Yahtzee Strategy And Tips

Even though there's a lot of randomness in Yahtzee, there's still some strategy involved, and some tips that can help you get higher scores and win more often.  Yahtzee strategy is mostly about playing the odds.

The following basic tips can make a big difference in your game scores when used consistently.  If you're the only one following these strategies, you'll be winning far more often than your competitors.   Remember to be a good winner!

The Most Effective Yahtzee Strategies

  • It's a good idea to try and reach a combined score of at least 63 points in the upper section.  This will get you 35 bonus points.
  • A score of 63 in the upper section results from having three of each value -- 3 1's, 3 2's, 3 3's and so on.  A good way to know if you're on track for the bonus is to keep a running score in your head in the following way.  If you roll 4 3's and enter them in the upper Yahtzee section, don't try and remember 12... just mentally note that you're up 3 points.  If you then rolled 4 5's you'd know you were up 8 points.  Then rolling 2 4's would mean you're up 4 points.  This method makes it easy to effectively use your rolls later in the game.
  • Early on in the game, if you roll a dice combination that would give you a low score in the available boxes, consider filling in a zero in the 1's, 2's, or even the 3's box if they're available.  rolling higher combinations of 4's, 5's, and 6's may compensate later.  If it's later in the game and you already have high scores in the higher dice value boxes, you can once again use the lower boxes to score zeroes -- giving you another chance at higher scores in the straights and full house.
  • Try to keep the chance box available for later in the game if possible.  As you play, the available score boxes decrease, limiting your options.  having the chance available can save the game.
  • Near the end of the game, if you have a nasty roll of the dice, you may enter a zero in the full house, or straights section.  It's best not to put a zero in the Yahtzee box unless absolutely necessary.  It's difficult to roll a Yahtzee, but the 50 points (or 100 points for followup Yahtzees) can be a game changer.
  • Earlier in the game, if you roll a pair of 1's or 2's, try for the full house, small straight, or large straight.  using the 1's or 2's in the 3 of a kind or 4 of a kind boxes will give you a very small score.  This particular strategy can also keep your 1's and 2's boxes open for later when you may have to put a zero there. 
  • Should you get four of a kind with 4's, 5's, or 6's, use the points in the upper section when you can, instead of the 4 of a kind area. The highest possible 4 of a kind score would be 5 6's which equals 30 points.  Those same 6's could help you earn the 35 point bonus for the upper section -- so you're at least 5 points ahead, and usually much more than that.
  • Always go for Yahtzees early in the game. When rolling a 3 or 4 of a kind on the first or second roll... and if the matching box in the upper section is available, you should always go for the Yahtzee. And, as mentioned above, if you saved your chance, 1's, or 2's boxes, you can always place a zero there if the magical five-in-a-row fails to materialize.
  • If you're playing on your own and trying for high scores -- go for the Yahtzee every chance you get.  It's a risky strategy if you're playing against others, but the only real way to rack up stellar high scores.