Yahtzee is a dice game invented by Milton Bradley but now owned by Hasbro. Initially it was marketed as Yatzie by the National Association Service of Toledo in the 1940s.Yatzie was part of a game set known as LUCK-15 Grand Dice Games.
It was marketed under the current name by Edwin S. Lowe, an entrepreneur in 1956.
The game is said to have evolved from earlier games such as Yacht, Poke and Generals and also resembles Yatzy, a popular game in Scandinavia.
The objective of the game is to score points by rolling 5 dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to 3 times in a turn in an attempt to make various scoring combinations.
A game consists of 13 rounds, after every round the player selects which scoring category is used for that round.
Once a category has been used in the game, it cannot be used again. Scoring categories have various point values; some of these are fixed values while others depend on the value of the dice.
A Yahtzee is a five-of-a-kind and scores 50 points, the highest of any category. The player who scores most points is considered the winner.
The concept of the game is based on a number of traditional dice games. These include Generals, Poker Dice, Yap and Cheerio. Yacht is an earlier version of the game, this is an English cousin of Generals and dates back to 1938.Though Yahtzee almost resembles Yacht in content and name, it is different from Yacht in various ways.
First it introduced the upper section of bonus and included the three-of-a-kind category. Secondly Yacht’s straights are a sequence of five unlike Yahtzee sequence of four straight. In addition Yahtzee came up with the joker rule and bonuses.
The game and its contents were copyrighted by Lowe between 1956 to 1972.In 1973, Milton Bradley bought the E.S Lowe Company and assumed the rights to produce and sell the game. During the time when Lowe owned the game, more than 40 million Yahtzee sets were sold in the US and around the world.
According to Hasbro, the game has never lost its popularity and sells more than 50 million sets every year.
The game comprises of a number of rounds, in each round a player gets 3 rolls of the dice, however they can choose to end their turn after one or two rolls. After the first roll, the player can save any dice they want and re-roll the other dice.
This process is often repeated after the second roll. The player can choose which dice to roll. They can re-roll a dice for the 3rd roll that was not rolled on the second roll.
The Yahtzee scorecard has 13 different categories boxes, in each round after the 3rd roll; the player has to choose one of these categories. The score entered in the box depends on how well the five dice match the scoring rules for that category.
Every player gets a scorecard that is divided into upper and lower section. The upper section has 6 boxes while the lower section has 7 boxes.
The upper section has a box for each of the likely results on a single 6-sided die roll. This means that there is a box for 1, another for 2 and so on up to 6.To score in this section, the player must get points equal to the total number of 1s and 2s up to 6 that they have in their final hand.
If a player has 4 dice showing a 3, then he gets 12 points in that box. If the player has 2 dice showing six, he/she gets 12 points in the box.
At the end of the game, if the player has 63 or more points in the upper section, he/she receives an extra 35 points. The total of 63 corresponds to a 3 of a kind in every box. A player must always be aware that once a box is filled, they are not allowed to go back and change it if they get a better hand later.
A Yahtzee happens when all 5 dice are the same, if a player throws a Yahtzee but the category has been used, there are special rules for this. If a player throws a Yahtzee but has already filled the box with a score of fifty, they score a Yahtzee and receive 100 bonus points.
If they throw a Yahtzee and have filled the Yahtzee category with a score of zero, they are not eligible for a bonus.