Playing Petals Around the Rose

Figuring out the trick to playing Petals Around the Rose is challenging

Clear Dice With Shallow Depth of Field, Die Displaying Number Four in Focus
Dice. Adrienne Bresnahan / Getty Images

Petals Around the Rose is a puzzle game you play with dice and a friend who already knows how to play. The challenge is to answer the question "how many petals are around the rose" following each roll of the dice. The new player must use inductive reasoning to figure out what the rose is, what the petals are, and how to answer the question posed by the name of the game.

How to Play Petals Around the Rose

You need five dice (or more, if you want a harder game).

They should be traditional dice with from one to six spots on each side. The player who already knows the answer to the game tosses the dice, looks at them and then tells the new player how many petals are around the rose, without revealing the logic behind the answer.

The new player then tosses the dice. The player who knows the answer to the puzzle states how many petals there are around the rose of the new player's toss without explaining how he arrived at the answer.

The players continue to take turns tossing the dice. The player who knows the answer to the game states the number of petals around the rose of both his and the new player's tosses, after giving the new player a chance to study his toss and figure out an answer.

Eventually, the new player should figure out the secret and give the correct response. Just to confirm the player has solved the puzzle (and didn't make a lucky guess), he tosses the dice a few more times and states the correct answer each time.

The Secret to Playing Petals Around the Rose

When the dice are rolled, they come to rest with a single size facing upward. The rose is the dot in the center of an upward facing die side. The dice that show a one, three and five sides each have a rose; the sides with two, four or six dots do not have a dot in the center of the die, so they do not have a rose.

The petals are the dots that appear around the center dot (the rose). The one die doesn't have any petals because it doesn't have any dots other than the rose in the center. The two, four and six dies don't have any petals because they don't have a center rose. The three die has two petals around the center rose, while the five die has four petals around the center rose.

On each toss of the dice, you need to look only at the dice that display a three and a five. They are the only numbers with both a rose and petals. Count the spots that are not in the center—two on a three die and four on a five die—and speak the total. That is the secret to playing the game.