Farkle rules and free printable core sheets
The Object of Farkle
To be the player with the highest score, at the end of whichever round a player first scores 10,000 or more.
Introduction to Farkle.
- Six dice are used.
- Single 1’s and single 5’s are worth points as outlined below.
- Other numbers are worth points in the combinations outlined below.
- At least one scoring die must be removed after every roll.
- Once a die is removed (or dice are removed) they cannot be combined with other dice for scoring. For example, if you set aside two 5’s on one turn to score 100 points, and then roll another 5 on the next turn, the new 5 cannot be added to the previously removed (scoring) 5’s to make 500 points (the score for three 5’s).
Before Starting Farkle
- Choose one player to be the scorekeeper. This person will record the scores of all the Farkle players.
- All players roll one die. Whoever rolls the highest number goes first, with play then moving counterclockwise to the left.
- Before a player is allowed to start collecting points, they must have a running total of at least 500 points in a turn.
When a Farkle player’s turn comes up, they roll all six dice onto the playing area. If any dice roll or fall off the playing area, or land in any position other than flat on one face, those dice are rolled again.
After every roll, at least one die (or combination of dice) worth points must be set aside. Any dice set aside after a roll cannot be combined with dice from subsequent rolls.
A running total of points is recorded for each Farkle player’s turn.
Assuming the player has reached their first 500 points (or more), the player can stop rolling at any time during their turn and collect their points.
If a player can set aside all six dice, they can all be rolled again to continue the turn and add to the running score of Farkle points.
If you cannot set aside any dice after a roll that is a Farkle. A Farkle may happen on your first roll, or on any subsequent roll. A Farkle results in the loss of all running points for that turn, and play moves to the next player.
When a player reaches or passes a total of 10,000 points, every player has one last turn to beat that total. After all Farkle players have taken their last turn, the player with the highest score wins.
Farkle Tips and Strategies
So you want to be the King and Queen of Farkle… ruler of your Farkle fiefdom! To do that you need to win more often than the other players. And to win more often at Farkle, you need a winning strategy, some tips, or a four-leaf farkle.
How to Win at Farkle
Following is a strategy that will show you how to win at Farkle every single time! Well… not really – but it SHOULD increase the number of times you win.
Farkle can have different rules depending on where it’s played. To be clear, this winning strategy assumes you’re playing by the following Farkle rules.
It takes 500 points to get “on the board”. If you’re playing different points to get on the board, just adjust Farkle Tip #1 accordingly.
And the tips assume you’re following the scoring combos below. Farkle is considered a folk game, which means you’ll find a huge variety of scores assigned to different combinations, depending on the country, region, or even family. The scoring below is one of the typical and simplified methods but, as said, you may run into variations.
It takes 10000 points to win.
A single 5 is 50 points.
A single 1 is 100 points.
Three 1’s are 1000 points.
Three 2’s are 200 points.
Three 3’s are 300 points.
Three 4’s are 400 points.
Three 5’s are 500 points.
Three 6’s are 600 points.
A straight is 1500 points. (above)
4-of-any-kind is 1000 points. (above)
5-of-any-kind is 2000 points. (above)
6-of-any-kind is 3000 points. (above)
Three pairs is 1500 points. (above)
Two triples is 2500 points. (above)
Full house is the value of the three-of-a-kind, plus 250 points. The full house example below would score 300 for the three 3`s, plus 250, for a total of 550 points.
A Winning Farkle Strategy
Farkle Tip #1
At the start of a game, when you’re trying to get the minimum points to get “on the board”, stop throwing as soon as you have the required points, unless you can throw all 6 dice again. (In Farkle, if all six dice are used for scoring (in any combination or number of turns) you can roll them all again. This is called “ …and rolling”).
For example, let’s say you roll and get 5, 5, 5, 2, 3, 4. Your three 5’s score 500 points. You know have enough to get “on the board” or on the scoresheet. Don’t risk a Farkle (a roll with no scoring die/dice – which results in forfeiting all the points for that turn) by rolling the remaining 3 dice. Stop, take a deep breath, and collect the 500 points. You can now collect points on every turn while other players may gamble on higher points and lose everything with a Farkle).
