BONES! v 1.5.1

by Carl Powell III

BONES! Is now an iPhone App!


BONES! is a parlour dice game for any number of people. BONES!, the HyperCard stack, is the computer version of that game. As you play BONES! you will find it compelling, interesting and addictive! No matter how hard you try, you will find it very difficult to stick with a strategy and not give in to the urge to keep rolling!

NOTE: Bones! is a game written in HyperCard for Macintosh. It requires at least a HyperCard Player to run. I'm not sure whether there is one for a current version of the Mac OS. But if you want to search one out... here's the old program. You can also use the instructions to play with 5 dice.

Click Here to Download BONES! v1.5.1 (MacBinary)

Click Here to Download BONES! v1.5.1 (BinHex)


Here's how you play:(Click on the screen shot below for a full-sized image display.)

Starting a Game:

To start a new game, just press the NEW GAME button near the bottom of the window. This will clear the scores, reset the dice and ask you to select a strategy for the computer for this game. (See Computer Strategies below)

You begin your turn by clicking the Roll Dice button. If you are able to roll again, the Roll Again button will appear. If you are able to "stand", the Stand button will appear. From there, just follow the rules below.


Each player rolls five dice to start his/her turn. Any "counting" dice are kept and the player then has the option of rolling the other dice to get a higher score.

"Counting" dice are marked with a checkmark below the die. As long as "counting" dice are rolled (even if only one out of all dice rolled is a counting die), the player may continue to roll or may "stand" and take the score they have achieved.

If all five dice are "counters" you may then roll all five dice, keeping your score and adding it to the total for the next roll. Whenever you roll a ZERO roll, you lose all points for that turn and it is then the computers turn.

Counting dice are as follows:

1's count 100 points
5's count 50 points

Triples rolled at the same time, on the same roll count as follows:

Three 1's count 1000 points
Three 2's count 200 points.
Three 3's count 300 points.
Three 4's count 400 points.
Three 5's count 500 points.
Three 6's count 600 points.

You must get a minimum score on one turn to get on the scoreboard. The amount required as a minimum is selectable by you by clicking on the field that is next to the score board. Choose "50" for beginners. That will allow ANY score to be eligible for "standing." In the "table" game, "600" is considered the standard for the regular game and for competition.

Rolling all five dice of a single number on one roll is a called a "BONES" and awards 10,000 points (enough to win the game). If the computer does not then roll a "BONES", you will win the game.

A game lasts until one player reaches 10,000 points or more to win.

Additional Help for BONES!
When you play BONES!, you'll eventually develop your own strategy. The object of course, is to reach 10,000 points first, so you'll need to get all the points you can along the way.

Computer Strategies:

The computer plays three different strategies:

1) "Chicken" - The computer will take any combination that scores 100 or more. This is really harder to beat than you would think. Slow and steady is often a good strategy, but sometimes "the roll of the dice" can beat it.

2) "Agressive" - The computer takes any combination of 200 or more. It will keep rolling until it achieves a 200 or busts (rolls no counting dice). As you can imagine, this is a little more risky, but often works well.

3) "The Gambler" - On this level, the computer goes for 300 points or bust! Anything less and the computer rolls again. This is often the easiest to beat because the computer often ends up with zero scores trying to get 300 points. However, it can also be hard to beat because, if lucky, a lot of 300+ scores can add up very quickly.

In this version, the computer assumes that the chance to roll all five dice is a good gamble so he will always roll if he has the opportunity to roll all five, (except to get the minimum required to get on the board).

Your Strategy:

Since you have 2 chances out of 6 on each die to get a counting die, your chances are much greater with three, four or five dice to roll. One or two is a real gamble. You may use the strategies that the computer uses, or, over a period of time, develop your own. Either way, you'll find it challenging and interesting to compete against the computer.


If you Shift-Click on the high score field or the You / Computer wins field you will be offered a chance to reset them. Clicking on the computer's strategy will allow you to change it mid-game.

Key Equivolents:

You can use a period or decimal point to "Roll Dice" or "Roll Again" and "0" (zero) for "Stand" as shortcut keys. If you have a keyboard with a numeric keypad, this gives you access to both keys next to each other. You can play the whole game by using these two keys.

Plus, there are other command keys that will produce the same features as buttons on the card or items in the Bones! menu.

There are card buttons for each of these menu items. Pressing the sound button or selecting the Sound Toggle menu item will turn the sound on or off. You can control the volume with your sound control panel. There are sounds for each dice sound: Five dice rolling, four dice rolling, etc. There is also a longer sound on a "hidden" button. See if you can find it!

Shareware Fee

BONES! is shareware. If you like and use the program, please encourage me and others by sending $10.00 to:

Carl Powell III
Bones! Registration
106 Wynfrey CT
Harvest, AL 35749

(Please make checks payable to: Carl Powell)

Thank you for your support. Please send any correspondence, encouragement, comments, suggestions or "atta-boys" to me at

(Please fill out the registration form and send it in with your payment.)
*** Special Thanks to Paul and Donna Benninger for teaching me the game of BONES! ***

Computer Consultants of North Alabama
Formerly Alatec Associates
106 Wynfrey CT
Harvest, AL 35749
Phone (256) 716-1999
Email Us at