Insurance is Betting!

Welcome Gamers and Players,

first of all, I know a miss a couple of updating, but I’m back. I’ve only have been a little busy with my work…
Today, as promised in my last post, I’ve got a free game draft for you (another one is in testing step, but it’s about something very difficult to gamify…).

Anyway, the game is called “Bet Insurance!“. This has been developed for a project about education within school, a sensibilization campaign about insurance… the project was not produced and released (probably it was simply too early: I’m talking about something like 7-8 years ago).

Lately, I decide to release it for free (be careful of Creative Commons copyleft – see right sidebar). The game is about to educate toward prevention, risk management and insurance covering.

The best setting for the game is a small study group (3-6 players), time requirement are very low and so props and game material. The only thing you need is a single dice (D6 or, even better, a D10) or any dice simulator (on smart phone and tablet they are really common).
All these requirement are fully compatible with class/school situation.

Game Mission

Objective of the game is very easy: to be the player with more Token in the end of the game.

The Game Mission is to show up that there is the best strategies to make insurance policy, an acceptable level of risk and an acceptable fee for any situation. Letting the player to be Insurance or Client will allow players to understand how can they find out a balance point between risk, fee and rewards.

All the game use a D6 dice for simplicity. If you are able to recover an appropriate number of D10 (10-face dice), they are even better because refer to a simpler measurement of proportion.

Game Setup

  1. Split the player in a group. The game will last until everyone will play 1 time as “Insurance”. If group are small (3-4 person), probably it’s better to set-up the game for 2 turns of Insurance to any players.
  2. Any group will receive a dice, a pen and a paper sheet to count Token of any players. There is no rule fixed for making contracts, al least until player and Insurance agree.
  3. Any players starts with 10 “Tokens” (20 Tokens if you are playing with a D10).

To allow a better interaction and role-play, you should create a tangible layer that support math. This game is about throwing a dice, and facing an accident. You can write down on class board to what is related any result, for example: “1 – ordinary life”; “2 – dangerous situation – bone broken”; “3 – car accident, bought again your car”, “4 – fire in your house”… and so on.
Choose hypothetically situation wisely, depending on the age and kind of school you’re acting in.

Game Rules

The game consists in a number of “Bet” equals to number of players). A “Bet” here means a “Round”. After any Bet, the “Insurance” (a role changing from player to player at any Bet) roll a dice, and find out what’s happened. The result applies to anyone: any player /except Insurance) must discard the number indicated by the dice. Those who have a Policy with Insurance in that turn, will discard an appropriate number of Token, and after that will take a Refund from Insurance equal to what their policy has.

Insurance policy are made freely between players and Insurance. Players and Insurance in the turn may find a different agreement. Check out “Extra Rules” to find others suggestion about how using the game.

If someone can’t pay a Token, it’s out of the game. If the Insurance can’t pay it’s policy, it’s out of the game, but the others player should be refounded as their policy said.

Tricks for Explanation

The game “as it is” requires, at least, few round of play to understand how can you apply good policies. Depending on scholar’s age, an option is to set up a full turn, played by teacher with fixed fee and dice result, to understand players how the game works. Here follow and example of Turn #1. Fill Turn #2, #3 and so on as you wish during your explanation.
The better way is to write down on class board the bet, and let the student fix the quote for this example game (with 3 players: Insurance for the round is marked with *).

Turn #1

  • 1 [10 tokens] – make a policy for “6” and “4”, paying $$ total and be refounded with $$$$$ and “$$$$$ $$” respectively if dice result is “4” or “6”.
  • 2 [10 tokens]– want to have a policy on “6” and “5”, paying $$$. Insurance doesn’t want a double bet on “6”, so offer a policy for “2”, “3” and “5” paying $$$, refounding $$$$ with any of these result.
  • 3* [10 tokens] – will collect $$$$$ on “1”, earning $ for “2”,”3″,”5″, not earning anything with “4” and losing $$ with a “6”. It seems and acceptable risk assessment, so close the round and throw the dice. Result is “1”. Anyone will lose “$”, except the Insurance that collect all Bet’s income without have to pay anyone.

On Turn #2, Token distribution is the following: n°1* [7 tokens], n°2 [6 tokens], n°3 [14 tokens]

Extra Rules

  • When you are in need for money, or you can’t pay a Bet, then you are out of the game. Fix or change this rule as you want, if you need to do so (as example, you may obtain +10 Tokens taking a “Penalty“. Any Penalty is equal to -10 in the final counting for victory).
  • If you want, you can liberalize the Insurance activity. This will apply anytime the Insurance doesn’t want to make an insurance to someone. Any other player can make a policy for that, with the usual rule. Note that the Insurance have always the first choise, and the player making a policy is not considered to be Insurance (will lose token for the turn).
  • Who start to Bet is the one with lowest Token number. This is not a core rules, because game want to encourage player to bet higher, rather than have a “sequence of play”. You can find this option more acceptable if your class is very young, very loudly, or if you think that a freeform round may became too chaotic.
  • Quotes are fixed. For the same reasons as above, with younger student you may find more useful to set-up fixed quote for any dice result, letting the players to choose their own, eventually in order as above. This is very useful as introduction to the concept of risk assessment, while the freeform game is more focused on risk assessment skills.
  • Insurance overlooking. Another option is that the Insurance may throw the dice witout showing the result. Then Insurance can offer another full array of policy to any player before showing to anyone the result.


The game itself seem little “poor”. It seems so, because it’s very simple in core mechanics. This is a design choise: complexity need to be built upon situation and dice roll that will occurs. As teacher (or team leader) you should suggest, after the game, to discuss about specific situation, wrong choises and so on, to help anyone to find out what’s interesting has happen within other betting group.

Please note also that the Token in the game will be lesser as game proceed. If you are playing with groups bigger thann what suggested, increase Token number: the player will have to play more round, and it’s more likely that a series of “6” will causemost of the player to bankrupt.

The important things this game want to teach is that there is a right choise, and there is a wrong choise when talking about probabilities, quotes, fee and rewards. You can also use this game as an introduction to probability calcolus.

Let me know if you find it useful in your activities, and see you soon.

P.S: to re-use this game follow instruction within “Creative Commons” to the right sidebar….
P.P.S: if you have any suggestion, actual play, question or need for help, comment here below to get answered.
P.P.P.S: my next free game (probably it’ll take a couple of months to be released)  will be about…. “Insider trading!“. Stay tuned!


2 thoughts on “Insurance is Betting!

  1. Pingback: Engage your Players! | Play for Business!


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