Horse Race Game

Horse Race Game


You don’t have to race horses.  You can race pigs, or dogs, or pigeons, etc.  A racecourse on a piece of poster board would be easy to draw, or you could paint a racecourse on fabric.


Easy Rules for Young Players

  1. Line the horses up at the gate or at the “4” line.
  2. Let the players say which horse they think will win.
  3. Take turns rolling the two dice.  The total of the dice is the number of the horse to be moved.  Move that horse one space.
  4. The first horse to the end is the winner.
  5. Celebrate!
Horse Race Game
More Interesting Rules for Older Players


You will need:

  • A deck of cards, numbered 2 – 12.  Skip Bo cards work well.  You need enough cards so that each player can have 3 or 4.
  • A notebook and pencil.
  • A large number of tokens (candy, rocks, decorative glass, poker chips or pennies) to use as money.
  • A container for the winner’s pot.
  • Two dice.
One player is chosen as the dealer, one as the record keeper. Pass out 30 tokens to each player. Experience will tell you if this is enough.
Have each player place their bet as to which horse will win. The players bet by putting a token in the winner’s pot and declaring which horse they are betting on. The record keeper writes down the bets.
Shuffle the cards and deal them out to each player face up. If you are not scratching horses skip this step. See step 5.
Scratch the horses
Have the youngest player or a child who is standing around roll both dice. The total of the dice is the first horse that is scratched. That horse moves to the “1” line. The “1” line is the first line below the “Gate.” Every player who is has a card with that number puts a token in the winner’s pot. If you have two cards with that number you put in two tokens, etc.
Roll the dice again. The next horse is scratched and moved to the “2” line which is the next line down from the “1” line. Every player with a card of that number puts 2 tokens per card into the winner’s pot.
Do the same for “3” and “4” increasing the number of tokens accordingly. If the same number is scratched more than once that line is skipped. You don’t have to have four horses scratched. You are done with the cards for this race.
Starting to the left of the dealer each player rolls the dice and moves the horse whose number is the total of the dice one space. Play passes to the next player. If you roll doubles, you get another roll.
If the number you have rolled is a scratched horse put a token in the winner’s pot. Play passes to the next player.
The first horse, or whatever, to the end of it’s lane is the winner. All players who bet on that horse split the winner’s pot. Celebrate!