How to Play Farkle: A fun and simple dice game.

Farkle: How to play and what you need. 

Farkle Dice Game

What is Farkle? A simple dice game where players compete to outscore their friends or their personal high score.

Farkle Dice 16mm d6

How do you play Farkle? Each player starts their turn by rolling six dice. From there, the player must bank points to continue the turn.

            You bank points by having a scoring dice hand.

The scoring will be discussed more later. If you roll the dice and you are unable to bank any dice, then your turn is over. The result? A Farkle.

Once you bank dice you can immediately record your points on the score card or you can roll the non-banked dice to try and score more points. Be careful, because if your next roll does not yield bankable dice, your turn in this simple dice game is over and receive no points. The result? Another Farkle!

 How to play Farkle

How do you win? In the game I played in preparation of this post, I simply played a set number of rounds. From here, I will attempt to beat this score using that set number of rounds.

The rules state that this fun and simple dice game ends once the first players hits 10,000 points. At that time, all other players may attempt to score one more time before final totals are made. The highest score wins!

 

How does the scoring work in Farkle? Below is a picture of the scoring system. It is very similar to Yahtzee, but there are limitations on how the points are formed. If you bank a number, it cannot be combined with the next roll to form a combo score. This makes getting a 3-of-a-kind much more difficult!

 Farkle Scoring System

Farkle Scoring system

 

An example of the scoring in practice is below.

an example of Farkle scoring

The 5 is worth 50 points. The 1 is worth 100 points. The 3 six's are worth 600. The 3 is worth nothing. All together the hand is worth 750 points. 

How many dice do you need? Six dice.  The standard game comes with six 16mm dice. This is a standard size for this type of game.

Green Dice and Dice Cup

 

Do you need to purchase Farkle to play? Nope! The game is very basic. All you need when you're learning how to play Farkle are six dice, a piece of paper, and something to write with. So long as you can remember the scoring scheme you are ready to play. If you are looking for the green version I played with for this write-up it can be found here.

 

Don’t want to use a premade kit? No problem! Here is what I could’ve used from my go-to dice stash:

 

History of Farkle and AKA variations: The basis of the Farkle dice game? Simple: score points using common pair, triples, and straights. Thus, Farkle is less of a historical holdover and more a well marketed variation on an otherwise common dice game concept. This simple dice game is sometimes called Cosmic Wimpout, Greed, Zilch, Squelch, 10,000, and Hot Dice. Depending on who you last played this game with, the rules may have been slightly different, but the premise of how to play Farkle is the same. Roll some dice, score some points, have fun!

 

Disclaimer: Links in this article will take you to one of two places: A BrycesDice.com product page or an Amazon product page. 

6 comments

BrycesDice

BrycesDice

@Clay, yes. You need only bank a single die each round. I have often kept a 1 and thrown back the 5.

@Denise I agree that it is certainly a house rules situation. Make the rule at the beginning of play and stick with it. A lot like stacking cards in UNO. That said, I do not believe you ever MUST keep rolling if you have Hot Dice. The Farkle rules seem clear that you get to decide how to proceed, bank or roll.

Clay

Clay

If you roll just two bankable die can you bank just one and roll five dice

Jason

Jason

Jim, you lose all points.

Denise

Denise

Since my last post, I have read many rule versions and played online. Some rules say you MUST roll again after you have “hot dice” and some say it is a choice. Some rules score the first “hot dice” and then the second role is a separate score that cannot take away the score of the first role if a FARKLE occurs. Some games score differently than as shown here and different than the purchased score sheets. It looks like you can choose the rules you want to use as long as you state them and players agree before starting your game. It is puzzling though why the official FARKLE site states a set of scoring rules that do not match the score sheets that are sold.

Denise

Denise

For Jim: I had this same question until I read the instructions shown above. They read: Bank all 6 dice and you’ve got hot dice. You can choose to pass and keep your score, or you can pick up all 6 dice and roll again to rack up more points. Your turn continues until you pass, or until you fail to roll scoring dice.
If at any point NONE of the rolled dice score, that’s a FARKLE.
I think the phrase “you can choose to pass and keep your score” indicates that if you take the extra roll and FARKLE, you lose all the points that you have banked. I think the hot dice option just earns you an opportunity to continue your turn but the scoring system is the same. You could always play it the way you inquired about as long as everyone playing agrees. There can be variations.

Jim

Jim

I have rolled three pairs for 1500 points. I add the points to my running total, then roll again.
On my next rule, I roll three 3s for 300 points. I set those three dice aside and roll the other three dice. I roll a 2 to 3 and a 6.
Have I lost 1800 points or have I lost only 300 points?
Please advise. Many thanks,
Jim

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