How to Play Yahtzee
Standard Play
Objective of the Game

SafeHarborGames Yahtzee can be played by 2, 3, 4 individuals (cutthroat) or partners. Winner is the highest score, either individually, or the combined score of the partners.

Special seatings for 2 and 3 Player games. To avoid confusion when looking at the scoring:

  • You can only use Seats 1 and 3 for 2 Player games
  • You can only use Seats 1, 2 and 3 can be used for 3 Player games.
  • If either Seat 2 or 4 is occupied, you will not get an option to start a 2 Player game
  • If Seat 4 is occupied, you will not get an option to start a 3 Player game.

See Pictures below:

2 Player3 Player

The game consists of 13 rounds. In each round, you roll the dice and then score the roll in one of 13 categories. You must score once in each category -- which means that towards the end of the game you may have to settle for scoring zero in some categories. The score is determined by a different rule for each category; see the section on Scoring below.
The object of the game is to maximize your total score. The game ends once all 13 categories have been scored.

Individual (Cutthroat) Partners
Opening 2 Player Opening 4 Player
Rolling the Dice
First Roll All Buttons

You have five dice to roll. On the first roll, you roll all the dice by clicking on the "First Roll" button.

After you roll all the dice, you can either score or choose to roll again. Click or tap to select the dice you want to keep and they show at the bottom. You can always click or tap on any dice in the bottom section and move them back to the main section. When you click on the Roll buttons, only the remaining dice in the middle will roll. Including the first Roll, you can roll the dice a total of three times. If you have not scored before, you must score after the third roll.

YOU CAN ALWAYS STOP AND SCORE after the first or second roll.
Once you've scored the roll, the next player begins their turn. When all opponents are done, the turn returns to you. You continue until all 13 categories have been filled, at which time the game is over.

Handling Ties

In the event of a tie at the end of a game, groups are encouraged to "break" the tie as follows.

  • Start a new game with the number of players that tied each other.
  • Have each player complete one turn, where they roll their dice (up to three times) and assign the total to the Chance score.
  • The player with the highest score wins.
  • In the event that two or more players tie with the Chance, they will play one more turn, and apply their results strategically to the spot that gives them the most points.
  • At the end of that turn, the players who tied in the first round, will compare their scores and the highest one wins.
  • If any further ties occur, the players continue each turn till one player has the highest score.

Once you have the dice face combination you want to score, you score the roll in one of the 13 categories. You do this by clicking on one of the radio buttons in either the Upper Scores or Lower Scores box. Once a category has been scored, it is closed out for the rest of the game; you cannot change a category's score once it's been set. Each category defines its own scoring rules, as described below.
Upper Scores
In the upper scores, you total only the specified die face. So if you roll:
<3> <3> <4> <3> <6>
* Score in the Threes category, your total for that entry would be 9
* Score this same roll in the Aces (Ones), Twos, or Fives category your total would be 0
* Score this same roll in the Fours, you total is 4
* Score this same roll in the Sizes, your total is 6.
When the game is over, if you score 63 or more upper points (an average of 3 die faces per category), you will get an upper bonus of 35 points. Of course you don't need to score exactly three die faces in each upper category to get the bonus, as long as the upper total is at least 63.
Lower Scores
In the lower scores, you score either a set amount (defined by the category), or zero if you don't satisfy the category requirements.\
3 and 4 of a Kind
For 3 of a Kind, you must have at least three of the same die faces. If so, you total all the die faces and score that total. Similarly for 4 of a Kind, except that you must have 4 of the 5 die faces the same. So for example, if you rolled:
<5> <5> <3> <2> <5>
you would receive 20 points for 3 of a Kind, but zero points for 4 of a Kind.
Like in poker, a straight is a sequence of consecutive die faces; a small straight is 4 consecutive faces, and a large straight is 5 consecutive faces. Small straights score 30 points and large straights score 40 points. Thus, if you rolled:
<5> <4> <3> <2> <6>
you could score either a small straight or a large straight, since this roll satisfies both.
Full House
Again as in poker, a Full House is a roll where you have both a 3 of a kind, and a pair. Full houses score 25 points.
Chance is the catch-all roll. You can roll anything and you simply total all the die faces values.
Yahtzee - Normal Play
A Yahtzee is a special case because of the "Joker" options. It is a 5 of a Kind (i.e. all the die faces are the same), and it scores 50 points.
If you roll more than one Yahtzee in a single game, you will earn a 100 point bonus for each additional Yahtzee roll, provided that you have already scored a 50 in the Yahtzee category.
If you have not scored in the Yahtzee category, you will not receive a bonus. If you have scored a zero in the Yahtzee category, you cannot receive any bonuses during the current game.

  • If the corresponding Upper section category is not filled then you must score there.
  • For example: if you rolled 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 and the Fours Category is not filled, you must put the score in the Fours category.
    Once this is done, then you can fill in any other category, even if the score is 0, you still get the 100 bonus.
  • In 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, and Chance categories you would score the total of the die faces.
  • For the Small Straight, Large Straight, and Full House categories, you would score 30, 40 and 25 points respectively.
  • If you have no good plays, you must take one of the unfilled categories and receive 0 points for it
Undo option

By default the player has an option to set Verify on, so that they don't accidentally click the wrong score by prompting them for confirmation.

Verity on Verify off

NOTE: Tournament and LNL rooms may have this option turned off.

Partners Options
Partner Prompt

When choosing 4 Player, you will get an additional prompt asking you if you want to play Partners.

Team Score

With partners, the score layout is a little different. The first two partners scores are together, followed by the second set of partners. The columns are colored to identify each set of partners, and the scores of the two partners are combined.

The order of play is the same as cutthroat.

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