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Yahtzee rules are easy and simple, making it one of the most popular dice games in the world.
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The traditional spotted dice cube is considered to be on of the oldest form of gambling by Historians. Several variations of dice games have been invented since its origin. Yahtzee is one such game. It is a game of great chance, luck and also of smart thinking and strategy.
Like any other dice game, it involves rolling dice (five), matching them and pairing them for points.
The object of the game is to make the maximum number of points. The player with the greatest grand total wins the game and therefore earns the difference between his score and that of his opponents. It can be played by any number of people - in a large group or even by a single player (Solitaire).
So where did it all start? The exact origin of Yahtzee is not very clear. It is said to have been made by Milton Bradley in the 1950s. But according to Hasbro, the current owners of the rights of the game, it was invented in 1954 by a Canadian couple who often played it with friends on their yacht.
And in 1956, the couple is said to have visited a toy-maker called Edwin. S. Lowe and asked him to make a few samples of their infamous "Yacht game", to distribute as gifts. Lowe liked the game so much, that he offered to buy the rights for the game in exchange for the first thousand games produced. Lowe then changed the name of the game to "Yahtzee".
Initially the game did not sell too well, so Lowe started throwing Yahtzee parties, believing in the power of word of mouth. The game had to be played to be appreciated. After this over 40 million games were sold in America and around the globe. But eventually, the Milton Bradley Company bought over the Edwin Lowe Company, along with the Yahtzee rights in the 1970s. It was after this milestone that the game earned millions of fans. Currently, at least 50 million games are sold each year.
But the roots of the game go way back in game history. It is said to have been derived from a number of traditional dice games such as Puerto Rican game Genarala, and English games Cheerio and Poker Dice.
It's a simple game that is largely dependent on the players' luck. The Yahtzee player chooses a certain combination first and then rolls the dice to try and get that combination. There are 13 categories such as "three of a kind", "four of a kind", "straight", very similar to the "hands" in Poker, with a few extra ones thrown in. Each player rolls his dice up to three times per turn, in hopes of getting one of the 13 categories.
If a player rolls the dice all three times, the score of the last roll is taken into consideration. It is not always possible for every player to get a score for each of the thirteen categories, so when every player has a score or a zero entered under all 13 categories (13 rounds), the game ends and all the players' scores are totaled up.
Getting a straight five gives a player the highest score possible, which is 50 points. Also known as "Yahtzee" or "Five of a kind", if a player rolls such a combination more than once in the game he will be entitled to 100 bonus points for every time he rolls it, after the first 50 points have been earned.
Although the traditional form of the game was highly popular, many variations of the game were invented in order to maintain interest. Some of these variations are the triple, pyramid, painted, and battle Yahtzee games.
Triple is like playing three games at once. That is, three scoring columns are used simultaneously for one game. Pyramid makes use of triangular dice, while in the Battle variation you are allowed to knock other player's dice. Painted includes colors, so you need to note down the scores of the players, based on the number and color combinations they get by rolling the dice.
Whatever the variation you play, the game involves a lot of planning and strategy. It is very important to think ahead and make wise decisions about which pot (the 13 categories) to choose every time you roll. You can score big points for some of the harder pots to achieve, like a "Five of a kind". This way, it is advantageous to leave things like your one column until the very end when it is worthless.