Matthew van Eerde's web log
I am a Software Development Engineer in Test working for the Windows Sound team. You can contact me via email: mateer at microsoft dot com
The dice game Yahtzee takes thirteen turns. Each turn involves rolling a set of five dice (with two possible rerolls, the player having the option to reroll only a subset of the dice), then marking one of thirteen boxes and scoring points according to whether the numbers on the dice meet the rules of the box. After each box is marked, the game is over.
The thirteen boxes and their rules are:
There are two bonuses possible:
So a perfect Yahtzee game looks like this. On the first turn...
... then on the following turns, in no particular order (but see below:)
Now we look at the bonuses and add it all up:
So a perfect score in Yahtzee is 1480 or 1505.
... not quite. There's another rule about Yahtzees (the "Joker" rule) which I didn't tell you about yet, because it's kind of complicated. If...
... you can score this roll in any unchecked box and it automatically meets the scoring criterion (wow!) So you would get 30 points in SMALL STRAIGHT or 40 points in LARGE STRAIGHT. (Or 25 points in FULL HOUSE.)1
This gives an additional 70 or 95 points, bring the total to 1575. (It also creates additional order dependencies; the boxes for FULL HOUSE, SMALL STRAIGHT, and LARGE STRAIGHT must be checked after the ONES through SIXES box for the corresponding number is checked.)
1 Does five-of-a-kind count as a full house? I'm not sure. Mathematically it would make sense. It turns out not to matter for this calculation because of the Joker rule, but it may matter in an actual game. The official rules say "Score in this box only if the dice show three of one number and two of another", so I guess not, but I would be comfortable adopting a "house rule" which allowed a Yahtzee to count as a "native" full house. Normally a house rule should be agreed upon by all players before the start of the game, but I'm pretty sure it would be possible to convince the other players to let you score your (3 3 3 3 3) in FULL HOUSE while YAHTZEE was still open. ("You want to throw away 25 points? Really? Um, go right ahead...")
2 The lowest possible Yahtzee score is 5: get (1 1 1 1 1) and score it in Chance, then get zeros in all the other boxes.
the perfect score is 351
Apparently Glen cannot read.
We always found the rules for extra Yahtzees to be detrimental to the game.
We play as:
1) Yahtzee can count as a 3-of-a-kind, 4-of-a-kind and full-house
2) No 100 point bonus for extra Y! and no joker things
This has the consequence that often it's better to score zero in Yahtzees and put the score somewhere else, giving more tactical depth. Like, score a Yahtzee of 5s in the 5 tris, to get the bonus instead of in the yathzee box.
What is the highest score you have ever personally seen? At www.freethedice.com they have had over 2,000,000 games and the highest individual round was only 847, and that was four years ago!
The highest score I've seen was on one of those handheld Yahtzee computer games, and was 485 if I remember correctly.
1 year ago scored 527