LCR, or Left Center Right, is a dice game that leaves the fate of it players completely and utterly up to chance. Players are given no choices in this game and no leeway in the rules, even leaving what they wager up to protocol, so well-thought strategies will do you no good here. A relative newcomer to the field of games that are based on the roll of the dice, LCR has become popular enough over the last twenty years to maintain a strong base of fans in both North America and Europe.
While LCR is a commercially produced game distributed by George and Company, LLC starting in 1992, it is also often played as gambling entertainment, using cash instead of the chips that come with the game and with three standard six-sided dice. Informal games will also often vary from region to region, but the basic game rules still generally apply.
How to Play Left Center Right
LCR requires at least three players and it can support up to twelve at one time. The game comes with three six-sided dice and a stack of colorful chips that are to be handed out to players, with three going to each person. The die are not standard, but instead marked with L on one side, C on another, and R on a third face, while the rest of the sides of the dice feature a solitary dot. On their turn, each player will roll all three of the dice and the results will dictate what number of chips they will lose and what number their neighbors or the center pot will win.
For every L that comes up, the player must pass one of their chips to the person who is seated to their left. For every R that was thrown, the player is obligated to give one of their chips to the player that is sitting to their right. They are also required to give a chip to the center pot, in the middle of the table, for every C that is showing, as well. The black dots, meanwhile, require no action on the part of the player.
The good news is that a player is never really out of the game in LCR, regardless of how dire their situation may seem. Even if you don’t have any chips left at all, you could still be back in the game at any time as long as the players next to you are rolling. When a player has three chips, they are allowed to throw all three dice, but once their chip assets start to dwindle, so do the number of dice that they get to toss. Players holding two chips throw two of the dice and players holding a single chip are given one die to roll. If a player doesn’t have any chips, they aren’t allowed to roll and their job basically becomes to sit there patiently and wait for one of their neighbors to pass them a chip. The last player holding chips is the winner and they get to collect the center pot that has been accumulating throughout the game.
Cash Variations on LCR
There are some popular variations on Left Center Right, particularly when it’s being played with money rather than plastic chips. In one version, the last person with any money left is forced to continue to roll the dice until they are able to hit three dots in order to be named the winner and collect their money. If they roll any combination other than three dots, the game goes on, just as it has.
For instance, in this type of game, if a player is the only one still holding money, and they rolled a L, a C, and a dot, they would still have to give one coin or bill to the person to their left and they’d have to contribute to the center pot. This brings the player to their left back into the game and makes it much more difficult to be declared the winner of the pool than the standard rules game does.
The cash version is also very often played using standard six-sided dice instead of the ones that are marked with letters for the commercial game. In this variation, each time a player rolls a 1, they are meant to pass a chip to the player on their left, and each time that they roll a 2, they should pass a chip to the player to the right. A roll of 3 means that one of their chips must go into the center pool, while a 4, 5 or a 6 serves as a dot in this game.
The game can also be sped up by requiring that players who don’t have any chips left remove themselves from the table, rather than waiting to be brought back into play by a roll of the dice. This variation brings the circle down to a smaller group quickly and the game is usually finished much sooner in this way.
With a simple concept that is fun and unique, Left Center Right is a dice game that breathes new life into these ancient game pieces. Its uncommon format delights game veterans while its easy rules ensure that even the newest player will have a great time. Best of all, LCR has the power to make players relinquish all control of the outcome of the game and to actually enjoy themselves as they do it.