Dice Gift Exchange Game

The dice gift exchange game is a fun twist to gift exchanges for parties. It is incredibly simple to set up and play. All you need is for everyone to bring a wrapped gift and a pair of dice, and you are ready to start playing.

Through fun rounds of play, everyone gets a gift. There’s plenty of laughs to be had, and it adds some excitement to a gift exchange. We’ll explain how to play, including some variations, and cover every detail so you can play at your next party.

Dice Gift Exchange Rules & Gameplay

The game is similar to a white elephant gift exchange but much more exciting. It is really easy to play once you learn the basic steps for gameplay.

The idea is to pass out gifts to each person. You roll the dice, and it tells you what you should do, whether that is picking up a gift, passing it, or doing something else.

The basic gameplay steps are as follows:

1. Bring Gifts

Everyone should bring a suitable gift for anyone else coming to the party because they won’t know who will end up with it. You can set a price range for gifts if you like or even create a theme. That part is up to you. The most important thing is that everyone brings a gift to give.

Also, everyone needs to wrap the gift they bring. Part of the fun of the game is unwrapping to see what you get and trying to judge what it may be without being able to see it.

2. Set Up to Play

To set up the game, everyone should sit in a circle. You will put the gifts in the middle until you are ready to start. At that time, everyone should choose a gift, but nobody should unwrap anything yet.

3. Roll the Dice

You will then begin playing the game. This involves rolling the dice and taking action based on what comes up. You may want to have a plate or something in which to roll the dice, so they don’t bounce away.  

4. End Game

The game ends once every person has an unwrapped gift.

3 Variations to Try

The main part of the game involves what actions you take based on the dice you roll. This is where the variations come in.

Each version of the game has different rules for actions, so you will need to choose the variation you want to play. Consider which will work best for your group’s size and the types of players you will have.

Variation #1

The first variation is the simplest. It would work well for a group that includes children or a huge group as gameplay can move rather swiftly. It is also very easy to remember the rules, which is nice if this is your first time playing the game.


You only need one die for this variation. You will complete an action dependent on what number you roll:

  • 1: unwrap your gift
  • 2: everyone gives the gift they have to the person on his or her right
  • 3: everyone gives the gift they have to the person on his or her left
  • 4: you choose two players to swap gifts (yourself excluded)
  • 5: you can steal any gift you want (and give your gift to that person)
  • 6: keep the gift you have, and you are out of the game

Game ends when everyone has left the game & got a gift after rolling a six.

Variation #2

The second variation is also rather easy to play. It focuses more on stealing gifts, which makes it ideal if you have a group of highly competitive people who will see the humor in trying to get the best gift.


The game begins in a normal manner, with everyone choosing a gift. You only need one die for this variation, and the actions are as follows:

  • 1: switch gifts with the person on your right
  • 2: switch gifts with the person on your left
  • 3 or 4: switch gifts with anyone of your choice
  • 5 or 6: unwrap the gift you have

Game ends when everyone has an unwrapped gift and decides to keep the gift they have.

Variation #3

The final variation we’ll cover is more complex. You will need to print out the guide to follow as you play. It is probably best for experienced players or small groups since it is a more involved variation. However, this version is much more exciting because there are so many actions possible.


For this variation, you need to have a pair of dice. You will roll both and use both numbers to determine your action based on the following grid: 

1Unwrap your giftTrade on rightMake two other people tradeTrade on leftEveryone pass to rightTrade with anyone
2Trade on rightUnwrap your giftUnfreeze any giftTrade and freeze your giftTrade for an unopened oneFriendly wager
3Make two other people tradeUnfreeze any giftUnwrap your giftTrade with the next person who talksFriendly wagerEveryone pass to the left
4Trade on leftTrade and freeze your giftTrade with the next person who talksUnwrap your giftFreeze someone else’s giftUnfreeze and steal any gift you want
5Everyone pass to the rightTrade for an unopened giftFriendly wagerFreeze someone else’s giftUnwrap your giftFreeze your gift
6Trade with anyoneFriendly wagerUnfreeze any giftEveryone pass to the leftFreeze your giftUnwrap your gift

For example, if you roll a 2 and a 5, you will trade your gift with someone who has not yet opened their gift.

It does not matter in which order you read the die as the grids match up. Whether you read the grid for two across and five down or two down and five over, the answer will be the same.

A freeze is a special tool in the game. If you are under a freeze, nobody can take your gift, and you don’t have to trade or pass it until you are unfrozen.

The friendly wager means that you and a player of your choice each roll a die, and whoever gets the highest number can choose to keep their gift or trade with the other person.

Game ends when everyone has an unwrapped gift and wants to keep the gift they have.

Game Summary

The dice gift exchange game can be loads of fun. It jazzes up a typical exchange and makes for a fun activity during a party. Make sure you look over the variations and choose the one that will work the best in your situation. Everyone will want to come to your parties in the future once they discover the outrageous fun they can have playing this game.