How to Play Yahtzee

Learn how to play Yahtzee, a terrific game that your whole family can enjoy.

How to Play Yahtzee
In order to play Yahtzee, you can buy a set or put together your own by getting five dice and a mixing/throwing cup. You could also download free Yahtzee scorecards or make up your own.

Yahtzee scorecards consist of two sections, the upper section and the lower section. The upper section consists of "Aces," "Twos," "Threes," "Fours," "Fives" and "Sixes" with a column to keep scores. At the bottom of the upper section, there is an area for total score and an opportunity to score a bonus 35 points if you upper score is 63 or more. Then, there is an area for a grand total score for the upper section.

The lower section of the scorecard consists of "3 of a Kind," "4 of a Kind," "Full House," "Small Straight," "Large Straight," "Yahtzee" and "Chance." There is also an area to score 100 points for any additional Yahtzees that you roll. The lower section has a column next to each category in which to keep score, followed by a total for the lower section, a total for the upper section and a grand total.

Aces are ones. A full house is a two of a kind with a three of a kind, a small straight is four in a row while a large straight is five in a row. Yahtzee is five of a kind.

In order to play, you roll all five of the dice. You can choose to keep all of the dice and score right away, hold some of the dice or roll all of the dice again. You can take a total of three rolls before you must score and then pass the dice to the next player. You can only score within a specific category once during a game.

When scoring in the upper section, you add the total of the face numbers of your choice. For example, if you are going after "Twos" and you have rolled a 2, 2, 1, 3, 5, your score would be four, or two plus two. In the lower section, three of a kind and four of a kind would be a total of all of the five dice that you have rolled. In this instance, if you are going for "Four of a Kind" and you have rolled 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, your total would be 14, or a sum of all of the face values of the dice.  When you have a small straight, you score 30 points, while a long straight will get you 40 points. A full house is worth 25 points and the first Yahtzee is 50 points. Chance is a total of any roll.

You must score in every category, even if you fill a category in with a "0."

In order to qualify for additional Yahtzees, you must score a first Yahtzee. In other words, if you have scored a "0" in the Yahtzee category and roll a Yahtzee, you will not be able to get any bonus Yahtzee points.

In addition, you will score your bonus Yahtzees in an open category. You must use the additional Yahtzees in any open upper sections that are open first first. If you have used up all of the upper section, you can score your extra Yahtzees in the lower section. 

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