Yahtzee Tutorial

Basic Structure of Play

Yahtzee is a dice game which involves rolling five six-sided dice. If you don’t have that many, it will be a bit harder to play the game, but you can still make it work.

Players alternate taking turns, presumably to avoid becoming too bored, although you could even just play the game by yourself since the game doesn’t involve collaboration between players or interactions between them except for determining the winner.

At the start of your turn, you must roll five six-sided dice. You can then choose to reroll as many dice as you want (you get to pick the ones that you want to keep), ranging from zero to all five. You must either roll all of these together or declare which ones that you will keep, since adjusting which dice you want to reroll while still in the process of rerolling is against the rules. You get one more reroll after that, which can definitely help you get the dice you want.

## Example Turn

An example turn may go as follows:

1, 2, 2, 4, 4

Player chooses to reroll one of the twos and one of the fours.

1, 2, 4 | 3, 6

Player chooses to reroll only the six.

1, 2, 3, 4 | 3

End of turn.

After each turn, you will have to choose a category on the scorecard for your roll to represent. (More on that later) There are thirteen total rounds in a game of Yahtzee.

The Scorecard

At the end of your turn, you will get to pick which category you would like to score points in. You cannot get multiple instances of any category, including Yahtzees, although they are handled slightly differently. Each item has scoring guidelines, which I will describe below.

Upper Section

The upper section really only has two important components, the set of numbers 1-6, and the upper section bonus. For the sections for each number on the dice, the score formula is the sum of all the dice of the specified number.

Ones / Aces: Score one point for each die that has the value *1*.

Twos: Score two points for each die that has the value *2*.

Threes: Score three points for each die that has the value *3*.

Fours: Score four points for each die that has the value *4*.

Fives: Score five points for each die that has the value *5*.

Sixes: Score six points for each die that has the value *6*.

Total Score: This will be the sum of the values in the six boxes above this category.

Bonus: If your value for “total score” above is 63 or greater, score 35 points. Otherwise, score 0.

Total: This is the sum of *Total Score* and *Bonus*.

Lower Section

If you do not meet the criteria to gain a score in a specific category, score 0 points in that category.

Three of a kind: If you have 3 or more occurrences of the same value, score the sum of *all* your dice.

Four of a kind: If you have 4 or more occurrences of the same value, score the sum of *all* your dice.

Full House: If you have 3 of one die and 2 of another, score 25 points. (EX: 2, 2, 5, 5, 5)

Small Straight: If you have a run of four dice, score 30 points. (EX: 1, 2, 3, 4, 2)

Large Straight: If you have a run of five dice, score 40 points. (EX: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Yahtzee: If you have all 5 dice of the same kind, score 50 points.

Chance: Score the same number of points as the sum of all 5 of your dice. (no requirements)

Yahtzee Bonus: If you get another 5-of-a-kind *after* scoring another yahtzee in the yahtzee slot, gain 100 points for each extra occurrence. This category acts similarly to the Bonus for the upper section, as this is not a category that you can select at the end of your turn.

Total: This is the sum of all of the categories in the lower section above this point.

Total: This allows you to rewrite your final score for the upper section to make addition easier.

Grand Total: This is your final score of the game.

Example Rounds

With the help of a random number generator and some modifications to make them more interesting, I’ll play through some example rounds just so you can get a better idea of how the game works.

Please note that the best choices for what you should reroll, what you shouldn’t, and where you should score your dice depend a lot on what your scorecard already looks like.

## Example 1

5, 2, 6, 2, 3

Since there are multiple twos, I’m going to keep them and see how many I can get.

2, 2 | 6, 5, 6

2, 2 | 1, 5, 6

This represents a score of 4 in **Twos** and of 16 in **Chance**.

It is also 1 in **Ones**, 5 in **Fives**, and 6 in **Sixes**.

## Example 2

2, 4, 5, 6, 1

Since this seems fairly close to a straight, I’ll keep the 2, 4, and 5 in order to get one. However, the chances of rolling one from this point aren’t great.

2, 4, 5 | 2, 3

2, 3, 4, 5 | 2

This would be best used for a score of 30 in **Small Straight**.

It is also 4 in **Twos**, 3 in **Threes**, 4 in **Fours**, 5 in **Fives**, 16 in **Chance**, and 0 anywhere else.

## Example 3

5, 1, 5, 6, 6

This seems like a good full house, fives, sixes, or three of a kind. I’ll reroll the 1 to see what I can get.

5, 5, 6, 6 | 6

I’ll stop my turn here, since I’m probably not going to improve on this.

This would be a good 18 in **Sixes**, 28 in **Three of a kind**, and 25 in **Full House**. It will score some points in other categories and is a high chance roll, although chance should really be a last resort.

- Any Questions?
- Have you ever played Yahtzee either with acutal dice or on a phone?