The object of Bones is to accumulate 10,000 points by throwing six dice, whose combinations earn a certain score. A straight (the same number on each of six dice) is worth 2,500 points, rolling five of a kind is worth 2,000 and rolling four of a kind is worth 1,500. Three of a kind is worth 1,000 points, while ones are worth 100 and fives count as 50.
The order of play is determined by a pre-game roll of five dice. Players have the option of re-rolling any dice that don't carry a score; only ones, threes, and fives count towards the point totals throughout the game. For example, if a player rolls three fives and three fours, only the fives count as 1,000 points earned for a three-of-a-kind roll. The player with the highest number of points is the one who goes first when starting the game. If a player ends up making a roll with no counting dice, he loses all points for that turn. If a player rolls five of a kind on his first roll, he scores 10,000 points (which is called a "bones"). Unless the other players can do the same, the first player wins the game automatically. To get on the scoreboard, a player must choose a minimum number of points and then reach that number on his first turn. Beginners are advised to choose 50 so that any score admits them into the game, but 500 is the common minimum.