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The Parker Brothers classic, Yahtzee, is one of the most mainstream dice games in America. Primarily a game of chance, with fairly simple rules and endless playability -- against others or alone -- Yahtzee is probably most people's first dice game. It's also the game that got the Brother's Graham started in the world of dice!

The Specs
How to Play
From the Player's Session...

Players: 1 or more
What you'll need:
  • 5 standard dies
  • Score cards
  • dice cup(optional)

    Yahtzee is played by rolling five dice at once, and trying to make combinations as printed on the score card. Each player gets three rolls, and can hold aside or reroll any number of dice they want for each roll. The goal of the game is to get the highest possible score, and the player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. Each score card is set up for six games, and the backs allow you to track each playerís scores during the games during the round.

    The score card is divided into two sections: an upper section and a lower section.

    The upper sections has aces through sixes, and points in those sections are counted by adding the total of each number. I.E.: if you rolled three sixes, your score for sixes would by 18. Once the upper section is complete, a total score is calculated. If that score is greater than 63, a 35 point bonus is added to the upper section score. As a rule of thumb, you must roll at least three of each number to achieve the bonus.

    The lower section has more complex combinations, such as full house, straights, and, of course, Yahtzee (5 of a kind). The scoring for each is as follows:

    Three of a kindThree of any numberAdd total of all dice
    Four of a kindFour of any numberAdd total of all dice
    Full HouseOne three of a kind and one pair25 points
    Small StraightFour numbers in consecutive order30 points
    Large StraightFive numbers in consecutive order40 points
    YahtzeeFive of a kind50 points for the first Yahtzee, 100 points for each consecutive Yahtzee
    ChanceAny combination of dice; randomTotal of all dice

    Most combinations are self-explanatory, but here are a few rules: any section can be zeroed out instead of taking points. Chance can be used once and requires no specific combination. Yahtzee can be rolled as many times as luck will allow during a game, and each extra Yahtzee is marked in the space provided, and 100 extra points per Yahtzee is added to the final score.

    After both the upper and lower sections are filled and the total scores calculated, they are added together for a grand total for the game. The player with the highest grand total is the winner. You can also play Yahtzee with one player, and try to beat your old score or set a score to try and surpass.

    For more about the Brothers Graham Player's Sessions, click here.
    Kahlon's Review
    Jordan's Review
    Okay, so Yahtzee is by-and-far one of the most versatile dice games out there, and thatís why Iím giving it a five-face out of six. Itís easy to learn, easy to play, and can be played with really any number of people. The downside is there isnít much skill to it, though after playing for a while, you can develop strategies, and, after all, we are talking about dice, which are inherently random! The other thing Yahtzee has going for it is its mainstream commercial success. How many other dice games come nicely packaged with pre-printed score cards that you can find at any Wal-Mart in America? And while you may not find this game being played at a bar or, say, on a pirate ship or in a mine shaft, it is a great family game that anyone can master. Personally, Iím always down for a few rounds of Yahtzee.

    KG, 9/22/10

    What can I say about this classic dice game? One of my all time favorites and a great game for the whole family, friends, strangers, Iíve even spent time playing it by myself as both players! Thereís a lot of chancing in the roll of the dice, as with all dice games, but whatís nice is that strategy also comes into play when deciding where to score your roll. The score card makes it easy to keep track of your scoring, the optional dice cup is an obnoxiously noisy way to make it more fun to shoot the dice, and getting to score up the total of all six games at the end (if you want to play that long) is my favorite way to find the true winner! I guess the only downside I can find to Yahtzee is that you have to do math at the end of the game to determine the total score, aw man! Overall Yahtzee is great because anyone can learn how to play, you can have as many players as you have scorecards, and as I said before the chance/strategy fusion gives the best of both.

    The Final Word
    This is the game that started it all: the game that got the Brothers Graham in the dicing world. Will it ever get old? Probably not. Its mainstream success is directly related to its excellent playability and accessibility to all ages. Weíve even gone so far as to make our own score cards with little extras, but thatís a little obsessive. In the end, we can both agree that this is an exceptional game, but we had to settle on a five-face out of six, since it isnít our holy grail of dice games. With that being said, weíre off to play a round!

    Final score: