Date: September 2020
Author: Inspector Z

Joya shuts the box internationally. Not too long ago, Joya de Nicaragua released a limited edition. Not a limited edition cigar, but a limited edition box. The regular looking box os the Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 Gran Consul and the Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 Robusto Grande. The limited-edition part comes in the box. A game, a classic game called shut the box.

Now the game is going international. Joya de Nicaragua distributors from The Netherlands and New Zealand confirmed to us that the boxes are inbound. The number of boxes for the American market was limited to 500 pieces. How many boxes are made for the international markets is undisclosed.

The inspiration

Back in 2012, Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca was on tour, visiting old friends in the cigar industry. In one stop at Havana Mix Shop in Memphis, TN, he was challenged to a game. A game called Shut the box. As a numbers guy, backed by a Ph.D. in Economics, he accepted the dare. Eight years later, it has become his favorite game. That’s why Joya came up with the idea of making a cigar box that transforms into the game. You could argue that an exact science has nothing to do with rolling the dice, or you could simply try to shut the box!

Ministry of Cigars - Joya shuts the box internationally.

The game

Shut the Box is a traditional American game that Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca has become obsessed with and dares anybody to challenge him! “I never thought that day I would discover one of my now favorite pastimes, and moreover, that 8 years after, my team would come up with the idea of making a cigar box that transforms into it. The best of all is that now I’ll find it in cigar lounges across America when I visit.” said Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, Chairman of the Board. “For many years we have been thinking about ideas on how to make our empty boxes be useful after all cigars are smoked. This is how we decided to let people have some fun.” – Juan Ignacio Martínez, Executive President.

Shut the Box is a game of dice for one or more players, commonly played in a group of two to four for stakes. Traditionally, a counting box is used with tiles numbered 1 to 12 where each can be covered with a hinged or sliding mechanism. The game is also known under the names Blitz, Bakarat, Canoga, Klackers, Batten Down the Hatches, Kingoball, Trictrac, Cut-Throat, Fork Your Neighbor, and Jackpot.

The rules

At the start of the game all levers or tiles are “open” (cleared, up), showing the numerals 1 to 12. During the game, each player plays in turn. A player begins his or her turn by throwing or rolling the die or dice into the box. If the remaining tile(s) show 6 or lower, the player may roll only one die. Otherwise, the player must roll both dice. After throwing, the player adds up or subtracts the pips on the dice and then “shuts” () one of any combination of open numbers that equals the total number of dots showing on the dice. For example, if the total number of dots is 8, the player may choose any of the following sets of numbers (as long as all of the numbers in the set are available to be covered): 8, 7+1, 6+2, 5+3, 5+2+1, 4+3+1)

The player then rolls the dice again, aiming to shut more numbers. The player continues throwing the dice and shutting numbers until reaching a point at which, given the results produced by the dice, the player cannot shut any more numbers. At that point, the player scores the sum of the numbers that are still uncovered. For example, if the numbers 2, 3, and 5 are still open when the player throws a one, the player’s score is 10 (2 + 3 + 5 = 10). Play then passes to the next player. After every player has taken a turn, the player with the lowest score wins. If a player succeeds in closing all of the numbers, he or she is said to have “Shut the Box” – the player wins immediately and the game is over.

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