Ship Captain Crew

Beginner’s Guide To Ship Captain Crew

| November 29, 2023 | Last Updated on: December 6, 2023 | Casino Guides

Ship Captain Crew sounds more like an RPG than a bar game. But trust me, it is one of the best-drunk games that you can play. Luck is the primary driving force of this game. Without further ado, let us dive right in to take a deep look into this amazing game. 


The  Ship Captain Crew is a game whose origin story is a little dicey. In other words, nobody truly knows when and where the game originated from. But sources suggest that the game originated in the docks of london during the golden era of steam power machines. However, this claim is undocumented. Hence, nobody truly knows where the game came from.


This game is known by several names like Cap’n, Bos’n, Mate; Clickety Clack; Ship of Fools; or Destroyer. This is primarily a drinking game using five dice. In order to spice things up, experts claim that the game is best played with five or more players. 

The primary object of the game is to roll a six (seen as the ‘ship’), a five (seen as the captain), and a four (seen as the crew or cargo) and get the highest score using the other two remaining dice. There are several variations to this interesting game. 

The game is primarily played for antes that are predetermined. Unlike other ranked games, in Ship Captain Crew, the winner of the round takes it all, like slapjack or poker. The round continues till a winner is chosen.

General Rules

At the very core, this is primarily a drinking game. Therefore, the rules and regulations are very simple. Unlike Michigan Rummy or Solitaire, the factors affecting this game are simple. Let’s look at them one by one.

General Rules
  • Each player gets a chance to roll five dice at the same time. However, there is one catch. You need to roll 6 5 4 in descending order to make your rolls valid. For example, if you get a 6, then a 5, and then a 3, the roll will be invalid.
  • Each player will get three legit turns to roll the dice. If they manage to crew up the ship, which is 6, 5, and 4 in a row, they will get a chance to score. However, if they fail, they will not score anything.
  • The play begins from the right or counter-clockwise. The winner of the previous round will always start the next round, and this goes on. 
  • Every player has to bet a pre-determined amount called the ante. After a round ends, the winner takes it all. So, this is a game that moves from round to round. 



You will often come across terms like ‘hammer’ and ‘point’ while playing this game. These terms are integral parts of the game and need to be understood in order to be a pro at this game. 

Hammer is the final person who ends the round. After the hammer plays its turn, the round ends. 

Meanwhile, the point is the pre-determined winning score. The player whose score is closest or exceeds the predetermined score will win the round.

Apart from these two terms, there are other terms like ‘minimum’, ‘midnight’, ‘boxcars’, etc. You will understand these terminologies as you start playing. For now, know that a total score of 2 is the lowest you can score and is called the minimum. Midnight is referred to as two sixes. And boxcars are referred to as individual six.

This is primarily a drinking game. The loser is supposed to take a swig of their alcohol. In some situations, the winner decides the amount that everyone needs to drink before the round proceeds. Hence, be ready to get super drunk after playing this game.


The game of Ship Captain Crew is a fun game to play when you and your friends are getting drunk together. Or to play with strangers in a bar somewhere. The game is simple and requires no skill whatsoever. However, the game is actually one of many games of similar lineage.  In this section, we will look at some of the best variations of the Ship Captain and Crew that you and your alcoholic friends can play while getting hammered. 

Shifting Cargo:

The initial part of the game is similar to the Ship Captain and Crew. A player needs to build up the crew before he or she can score points. But once the crew is up and ready, the player will get a chance to reroll the cargo or the final two dice. Like for example, You managed to build a crew, and your cargo value is 5 and a 3. If you choose, you can reroll both your cargo values or a single cargo value. However, if you reroll, you are opening yourself to cargo shifting as well. If you choose to shift your cargo to the next person, he or she can do the same. 

Bow To The Stern: This is not really a variation but a change of value. All the rules stay the same, just the valuation changes. Instead of 6, 5, and 4, you are aiming to get 1, 2, and 3. In other words, 1, 2, and 3 make up the crew, and the rest of the numbers make up the cargo values. 

End note

There you go, a comprehensive article that studies the fundamentals of the Ship Captain Crew game. Even though the player’s luck predominantly governs this game, it still is one of the most fun games you can play while you are drunk. You do not have to do any complex calculations or sequence-making to win. You just have to make a stronger cargo value. Keep following our page for more such content. 

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samik ghoshal
samik ghoshal

Samik has been a literature student all along and uses his fluidity to write about multi-niche topics. Aspiring to be a professional writer, he tries to analyze his topic from a critical standpoint but still adds a hint of personal perspective to the end product. Being a person having a general inclination toward global politics and documentary filmmaking, he also wishes to write and document more about numerous conflicts that are brewing in the different corners of the globe.


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