The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Daniel.

No Limit Bet Chess

No limit Bet Chess is a gambling form of chess where each player makes a wager before revealing his or her move.

While this game can be played with just a standard board and rules, the best way to play it is to combine the betting with the luck based chess game: Random Move Number Chess.

In this game each player throws a die that determines the number of moves he/she makes. For example, a 1, the player misses a turn, a 6 make two moves etc.

The first move involves no betting and the die number does not dictate the number of moves. Thus, even if player A gets a six, he/she will only make one move first. However, on the next turn if a six were to turn up, this player can now play 3 times! 2 (because the number repeated) +1 (because it is a six) =3.

Once player A and B make their first moves, the gambling begins!

Player A throws the die and checks the number landed without showing it to player B. A die cup holder can be used for this purpose. If this is a game with a lot of money involved, an arbitrator may have to throw the die to ensure there is no cheating. So say you are player A and you throw the die. You peek at it without letting the other player see. (Or the arbitrator shows you the die number).

Taking the number into account, and assessing the position on the board, you decide on what move to play but do no reveal it.
Then you make a bet. You must bet at least one chip. If this is early in the game only, then you may just reveal the die, make the move and place the chip all at once, since there is not much reason to bluff all the way in the beginning.

For example, if it is a six, and it looks like this enables you to checkmate the other player, you can bet a large amount or go all in (bet all the chips). The opponent must now decide if you are bluffing or are telling the truth. Upon being called, you reveal the number, and make the number of moves dictated by the die. If it is checkmate you take the whole pot.


Same as in std chess. Though Fischer 960 setups can be used too, and might spice the game up even more!




The game of chess is played completely unaltered except for the use of a die (and paper and pencil to record each throw) and the betting.
  • Players start with an equal amount of chips. Each chip can represent a monetary value if the players mutually agree to gamble. A total of 500 chips per player might result in 3-5 games.
  • The pot refers to the accumulation of all the bets for a particular game.
  • A game is over when one side is checkmated or resigns. The winner gets all the chips put in the pot.
  • A match is won by the player who wins all the chips, i.e. take all of your opponent's chips away.
  • The die is first thrown by each player to decide who plays white. The player with the higher number gets white.
    The number is recorded by each player. If both players tie, then the die is thrown again by them.
    Each time a die is thrown the number is recorded for each player- this is important!
  • White makes the first move, black makes his next move.
    (Nothing different at this point)
  • Now taking into consideration the throw(s) at the beginning of the game (including the tie break throws), the players in turn throw the die and contemplates on the next move(s) depending on the following:
    Die outcomeMove Outcome
    6 (no repeat) Move Twice
    1 (no repeat) Forfeit Move to opponent.
    # repeats for same player.
    (# is not a 6 or a 1)
    Move twice
    # repeats n times for same player.
    (# is not a 6 or a 1)
    Move n times
    Special Number Repeats
    # 1 repeats twice 2 (for repeat) - 1 (miss 1 turn) =1
    Moves once.
    #1 repeats n times n-1 moves
    # 6 repeats twice 2 (for repeat) +1 (for six)= 3 moves
    #6 repeats thrice # = 666. Switch sides and forfeit turn to opponent!
    #6 repeats n times where 3 < n < 6 n+1 moves
    #6 repeats 6 times! 666 Twice! Diablo! Game Over - You lost the game!
  • The player now places a bet. A minimum of 1 chip is required.
    Once the other player calls this bet, the die throw must be uncovered and the move must be played.
    If the other player raises the bet, then initial better must now put in the amount of the raise to make the move(s) or can re-raise the bet.
    Note: If you throw a 6 3 or 6 times in a row you can can conceal this fact and still bet. The position and size of bet might make the other player resign without knowing that the outcome would be reversed if the bet was called!
  • A player who calls a bet must now throw the die, decide on the move, make a bet and make the move if called. This continues in turn until someone wins the game and takes the pot.
  • A checking move immediately forfeits all extra moves.
    If player A has 3 moves to make but checks on his first move. He cannot make the other two moves.
  • A player who is in check must make a move to get out of check even if he throws a one.
    The die must be thrown and recorded though.
    However the only exception is if a person who is in check throws a 6 for the 3rd time, the board is turned around and the opponent must now play the other side.
    The other exception is if the person in check throws a 6 six times. This player would lose if he/she cannot force the opponent to resign the game by betting.
  • Note that it is optional to hide the die number and not reveal the move before your bet. You can choose to reveal your number and make the move as a psychological ploy against your oppenent.


Bet Size:
As a rule it is best to bet the minimum one chip at the beginning of the game, since the outcome could swing both ways depending on the die. Later on, when the position is still close, it would be possible to pull off a bluff especially if it is quite obvious that a person making two consecutive moves can win by checkmate.

Call, raise or re-raise?:
For the most part, betting and re-raising may be quite rare between competent players because unlike poker, chess is a game of complete information.
Unless you are fairly confident that your opponent is bluffing, it is not advisable to raise.
However if you are sure your opponent is bluffing, and you have a winnable position, that nothing, not even two consecutive moves can offset this advantage, then you can raise. However, your opponent may not have been bluffing, and being capable of making multiple moves to a winning position, might re-raise!

Bluffing Tips:
Do not bluff unless you are fairly certain your opponent is very 'tight' i.e is not willing to put much chips in the pot.
For example, you can be playing a very good but timid player - all the time putting one chip per half move until you come to a position where clearly getting multi-moves would checkmate your opponent. Then, you can feign excitement as you peek at your die number, and push all your chips in. Your opponent, realizing that two moves lead to checkmate does not want to forfeit his/her chips and resigns!
Then you can show your bluff, if you wish to rub it in! Or choose not to and your opponent would never know what really happened.

Handicap Games:
Games between two players with diparate skill levels can now prove to be quite exciting. For example Player A is a strong 1800 ELO rating points while player B is a mere 1200! An exciting match can be set up with Player A getting 1000 chips while player B gets 2000! Player A must now win more games than B to win all the chips.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Charles Daniel.
Web page created: 2007-12-03. Web page last updated: 2007-12-03