Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a bit like Poker but uses dice. It is a game where Probability is either on your side or not on your side.

Materials

  • 5 dice
  • pen and paper

Set-Up
On your piece of paper, draw a chart that lists the “hands” of dice down the left side and the players’ names across the top. The “hands” of dice, and the amount of points that each is worth, are:

  • 1s – sum of all 1s
  • 2s – sum of all 2s
  • 3s – sum of all 3s
  • 4s – sum of all 4s
  • 5s – sum of all 5s
  • 6s – sum of all 6s
  • 3 of a Kind – sum of the three matching numbers
  • 4 of a Kind – sum of the four matching numbers
  • Full House (3 of a Kind and a Pair) – 25 points
  • Short Straight (4 in a row) – 30 points
  • Long Straight (5 in a row) – 40 points
  • Chance – sum of all dice
  • Yahtzee – 50 points

Game Play
On your turn, roll the dice up to three times. You first roll all five of the dice. Then, you may choose which dice you would like to re-roll – if you want to re-roll any – and roll them. You then have one last chance to re-roll any of the dice. After your third roll (or after you’ve decided to stop rolling), you must score your roll as one of the above hands. Add your score to the chart in the appropriate spot. Then the next player rolls up to three times and scores his/her roll as one of the hands. The game is over when the chart is full, i.e. when each player has a score for each hand.

Notes

  • If there is no spot to score your roll that earns points, you must fill in a zero for one of the hands (your choice).
  • If you have successfully scored a yahtzee, i.e. you scored a yahtzee for 50 points and did not previously put a zero in for that hand, additional yahtzees receive a bonus of 100 points (write +100 under your column and do not fill in a score for a hand).
  • Parker and I prefer this rule for additional yahtzees: for every additional yahtzee, erase any one score entry and replace it with the maximum possible score for that hand.

Parker’s record for “Number of Yahtzees Scored in One Game” is four. Probability was on his side…

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