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Learn to play Cacho


Annemarie Barrett, missioner in Bolivia, spends much of her time gardening to help the community in Cochabamba. Surprisingly enough, she does have down time. “Cacho is a game I often play with friends here in Cochabamba,” she said, “and I loved sharing the tradition with my family as well when they came to visit.”

Annemarie's brother and sister-in-law playing cacho.

Annemarie’s brother and sister-in-law playing cacho.

To pass the time, or just to enjoy each other’s company, Cacho is a vastly popular game deeply loved Bolivia.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 dice
  • A cup
  • Pen and paper

Missioner Hady Mendez is also familiar with the game. “The game is played at almost any type of event where groups of people gather,” Hady said. “Some folks play it at the local bar during happy hour.  I’ve played it with other missioners and Bolivians at community nights and get togethers.”

A friendly game of Cacho

A friendly game of Cacho.

Goal: To score as many points as possible.

-Each player has three rolls per turn to score as many points as possible. Once a player has rolled they can decide what dice to keep, and what dice to re-roll for extra points.
-Players may say “abajo” (underneath) during any roll to score the underneath or the reverse side of the dice. The reserve side is what will be scored, not the face-up side.
-Scores are tallied when all fields have been completed. The player with the highest score wins.

Scoring: draw a tic-tac-toe board on a piece of paper. Follow the scoring example pictured below. Scoring is as follows:

  • Each side of the dice is worth face value
  • Escalera (straight: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) in one roll: 25 points
  • Escalera (straight) in a series of rolls: 20 points
  • Full house (3 of the same number, 2 of another) in one roll: 35
  • Full house in a series of rolls: 30 points
  • Poker (4 of a kind) in one roll: 45 points
  • Poker in a series of rolls: 40 points
  • La Grande (five of a kind): 50 points
  • Dormida (five of a kind) in one roll: automatically wins the game, and the game ends.


Typical scorecard after being filled in.

Typical scorecard after being filled in.

Rules taken from Steph Side Story. Pictures from Hady Mendez and Annemarie Barrett

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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