The goal of Bones is to score 10,000 points by rolling six dice, each of which has a different value. A straight (the same number on each of six dice) is worth 2,500 points, five of a kind 2,000 points, and four of a kind 1,500 points. Three of a kind is worth 1,000 points, while one of a kind is for 100 points and fives are worth 50 points.
A pre-game roll of five dice determines the order of play. Only ones, threes, and fives count towards the point totals during the game; players can re-roll any dice that do not have a score. Only the fives count as 1,000 points for a three-of-a-kind roll if a player rolls three fives and three fours, for example. When the game begins, the player with the most points is the one who goes first. A player loses all points for that turn if he makes a roll without counting dice. If a player gets five of a type on his first roll, he gets 10,000 points (known as “bones”). Unless the other players can accomplish the same, the game is automatically won by the first player. A player must set a minimum number of points and then attain that number on his first turn to get on the scoreboard. Beginners are recommended to choose 50 so that they can enter the game with any score, while 500 is the standard minimum.