People normally associate the rolling of dice with luck. Oftentimes, people hope to roll a high number in order to advance their space or gain more resources in a board game. We feel as though the use of dice in board games is a major game mechanic that injects “luck” into any game. Some people like this, and some people do not. If you are looking for games that involve less luck and more strategy, then the first place to look would be board games without dice. We have put together a list of the best board games without dice.
Now luck in board games is not a bad thing. Although sometimes, board gamers are looking for a little more strategy and less “luck” in board games. Not having dice in a board game does not mean all luck is eliminated. However, the amount of luck involved is greatly reduced. We will discuss some games that don’t use dice, and involve some great gameplay.
Board games without dice are just one type of board game that is part of a larger array of board game types.
It’s time to get rid of those dice!
Best Board Games Without Dice:
If you are looking for the best board games without dice, then look no further! Here is our list of the 21 best board games without dice.
1. Blood Rage
The first board game without dice that we will discuss is Blood Rage!
In Blood Rage, each player controls their own Viking clan’s warriors, leader, and ship. Players will begin the game by choosing their strategies carefully during the draft phase. These choices will impact them throughout the game and they will have to be ready to adapt and react to their opponents’ strategies as the action phase unfolds.
If you love viking themed board games, then this board game is for you as you will pillage and battle other viking clans in order to achieve glory.
Blood rage is a great board game to play for those looking for board games without dice.
Splendor is a strategic engine building game played with 2-4 players in about 30 minutes. In Splendor, you must use your resources and recruit artisans to collect gems and become the most influential merchant of the renaissance.
As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, you can invest in mines and recruit the most renowned artisans. Splendor is a fun. popular board game that involves no dice, and plenty of strategy.
Create a commercial empire of diamonds and gems to attract the nobles of the time and earn glory and prestige!
Rather than using dice, the game Azul uses tons of colorful tiles. The premise of the game consists of players taking turns drafting colored tiles from their suppliers and placing them on their player board. Players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate their own palace throughout the game.
Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets with your tiles. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. We find Azul to be a nice, relaxing game that can be played for any occasion. Although it does involve a little bit of strategy, you will have to work off of other player’s actions on order to provide the best possible scenario for yourself.
4. Lords of Waterdeep
Lords of Waterdeep is considered a worker placement game where each player uses their own secret powers to fight for control over the town of Waterdeep. Players must complete quests during their turn in order to earn victory points. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is declared the winner and the new Lord of Waterdeep.
If you are looking for an easy game to play that doesn’t involve any dice, then Lords of Waterdeep is a great goto game for that aspect. Don’t get us wrong, the gameplay is easy to understand, but winning can be challenging. Are you up for the challenge?
Released in 1959, Diplomacy is a classic game of pure negotiation. There have been many versions released during the years, with a re-released version of the game being the widest release in 1999. In Diplomacy, players represent one of the seven “Great Powers of Europe” (Great Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy, Russia, or Turkey) in the years prior to World War I.
During gameplay, players use two kinds of military units (armies and fleets) and use limited options in order to instruct their units to move, support an allied unit, or hold their position. There are no dice rolls or other elements of chance. This game is beautifully simple, but has enormous depth. Be prepared to negotiate and play the people around the table and not so much focus on the game mechanics or rules of the actual game.
If you are a history buff and want to find a board game without dice that is more on the cheaper side, then Diplomacy may be for you!
Dixit is a fun little game involving no dice, just a bunch of image cards. We love the artwork in Dixit and believe it be one of the best illustrated board games currently on the market.
On your turn, you are the storyteller and you must choose a card from your hand and give a clue for it. This clue could be a word, a sentence, or a song. Then, each of the other players in the game chooses one of their cards from their own hand that best fits the clue that you gave. Next, the storyteller shuffles and reveals all of the chosen cards.
All players use voting tokens (don’t worry, no dice) to guess secretly which card the storyteller chose from their hand at the beginning of the round. Once everyone has voted, the scoring begins! Players earn points based on how many voting tokens were placed on their cards.
Mysterium is a great game of intuition and mystery that takes place in a haunted manor. The ghost that haunts the Mysterium Manor is the spirit of an unfortunate victim that was killed many years ago. As a psychic, your task is to reconstruct the events of that fateful night.
