Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a game that's all about strategy, chance, luck and great mathematical fun. The goal is to roll dice and get the highest score. It can be addictive and will build your child's strategic thinking. Who’ll come out on top with the highest collection of combos?

1 hour

3-4, 5-6, 7-8

08 March 2021

Things you need

  • 2+ players
  • Yahtzee game, or 5 dice and pen and paper.
 
 
 

The challenge

Step 1

Assemble your players and familiarise yourselves with the rules. Get out your dice, share your scorecards, and take turns rolling to see who gets to go first. The person that rolls the highest total goes first.

Tip: Even if you don’t have the board game, you can still play Yahtzee with five dice and an understanding of the scoring combos and point system. 

 
 
 

Step 2

There are thirteen rounds in a game of Yahtzee. Players take it in turns to roll in each round.

During your child's turn, get them to throw all five dice and look at what they’ve rolled. Are they happy with some or all of their numbers? If they took a chance and rolled some or all of their dice again, do they think they could get a better score? 

They can roll the dice up to three times during their turn before they have to make their final selection for the round.

 
 
 

Step 3

Once your child has finished their turn, get them to record their score and play continues.

 
 
 

Step 4

Once you have completed all thirteen rounds, tally up all the players' scores. The highest score wins!

 
 
 

The conversation

As you are playing, discuss with your child:

  • how you need thinking time. For example, "Oh, this is making my brain think really hard! I just need some thinking time while I strategise."
  • what you're thinking about. For example, "I'm tempted to roll these two dice again. At the moment, I'd be able to get a small score, but if I take the chance and get two fives I'd increase what I'd get."
  • what they're thinking about. For example, "What are you thinking of doing here?" Can they explain why they've chosen to roll again, or not?

After playing, you can ask them questions like:

  • "If we played again tomorrow, what would you do differently?"
  • "How many rolls do you think it would take us to roll a Yahtzee?"