Can't Stop is a game of rolling dice and knowing when to stop pushing one's luck.
There are 11 routes to the top of the board, represented by columns 2 to 12. At the start of the game, all routes are open and players may overtake one another. Once a player has reached the top of the board, that route is closed and other players lose their progress. The winner is the first player that reaches the top of the board by three different routes.
Can't Stop is played with a board consisting of 11 columns, numbered from 2 to 12, four dice, and three black circles as temporary markers. Each player has a progress marker in their color for each column.
On a player's turn, they roll the four dice, split them into two groups of two dice however they like, then advance a step on each column whose sum is equal to some group of the dice.
- Roll: 3,3,4,4. One can split it to 3,3 and 4,4, advancing a step on each of columns 6 and 8, or 3,4 and 3,4, advancing two steps on column 7.
- Roll: 2,3,4,5. One can split it in three ways: 2,3 and 4,5 (columns 5 and 9), 2,4 and 3,5 (columns 6 and 8), or 2,5 and 3,4 (columns 7 and 7).
- Roll: 4,4,4,6. There is only one way to split it, 4,4 and 4,6, which means columns 8 and 10.
- Roll: 1,1,1,1. There is only one way to split it, 1,1 and 1,1, which means columns 2 and 2.
In a turn, a player may only advance in three columns. (This is pivotally important to understanding what moves are allowed or disallowed.) The temporary markers are to help the player in keeping track of their progress. However, one must make as many moves as possible.
- One hasn't moved at all and rolled 2,3,4,5. They decide to split as 2,3 and 4,5, advancing on columns 5 and 9. This is allowed; they advanced on columns 5 and 9. They may not choose to advance only on column 5 or only on column 9 because they must perform all moves possible.
- One has moved on columns 4 and 5 and rolled 2,3,4,5. They decide to split as 2,3 and 4,5, advancing on columns 5 and 9. This is allowed; they advanced on columns 5 and 9.
- One has moved on columns 2 and 3 and rolled 2,3,4,5. They decide to split as 2,3 and 4,5, and so should have advanced on columns 5 and 9. But this is not allowed; it makes them advance on four columns. They must pick either 5 or 9 to advance from.
- One has moved on columns 2, 3, and 12 and rolled 2,3,4,5. No matter how they split the dice, they cannot advance.
Stopping One's Turn
A player keeps their turn until they choose to stop or they cannot advance (like the last of the examples above). In the former case, the progress markers for the columns advanced are moved up to the locations of the temporary markers. In the latter case, the temporary markers are removed; the progress markers are not moved.
- One decides to stop after advancing 3 steps on column 7, 2 steps on column 8, and 1 step on column 9, after previously have advanced 4 steps on column 6 and 3 steps on column 9. Now their position is 4 steps on column 6, 3 steps on column 7, 2 steps on column 8, and 4 steps on column 9.
- One advanced 3 steps on column 7, 2 steps on column 8, and 1 step on column 9, after previously have advanced 4 steps on column 6 and 3 steps on column 9. They roll the dice and cannot advance. The temporary markers are removed and the progress markers remain at 4 steps on column 6 and 3 steps on column 9.
Completing A Column
When one decides to stop and they have reached the end of a column, that column is scored for that player and no other player may advance in that column. For example, if column 5 has been scored and one splits a 2,3,4,5 to 2,3 and 4,5, they cannot advance on column 5 because it has been scored.
When one completes three columns, they win.
The strategy of the game is based on knowing when to stop. As one keeps playing, they still have the risk of losing all progress on the turn; stopping will save the progress but gives the other players a turn each. Knowing which is more beneficial helps.
Columns with more extreme numbers are less probable (a 2 is only scored by a 1,1 and a 12 is only scored by a 6,6, while a 7 is scored by six pairs of dice), so they have fewer steps to work on. One's strategy can also revolve on choosing whether to aim for middle columns or extreme columns.
One more element of strategy consists of pursuing the same columns as your opponent(s), as scoring the column before they do can deprive them of their advantage, esp. if they are only ahead in a few columns including this.