Yahtzee is a game played using five dice, each die has six sides with numbers from one to six on each side. And Yahtzee Score Sheet is used to note down the scores.
One of the most popular dice games in the world, Yahtzee is great for both small and large groups.
The game is played by players taking turns rolling the dice, trying to get a certain roll. Each roll has an assigned point value. Each player is allowed a total of three rolls, each roll having an assigned point value.
Objective of Yahtzee
The objective of Yahtzee is to roll five dice in order to score combinations and get the highest total score. Although the scoring can be confusing at first, with some patience, you can learn the basics and enjoy the game in very little time.
In a way, Yahtzee is like golf as a group game of Yahtzee is basically a few people taking turns to play their own solitaire game.
Every game of Yahtzee is made up of 13 turns or rounds, which is the reason for the 13 different dice categories on Yahtzee score sheets. Players can roll the five dice or fewer a maximum of three times, in a bid to get the highest score in each of the scorecard categories.
In a game of Yahtzee, the aim is to maximize the points in each category so that the total score is the highest. The highest possible score in a game of Yahtzee is 1575 points; however, the average game of Yahtzee ends with a score between 250 and 320 points. The lowest possible mark in Yahtzee is 5 and it is only possible when you roll five 1’s and place them in the “Chance” category as opposed to claiming a Yahtzee, then proceed to score zero in all the other categories.
The Dice of Yahtzee
In every Yahtzee game, there are five standard dice that are rolled in the cup that is included in the board game. alternatively, you may roll the dice with your hand. If you want to build a DIY Yahtzee game, all you need are five dice and any kind of cup and some printable Yahtzee score sheets.
On the first roll, you are required to roll all five dice. After the first roll, you may “Keep” or “hold” any die or dice by setting them aside. The purpose is to build the highest possible score in any category that does not already have a point in it.
Your second roll involves rolling the die or dice that you are not “holding” or “keeping”. You are permitted to roll all five dice if you choose not to “hold” or “keep” anyone. Once again, you may “hold” or keep any of the dice you choose.
By the time you take the third roll, you must use the dice faces available from your third roll to score a category in the Yahtzee score sheet if possible. A round of Yahtzee has three rolls, and with your third roll, you are done with the round. You need to fill in a zero in one of the categories of the Yahtzee score sheet.
Note: You do not necessarily have to roll the dice three times. You can roll the dice once, and if you get a combination, you are looking for to fill in one of the Yahtzee categories.
Yahtzee Score Card Format
A Yahtzee score sheet is at times used interchangeably with the term Yahtzee score card. Although they are both used to keep track of players’ scores throughout a Yahtzee dice game, a score sheet only has space for players to record their score after they determine the points based on the dice combination. On the other hand, a score card contains all possible scoring combinations for the game. This makes it easier for a player to indicate their score after each turn.
Furthermore, a scorecard is divided into two sections. It has an upper section and the lower section. The scores from each section are usually combined to determine the final power score. Each section has different components that determine the points you get each turn you roll a dice.
Remember: Once you enter a score into a particular category in the Yahtzee score sheet or card, that category will be closed for the rest of the game. This rule applies even if your score is zero.
Scoring in Yahtzee
Once you have rolled the dice for the first, second, or third time, you can enter points into any open category of the Yahtzee score sheet. After you have entered a score into a category, even if the score is zero, the category is now closed for the remainder of the game of Yahtzee.
Each category on the Yahtzee score sheet is governed by its own rules for entering points, as shown below:
Upper Sections Scores
For the upper section, the categories allow you to only count the dice face indicated once you roll it. The categories include:
- Count and add only aces (ones)
- Count and add only twos
- Count and add only threes
- Count and add only fours
- Count and add only fives
- Count and add only sixes
- A final option that you get to choose what you will count and add
The aim for this section is to have a minimum score of 63 points. With 63 points, you will receive a 35-point bonus at the end of the game.
You will be allowed to roll your 5 dice and combine the values on the dice that have the same number. You will then fill the points to the appropriate category on your score card or sheet. Keep in mind that you can only fill one box at each turn.
For example: If you roll and get these results, you can use the three 5’s and earn 15 points.
This is how to record it on the score card:
Note: Based on the example above, you have to be careful about choosing to add the dice with the highest value. This is because you can only fill a particular category once. That means if you roll your dice in the next turn and get four 5’s which gives you 20 points, you will not be able to earn these points. This is because you will have already played the fives box and placed the 15 points you got earlier. That is why Yahtzee is a game of chance and strategy.
However, the chosen category in this Upper section allows you to score any number a second time. That means if you roll your dice and get the four 5’s, you can enter 5 in the choice row and enter your second score of 20 points here. This increases your chances of getting 63 points or more and a bigger bonus.
Lower section score
In the lower score categories of the Yahtzee score sheet, you must score the total of all your dice, or an indicated amount, or Zero. Unlike the upper section, where you simply list numbers, the lower section uses phrases like “full house” and “three of a kind”. These terms mean different combinations of dice that are all scored differently.
Once you have rolled your dice, you will need to display three dice of the same value. You will then multiply the value of the three similar value dice and add the values of the remaining dice to determine the score for this section. This section allows for two turns, that is, 1st and 2nd.
If for instance, you throw all five dice and come up with three sixes.
If you roll your dice and get the results shown above, you will multiply six by three to get 18 points. You will then add the remaining values, that is, the two fives to get 10 which will make the total score 28 points.
Score four of a kind
Just like the three-of-a-kind score; you will only record in this category if you get four dice of the same value. Ensure that you add the remaining dice value. This section also allows for two turns, that is, 1st and 2nd.
For example: If you roll your five dice and get the following, you will multiply the value two by the four dice and then add the remaining six to get 14 points.
This is how to record it on the score card:
The score of a full house
With this category, you need to get three dice of the same number value and two dice of the same number value to earn 25 points.
For example: If your dice combination is three 6’s and two 5’s, you can ignore the value of the dice and score 25 points in the full house category.
If you have a combination like this,
You have earned a full house. You can disregard the value of the dice, and score 25 in the full house box of the Yahtzee score sheet.
Score a small or large straight
Similar to poker, having a straight in Yahtzee means the values of the dice can be arranged sequentially to form a sequence of four or more.
A small straight is a sequential row of four sequential rows. The small straight box is worth 30 points.
Large straight requires five sequential dice. Your dice have to be either 12345 or 23456 in any order. In Yahtzee, the large straight box is worth 40 points. You can get a total of three possible small straights in a game of Yahtzee (3,4,5,6, or 1,2,3,4, or 2,3,4,5).
Here is what your scorecard will look after the scores:
Note: Both straight score section allows for two turns, that is, 1st and 2nd
How to place scores
The goal is to get at least 63 points to qualify for the bonus. In the example above, the highest score is to score in the fives box. However, you need to remember that you can only play each box once. If on your next roll, you throw four 5s, you will miss out on a much higher score in the fives box.
Scoring a Yahtzee
A Yahtzee is one of the largest rolls a player can score. To score a Yahtzee, all five dice need to be showing the same number after you roll. The first time you score a Yahtzee, you score 50 points, however, subsequent Yahtzee attracts 100 points.
This is how to record it on the score card:
Fill in the chance box
Adding up the face of all five dice values scores the chance box. You can score in this box by adding the value of all 5 boxes, regardless of the combination. You do not need a combination of repeated or sequential numbers to score in this box. However, be careful not to score low.
For instance, if you throw a combination like this: 4 2 4 1 3, you can score 14 in the chance box. However, a combination like 6 4 6 5 2 gives you a higher score of 23.
Calculate the total score
Add up the scores in the lower section of the Yahtzee score sheet. Add 100 points if you scored more than 1 Yahtzee in the game. Add the upper and lower section to find out the final total of the game.
Free Yahtzee Score Sheet Templates
The best way to enjoy a game of Yahtzee is to get all the materials ready and know all the rules. You do not need to waste any more time trying to draw up a Yahtzee scorecard, we have provided free Yahtzee templates to make sure you enjoy your game of Yahtzee.
Playing Yahtzee: What to Do?
If you are with a friend or more, and you decide to play a game of Yahtzee, this is what you need to do to enjoy a game of Yahtzee.
- Choose who goes first: A group game of Yahtzee requires at least 2 players. If the number of players constitutes a big group, you can play in teams. The game starts when you decide who goes first. Each player on the team rolls all five dice. When you add all the values of the dice, the team or player with the highest score would go first.
- First-time dice roll: Players get to roll all five dice as much as three times in a game of Yahtzee. You get a cup or shaker in which you may place the dice. All you need to do is shake the cup or shaker, and spill the dice on the table. As you roll the dice, you may apply some strategy to get the maximum possible score. At any point during your three rolls, you may select or “keep” any dice and roll the others.
- Second-time dice roll: After your first roll, you may add your score to your card to complete your turn. However, if you are not satisfied with your score, you may try for another roll in the hopes of getting a higher score. You can select which dice you want to keep and which one you would like to re-roll.
- Third-time dice roll: If after the second roll, you are still unsatisfied with your dice, you may roll the dice one more time. And as before, you can choose what dice to roll.
- Keep going until 13 turns for each person: All players in a game of Yahtzee get the roll the dice thrice each round. They may stop the round at the first roll if they are satisfied with their dice on the first roll. The game ends after all the players have rolled for 13 rounds. You need to fill all your boxes as you go; however, you can only fill each box once. So, it is wise to fill the boxes when you have really high scores.
Playing Strategy for Yahtzee
Yahtzee is a game of chance, however, with a good strategy you can maximize your chances of scoring higher scores. Since you can only record in each box once, you can ensure that you only record the highest possible scores from the combinations you roll using certain strategies.
Maximize your chance at scoring a Yahtzee
Like most all other dice games, Yahtzee is a game of chance. However, the strategy also comes into play in the game of Yahtzee.
You can try to maximize your chance at a Yahtzee every round. Once you get your first Yahtzee, you get 50 points. However, any Yahtzee you get after that attracts 100 points. If the game is still in the early stage, I and you get a chance at a Yahtzee, take your chance rather than settling for a lower score. If you can score a Yahtzee early in the game, your chances of scoring the 100-point bonus improve greatly.
Pro Tip: If you have already scored a Yahtzee, never score a lower score over trying for a second Yahtzee.
Go for the 35-point bonus
Deciding where to score your round often confuses many players. However, if you keep the 35-point bonus in mind, you can strategize better.
Getting a higher score with a lower number like in the ones and twos boxes is unlikely, so, it is better to score in the upper section if you roll more two’s or one’s.
Aim for straights early on
Avoid scoring zero in any of the lower boxes. The lower boxes have the potential for high point values, and as such, you should aim to get straight early in the game so you can concentrate on going for Yahtzees. Be on the lookout for combinations where three numbers are sequential, 4-5-6, 2-3-4, or 1-2-3, for instance. Re-roll the dice to fill in the remaining two numbers to get a straight early in the game.
Yahtzee’s upper section score
Scoring a Yahtzee is a rare chance regardless of your strategy. So, if the game is far gone, the score is tight, and on top of that, you are yet to score a Yahtzee, you might want to score high in the upper section rather than go for a 50-point Yahtzee. Usually, you will get a bonus, which may translate into a higher score. However, if you score a second Yahtzee, you will only get 50 points instead of 100 points, so be careful.
You can score a single die in the upper section if you are prepared to settle for a low score.
You can write down the total score you got for the number in question.
Yahtzee was introduced to the public in 1956.
Yahtzee is a very accessible game. You can, of course, buy a Yahtzee set at a local toy store to play. If that’s not an option, all you need is five dice and a Yahtzee scorecard which you can easily print. If you’d like to play now, though, you can play Yahtzee online on websites like Solitaired. You can play against a computer, invite a friend to play against it, or find a random person.
The game of Yahtzee combines chance and strategy, it is an intriguing game that guarantees a fun group activity with friends and family. You can enjoy Yahtzee in small groups and large groups and you do not need to worry about getting an accurate scorecard. We have provided free Yahtzee scorecard templates to make your game of Yahtzee that much more fun.