Yacht

Yacht is probably better known by its commercial name, Yahtzee™. It is easy to play at home with just five dice and a score sheet. (Click here to open a new window with a printable score sheet.) Together with General, Yacht is known as a 'category' dice game.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2 or more (4-5 is good)

Equipment: Five dice; Score pad and pen/pencil

Time: 15 minutes+

Aim: To get the highest score over twelve rounds.

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1. Players throw one die, with the lowest score going first. Each player has twelve rounds to make the highest overall score. There are twelve categories, one per round, in any order. Players try to maximise their score in nine categories and achieve the other three categories by throwing five dice up to three times per round.

CATEGORYPOINTSEXAMPLE
Yacht (Five of a Kind)505, 5, 5, 5, 5 (60 points)
Big Straight (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)302, 3, 4, 5, 6 (30 points)
Little Straight (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)301, 2, 3, 4, 5 (30 points)
Four of a KindTotal of the four dice (max. 24 points) 3, 3, 3, 3, 6 (4x3=12 points)
Full House (any three of one kind and two of another kind) Total of the five dice (max. 28 points) 2, 2, 2, 4, 4 (2+2+2+4+4=14 points)
Choice (any five dice with no particular pattern) Total of the five dice (max. 30 points)2, 1, 6, 3, 4 (2+1+6+3+4=16 points)
SixesTotal of the dice with sixes (max. 30 points) 1, 5, 3, 6, 6 (6+6=12 points)
FivesTotal of the dice with fives (max. 25 points) 2, 4, 5, 1, 3 (5 points only)
FoursTotal of the dice with fours (max. 20 points) 4, 1, 6, 4, 4 (4+4+4=12 points)
ThreesTotal of the dice with threes (max. 15 points) 3, 1, 5, 6, 3 (3+3=6 points)
TwosTotal of the dice with twos (max. 10 points) 4, 5, 4, 3, 1 (zero points)
Ones (Aces) Total of the dice with ones (max. 5 points) 5, 1, 4, 6, 6 (1 point only)

2. Player One throws all five dice. If the dice make a Yacht, a Straight (either big or little) or a Full House, that score can be entered immediately on the score sheet. Otherwise, Player One must decide which dice to keep and which dice to throw again to try to get a good score in any category. For example, if Player One threw '6', '3', '3', '2' and '3', they may decide to try for Four of a Kind by keeping the '3s' and throwing the '6' and '2' again. If the second throw was a '3' a '1', Player One would keep the '3' (to make Four of a Kind) but could throw the '1' again with the hope of achieving five '3s' (a Yacht). At the end of the third throw, Player One must decide which category they will enter their score. If they had five '3s', they could enter it as a Yacht (50 points), Four of a Kind (4x3=12 points), Threes (5x3=15 points) or Choice (3+3+3+3+3=15 points). A Yacht would give them the highest score (and is the hardest to achieve) so it is the obvious choice.

3. Players proceed in a clockwise direction to throw the dice (up to three times per round) in order to achieve their best score in each category over the twelve rounds. Players can only enter a score in each category once, even if they throw a better score for that category later on in the game. This means that some categories may score zero if, for example, you have throw three '5s' and are trying for Four of a Kind. If you end up with '5', '5', '5', '3' and '6', and you already have scores for Threes, Fives and Sixes, you may need to put that round as zero for Ones so that you can still hope for a higher score in other categories in later rounds.

4. It is good strategy to try for the largest scores in the beginning of the game. You may also choose to score zero in some of the lower scoring categories (Ones and Twos) rather than lose some of the higher scoring categories.

5. Players add up their total score at the end of the twelfth round. The highest score wins the game. (The best possible score is 297 points.)




Cheerio is an alternative form of Yacht which has only eleven categories (no Four of a Kind category) and slightly different scoring for the Straights, as shown below. All other rules are the same as Yacht.
CATEGORYPOINTSEXAMPLE
Cheerio (Five of a Kind)505, 5, 5, 5, 5 (50 points)
Big Straight (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)252, 3, 4, 5, 6 (25 points)
Little Straight (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)201, 2, 3, 4, 5 (20 points)
Full House (any three of one kind and two of another kind) Total of the five dice (max. 28 points) 2, 2, 2, 4, 4 (2+2+2+4+4=14 points)
Big Hand (any five dice with no particular pattern) Total of the five dice (max. 30 points)2, 1, 6, 3, 4 (2+1+6+3+4=16 points)
SixesTotal of the dice with sixes (max. 30 points) 1, 5, 3, 6, 6 (6+6=12 points)
FivesTotal of the dice with fives (max. 25 points) 2, 4, 5, 1, 3 (5 points only)
FoursTotal of the dice with fours (max. 20 points) 4, 1, 6, 4, 4 (4+4+4=12 points)
ThreesTotal of the dice with threes (max. 15 points) 3, 1, 5, 6, 3 (3+3=6 points)
TwosTotal of the dice with twos (max. 10 points) 4, 5, 4, 3, 1 (zero points)
Ones (Aces) Total of the dice with ones (max. 5 points) 5, 1, 4, 6, 6 (1 point only)


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