The goal of Yahtzee is to get as many points as possible by rolling combinations of five dice. You can roll up to three times, possibly choosing to just roll some of the dice each time. After you roll, you choose which slot to use based on the combination rolled. Different combinations of dice earn points differently. If you don’t meet the requirements for the combination you choose, you will get zero points for that slot. The game ends when you have filled in all the slots in the game.
The points are divided into two sections, the upper section and the lower section (to fit better on a computer screen, the “upper” section is shown on the left, and the “lower” section is shown on the right).
Click the “Roll” button to roll the dice (duh!). You can keep as many of the dice as you want by clicking on the dice or the check boxes underneath them. You can uncheck a die if you decide you want to roll it later. After your three rolls are up, you have to choose the combination you want credit for (you do not have to use all three rolls). To choose a slot, just click the button with the appropriate combination on it. You can then roll again.
Each button also has a keyboard equivalent. Click the "keyboard" link at the bottom or press "?" for a reference.
Points for the top section are determined by adding up all the dice that match the slot number. For example, if you rolled a 1, 3, 4, 4, and 3, you would get 6 points in the 3′s slot (2 * 3), 1 point in the 1′s slot (1 * 1), or 8 points in the 4′s slot (2 * 4). If you get 63 points in the upper section, you will also get a 35 point bonus. To get 63 points, you need an average of 3 matching dice for each slot. The subtotal box will tell you if you are on track to get the bonus by showing how far behind or ahead you are. If the option to color code the top section or subtotal box is on, each box will turn red if you used less than 3 dice, blue if you used exactly 3 dice, or green if you used more than 3 dice. The subtotal box is colored similarly based on whether you are behind, on track, or ahead of where you should be to get the bonus.
The slots in the lower section are based on combinations. Each slot has a different rule for when you can get points for it and how the score is calculated. The combinations are mostly based on poker hands and are listed below. The order of the dice does not matter—the only thing that matters is the numbers.
|Three of a kind||Three (or more) dice with the same number||Sum of all the dice||5, 3, 5, 5, 1 => 19 points|
|Four of a kind||Four (or more) dice with the same number||Sum of all the dice||3, 3, 3, 5, 3 => 17 points|
|Full House||Three dice with matching numbers and the other two dice with matching numbers||25 points||2, 2, 3, 3, 2 => 25 points|
|Small Straight||At least four of the dice are in consecutive numerical order (remember that order doesn’t matter)||30 points||3, 4, 5, 6, 3 => 30 points|
|Large Straight||All five of the dice are in consecutive numerical order (note that the only possible combinations are 1,2,3,4,5 and 2,3,4,5,6; of course the order doesn’t matter)||40 points||2, 3, 4, 5, 6 => 40 points|
|Yahtzee||All five dice are the same (five of a kind)||50 points (see Yahtzee section below)||2, 2, 2, 2, 2 => 50 points|
|Chance||Any combination||Sum of all the dice||2, 2, 4, 6, 1 => 15 points|
The first time you get a yahtzee in a game it is worth 50 points (if you use it in the yahtzee slot). If you roll another yahtzee after you have already gotten the 50 points (i.e., you didn’t take a zero), you will get a 100 point bonus.
You can also use additional yahtzees as wildcards on the bottom section if you have already filled in number you rolled on the upper section. For example, if you have used the 1′s, 3′s, 4′s, and 6′s on the top section and you roll a yahtzee in 5′s, you cannot use it as a wildcard but you could use a yahtzee in 3′s. Since a yahtzee meets the requirements for a 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, full house, and chance, it will always give you points in those slots. Extra yahtzees can be used as wildcards regardless of whether you got any points for the first one.
If the “Show potential points for each slot” option is on (it is by default), each time you roll, the slots will show the number of points you would get if you used your combination in that slot (unless you would get zero points). Just because one combination would give you more points, does not necessarily mean you should use it there. For example, it may be better to use a four of a kind in 6′s on the upper section to get ahead on the bonus, even though you would get more points as a four of a kind. In other words, the point preview is not a recommendation—it’s just to help you calculate the score.
© 2011 Matthew Crumley