“Can’t Stop” is a classic dice rolling game from the late 1970’s, despite it’s age it is a game that is always in high demand among classic game fans. The game has a column for the numbers 2 through 12. The goal is to roll your dice and move to the top of three columns before your opponents can do the same. The game is for two to four players and the original version was created by Sid Sackson. This article will explain how the game is played, and then explain how to make your own game board so you can save some money and play the game at home.
Each player receives 11 markers of their color as there is one column for each number from one to twelve. The first thing you will notice is that the column for 7’s is much longer than the column for 2’s and 12’s this is based on statistical probabilities. On a person’s turn they will roll the four dice, and then they will make two pairs out of those dice however they wish. These will tell them what numbers they are trying to roll. They will mark these two numbers with temporary markers. On each turn after that they still roll the four dice and again make pairs. If the total of a pair equals one of the columns they have their temporary marker on they move it forward another square. If they can not make a pair that equals one of the columns they have marked by their temporary markers, they do have one final temporary marker (you get three of them) that they can place on the board. After each roll they have an option to “stop” and replace their temporary markers with their colored permanent ones or keep rolling. If on a roll of the dice they are unable to form a pair totaling one of the columns their temporary markers are place in (once all three have been placed), their turn ends and the temporary markers are removed. That player does not get to put their permanent markers on the board. If someone “stops”, then on their next turn if they pair up dice for a number they have their permanent marker in they start at that space in the column with the temporary marker. Remember your goal is to be the first person to reach the top of three columns
When one player reaches the top of a column, their opponents markers from that column are removed, and that number is no longer “in play”. In other words you can’t pair dice to make that number as someone has already won that column. The game ends when somebody reaches the top of three different columns. This is a rather easy game that doesn’t require a lot of strategy. Basically your strategy is determined each turn by your first two pairs. Of course it does test your tolerance of risk. Will you try for the column with the fewest spaces in it (the 2 and the 12) which also has the fewest pair combinations to get that number, or will you try the longer columns that take more rolls to win? The strategy is up to you!
As mentioned in the beginning of this article though this game is rather old, and it is very hard to find the original game board. My suggestion is to make your own game board. On a piece of poster board create 11 columns. The middle column will have 11 spaces and be the number 7. Next to that will be the numbers 6 and 8 and each will have 10 spaces. Then going further outside you will have 5 and 9 with nine spaces each. Next comes 4 and 10 with seven spaces each (notice the decline of two spaces at this point). The reduction of two spaces continues with 3 and 11 only have 5 spaces. Finally 2 and 12 only have 3 spaces. This will create your playing board. Next you will need markers. My suggestion is to use small Lego pieces, you will need 11 of each color for the number of players. You could also choose to use Legos as the temporary markers, but for creativity I prefer small poker chips. Of course the only other pieces you need are four dice.
That is all you need to create your own version of “Don’t Stop”, it would probably cost you about $5 to $10 at the most for all these components and probably on the low end of that total. Considering this game generally runs anywhere from $25 to $40 at classic game stores and only auction sites, that is a great bargain. If you are buying it to play the game, following these directions to create your own is your best option. Of course if you are a classic game collector then this might not be the best solution for you, but I figured I would share this option with everyone so they know it exists. Again, it’s a game that won’t challenge you too much mentally, but it is a good time killing game.