Researchers at the World Yahtzee Institute have discovered that the full social and psychic benefits of playing Yahtzee can only be realized by playing with actual people and real dice. But if you're in need of a quick fix, you can get your kicks with our free solitaire web-based game. Use it to hone your skills, test out a new strategy, or just to relax with some hot dice action.
Yahtzee Strategy: The Top Five Tips, Tricks, and Tactics
If you want to play Yahtzee, it’s important to know about sound strategy. Whether online or on the tabletop, a basic understanding of key tactical principles will help to keep you in the game. The Yahtzee Manifesto promotes a PROVEN Yahtzee strategy that gets results every time.
The PROVEN system is a list of the top five Yahtzee tips to improve your strategy. Based on cutting-edge probability theory, these tips are easy to remember and draw upon the wisdom of E.S. Lowe himself. And you may even notice a spring your step as you watch your Yahtzee scores climb.
PROVEN: A tactical system of Yahtzee strategy designed to increase scores and well-being.
Prioritize the Upper Section Bonus
Prioritize the Upper Section Bonus
The Upper Section’s 35-point bonus is the second most important objective in a game of Yahtzee, behind only the namesake. On top of the bonus points, you will rack up plenty of additional points in the upper scoring categories themselves. That total will undoubtedly be something higher than the mighty 40 points of a Large Straight. Taking the whole picture in perspective, the Upper Section is a points powerhouse that can’t be ignored.
The bonus is granted when you’ve scored at least 63 points in the Upper Section. The trick to securing it is to roll three of each scoring category. But nothing comes easy so you may sometimes find yourself down a couple of points. Then you need to focus on rolling four of a kind to score elsewhere in the Upper Section to make up the difference. It is better, therefore, to be down a number in Ones, Twos, or Threes, rather than Fours, Fives, or Sixes. The higher numbers simply provide a comfier cushion to pad your total score.
Prioritize the Upper Section Bonus. The extra 35 points is a surefire way to increase your average Yahtzee score.
You can achieve great success in Yahtzee, and in life, by remaining open to new possibilities. If you are willing to change your tactics according to how the game unfolds, you will hold a significant advantage over a stubborn opponent who remains stuck in their ways. Try not to fall into a rut, blindly following a certain strategy when other scoring opportunities may be passing you by.
Every obstacle is an opportunity. Train your mind to become more flexible when considering fresh ideas. Trying to maintain a positive mentality when the going gets tough is a great way to start. A pair of Ones, after all, can be nurtured into a Yahtzee if they aren’t dismissed out of hand.
But always remember that the dice are the final arbiters. Even the most well-planned strategy and upbeat attitude can be quickly undone by a fateful throw of the dice. What’s the best way to improve your Yahtzee high score?
Remain adaptive, stay agile, and respond to circumstances as they present themselves. See the possibilities beyond the dice.
Organization begins with coming to the Yahtzee table prepared. Develop an intimate familiarity with the Yahtzee rules book and official scorecard so that you will never be caught flat-footed in a tense game situation. A deep understanding of the game’s statistical probabilities is also a great asset. As the game winds on, stay aware of which combinations remain available and refer to your scoresheet often. A silly blunder, like going for your Threes when you have already scored them, will surely result in a lower score.
Incorporate a structured plan into your tactical approach to each game. Before every roll, conceive of where you want to strike and remain focused on your objective. When playing head-to-head against another player, that means paying careful attention to your opponent’s scorecard, and their weaknesses. An organized player will be aware of her surroundings at all times.
Organize. A well-managed approach to Yahtzee will benefit players of all levels. Choose a strategy early and keep your head in the game at all times.
Value the Yahtzee
The Yahtzee is worth 50 points and it sets the stage for a 100-point Yahtzee Bonus. Put simply, keep it open on your scorecard for as long as possible. As long as you haven’t scored zero for Yahtzee, you are only one roll away from changing your game.
Rolling multiple Yahtzee’s are the only way to reach stellar scores. Once you get the first one, the Yahtzee Bonus becomes a real possibility and your odds of a memorable grand total will skyrocket. But it is not uncommon for a player to score a zero at the first sign of trouble. But more often than not, this move will end up undermining your total score. It’s one of the worst feelings imaginable to throw a Yahtzee when you have already x-ed it out.
Keeping the Yahtzee available until the very end of a game is your sole chance to break high score records. It this is your goal, then try to retain the option of scoring a Yahtzee by zeroing out any other scoring category and preserve the possibility of pulling out a spectacular finish.
Value the Yahtzee. When they named the game after it, you know it’s got to be something special.
Eventually you’ll have a game that takes a turn for the worse. When a higher-scoring combination remains elusive, you may be forced to mark a zero somewhere on your scorecard. In a sticky situation, remember that the top two backup options on a Yahtzee scorecard are the Ones and Chance.
The Ones are a safe choice here. Sacrifice a low-scoring roll early to maximize your points potential later in the game. Just be sure to then concentrate your energies on rolling something extra in another Upper Section category to make up the difference.
The Chance is the only category where you’re guaranteed to never score a zero. Five points is the minimum, and in Yahtzee every point counts. This reliability means you can depend on the Chance to serve as a fallback option just when you’re at your lowest. Don’t be afraid to score them early in a game if the need arises – that is what they are there for. But you can be sure that you’ve got a strong game going the longer that the Chance remains open.
Embrace Eventualities. They are a fact of life so there is no use in trying to ignore them. Arm yourself with knowledge to prepare for the worst. Ones and Chance are the safe havens of the Yahtzee scorecard. Use them wisely to keep your head above water.
Never Back Down
It is a natural reaction to feel dejected when the dice aren’t rolling your way. But even when things look bleak, don’t give up on a Yahtzee game. The strongest, most well-prepared player will still suffer defeats and no one is immune to cold streaks. It is vital to keep your wits about you and rededicate your positive mental energies to your task. Be willing to accept the challenge of a difficult game and to stare defeat squarely in the eye.
There is no shame in falling to a better player so long as you have given it everything you had. Always uphold the integrity of the game and be sure to accept a loss graciously. Allow feelings of resentment or bitterness to melt away. Or better yet, transform that negative energy into a spirit of determination that will power your next game. Rolling dice optimistically results in more accuracy and can lead to higher scores.
Never back down when facing adversity. Take control of the dice and stand up for your Yahtzee rights.
Play Classic Yahtzee Video Games
- Apple II (1978)
- Commodore 64 (1986)
Yahtzee has a long and storied history as a video game, appearing on the very first personal computers. Only a lucky few have access to the original hardware needed to run the earliest Yahtzee video games. The scourge of time has taken a toll on retro gaming equipment, which often involved limited production runs of what was an unproven technology. But computing advances allow us to resurrect these classics on modern machines.
A video game console emulator is software on a modern computer that can emulate the hardware of an older system. Emulators typically out-perform the original technology in many ways. In addition to bringing old favorites back to life, entirely new games can be written and played as if they had originally been designed for the classic game consoles.
A ROM file, which serves as a copy of the game cartridge data, and the emulator software is required to play an emulated video game. Be wary of copyright law that demands you own the original game cartridge before downloading and playing a ROM file. Check out an emulator site like RetroArch to relive the glory days of early Yahtzee video games.
More Ways to Play Yahtzee
With a vast array of Yahtzee derivatives, branded sets, and other variations, there are a multitude of ways to play Yahtzee. It has successfully transitioned from being solely a tabletop game into the digital world. You can play Yahtzee as an electronic handheld game, on a video game console, personal computer, or smartphone. Try one of our favorite ways to play: