Yahtzee Rules: An Overview
1. Roll your dice to rack up the highest possible score.
2. Decide which dice combination you’re going for.
3. After each turn, write your score in one empty box on the score card.
How to Play
1. Roll a die to see who starts. If continuing a series of games, the previous game’s winner goes first. Play continues clockwise.
2. Roll up to three times each turn. You may end your turn and record a score after your first, second, or third roll.
3. Fill in one empty box for the corresponding scoring category each turn.
Roll all five dice. If you get the exact combo you want, mark your score card right away and end your turn. Otherwise, set aside any “keepers” and continue with your second roll.
Re-roll any or all dice you want, even “keepers” from the previous roll. You don’t need to declare which combination you’re rolling for; you may change your mind at any time. If you get the exact combo you need, mark your score card and end your turn. Otherwise, set aside any “keepers” and continue with your third roll.
Third and Final Roll
Re-roll any or all dice you want, even “keepers” from the previous roll. You must enter a score at the end of this roll, whether or not you like your dice. If your roll doesn’t suit any of your empty boxes, you have to enter a zero somewhere.
The scorecard is split into two sections: the Upper Section for dice face values and Lower Section for the set combinations.
The Upper Section
To score in the Upper Section, add only the dice with the same number and enter the total in the corresponding box. The following roll, for example, could be scored as 12 for Fours, 3 for Threes, or 1 for Ones.
You’re goal in the Upper Section is score a total of at least 63 points in order to earn a 35-point bonus. The bonus points are based on scoring three of each number although you may earn the bonus with any combination of scores that total at least 63 points.
The Lower Section
The Lower Section scores the following dice combinations:
A Yahtzee bonus is awarded if you roll multiple Yahtzees. If you roll a Yahtzee and have already recorded 50 in the Yahtzee box, you receive a 100-point bonus. An additional 100-point bonus applies to any subsequent Yahtzees you roll. Put an (X) in the Yahtzee bonus box to indicate this bonus. You then must enter a score in a regular scoring category according to the Joker Rules. If you’ve already scored a zero in your Yahtzee box, you can’t get a Yahtzee bonus.
After recording a Yahtzee Bonus, score the the total of the five dice in the appropriate Upper Section box. If this box has already been filled, score as follows in any open Lower Section box:
3 of a Kind: Total of all 5 dice
4 of a Kind: Total of all 5 dice
Full House: 25 points
Small Straight: 30 points
Large Straight: 40 points
Chance: Total of all 5 dice
If the appropriate Upper Section box and all Lower Section boxes are already filled in, you must enter a zero in any open Upper Section box.
Ending a Game
Once each player has filled in all 13 category boxes, the game ends. Each player then adds up their score as follows:
Upper Section: Add up the Upper Section scores and enter the total in the Total Score box. Enter the 35-point bonus in the Bonus box if you scored 63 points or more. Then enter the total in the Total box.
Lower Section: Add up the Lower Section scores, and enter the total in the Total of Lower Section box. Add 100 points for each check mark in the Yahtzee Bonus area.
How to Win
After each player has tabulated their Grand Total, the player with the highest score wins!
1. A certain combination can be scored in more than one appropriate category; for example, a Full House can be scored in the Full House, Three-Of-A-Kind, or Chance categories.
2. The original Yahtzee rules released in 1956 contain a misprint in the Joker Rules. The booklet stated that additional Yahtzees must be used as Jokers in the Lower Section and does not allow for their use in the Upper Section. This problem was corrected when the game was re-copyrighted in 1961.