How to Play Yardzee

The exciting game of yard Yahtzee—better known as Yardzee—developed from traditional Yahtzee, a tabletop game created in the 1940s. Yahtzee is played with five dice, and the object of the game is to get the highest score when you roll the dice. With Yardzee, the object and rules of the game are the same, but the dice are enlarged. Instead of throwing the giant dice on a table, you’ll throw them on your lawn! Read on to learn all you need to know about how to play Yardzee.

Yardzee rules

Yardzee is played in 13 rounds, and the player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. You’ll keep track of player scores with a scorecard that tells you the objectives for each round. Each player will take a turn, rolling the yard dice three times per turn to achieve one of the objectives on the Yardzee score card.

When you’re finished with your turn, you decide which category works best for the dice you’ve rolled. You’ll mark down your score for the objective you’ve chosen, but you must choose wisely because that category is out of play for the rest of the game.

How many players can play a Yardzee game?

Yardzee can be played with as many players as you want. The more people you get to play, the more fun you’ll have. Just make sure each person has score cards, and that you maintain the same order for throws for each participant.

Grab your score card: scoring in Yardzee

Scoring in Yardzee is somewhat complex at first, but even new players can get the hang of it quickly. In the upper section of the scorecard, your objective is to get “3 of a kind.” For example, a roll of 4—4—3—4—1 adds up to 12 points for the 4’s category. If you’re able to roll three of a kind for each number 1—6, you get a bonus of 35 points.

The lower part of the scorecard contains categories that are a bit tough to fill. Here’s a rundown of the categories and their Yardzee score value:

  • 3 of a kind: score total of all dice
  • 4 of a kind: score total of all dice
  • Small Straight (sequence of 4 consecutive die faces): 30 points
  • Large Straight (sequence of 5 consecutive die faces): 40 points
  • Full House (a combination of 2 of a kind and 3 of a kind): 25 points
  • Yardzee (5 of a kind): 50 points for your first Yardzee, 100 points for consecutive Yardzees
  • Chance (use when your score can’t fit into a category): score total of die faces

You get a score of 0 for categories where you can’t meet the requirements. Some players choose a score of 0 on some of the categories in the lower section of the scorecard, with the hope that they’ll be able to receive the bonus from the upper section. It all depends on your strategy, and how your opponents are performing.

Master all five dice to win!

This game ends when each player fills their Yardzee score card. Whoever has the highest cumulative score (top and bottom of the card) wins! Collect the score sheets, tally the point totals and announce your winner. It’s a great game for all occasions, from weddings and barbeque gatherings to picnics and camping trips. With no need for a board or complicated setup, you can toss the dice wherever you happen to be and enjoy a game of yard Yahtzee with whoever wants to play!

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