Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to Yahtzee!
If you have any questions not answered here then do let us know!
What is Yahtzee?
Yahtzee is both the name of the game and also a combination that can be rolled within the game!
- Yahtzee is a dice game usually played by 1 – 6 players
- Players take it in turn to roll the 5 dice, a maximum of three times, and are trying to roll certain combinations in order to score points.
- At the end of 13 rounds the player with the most points is the winner
A Yahtzee is when all 5 dice are showing the same number at the end of a players turn. It is relatively rare, scores highly, and is therefore usually accompanied by a shout of Yahtzee!
The probability of getting a Yahtzee in a single roll is only 0.08 %!
How did Yahtzee get its name?
Yahtzee is a development of earlier dice games such as Yacht and Yatzy.
It was first marketed in 1956 by Edwin Lowe but was purchased by the company now known as Hasbro in 1973. They now sell approximately 50 million versions of the game each year.
The difference between Yahtzee and the earlier games is the combinations that can score, for example:
In Yatzy you can score with ‘a pair’ or ‘two pair’ whereas in Yahtzee you cannot
In Yacht the scorecard is not split into upper and lower and therefore has no Upper-Level Bonus
How many dice to play Yahtzee?
Yahtzee requires 5 regular six-sided dice.
When you buy the official standard game it comes with 5 dice but any regular dice will do.
The adapted versions vary, such as ‘Power Yahtzee’ having an additional die that is used for scoring.
What are the Yahtzee Joker Rules?
The joker rules are applied only when you have a second Yahtzee within the same game. The rules are applied to guide you in scoring not only the second Yahtzee, with a Bonus of 100 points, but also for which scorebox (eg Three of a Kind or How Many 2’s) where you will score it on the sheet.
For more complete details refer to the Yahtzee Bonus Rules below.
What are the Second Yahtzee rules?
The rules for a second Yahtzee depend on what you did the first time you rolled a Yahtzee!
The second Yahtzee is only helpful if you actually scored the first Yahtzee in the correct Yahtzee scorebox. If you did, then a second Yahtzee scores a Bonus of 100 Points and you also score the roll using the Joker Rules. (See Yahtzee Bonus Rules below)
If the first time it happened you used the five dice to score somewhere else (to score say 30 points for in the ‘How Many Six’s’ box) then it was not actually a Yahtzee. You might therefore still be able to score it as your first Yahtzee worth 50 points! (NB If you roll 5 of the same number and it is available it is always best to score it as a Yahtzee!)
If, however, you have instead filled the Yahtzee box with a zero earlier in the game then it cannot be considered a Yahtzee.
Note: Your second 5-dice showing the same number can still be used in other scoreboxes accordingly.
eg Three of a Kind, Four of a Kind or Chance!
What are the Second Yahtzee Bonus Rules?
If you should be lucky enough to roll a second Yahtzee (within the same game) the second and each subsequent ‘Yahtzee’ score a bonus100 points.
However, you are ONLY eligible for the bonus if you have previously scored 50 points from an earlier Yahtzee.
If you throw a Yahtzee and have previously filled the Yahtzee category with a score of 0, you do not get a Yahtzee or a Yahtzee Bonus!
- An earlier Yahtzee MUST have been used to score 50 points for Task 12.
- Each subsequent Yahtzee scores a Bonus 100 points in the Yahtzee Bonus box but ALSO scores in one of the remaining unused tasks.
- To do this it follows the Official JOKER Rules
Official Yahtzee Bonus Joker Rules
Where to score the Second Yahtzee depends on which tasks are still available. You have to follow the following Rules in Order, only moving on to the next rule if you cannot fulfill the requirements.
Rule 1:Score the total of all 5 dice in the appropriate Upper Section box.
ie if Yahtzee is with 4’s then task 4.
ONLY IF the appropriate Upper Section box is already used then for one of the Lower section tasks you can score the Yahtzee accordingly :
- Task 7 – 3 of a Kind: total of all 5 dice
- Task 8 – 4 of a Kind: total of all 5 dice
- Task 9 – Full House: 25 points
- Task 10 – Small Straight: 30points
- Task 11 – Large Straight: 40 points
- Task 13 – Chance: total of all 5 dice
Rule 3:ONLY IF all the Lower Section tasks are full do you return to the Upper Section and score a zero in any unused task.
What is a Small Straight in Yahtzee?
This is any sequence of 4 numbers, the last dice does not matter.
There are only three ways to roll this.
Scores 30 points; regardless of the dice scores
What is a Large Straight in Yahtzee?
This is a sequence of 5 numbers.
There are only two ways to roll this.
Scores 40 points; regardless of the dice scores
Can a Yahtzee count as a Full House?
The Official Rule is NO, a Yahtzee (5 of-a-kind) cannot be counted as a Full House.
A Full House is when you roll ‘Three of one number and Two of another number’
Any confusion may come from the Joker Rules that are ONLY applied when a Second Yahtzee is rolled!
The Joker Rules state that in certain circumstances the second Yahtzee can be marked in the Full House box and scores 25 points (as well as the 100 point Bonus).
For a complete explanation of the Second Yahtzee Rules see the question ‘What are the Second Yahtzee Bonus Rules’ above.
Highest Score in Yahtzee
The highest possible score attainable in any Yahtzee game is 1535 points.
That requires a player to throw a Yahtzee (5 of a kind) on every throw with over half of them being all sixes.
In reality, a high score is usually considered anything over ~300 points and usually includes at least 1 Yahtzee.
The chance of rolling a Yahtzee on your turn (using all three rolls) is 4.6% or one in every 22 turns.
That equates to a Yahtzee every 2.85 games, assuming you are trying to get one!
How Many Yahtzee’s can you get?
Well, you could get a Yahtzee on every roll! So that would be 13 Yahtzee’s in a row with a possible grand score of 1535 points. (see Highest Score in Yahtzee)
However, the chances of getting that are incredibly small!