One player will play as the ghost and will send the psychics different visions in order to help reveal his or her identity. All of the other players play as psychics and use the hints sent by the ghost in order to lead them to the truth about the murder.
Mysterium is a fun cooperative game where players must investigate together to find the culprit. One player plays as the ghost and communicates with the others, using nothing but illustrated cards. Time is against the psychics as they only have 7 turns to solve the mystery before the ghost disappears forever!
Santorini is a great strategy game that is very simple to learn, but offers enough depth of gameplay for even the most hardcore gamers to explore. The rules are pretty simple as they only involve 2 steps: either move or build. If you decide to move, then you can move one of your builders to a neighboring space. If you decide to build, then you can construct a building level adjacent to the builder you moved.
To win the game, either one of your builders must reach the third level. Sounds really simple, right? Well, Santorini features some variable player powers that fundamentally change the way the game is played.
We consider this game to be one of the best abstract games currently on the market. The beautiful board game components really make Santorini a memorable game. We recommend playing the base game with the powers of the gods in order to elevate the game. This game involves no dice! Woo!
9. Game of Thrones
The Game of Thrones board game can be very complex, but it is a board game without dice. It is a game of conflict and intrigue made for 3-6 players. You can dive deep into strategy with this board game as you brace for battle in the lands of Westeros.
For those who are fans of the television series, the Game of Thrones board game would be a great addition to your board game collection in order to let the story live on. I was sad when the series ended, but playing this board game takes me right back into the action and feel as though I am fighting to take control of the iron throne.
There are two editions to the Game of Thrones board game, so you are likely to play many times over.
10. Trails of Tucana
The Trails of Tucana is a flip-and-write game that involves no dice. It is quick and easy to play, but offers enough depth to entertain any type of board gamer.
Each player is given their own map of the island of Tucana. Each turn, one player flips over two terrain cards. Then, each player must draw (on their own map) a trail between two neighboring spaces of the shown terrains. As the game progresses, the trails will grow into a network of roads.
The way players score points is by connecting matching harbors and sights to harbors. There are varying distribution of the different terrain cards that adds depth to the game. Players must take this into account when planning out their next routes in order to be able to score the most points available.
11. Explorers of the North Sea
We are Vikings! Explorers of the North Sea is set in the latter years of the Viking Age where players must sail unexplored islands to herd animals, plunder settlements, and claim lands.
The basic premise of the game is to seek out new lands to settle and control. They will need to transport their crew among the newly discovered islands to capture livestock, construct outposts, and fulfill various other goals.
We love Explorers of the North Sea because the game offers so many decisions to be made, but the mechanics are not as complicated and will not cause analysis paralysis. This game consists of great art, components, and theme.
We recommend playing the base game with the Rocks and Ruins expansion.
Viticulture is a great game for wine lovers that involves no dice whatsoever! In viticulture, players will test their winemaking skills and will need to think strategically in order to create the greatest winery in Italy.
Players will plant vines, harvest grapes, age wines, and fill merchant orders. You will expand your vineyard by building structures and planting vines. Don’t forget to poor your own glass of wine before you start playing viticulture!
Calling all wine lovers! Get your copy of viticulture today.
13. Love Letter
In Love Letter, players are trying to get their love letter delivered to the princess who has locked herself away in the castle. The cards in the deck represent the various members of the court who all have a different role and action when playing a card.
During gameplay, players start with a card, draw one more, then play one of the two cards currently in their hand. When playing a card, players have the chance to seek information, perform a duel, or grant immunity (depending on their card’s actions).
At the end of the game, the member of the court remaining in one’s hand represents who carries your letter to the princess. The player with the highest value card remaining in their hand wins the round, first to win a set number of rounds wins the game.
The board game Scythe is based in an alternate reality where the world is in disarray in the midst of a war. You must work to return the world to all of its former glories. This game is made for 1-5 players, but is perfectly made to be played solo.
This game takes place in 1920s Europa, as players are tasked with regaining territories and earning the trust of civilians after the first great war. In this engine-building game, you must conquer territories, enlist new recruits, collect resources, gain villages, build structures, and more.
Scythe is a must have board game to add to your shelf. The best part is that is does not use any dice!
15. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is one of the best board games out there for people who have never played anything beyond roll-and-move games. A lot of “roll-and-move” games involve dice, and sometimes we just don’t want that! It’s a fun and simple game that is easy for both young and adult players alike to quickly understand.
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.
Players must strategically pick train cards from the pile when it is their turn, and then think ahead about the routes they will take before other players beat them to it! This is a Saturday game night favorite in my household!
16. Puerto Rico
I was actually introduced to the board game Puerto Rico through an online version of the game on Board Game Arena. After playing for hours, I decided to purchase the physical copy of the board game. This game is HUGE on strategy and planning every move. Yes, a little luck can come into play, but it mostly comes down to how you utilize the resources in front of you.
In Puerto Rico, players assume toles of colonial governors working to earn victory points by shipping goods to Europe or constructing specific building types. Different roles can consist of growing crops, shipping goods, constructing buildings, and choosing roles that will benefit them more than others.
Puerto Rico is a fun game that can be a bit challenging to learn, but very rewarding in the end. There is a fair bit of strategy involved, but no rolling of the dice! This game has been around for awhile and will give you a taste of board gaming history, as well as what board games have to offer past your standard roll and move board games.
Our go to cooperative game for first time co-op players that don’t involve any dice, Pandemic, is a high stakes, thought provoking strategy board game that offers players the opportunity to work together to find a cure and save humanity!
It is the perfect game for board gamers who haven’t stepped foot into the co-op board gaming world. Pandemic is a must have for every board game collection as it offers players a chance to work together, rather than against each other, which some players might find more appealing.
While the gameplay itself might be intense at times, players sometimes have more fun playing a game where everyone playing either wins or loses, rather than having only one winner.
Carcassonne is a top notch game that offers great pacing and approachability for new players making it a must have for all board game collections. Gameplay consists of turns where each player draws and places a map tile. They must choose whether or not to place one of their game piece “followers,” also known as meeples, on that tile.
Tiles consist of objects such as roads, fields, or cities. Each tile must match up with the edges of a tile it is placed next to. There are other rules to the game, but they are very simple to learn. A new player will be able to get the hang of the flow of gameplay after just a few rounds.
We love Carcassonne and we are confident that you will too!
Kingdomino is a great game for newer board gamers as it is easy to learn, has a short play time, and an affordable price tag. The game offers great artwork and gameplay. All of these aspects make Kingdomino a great game to introduce to friends or family who have yet to set foot in the board gaming community. The best thing is that it involves no dice!
The basic gameplay consists of each player having their own castle where they must use “dominos” with varying terrains to make a grid around their castle. These game pieces allow players the ability to create lakes, fields, plains, mines, and more. The goal is to combine similar terrains together in order to gain more points.
Once all of the tiles run out, players add up all of their points based on the tiles they placed. The player with the most points wins!
20. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is a game that comes from a series of games in the “Forbidden” game sphere by gamewright. It happens to be our favorite game within this series. For those who love the board game Pandemic, we feel as though Forbidden Island is a lighter version of Pandemic and great for when you are looking for a lighter cooperative game.
In Forbidden Island, players will be set on a do-or-die mission where they must work together to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of an island. But beware, as the island will begin to sink after every step of your journey. Players will have to race in order to collect all of the treasures before they are swallowed into a watery abyss.
21. Power Grid
Power grid is a board game without dice that gets you racing to supply the most cities with power, using the resources you manage throughout the game. The goal of the game is to have the most power plants powered by the end of the game.
Each round consists of four phases where players can auction for power plants, bid up other players and buy a power plant, buy resources for the power plant they own, and buy cities and expand their network. In the last phase, players discard their resources to power their plants and receive income based on how many cities they powered. This cycle repeats throughout the game.
Power Grid is a highly interactive game as the bidding for power plants can pit players against each other and cause chaos. This game is also very repayable. The great part about Power Grid is that the game has deep strategy and a very low “luck” or “chance” aspect. Maybe it’s because there are no dice included in this board game?
Best Board Game Without Dice
We hope you were able to gather some great ideas on board games without dice. Sometimes, we feel the need to toss those pesky little dice aside and dive into a more deeper strategy of a board game that doesn’t involve luck or chance.
Looking for more board game ideas? Be sure to check out our list of the best game night games.
Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions by leaving a comment below!