At the start of the game all levers or tiles are cleared, showing all the numerals 1 through 9. On a player's turn, they roll the pair of dice and then cover or "shut" certain numbers that equal the total of their dice roll. For example, a roll totaling 5 allows the player to shut either 1 and 4, 2 and 3, or just 5.
The player then rolls the dice again, aiming to shut out more numbers. This continues until the player cannot shut any available numbers, at which point they score one point per number covered. If the player manages to cover all the numbers in the game, they have "Shut the Box". Otherwise play passes to the next player, and after everyone takes a set number of turns the highest score wins.