Yahtzee Rules



Yahtzee is a unique game in that it can just easily be played alone or in a group.  In fact the group version of Yahtzee is really nothing more than a group of players taking turns playing their individual score yards.  Once you learned the rules below, you can play Yahtzee alone or together with other people.

Each game is made up of 13 rounds, which is why you'll find 13 categories on your Yahtzee score sheet.  in each round, you get to roll the five dice a total of three times as you try to get the highest score possible in each of the categories on your score card.  Each category has its own set of rules, which we cover below.

The object of Yahtzee is to maximize the score of each category, to give you the biggest possible total score.


There are five dice that can be rolled by using the cup provided in the board came, or by using your hand.  On your first roll, you must toss all five dice.  

After the first roll, you can set aside any die or dice that you want to 'hold' in an effort to score in any category that hasn't already been filled.

On the second roll, you can roll any die or dice you haven't set aside.  You can roll all five again if you choose.  Once again, after the roll, you can hold or set aside any die or dice.

After the third roll, you must use the dice faces that are showing.

A Yahtzee round is completed after you've rolled three times, and you've filled in a score or zero in one of the categories.

NOTE:  You can roll just once or twice if the values of the dice give you the right combination to fill in a category.


After one, two, or three rolls, you can enter a score into any open category.  Once a category has a score entered in it -- including a zero -- it is considered closed for the rest of the Yahtzee game.  each category has its own rules for scoring, as explained below.


In Yahtzee upper scores, you only get to count the specified die face. 

Let's say you roll the following.
Yahtzee Rules 3 Of A Kind

You could score the three 3's in the threes category for a total of nine points... in the ones category for one point... in the fours category for four points... or the twos, or fives, or sixes category for zero points.  


If the total score of all your upper scores is equal to, or greater than, 63, you receive a 35 point bonus.  QUICK TIP:  63 points is equal to three of each of the numbers (3 1's, 3 2's, 3 3's, 3 4's, 3 5's, and 3 6's).


In Yahtzee lower scores, you will either score the total of all your dice... or a set amount... or a zero.


To score three of a kind in yYahtzee at least three of the dice must be showing the same value or face.  Let's imagine after three rolls, you ended up with the dice as shown below.

Yahtzee Rules Three Of A Kind


If you chose the three of a kind category, you would get 23 points ( 3x6 + 2 + 3).  However the above would only be worth zero in the four of a kind category.  Remember though -- if you have four matching dice, you can put their total score in either the three of a kind or four of a kind category (obviously, if you have four matching dice, you also have three matching dice).


If you play poker, you already know what a straight is.  The same rules apply in Yahtzee.  A straight is a sequence of numbers (which need to show up on your dice).  A small straight is four in a row and the category is worth 30 points.

Yahtzee Rules Small Straight

The dice combination shown above would qualify as a small straight since you can create 1, 2, 3, 4.

The dice combination below could be scored as either a 5-in-a-row large straight (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) or a small straight (2, 3, 4, 5 or 3, 4, 5, 6).  A large straight is worth 40 points.

Yahtzee Rules Large Straight

In Yahtzee there is a total of two possible large straights (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and three possible small straights ( 1, 2, 3, 4 or 2, 3, 4, 5 or 3, 4, 5, 6).


A Yahtzee full house needs three of a kind, plus a pair.  One example is shown below.

Yahtzee Rules Full House

Full houses are worth 25 points.


To score the chance category, simply add up the value of the five dice.


Here's the combination the game was named after, and it's the easiest to describe.  When all the dice are showing the same face or value, you've scored a Yahtzee.

The scoring is a little more complicated to explain.  The first time you get five in a row, the category is worth 50 points.  If you roll a Yahtzee any time after that, each one (not counting the original) is worth 100 points.  To collect the 100 points, you must have already scored one Yahtzee in that category.  If you've placed a zero in the Yahtzee category earlier, you cannot score 50 or 100 points any time later for that category. 

To collect the 100 bonus points, first check to see if the upper category for the dice showing is taken.  For example, if you rolled five 2's to get a Yahtzee, and the 2's category is scoreless, you must enter the five 2's for 10 points.  In addition you get the 100 bonus points for a total (in this case) of 110 points.  In the Yahtzee board game, you will keep track of your bonuses with chips.  Electronic versions will track the bonus for you.

If the upper category for the dice you've rolled a Yahtzee with already contains a score, you can use the Yahtzee as a wildcard or joker in the lower categories.  In this case, you earn the usual points for the lower category in question, plus the 100 bonus points.

If the Yahtzee category already has a zero, you can NOT collect a 50-point Yahtzee or the 100-point bonus, but you CAN still use it as a wild card or joker.