Nxd8       Bishop, Bishop  12...Bxd8
Bishop, King    13.Bg5        pawn, pawn      13...h6
pawn, Rook      14.axb3       Knight, Queen   14...Nxe4
Rook, Rook      15.Rxa7       pawn, pawn      15...hxg5
Bishop, Bishop  16.pass       Optional        16...Rxa7
pawn, Bishop    17.dxe6       Rook, Queen     17...Ra1
Knight, Knight  18.Nc3        Queen, King     18...Kg8
pawn, Bishop    19.exd7       Rook, Rook      19...Rxd1
pawn, pawn      20.dxc8=Q     Bishop, Bishop  20...pass
Bishop, King    21.Kh1        Knight, Knight  21...Ng3+
does not roll   22.fxg3       Free Move       22...Rxf1++


There are many examples of chess played according to the role of dice. Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants contains descriptions of seven versions of what he calls "Dice Chess".

Intoduction written by Edward D. Collins ( Edward D. Collins also provided the text for the official rules of Vegas chess, upon which the text for the rules on this page were based, and the sample game.
Rules paraphrased by David Howe. Notes by David Howe.

WWW page created: August 25, 1998.