I play Catan rather competitively with a few friends, and since we're all seasoned players, the time taken for a turn is pretty quick, maybe around 20s per turn.

Sometimes because of the fast pace, some players may miss their die-roll turns, or a player taking consecutive turns, without the other players realising it. I want to know if there is a systematic way to log the die rolls taken by each player so that the occurrence of the above events are reduced. I am thinking of a mobile apps which preferably support die rolls of 1 to 12, and with a unique colour identifier for each player, but I can't seem to find such applications. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?

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    you can play catan online XD Commented May 17, 2020 at 7:21
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    We considered that option, but we don't really know what's a good platform that has good performance and does not require us to pay. Commented May 17, 2020 at 7:24
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    You can have a dealer token like in poker. One who has it rolls the dice passes it to next person before rolling. Then make the trades, so whosoever has token in his/her hand knows that they are the ones to roll next Commented May 17, 2020 at 8:55
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    Are players waiting for the previous turn to be complete before starting their turn?
    – Joe W
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 16:33
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    I suspect that if you're playing so fast that entire turns are being missed/double played then you will be having many more issues, e.g. resource taking/spending, construction irregularities, invalid turn order etc. Technology alone is not going to solve this, you need to get players to agree to more structure, even if it slows them down.
    – David258
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 14:34

5 Answers 5


Use the dice themselves as a reminder of whose turn it is. This avoids the need for any extra tokens or start player marker.

If players roll them in front of themselves and then they physically pass them to the next player once their turn is over. It should then be clear whose turn it is.

That way a player can't roll twice as dice are already in front of them. A player can not be skipped as the dice are passed to them by the player ending their turn.

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    Fwiw, my family plays all board-games with dice like this; I didn’t know people did differently until today Commented May 17, 2020 at 17:29
  • I would edit to add that you put the dice in the other player's hand and they don't put them down until they've rolled (in case they are playing a knight before rolling)
    – Kevin
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 18:08

In addition to what the others said I would suggest slowing down the pace of play. It doesn't matter if you have a tracker to keep track of who rolled and what they got, using a token to indicate the next player or pass the dice if you are moving too fast for those systems to catch a mistake.

I would ask what else are you missing because of your fast play if players are missing turns and others are taking multiple turns in a row.

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    The problem arise not solely because I was playing quickly, but that everyone was playing quickly. When someone rolls the dice and begins to plan their move, another may start rolling. There is also some muscle memory of planning the next move, to the point some players think it's actually their turn, and do so anyway. If many people do this at the same time, it gives rise to the problem I have mentioned. Commented May 17, 2020 at 14:58
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    @PrashinJeevaganth The next player rolling to start their turn is the very definition of playing the game too quickly. The simple fact is you are breaking the rules if another player rolls the dice to start their turn before the previous player finishes their turn. The biggest problem is that they know what resources all players can get when the next turn starts which will influence the actions they take on their turn. You need to stop building bad habits of players starting their turn before it is time and problems like these will go away.
    – Joe W
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 16:29
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    @JoeW Technically 'cheating' but that doesn't mean OP shouldn't do it. If everyone wants the game to go at a fast pace and are acting in good faith, (just don't use the information about future rolls, which is easy because you're already planning your turn, so you don't even collect resources until you're done) it can really speed up the pace. It can become problematic if it's done too much/too sloppily but I've definitely seen it improve games where e.g. one player is particularly slow.
    – John K
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 23:36
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    @JohnK The op is talking about turns happening fast and says around 20 seconds per turn and that people are messing up by either taking extra turns or not rolling as they should. This is a very clear case of trying to play a game at pace that is way too quick and making mistakes because of it. The simplest way to fix mistakes like these it to make sure you follow the correct turn sequence and don't have the next player start their turn until the current player is completely done. This is a simple matter of not following the rules and then complaining that it causes problems with the game.
    – Joe W
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 23:58
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    @JohnK Simply put you can play a game at a fast pace and still follow the rules about how each turn is completed before the next one starts. Trying to handle multiple turns at once just slows things down as players have to pay attention to more things at once.
    – Joe W
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 23:59

You can have a dealer token like in poker. One who has it rolls the dice passes it to next person before rolling. Then make the trades, so whosoever has token in his/her hand knows that they are the ones to roll next.

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    A dice-rolling cup is another option here: you hand it to the next player at the end of your turn, and people are not allowed to roll the dice without using the cup. Or, perhaps something like a "Pop-o-Matic" which contains the dice, so that they can't be picked up and rolled. Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:51

As others have already pointed out, I strongly recommend you to adopt a fundamentally different approach of your and your pals unsound playing style, that would outrightly negate the necessity of such application, which is by the way beyond my comprehension of well structured and more importantly correct playing (maybe for children, but even that would teach bad habits).

Even given 20 seconds per turn on average (that makes 40-60 s until its your turn again), how could a "good" player possibly NOT notice to be at ones turn. Many others and I play at a fast pace, with friends or at tournaments, and never ever had that occured to me or to anyone that I know.

Not only are you breaking the rules, but you set standards for intransparent and chaotic games. Observing resource distribution is a key part of strong decision-making. You should therefore not intertwine resource distribution with trading or building, or worse full turns. Ones turn shall end upon handing over the dice to the next player.

The solution StartPlayer gave should be your first step to improve the aforementioned.


My family played Catan last night, I can see the issue. It arises even with slow players, because I might assume you have finished after a trade and build, take the dice and roll, even though you have still some cards. It is particularly difficult if you play the combined trade/build phase. We have two suggestions:

  1. The player whose turn it is must pick up the dice and hand them to the next player at the end of their turn. If they do not do this, their turn is not over and the next player may not roll.
  2. Various apps include virtual dice, which may be rolled by shaking or tapping a smartphone or tablet. Don't pass the phone or device until your turn is over. This also works well, because you can't knock the buildings off the board when rolling the dice as we tend to do!

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