First to 50: A Simple Game Guaranteed to Generate Good Times


Sometimes the most fun games are the most simple. That is a good thing because as youth workers we sometimes are just too tired or run out of time to plan, organize, and lead an elaborate game. First to 50 is a simple game, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. Youth and adults alike will soon be cheering, yelling, and most of all laughing while they all seek to be the First to 50.

Set Up:

  1. Tables that seat groups of 5-10 people.
  2. One die and one pen for each table (have a few back up dice and pens)
  3. An index card for each player. (have extra index cards for games more than two rounds)


  1. Each person starts with a blank index card. The pen and die are placed in the middle of the table.
  2. Each group selects a person to go first – or the game leader designates someone such as “The person wearing the most red.”
  3. The die is passed around the table with each player getting one roll to try to get a “6.”
  4. If a player does not roll a “6” on his turn, he passes the dice to the next player.
  5. If a player rolls a “6” she picks up the pen and begins writing numbers on her index card in order starting with “1.”
  6. Players continue to pass the die each trying to roll a “6” while the player who got a “6” continues to write numbers “1…2…3…4…5”
  7. When another player rolls a “6” he yells “Pen!” and takes the pen from the player writing numbers.
  8. Play continues until a player writes all of the numbers “1-50.” This person is the winner of the round.

Taking it to the Next Level:

  1. Play several rounds and keep track of how many rounds each player won.  Award a prize to the person with the most wins.
  2. If you have enough people to have more than one table playing at a time, select the top 1-2 players with the most wins from each table to compete in a championship match.
  3. Avoid pens with metal clips on them (or clips at all) as players may scrape their hands when they are grabbing the pen from one another.

You may be surprised at how quickly your youth and adults will get immersed in this simple game. Games often get loud, intense, and competitive. This game offers most everyone a chance to win since there is no skill involved and always seems to bring out everyone’s personalities. It is as much fun to watch as it is to play. Just make sure you are not playing in a room next to your pastor’s Bible study or a room full of sleeping babies!


One Response

  1. I’ve adapted this for my 6th grade ELA class. EX: Write as many nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. After die has gone around circle once-I determine legal answers and declare the winner.

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