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What Is Yahtzee?

At the most basic, all you need is five dice, paper and a pen. Perhaps a calulator to save time on adding up the scores. The object is to hit the highest score you can by allocating your rolls to 13 categories. You can get the full picture from the rules page, and scores sheets are available from our shop or you could print your own score sheet, or download this excel format score sheet with formulas built in.

One Step Up, you can buy a purpose made Yahtzee dice game available in some toy stores and internet shops. These come with formatted scorepad and something to roll the dice into so they don't all fall on the floor.

Best of all is the hand-held electronic version (pic below) which do all the work including adding up the score you. One of these was used in the 100 game stats test described further down the page. These machines are carefully programmed with the correct yahtzee rules, including the most common mistake which made on multiple yahtzees - take a look at the yahtzee rules link if you're not sure. They're pretty hard to come by now because they haven't been manufactured for some time. Any left new in the packet tend to sell for up to 50. Various versions were produced - see the yahtzee machines tab on the left to see them all.

yahtzee electronic


You can play the game on-line too, or you can download a free version to play on your PC. And you can play on your Android or iOS phone with these free apps.

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Highest and Lowest Possible Scores

The lowest possible score in a game is fairly subject to tackle. The absolute low is 5 - a yatzee of ones taken as chance everything else taken as zero. This would need a good chunk of luck and a deliberate attempt at a low score, but it remains possible. In normal play, where an experienced player is trying to get a high score, less than 150 is unusual although all the way down to about 110 is occasionally possible.
The highest score possible without taking a Yahtzee is 325, then 375 with one, and 100 more for every subsequent yahtzee.
Since you only get 13 rolls in a game (see the rules, not all players realise that additional yatzee's don't give you extra rolls) the high score ever possible is 1575 = 13 yahtzee's including all full scores in all other boxes.

In normal play, by an experienced player trying for a high score, the best without a yahtzee is around 270. This requires 4 of each number on the top row (and a bonus of course), plus good quality 3 and 4 of a kind, and all three of full house, small and long straight. Most times a good score is in the 250 to 260 zone, maybe pushing to 270.

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Highest with and without yahtzee throw

The maximum score you're likely to get in a game with no Yahtzee is around 270, so you might reasonably expect the high scores with 1, 2 and 3 Yahtzee's to be 320, 420 and 520. However, not that many games get over 260, and you won't get many 2 and 3 Yahtzees games to experiment with. This might lead you to expect these games to score lower - but there's another trick up the yahtzee rules sleve!

Each Yahtzees after the first scores 100 bonus, but still must be taken under one of the other categories (you only ever get 13 scores per game, even if you get more than one yahtzee). Thus a Y of 6's could be taken as 6's (worth 30 plus pretty much gauranteeing the bonus) on top of the Yahtzee bonus. If the top row score is already taken you can take it as a full score on any of the bottom row categories. This multiple yahtzee scoring means you should be able to top 520 with a 3 yahtzee game.



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