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Former featured article candidate Yahtzee is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
December 28, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted

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Minimum score[edit]

The "Minimum score" section stating that 6 is the minimum score is incorrect. There is no rule that actually forces you to score a five of a kind in the Yahtzee section; thus, one could potentially place five 1s in the Chance box, and score zero everywhere else, for a total score of 5. My pocket electronic Yahtzee game (made by MB) verifies this. John Darrow (talk) 06:30, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

This is quite correct, 5 is the minimum score.

Scoring statistics[edit]

It seems to me that the highest possible score is "5 + 10 + 15 + 20 + 25 + 30 + 35 (bonus) + 30 + 30 + 25 + 30 + 40 + 50 + 30" which is 375 not 302. The minimum score is 5. In fact a quick set of calculations shows the following statistics based on the different possible scoring outcomes. i.e. assuming there are no bonuses for extra yahtzees, then given the possible scores for each category:

0-4 cannot occur (chance is at least 5)
5 is minimum score
50% of possible scoring outcomes are less than or equal to 184
60% of scores are <= 197
70% of scores are <= 212
75% of scores are <= 220
80% of scores are <= 228
85% of scores are <= 239
90% of scores are <= 252
95% of scores are <= 271
96% of scores are <= 276
97% of scores are <= 283
98% of scores are <= 292
99% of scores are <= 304
99.9% of possible scores are <= 342
The only 100% score = 375

--Alex Farkas 12:22, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Yathzee valid as full house[edit]

Is Yathzee valid as full house? I think it should, for it is valid as 3 and 4 of a kind as well. Many programs are made otherwise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

My recollection is that according to the official rules it isn't. My guess is that it is defined in terms of all five dice matching a set pattern (two different pip values in 3:2 distribution), whereas 3OAK is defined only in terms of having three dice matching a set pattern (such that it doesn't matter what values are on the remaining 2 dice), and similarly for 4OAK. But I see where you're coming from. I suppose it only makes a practical difference if you've already scored a Yahtzee and haven't already filled the corresponding upper section box. — Smjg (talk) 02:48, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Official rules say Yahtzee is not a valid FH ("three of one number and two of another"). Actually, if you're playing the official rules (in particular the Joker rule) it makes absolutely no difference at all. If you've NOT filled the Yahtzee box you'll never put a Yahtzee in the FH box anyway. If you HAVE filled in the Yahtzee box, the Joker rule means that whenever you're allowed to put the Yahtzee on FH you'll score 25 anyway. "I suppose it only makes a practical difference if you've already scored a Yahtzee and haven't already filled the corresponding upper section box." - using the official rules you're not allowed to put the Yahtzee on FH in this situation. Rules say you MUST put it in the Upper Section. If you're playing an unofficial variation where you're allowed to put the Yahtzee on FH in this circumstance (scoring 25) there will be a difference. In particular with 11111 it'd often be better putting in on FH (scoring 25) rather than on 1s (scoring 5), especially if you've got your bonus already. The value of the "Optimal" Strategy increases from 254.59 to 254.61 with this rule change. Nigej (talk) 07:13, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

RE: Yahtzee valid as full house (correctly spelled : D )[edit]

I wrote a game based on Yahtzee and originally my code didn't allow using a Yahtzee as a full house; my math logic didn't incorporate that a pair and a three of a kind could be of the same die face. My original logic scanned the dice to first identify the pair, and then verify the remaining three dice to be of a different die face than the pair. It made sense programatically; however, it was a flaw in my thinking - I would suspect that other programmers have experinced this approach and thus why others don't allow it. For me, it was a bug which I altered, because, the criteria for a full house is to be one pair and three of a kind. Nothing says they cannot be of the same die face.

IMHO lol Torbis Nedrick (talk) 07:38, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Rules explanation?[edit]

I came here looking for the rules, having never played. I'm sure previous authors know a lot about the game. Rules overview - Upper section - Sorry, but incomprehensible to someone like myself, who does not already know the rules. Consider an introduction to the rules for those not already fans? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

+++++NEw Vintage book edition++++ Does any one know about this? A version was released at Target for $20. they sold out but its become some sort of collectors item selling for hundres. The other vintage book games- monopoly etc are not taking this trend. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

What does Hasbro own? The game or the creator?[edit]

I know this might be not significant, but for me the meaning of this phrase is kind of confusing:

"Yahtzee is a dice game made by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro)[...]"

