Yahtzee, sometimes Yatzee without the h, is certainly one of the most famous dice game. It is played with 5 dice and the goal is to make as many points as possible by judiciously filling your score sheet.
One play in turn each after the other. At your turn, after having rolled the 5 dice for the first time, you can decide to roll again one, more or even all of your dice to improve your hand. When you are satisfied, or when you have exhausted the three rolls you are allowed to do at maximum, you must choose a row on your score sheet to put your points in.
The points you get depends on the combination you managed to obtain with your dice, and the row you chose. In general, you get 0 points if you didn't success in making the required combination for your selected row. Sometimes, you are obliged to select a row knowing that you will mark 0 because you have no other choice, or simply because some of the combinations are very difficult to have and you wish to protect some other rows. It's especially with the Yahtzee category. Each row is only used once, you aren't allowed to come back to an already marked row. A game is therefore composed of exactly 13 turns, after which the 13 rows of the sheet are full.
Score sheet and combinations
Your score sheet is composed of two main parts :
- The upper part contains the rows « Group 1 » to « Group 6 ». For these six rows, only the dice showing the corresponding group number are counting. For example, the hand 2 4 4 4 6 gives 12 point if it is put on group 4 because tehre are 3 dice showing the value 4, giving 4 points each. If it is put on group 2, it gives only 2 points because tehre is only a single die showing the value 2, and on group 1 it would be worth 0 points because tehre isn't any die showing number 1.
- The lower part contains different combinations mostly imspired from poker, that you must realise in order to effectively score points :
- Three of a kind: you obtain the sum of your 5 dice if at least three are identical. For example the hand 1 3 3 3 4 would count for 14 points.
- Four of a kind: with the same principle as above, you obtain the sum of your 5 dice if at least 4 are identical.
- Full, shorten for full house: at least 25 points are given for a combination containing three identical dice plus two identical dice of another value. For example 1 1 1 5 5. You can get more than 25 points by doing something like 6 6 6 5 5, but you will always at least get 25 points, even for 1 1 1 2 2, as long as you succeeded in making the combination correctly.
- Yahtzee: a forfait of 50 points is given if you succeed in obtaining 5 identical dice. Note that it is usually hard to get it, and, subsequently, this row is often sacrified.
- Small straight: a straight of 4 consecutive dice gives 30 points. There are only 3 possible small straight: 1 2 3 4, 2 3 4 5 and 3 4 5 6.
- Large straight: a straight of 5 consecutive dice gives 40 points. Only two large straights exist: 1 2 3 4 5 and 2 3 4 5 6. Be careful, it isn't so easy to do as it looks like.
- Chance: the sum of your 5 dice are counted without any restriction. This row is especially useful to score an unsatisfying hand which wouldn't go in another place.
A bonus of 35 points is given if the total score obtained in the upper part of the sheet (groups 1 to 6) is greater or equal than 63 points. These 63 points corresponds to 3+6+9+12+15+18, what is equivalent to say that to get the bonus, you must have got at least three dice of the correct value for each of the groups. An interesting strategy is to try to sacrify or compense weaknesses in smaller groups (1 or 2), which anyway never give many points, by better successes in greater groups (4, 5 and 6).
Additionnal rows in score sheets
This variant adds three rows in the score sheets, making a game last for a total of 16 turns unstead of 13 :
- Pair: the sum of the 5 dice are counted as soon as there are two identical.
- Double pair: the sum of the 5 dice is given if there are two groups of two identical dice. For example 1 3 3 5 5 would give 17 points.
- Misere: miser gives 36 points minus the sum of the 5 dice without any condition. You can see it as being the opposite of the chance, because the more the dice are big in value, the less points it can give. Note that you can count a maximum of 31 points for misere, but only 30 for chance.
Keyboard shortcut summary
- Enter: roll dice or marking score
- 1 to 6: select dice to roll again
- Shift + 1 to 6: unselect dice to roll again
- Space: repeat dice currently selected
- D: repeat latest roll obtained
- S: announce scores
- Shift+S: see full detailled score sheets
- T: announce who is playing