One more example, although unlikely, involves all six dice scoring on your first roll. If you throw 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, you’ll have a Farkle straight worth 1500 points. You could stop there since you have the required points to get on the board BUT, since you scored with all six dice, you get to reroll them – and the chances of rolling or throwing a Farkle with all six dice is very, very slim.
Farkle Tip #2
If, during any turn, you manage to score all six dice – which gives you the option to keep going and roll them again – you SHOULD roll them again. Even if you just scored 5-of-a-kind and a single 1 to score 2100 points. Yes, it IS possible to roll a Farkle and lose the 2100 points, but remember the chances of that happening with a 6-dice toss are very low. If you check the Odds Probabilities page, you’ll see the chance of a Farkle is just 1-in-42 when rolling six dice. That means you’ll have almost a 97% chance of NOT farkling!
Farkle Tip #3
How do you know when to stop rolling or keep throwing? It involves math but, before you run away screaming, we can just give you the results. Based on the odds and all the Farkle variations of scoring, here’s when to throw or not throw your dice.
If you can throw…
6 dice go for it. Remember… only a 3% chance of a farkle!
5 dice and have less than 2000 points, roll again.
4 dice and have less than 1000 points go ahead and give them another toss.
3 dice and have less than 500 toss ‘em again.
2 dice and you have fewer than 400 points you should try another throw.
1 dice left and less than 300 points on that turn, you might as well go for it and roll.
Farkle Tip #4
Never hang onto a 5 unless you really have to. For example, if you roll 5, 5, 3, 6, 6 you might think you should grab all the points you can and score both 5’s for 50 points apiece. However, statistically speaking, a 5 has a better chance of scoring higher points when re-rolled with other dice. Of course, you need to set aside at least one scoring die to keep going so, in this case, you would just score the one 5 and keep the other 5 in play.
Now let’s say you roll a 1, 5, 5, 3, 4, 4 instead. This time a single 1 (for 100 points) and two 5’s (for 50 points each). Again, statistically, those 5’s stand a better chance of scoring something higher when tossed again with other dice. So score the 1 for 100 points, and keep the two 5’s in play.
Farkle Tip #5
Whenever another Farkle player gets close to winning – let’s say they’re at 8500 points – and especially if their points are higher than yours, you need to start gambling a little… since playing it safe will almost guarantee a loss. It’s better to go hard and maybe win than play it safe and probably lose.
At this point it’s time to start ignoring Farkle Tip #3. Depending on how far behind you are, you might want to cut the guideline numbers in at least half. If the other Farkle player has less than 1000 points to go, and you’re only about halfway there, it’s really time to go big or go home. Don’t stop for less than 1000 points, and try for at least 2000 points per turn.
Farkle Tip #6
Have fun. Enjoy the thrill of big scores but remember, in the end, Farkle is just a game. A great game, but a game just the same.
Farkle Odds and Probabilities
Wondering what your chances are when rolling dice in Farkle. Here’s a quick look (without all the complicated math) to tell you what the probabilities are for scoring different Farkle combinations when you throw six dice.
Farkle Combinations and the Chance of Getting Them
- Three of a kind is 1 in 3.240
- Four of a kind is 1 in 20.736
- Three pair is 1 in 25.92
- Straight is 1 in 64.8
- Two triplets is 1 in 155.52
- Five of a kind is 1 in 259.2
- Six of a kind is 1 in 7776
From the above you can see that, for the most part, less likely Farkle combinations are scored higher than more easy to get combinations.
And now the probabilities of scoring different Farkle combinations after your first throw of the dice.
Dice combination Five dice left Four dice left Three dice left
Three of a kind 1 in 5.184 1 in 10.8 1 in 36
Four of a kind 1 in 51.84 1 in 216
Five of a kind 1 in 1296
When you have a roll with no scoring possibilities, that’s a Farkle — and you lose any points you’ve accumulated for that turn. What are your chances of Farkling?
Dice thrown Probability of a Farkle
6 1 in 42
5 1 in 13
4 1 in 6.35
3 1 in 3.6
2 1 in 2.25
1 1 in 1.5
Three-pair is the only scoring possibility that changes the chances of farkling, and only on the first throw of six dice for a turn. If you don’t score three pairs, the probability of Farkling on the initial throw increases to 1 in 32.