Yahtzee is a form of dice game created by Milton Bradley. The game is currently owned by Hasbro. The game was first marketed in 1956 by entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe. Yahtzee evolved from earlier dice games like Generala and Yacht. The game of Yahtzee is comparable to the English game of Cheerio dice and the Poker Dice games. A Scandinavian version of the game, known as Yatzy is also very popular.

The main goal of the game is to acquire as many points as possible by rolling five dices to create certain combinations. The player can roll the dices up to a maximum of three times in a single turn to hit one of the thirteen probable scores. A game of Yahtzee comprises of thirteen rounds; the player has to decide which scoring combination he or she is going to use in that round. A combination once used in the game cannot be used again in the same game.

The different scoring combinations have variable point values. Some of the point values are fixed while others have a collective value of the dices. A Yahtzee score is five-of-a-kind and it has the maximum point value of 50 in a definite game.

How to play the Yahtzee game

The Yahtzee scorecard has thirteen boxes which are categorized into two sections; namely, the upper section and lower section.

Upper section

In the upper section of the Yahtzee game, the score of each box is determined by adding the aggregate number of dice faces that match that box. For example, when a player rolls three "twos", he will have a score of 6 in the twos box. Once a player hits a total score of at least 63 points in the boxes of the upper section, a total bonus of 35 points will be added to the player's upper section score. Although the 63 points correlate to a three-of-a-kind for the six individual faces of the dice, a usual method to attain the bonus points is to roll four or five of a larger number. This will reduce the need of using the smaller numbers. A player is eligible to receive the bonus even if his or her upper section score is zero.

Lower section

The lower section of the game has numerous poker-themed combinations that have definite point values:

  • Chance: This can happen by any combination.
  • Yahtzee: All five dice display the same face.
  • Large Straight: Five dices are in sequential order.
  • Small Straight: Four dices are in sequential order.
  • Full House: This has a three-of-a-kind and a pair.
  • Four-Of-A-Kind: In this, a minimum of four dices show the same face.
  • Three-Of-A-Kind: In this, a minimum of three dices show the same face.

In a single turn, a player can roll the dice up to three times. The player can then save any dice that he or she wants to use to finish a combination and then again roll the other dice. After rolling for the third time, the player has to find a place for putting the score, although he or she can also decide to end the turn and score after a few rolls. If the combination of dice does not fit into any unused scoring class, the player has to put a "zero" in any of the unused boxes. After that the score of each player is determined by adding all of the thirteen score boxes.