OBJECTIVE: The purpose of Yahtzee is to Gain points by rolling dice combinations, player with the highest total score after 13 rounds wins.


MATERIALS: five dice, dice cup, 10 bonus chips, score pad.

TYPE OF GAME: Sequence Dice Game

AUDIENCE: Kids and adults


Yahtzee consists of thirteen rounds. Each player gets a turn per round. On your turn roll your dice and score the roll on the corresponding round, i.e. on round 5 score your dice in the “Game #5” column on the score card. The objective of the game is to collect as many points as possible through dice combinations rolled. In multiplayer, the player with the greatest total points at the end of the game is the winner.


Each player gets a score card. To determine the first player, each player rolls all five dice. The person who rolled the highest total goes first and play moves left.

How to Play Yahtzee

Each turn gives a player 3 opportunities to roll the dice in order to score the  highest number of points from dice combinations. After 3 rolls, mark your score or a zero on your score card in the corresponding column. You may stop after the first roll if you are satisfied with the outcome.

First Roll: Roll all five dice. Either you may stop your turn here and mark your points or set aside dice which are ‘keepers’ and roll again.

Second Roll: You may roll any or all of the dice from the first roll. You need not declare which combination you are attempting to roll for as it may change after the second roll. After the second roll you may stop and score yourself or roll again.

Third Roll: Again, you may roll and or all of the five dice. After this roll you must score yourself or mark a zero. After marking your score, your turn is over, and play moves left.


On the score card there are 13 columns which correspond to the 13 rounds in each game. On your turn you must fill in a box, even if you score yourself zero. The score card is separated into 2 sections: Upper Section and Lower Section.

Upper Section

Aces (Ones): Total of Aces

Twos: Total of Twos

Threes: Total of Threes

Fours: Total of Fours

Fives: Total of Fives

Sixes: Total of Sixes

How to Score Upper Section:

If you roll, for example: three 3’s, one 2, and one 4 you can score that as a 9 in the threes box, a 2 in the twos box, and a 4 in the fours box for a total of 15 points.

The objective of the Upper Section is to score, by any combination, 63 points in order to earn a 35 point bonus.

Lower Section

3 of a Kind: Total of all five dice. Score only in this section if you roll 3 or more of the same number dice.

Alternative Scoring: You can score each number individually in the upper section or score the total in the chance section.

4 of a Kind: Total of all five dice. Score only in this section if you roll 4 or more of the same number dice.

Alternative Scoring: You can also score the total in the 3 of a kind box or the chance box. You may also divide the numbers up and score them in the upper section individually.

Full House: 25 points. One scores a Full House when three of one number and two dice of another. Full Houses are always 25 points no matter which numbers compose it.

Alternative Scoring: You can also total the five dice and score in the 3 of a Kind or Chance box or score in the Upper Section.

Small Straight: 30 points. Small straights can be scored with any four sequential dice. For example, if you roll a 2, 3, 4, 5 and any other number that is considered a small straight. No matter where the straight starts or ends, it is always 30 points, as long as it fits the small straight criteria.

Alternative Scoring: Replace small straight score in Chance box as opposed to small straight box. Or, distribute score in the Upper Section.

Large Straight: 40 points. Large straights can be scored with any five sequential dice. For example, rolling a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and any other number is considered a large straight. As with the small straight, regardless if the sequence starts with a one or a two, it is still scored as 40 points.

Alternative Scoring: Large straights can also be scored in the small straight box, chance box, or in the Upper Section.

Yahtzee!: 50 points. You can only score in the Yahtzee box if you roll five dice of the same number or a 5 of a kind. Each following Yahtzee rolled earns you a bonus.

Chance: Total of all five dice. This is a free for all box which can be used when you are unable to score in other categories and do not want to score a zero.

Yahtzee Bonus: After rolling one Yahtzee, the next Yahtzee earns you a 100-point bonus. Grab a bonus chip and mark a check in the Yahtzee bonus box. After, fill in one of the 13 boxes according to Joker Rules (described below). There is no limit to the amount of Yahtzee bonuses you can earn. However, if you have marked a zero in the Yahtzee box already, you can not earn Yahtzee bonuses. Fill in one of the 13 boxes in accordance with Joker Rules. 

Joker Rules

Score the total of the five rolled dice in the Upper Section. If those are filled, score in the Lower Section in accordance with point values defined above, i.e. Small Straight is 30 points.

