If you are looking for a game requiring little skill and a good deal of luck, then this may be the game for you. Yacht is a very simple game which uses nothing more than 5 dice, a cup to shake them in, and a score sheet. Despite its simplicity, the “high” of getting spectacular rolls of the dice is palpable. The skill of the game comes entirely in the form of decision making. The decisions one must make involve taking calculated risks, and knowing how to score your rolls.
Number of Players
As few as 2 and as many as you like.
5 six-sided dice (with optional dice cup), 1 specially prepared score sheet per player.
Each player rolls to determine who plays first (high roll wins), and play proceeds to the left. A player starts their turn by first rolling all 5 dice. They are allowed up to 2 more rolls (for a maximum of 3 rolls per turn). Each time a player rolls, they may choose to hold (or set aside) as many of the dice as they wish, and re-roll the remaining dice in an attempt to achieve certain goals as outlined by the score sheet. At any time during a players turn, they may stop rolling and use what is showing on all 5 dice to fill in a spot on their score sheet.
Once a spot has been filled in on the score sheet, it can not be changed.
Each player has their own individual sheet prepared with a series of categories divided into two sections (an “upper” and a “lower”). Each category represents a specific combination of dice, and should have a space next to it to fill in the score for that category. The categories are:
- Upper Section Bonus (35 pts. If upper section total = 63 or higher)
- 3 of a kind (total of all 5 dice)
- 4 of a kind (total of all 5 dice)
- Full house (25 points)
- Small straight (30 points)
- Large straight (40 points)
- Yacht (50 pts.)
- Chance (total of all 5 dice)
- Bonus for additional Yachts (100 pts. per additional Yacht)
There should also be room at the bottom of the sheet to fill in the totals for both sections and add them together for a final total. At the end of a players turn, the player MUST write down a score next to one of the categories. The player may choose to fill in any category that has not been previously filled in (in either section), but their final combination of dice must meet the requirements for whatever category they select (other wise, they must fill in a 0 for that category).
For the upper section, each category simply represents the specific numbers rolled on the dice. To take a score in the upper section, merely write down the total of all numbers you rolled that correspond to the specific category. For example, if you roll three 1s, a 2, and a 4, you may total the 1s for a score of “3” in the 1s category (for the sake of argument, you could also take a score of “2” in 2s, or “9” in Three of a Kind, etc). The upper section bonus of 35 points is achieved if the combined total of all numbers scored in the upper section equal 63 points or more. A good thing to keep in mind when trying for this bonus is that scoring exactly 3 of each number (i.e. three 1s, three 2s, etc.), gives you exactly 63 points.
For the lower section, the roll requirements are more specific. For 3 of a kind, and 4 of a kind you must obviously have either 3 of one number or 4 of one number showing on the dice. If you have met this requirement, you may total ALL numbers on the dice and write the total in the appropriate category. For “chance,” there is no specific requirement to meet; you merely total all the dice. All other lower section categories have specific point values assigned to them. You may write down the point value for each of these categories upon achieving their roll requirements. Those requirements are:
- Full house – dice show 3 of one number and 2 of another number (25 points)
- Small straight – 4 of the 5 dice are in sequence (example: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6). (30 points)
- Large straight – all 5 dice are in sequence (example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). (40 points)
- Yacht – all 5 dice show the same number (50 points)
You will notice while playing, that certain rolls can be taken in a variety of categories (for example a roll of 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, can be scored as 4’s, 6’s, 3 of a kind, Full house, or Chance…or, you can take a “0” anywhere else). In these situations, it is up to you to decide where to write down a score. In the event that your final roll of the dice on your turn produces a roll that does not meet ANY requirements on the score sheet, then a score of “0” must be taken in the open category of your choosing.
If you have already filled in the yacht category (with either 50 points or zero), and you roll a yacht…that yacht may be used as a “wildcard” anywhere else on the sheet (for example: it may be used as a full house, small straight, etc.). Also, if you have already scored 50 points in the yacht category, each additional yacht rolled is worth a bonus of 100 points (in addition to whatever the subsequent yachts are scored as).
When every category on every player’s score sheet has been filled in, the game is over. Each player then totals all of the values from each and every category on the sheet (remembering to include any bonuses). The player with the highest total score is the winner.