Rules for the dice game at Sinterklaas and Christmas

When December approaches again, many families and friends will plan another fun evening for Sinterklaas and Christmas. An extensive surprise evening is one of the most popular traditions for these evenings. With all the hustle and bustle, it is not always possible for some people to make a big surprise. A nice alternative is the dice game, where you compete for presents in a fun way. But what are the rules of this dice game?

The basics of the dice game for Sinterklaas and Christmas

The dice game for the holidays is a way to create a pleasant and even exciting evening. To play the game best, you need at least four people. Later in the game the presents are exchanged a lot, so you do need a number of people. The idea is that everyone buys a number of small gifts and takes them with them. A maximum amount can be agreed in advance for which gifts must be purchased. At the beginning of the evening, everyone’s presents are put in one big pile. All you have to do next is find a die. Each number on the die represents a different action. For example, think of ‘take a gift from the pile’ or ‘exchange a gift with the person opposite you’. These actions will ensure that the presents end up with someone else throughout the evening. This often creates a fun and enthusiastic ‘battle’ for the presents. Because at the end of the evening who will have the gift he/she wants most?

Supplies and rules


  • A big pile of presents
  • Die
  • A list with an explanation of the dice number
  • Possibly: pieces of paper with individual assignments


Round 1: wrapping presents!

The game is played in two rounds. You can decide how long you want each round to last. Round 1 is the most fun if it lasts half an hour. In the first round, the presents may already be taken from the pile, but not yet unpacked. This builds up the tension and allows you to speculate together on what is in which gift and who could have bought it. There are many things possible for each number on the die. An example of the assignments for each number on the die:

  1. Take a present from the pile
  2. Everyone pass a present to the left/right
  3. Steal a present from someone else
  4. Skip a turn
  5. Exchange a gift with someone else (choose who)
  6. Give a present to the person with the fewest gifts
  7. Nothing happens
  8. Etc.


Round 2: Unwrapping Presents!

After playing the first half hour, the atmosphere is good! There is already plenty of speculation about what could be inside the presents. From round 2 you can actually start unpacking the presents. The only rule that changes now is that you can open a present at the start of each turn. This way, more and more parcels appear and the game becomes more and more exciting. You could choose to change the actions after this round. At some point, however, all the presents are gone from the pile. You can now exchange this rule for another rule.

The command stack

When all the presents in the pile are gone, you can also choose to change the line to ‘take an assignment from the assignment pile’. If you and your group are very creative, you can come up with many other assignments! Examples of assignments include:

  1. Steal one present from everyone
  2. Sit in someone else’s place. The gifts must stay in the same place!
  3. Grab the biggest/smallest/longest/heaviest gift available
  4. Turn the game direction
  5. Drink a glass of water as quickly as possible. Every 2 seconds it takes you to give away a present
  6. Everyone with more than two gifts must give one away (to random person/the one with the fewest gifts)
  7. Etc. Have fun!


Expansion variant: the personal quiz game!

If you find it too monotonous to just play with a dice, you can also add an extra factor: the quiz game! Several variants are already known that involve playing with quiz cards from games such as Triviant or Party & Co. For each question answered correctly, you can then take a present or take an extra assignment from the pile. A fun variant of this game, which will increase the enthusiasm even further, is to create a personal quiz game instead of using Triviant cards. Before the evening, each participant thinks of 10 to 20 questions about themselves. These can be easy things such as ‘What is my favorite food’, but you can also make it more difficult, such as: ‘Which movie star did I used to have a crush on?’. By personalizing the quiz questions, there is more room for pleasant and fun conversations within the group. The quiz cards can be implemented in the game in two ways:

  1. The role of the dice is swapped with the quiz cards. At the start of each turn you get a quiz question from the stack. If you answer the question correctly, you can roll the dice.
  2. The quiz questions become an action on the die. For example, you decide that every time the number 1 is rolled, someone gets a quiz question. If the question is answered correctly, the person can throw again/take a gift from the pile.

As you can see, there are many different variants that you can play. The basis consists of a die with a specific action associated with each number. You can add components to this at your own discretion, such as assignment cards or question cards. Discuss in advance what everyone likes to do.

End of the game

You can let the game continue for as long as you want. However, at a certain point most of the tension is gone. You and your group can then choose, for example, to continue playing for another fifteen minutes or to play another 5 rounds of dice.