Example of Joker Rules: You roll five 5’s, but you have already marked zero in your Yahtzee box. You have also scored your 5’s in the Upper Section as well, Joker Rules allow you to open any box in the Lower Section for scoring that isn’t already occupied. For example, you may mark 40 in the Large Straight Box if it is open.

Finishing the Game

After all 13 columns have been filled for each player the game ends. Now, each player totals their score in the following way:

Upper Section: Mark the total sum of your Upper Section score in the corresponding total score box. If you score 63-points or more, add in the 35-point bonus before marking your total score.

Lower Section: Mark the total sum of the Lower Section score in the corresponding total score box. Add 100-points for each check in the Yahtzee bonus box.

Grand Total: Sum of Upper and Lower Sections. This is your total score for that game. The player with the highest total wins.

Single Player

The same rules apply, however, no group is necessary. Challenge yourself to beat your previous scores in solo play.


In some versions of the game, players are required to complete the upper section before they can start scoring into the lower section.


At Solitaried.com you can play Yahtzee free online in both single-player and multi-player mode.


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22 thoughts on “Yahtzee”

  1. I have also found a version where the players must complete the upper tricks before trying the lower. It makes filling the lower tricks harder, and yields a wider range of scores.

    • Hi Joseph, that’s an interesting version I had not heard of yet! Thanks for letting me know and I’ll add it as a variation.

  2. What if you scored a Yahtzee and placed in the Yahtzee box and now you get a second Yahtzee say of five’s and upper 5’s are filled in can you use for a straight plus 100 points

    • Hi Sharon, in your example as I understand it, you have scored in the Yahtzee’s box, and in the upper 5’s box. You have also just rolled a Yahtzee of 5s. in this case you would mark the bonus box next to Yahtzee and take your bonus chip to signify your extra 100 points. You can then score your Yahtzee in accordance to the Joker rules. This means you can score into any open box on the upper level. You specifically asked about straights, so you could mark 30 points into your small straight box or 40 points into your large straight box.

    • Hi Johnathan, I have never heard of that variation for Yahtzee! Very cool! I’ll see if I can research it some more and add it to the rules. Thanks again.

  3. Do you only play 13 rounds or do you play until your card is full? If I get 3-4 Yatzees, my card won’t be full in 13 rounds.

  4. Is one of the four players allowed to change her game total ?? This error was discovered TWO GAMES LATER, when ending the 6th game ?? Would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you.

    • Hi Christine, No, a player may not change any of their submissions. Once a player puts a number into a column it is there for the rest of the game. I hope this helps.

  5. Question, if someone roles a yahtzee, can they use it in the upper portion of the game versus using it as a yahtzee. Ex:I roll 5 fives …can I put 25 in the fives of the upper section???

  6. Thank you so much. I just rolled my best ever yatzee game: 609. I had 4 yatzees, got my bonus, and no zeros on bottom. I researched rules and found this website.

    Caveat: Our family has always played that additional yatzees earn the extra 100 but no additional spots are used so at the end of the game additonal rolls are needed to complete the game (which really makes it harder as I had to roll my straights, etc.)

  7. Given the miserable odds of throwing multi Yahtzees in a game of only 13 rolls each :
    100 bonus every Yahtzee + a Joker is a bit much, it breaks the balance of the game. A player already has a huge advantage with the joker option, they don’t need additional 100 bonus points every extra Yahtze they roll. It is “overpowered” as they say in modern gaming.
    Even in an exceptional throw run, you can only max around a score of 475, without the extra x12 Yahtzee bonus.
    Max points with a ridiculous x13 Yahtzee bonus is around 1675 !
    100 bonus for the first Yahtzee is fair enough, but not for the rest.

    If the other players don’t even have a fair level playing field chance to at least tie in a draw (which is hard enough as it is), then what is their incentive to keep playing or even play at all ?

  8. Question about Bonus Yatzee. If one rolls a bonus yatzee of all 5’s but the 5’s in the upper section are already filled and the complete lower section is already filled. In addition to the 100 bonus Yatzee points, can I fill in points in an open box (not 5’s) in the upper section and how do I add the points? Or do I need to take a zero in one of the upper section boxes.

    • Hi Sandy, You will need to score one of your open sections. You will take the bonus chip and mark the bonus box. If you have to score it as a 0 in one of your spaces you can no longer get a bonus Yahtzee.

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