Cinq-O is a very simple dice game, published by Mattel, for 2 players. It’s readily available at Target; I’ve also seen it in a combination package with Uno. The premise of the game is to score points by rolling either high numbers or low numbers; the person with the most total points wins the game. Upon my first playing it brought back memories of playing Yahtzee in my younger days.
Out of the Box
The game comes with 5 normal six-sided dice (each numbered from 1 to 6), one special six-sided die (determines the value multiplier), a small plastic scoring reference table, a tiny rule sheet, and a nifty plastic dice container that holds everything (and is also used in game play). The special die has the values 1 thru 3 etched on its six sides with each value appearing on two sides. Each value is accompanied on one of its sides with an up arrow and on its other side with a down arrow. The game plays very quickly; you can easily play a complete game in under 10 minutes. There is no theme.
There’s practically no set up to speak of. Just randomly select a player to start, give him/her all six dice, and put the open plastic container in easy reach. That’s it.
During your turn, you roll all the dice. Each time you roll, you must select at least one of the die to keep (we call it a keeper), and re-roll the rest (we put the keepers in the bottom half of the container). You continue to roll the dice in this fashion until the bottom half of the container is full and ready for scoring. The special die will determine whether you’re scored for high value or low value; if the arrow is pointing up, you score for high, if down, you score for low.
You may also bank dice during a roll. When banking, after you choose a die to keep, you may set aside another die (we put the banked dice in the top half of the container). Then, in future rolls, you can substitute the banked die for one of the rolled die. For example, let’s suppose you’ve already kept and placed your special die, and are rolling for low values. On the next rol1, let’s say you get a 1, a 2, a 4, a 5, and a 6. Since you’re looking for low values, you’d definitely keep the 1 but you could also bank the 2. Then in your next roll, let’s say you roll two 5’s and a 6. You have to keep one die per roll, but since you're going for low and those rolls were too high, you could keep the 2 that you banked previously instead.
Play continues until each player has completed 3 rounds.
At the end of your round, you record your score for that round by adding your five regular dice and comparing it to the double-sided plastic scoring reference, on the side that matches the special die. You then multiply the score listed on the reference by the number on the special die. For example, let’s say your special die has a 3 with an up arrow, and your 5 regular dice total 28. You’d check the high valued side of the reference which shows that a 28 total is worth 8 points. Since your special die has a 3 on it, you’d multiply those 8 points by 3, bringing you to a total of 24 points for that round. At the end of the game, each player adds up all the points earned from their 3 respective rounds to get a total score. The victor is the one with highest total.
Being strictly a dice game, there’s huge amount of luck involved in Cinq-O. However, there is a little bit of strategy to consider, even though it’s mostly obvious. This comes primarily in the form of the aforementioned banking; banking well is essential and you’ll want to use that to your best advantage whenever possible. I’ve also found that the first roll of each round defines that round. Either you’ll roll a high multiplier with your special die and try to base your future rolls around that or you’ll roll a couple of extreme values (ones or sixes) on your numbered dice and work with that, hoping to get a high multiplier in a later roll with your special die that’ll match. Getting the high multiplier first is best, but that’s strictly a matter of luck. When it gets late in the round, you’ll have to take any matching multiplier you can get, or chance getting only 1 point for the round.
Although I’ve found Cinq-O to have too much luck for my tastes, it’s not bad for what it is; a quick and light diversion. There can be some tense (or maybe I should say frustrating) moments when you’re close to getting a great score but can’t get one die to cooperate. It’s not a game I’d pull out to play on a game night, but it’s small and handy enough to carry and play while traveling, waiting at a restaurant, or grabbing a cup of coffee. One bonus for me is that my wife likes it; we even played at a theater while waiting for the movie to start. Although it’s not really my cup of tea, it’s not too bad for a compact game you can get locally for under five bucks; and did I mention that my wife likes it??? I currently rate Cinq-O a 5.
Re: Cinq-O Review score sheet
hello we have this game but not the scoring sheet, if you can email me this (firstname.lastname@example.org) i would very much apreciate it, thanks