Here (Briefly) Are The Yahtzee Rules

If you ever find yourself bored on a lazy Sunday afternoon or evening, consider playing a few rounds of Yahtzee (Yatzy) online. This board game that’s easy to learn and free to play is an excellent way to alleviate boredom.

The game’s objective is to roll five dice to achieve every one of the 13 scoresheet combinations so you can get the highest score. Decide player order by rolling the dice. The person getting the highest number goes first, and play then proceeds in a clockwise direction.

A turn consists of a player rolling the dice up to three times. After the first roll, decide which scorecard combination you’d like to shoot for. Keep only the dice that’ll help you attain this combination and reroll the others.

At the end of three rolls, write down your score in one of the boxes. If you fail to achieve your combination, you either get a zero, or you can total up all your points and put them in the Chance category.

The Upper Half of the Scorecard

The scorecard has two sections: an upper and lower half. The topmost section consists of six boxes—one for each of the numbers on the dice. Total up all the dice with the number that matches that box. For example, if you rolled four threes, mark the score as “12” in the threes box.

You’ll receive a bonus of 35 points if you score 63 points or more in this section.

The Lower Half

Scoring in the lower half is a bit more complicated, with combinations based on classic poker hands:

  • THREE OF A KIND: Three dice with the same number value plus the total of the rest of the dice.
  • FOUR OF A KIND: Four dice with the same number plus the total of the remaining dice.
  • FULL HOUSE: Three of a kind combined with two of a kind, giving you a score of 25 points.
  • SMALL STRAIGHT: Four dice in consecutive numerical order for a total of 30 points.
  • LARGE STRAIGHT: Five dice in consecutive numerical order gives you a total of 40 points.
  • CHANCE: The sum of all dice.
  • YAHTZEE: Five of the same number for a score of 50 points.

Scoring Additional Yahtzees

For every Yahtzee you get after your initial one, you’ll get 100 points. You’ll also receive a wild card you can use in any other category with one caveat: if you haven’t filled out the upper section box that corresponds to the number that gave you the Yahtzee, you’ll need to do that first.

If you’ve already used that box, use your wild card in any lower section box.

Winning the Game

The player getting the highest score after completing all 13 rounds wins the game. If you’d like more information, check out the complete rules including how to play Yahtzee.

Strategic Tips to Level Up Your Skills

Now that you’ve learned the basics of the game, it’s time to learn a little strategy. Many of the following tips depend on knowing which dice to keep and which ones to throw out, and the best time to go for a particular combination.

While most people know that casino games such as blackjack allow for a high degree of strategic play, not many know that the same thing applies to Yahtzee. Making the right strategic choices makes the game less about luck and more about skill. The more you play Yahtzee, the better you’ll get at levering your strategic knowledge to beat the pants off opponents, which can be immensely satisfying!

Hold Off on Using the Chance Box

In Yahtzee, it can be tempting to use the Chance box when you utterly fail to achieve the combination you were shooting for. However, it would be best to only use this category after exhausting all other options. That way, you’ll avoid using this box too soon, and the option will be available to you when you absolutely need it.

For example, if you get a lousy roll early in the game, it might be better to mark a zero on the ones or twos in the upper section than to use the Chance box.

Focus on Getting a High Score in the Upper Section

Because a 35-point bonus is nothing to sneeze at, focus on getting the highest possible score in the upper section with laser-sharp intensity. That way, you’ll maximize the odds of racking up 63 points so you can snag the bonus and end up with an above-average score.

However, if you feel scoring the bonus on the upper section is no longer an option, you might want to change your strategy to trying to roll as many Yahtzees as you can. Getting two Yahtzees in a single game could be enough to score a decisive win over your opponents, even if you get a horrible score in the upper section.

Don’t Stop at Just One Yahtzee

Many players make the mistake of timidly stopping going after Yahtzees after getting their first one. However, remember that you get a whopping 100-point bonus for every Yahtzee after your initial one, plus a wild card you can use in any scoring category.

These big bonuses should be enough incentive to shoot for multiple Yahtzees.

Keep Full Houses Consisting of Low Numbers

Keep a full house consisting of lower number dice if you shake one early in the game. However, if the full house has some higher numbers, you might want to reroll the lower numbers to maximize your points. For example, if you roll a full house consisting of two twos and three sixes on your first shake, re-shake those twos to see if you can get even more sixes.