Yahtzee rules and free printable score sheets
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When you look at the simple playing and scoring method – that still leaves room for strategy – it’s no surprise that Yahtzee is a popular dice game for players of all ages. It’s very simple to learn Yahtzee rules but, if you want, you can spend the rest of your life trying to master it
If you came to this page looking for free Yahtzee scoresheets, you’ll find the list of links a little further down. We’ve tried to collect a variety of scorecards to suit different tastes.
If you’re looking for Yahtzee official rules, let’s get started!
YAHTZEE OFFICIAL RULES FOR STANDARD PLAY
OBJECTIVE OF YAHTZEE
Yahtzee is a special game in that it can be played by one person or by a group of players. If you think about, like golf, a group game of Yahtzee is basically a few individual players taking turns playing their own solitaire game. Take the time to learn the official rules of Yahtzee and you can play it alone or with other players.
Each game of Yahtzee is made up of 13 turns or rounds, and that’s why you’ll see 13 different dice categories on Yahtzee score sheets. For each round, a player can roll the five (or fewer) dice a maximum of three times –trying to get the highest score in each of the score card categories which we explained below.
When playing Yahtzee you want to maximize the points in each category so that they add up to the largest total score possible. By the way, the highest score possible in Yahtzee is 1575 points, but the average game usually comes out around the 250 to 320 point mark. The lowest possible Yahtzee score is 5 – only possible if you roll five 1’s and place them in the “Chance” category instead of claiming a Yahtzee, and then score zero in all the other categories.
THE YAHTZEE DICE
Every Yahtzee game comes with five standard dice that are rolled using the cup that comes in the board game, or by using your hand. If you want to build your own Yahtzee game kit, all you need are five dice, any kind of cup, and some free printable Yahtzee score sheets.
On the first roll of each round, you must roll all five of the dice.
After your first roll, you can “keep” or “hold” any die or dice by setting them aside. You’ll be doing this to build as high a score as possible in any category that doesn’t already have points in it.
With your second roll, you now roll any die or dice you aren’t “holding” or “keeping”. You can roll all five dice if you want to. Once again, after the second roll, you can hold or set aside any of your dice.
When you’ve taken your third roll, you have to use the dice faces that are showing to score a category on the sheet if you can.
A round of Yahtzee round is done after you’ve rolled three times, and then filled in a score or zero in one of the categories.
NOTE: You don’t have to roll three times. You can toss the dice just once or twice if the values of the dice give you a combination you’re looking for to fill in one of the Yahtzee categories.
After your first, second, or third roll, you can enter points into any open category. After a category has a score entered in it – even if it’s a zero — it is now closed for the remainder of the Yahtzee game. Each category on the scoresheet has its own rules for entering points, as shown below.
YAHTZEE UPPER SCORES
In the Yahtzee upper categories or scores, you can only count the indicated die face.
For example, if one of your rolls gives you the following…
You could use the three 5’s in the fives box or category for fifteen points in total… or in the fours box for four points… or in the ones box to score one point… or the twos, or threes, or sixes category for no points at all.
YAHTZEE UPPER SCORE BONUS
If all your upper scores total or exceed 63, you receive 35 bonus points.
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). Remembering that can help you strategize your Yahtzee game– for example, if you only have two 1’s and two 2’s in their respective boxes, you know you can make up for it with an extra 3 or higher dice number.
In Yahtzee lower score categories, you will have to score the total of all your dice… or an indicated amount… or zero points.
3 OR 4 OF A KIND
To score a Yahtzee “three of a kind” at least three of the dice must display the same face or value. For example if, after three rolls, you ended up with the dice that are shown below.
If you chose to place points in the three of a kind category, you would get a total of 23 points ( (3 x 6) + 2 + 3). The above would be worth zero points in the four of a kind box. Don’t forget though — if you have four matching dice faces, you can put their total points in the three of a kind or four of a kind category (and, of course, if you have four matching dice faces, you can use them as three matching dice instead).
Poker players already know what a straight is. A straight in Yahtzee is basically the same thing. A straight is a sequential display of numbers (which need to show up on your dice). A Yahtzee small straight is four in a sequential row and the box or category is worth 30 points.
The dice combination displayed above would qualify for the small straight category since it can create 1, 2, 3, 4.
The dice shown below could be scored as either a 5-in-a-row large straight (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) or, if you choose, a small straight (2, 3, 4, 5 or 3, 4, 5, 6). A large straight in Yahtzee is worth 40 points.
There are a total of two possible large straights in Yahtzee (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and a total of three possible small straights ( 1, 2, 3, 4 or 2, 3, 4, 5 or 3, 4, 5, 6).
A full house combination in Yahtzee needs three of a kind, and a pair. A full house example is shown below.
Full houses in Yahtzee are worth 25 points.
To put points in the chance category, simply add up the face values of the five dice.
There’s a combination of dice that the game of Yahtzee gets its name from. When all five dice are showing the same value or face, you have a Yahtzee.
Recognizing a Yahtzee is easy, but scoring one is a little more difficult to explain. The first time you get five numbers in a row, the box is worth 50 points. If you’re lucky enough to roll a Yahtzee any time after your first one, each subsequent one (but not the original) is worth 100 points. To collect those 100 points, you must already have one Yahtzee in the box. NOTE: If you have already placed a zero in the Yahtzee box, you’re not allowed to score either 50 or 100 points any time after that.
To collect the 100 Yahtzee bonus points, you have to first see if the upper category for the dice value showing is taken. In other words, if you rolled five 3’s to get a Yahtzee, and the 3’s category is scoreless, you must enter the five 3’s for 15 points. You also get the 100 bonus points for a total (in this case) of 115 points. A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s one of the official Yahtzee rules. In the regular Yahtzee game, you will track your bonuses with chips. If you have a homemade game, you can use bingo chips, buttons, or coins. Electronic Yahtzee games will track the bonus automatically.
If the upper category for the dice value you’ve rolled five in a row for already contains points, you can use the Yahtzee as a joker or wildcard in the lower point categories. If this is your choice, you get the usual points for the lower category you’re filling in PLUS the 100 bonus points. Again, this is an OFFICIAL Yahtzee rule.
As mentioned above if or when the Yahtzee category already has a zero, you can’t score a 50-point Yahtzee or the 100-point bonus, but you’re still allowed to use it as a joker or wild card.