Any suggestions for re-phrasing? --imega 23:20, 10 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Imega (talkcontribs)

Maximum score question[edit]

If you zeroed out the yahtzee column first, then assumed 5 of a kind for every category - I get 325 for the theoretical maximum score for '0' yahtzees. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Semaj187 (talkcontribs) 22:00, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Uh, that's not a question.... — Smjg (talk) 22:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Two player strategy[edit]

Hi, i wrote a program to compute optimal strategies in yahtzee. For single player, optimizing the expectation value, its optimal, also in optimizing the probability to reach a given threshold. I also implemented a two player strategy, which optimizes the convolution of the probability distributions of both players. It would be great if someone ist interested to run it: Before you can start, the Program needs a night to precompute all possible states. Greetings, Felix — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Update: is a Demo, to show how it works. Greetings, Felix — Preceding unsigned comment added by FelixH (talkcontribs) 09:55, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

3-bonus max score?[edit]

I don't understand how the 3-bonus max score can be 666. By my math:

max =   ones      twos     threes     fours     fives     sixes   bonus   3ofKind   4ofKind flHse sStr lStr Yzee  chance    bonusYzee
675 = ((5 * 1) + (5 * 2) + (5 * 3) + (5 * 4) + (5 * 5) + (5 * 6) + 35) + ((5 * 6) + (5 * 6) + 25 + 30 + 40 + 50 + (5 * 6) + (3 * 100))

but my edit was reverted, the comment saying:

(Undid revision 628377677 by Supuhstar (talk) 666 seems to be correct - 5x1, 5x2, 5x3, 29 on 3k, 4k, Ch so only 3 bonues)

which I can't parse... what does the reversion comment mean, and can anyone show me the flaw in my math?  Supuhstar *  19:53, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry. Comment should have said: 4x1, 4x2, 4x3, 29 on 3k, 4k, Ch so only 3 bonuses). Your score of 675 would give many more than 3 bonuses, 9 I think. If you want exactly 3 bonuses (no more, no less) you have to get rid of 6 of them. The way to do this (with the smallest reduction in your score) is not to have a "yahtzee" on 1s, 2s, 3s, 3k, 4k and Ch. You can lose just 9 (1+2+3+1+1+1) so score 666. Any higher score will give more than 3 bonuses. Nigej (talk) 20:58, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Joker rules[edit]

The joker rules described here (and indeed, at [1]) aren't what I remember them being.

The impression this gives is that if you roll a Yahtzee when you have already filled the Yahtzee box on your scoresheet, you must follow set rules about what category you score it under - fill in the upper section box corresponding to the number you rolled 5 of if this is still available, otherwise score it in a lower section box of your choice, or if all these are filled then zero an upper section box of your choice.

I suppose different editions have had slightly different rules. As it happens, I can't seem to find online the rules booklet from the MB edition I grew up with. But in the rules I remember, there are no such restrictions on which box you may fill – the joker is just something that becomes available when you roll a Yahtzee if you have already filled both your Yahtzee box and the relevant upper section box. But if you haven't filled the relevant upper section box, you're still free to score it as 3OAK, 4OAK or Chance, or to zero FH, LS or HS, or to zero one of your upper section boxes (not that you'd ever want to zero a box in this scenario, though you may well want to seize the opportunity to fill your 3OAK or 4OAK). So there is never a restriction on which of your unfilled boxes you may fill at a given time - all that happens is that the combination of Yahtzee on the dice, Yahtzee box already filled and corresponding upper section box already filled means that you can score in FH, LS or HS as if you actually have that combination.

Moreover, if one plays by the compulsory joker rule, then being able to score a Yahtzee as 3OAK or 4OAK might as well be considered part of the joker rule. It would only make a difference in one specific scenario, namely that in which you haven't filled your Yahtzee box yet, and roll a Yahtzee but may decide to score it as 3/4OAK instead. But it is never advantageous to do so.

Does anybody have a copy of the MB rules booklet to confirm? It would be nice if we can improve the article to address differences between different versions of the rules such as this. — Smjg (talk) 12:29, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Beef-up etymology[edit]

Mention what the -zee comes from too, in an all new etymology section. Jidanni (talk) 02:27, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

"Yahtzee" sounds very similar to "one, two" in Cantonese. "" spells it "yuht, ngee" and if counting quickly, running the words together, it sounds pretty close to "yahtzee." Perhaps a native Cantonese (and English) speaker would offer their opinion. I lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, 50 years ago and am of wide and disparate European/Caucasian stock so I'm no expert. I am aware of the commonly accepted etymology but there could have been Cantonese players in the background influencing the pronunciation of the new name.Ecstatist (talk) 04:36, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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