How to Play Dice

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to play dice, also known as 10,000 or Farkle. Whether you're a beginner or looking to sharpen your skills, this post will walk you through the rules, scoring combinations, risk management, and winning strategies.

Overview of Dice Game

To play the dice game, you'll need six dice, a score sheet, and a writing utensil. The six dice are typically standard six-sided dice. Each turn begins by rolling all six dice. Points are earned based on specific scoring combinations achieved with the rolled dice. After each roll, you have the choice to bank the points you've earned during that turn or take a risk and continue rolling the remaining dice. However, if you fail to score any points with a roll, known as "farkling," you lose all points accumulated in that turn. Therefore, deciding when to bank points and when to keep rolling requires strategic risk management.


Setting Up the Game

Before starting the game, gather the required materials. You will need six dice, a score sheet, and a writing utensil. Designate a scorekeeper for the game. The scorekeeper will be responsible for keeping track of each player's scores on the score sheet. They will record the points earned by each player during their turns and update the total scores accordingly. Ensure that the scorekeeper understands their role and is ready to fulfill it throughout the game.

Decide on a target score that players must reach in order to win the game. This target score can be agreed upon by all players before starting the game. It adds a sense of challenge and accomplishment to the gameplay. Common target scores range from 5,000 to 10,000 points, depending on the desired length of the game. Clearly communicate the target score to all players so that everyone knows what they are aiming for.

Scoring Combinations

Understanding the point values of single dice scores, triple dice scores, special combinations, and the concept of scoring everything or "hot dice" provides players with a clear understanding of how to maximize their points and strategize their gameplay effectively.

Single Dice Scores

The numbers 1 and 5 have individual point values.

  • 1s: Each rolled 1 is worth 100 points
  • 5s: Each rolled 5 is worth 50 points

Triple Dice Scores

Rolling three dice with the same number (excluding 1s) earns points based on the number rolled. For example, rolling three 2s is worth 200 points, three 3s is worth 300 points, and so on.

Special Combinations

Certain combinations yield specific point values.

  • Three ones: Rolling three ones are worth 1000 points
  • Straights: Rolling a straight, which consists of all six dice showing sequential numbers (1-2-3-4-5-6), earns a high score of 1,500 points.
  • Three pairs: Rolling three pairs of any number (e.g., 2-2-3-3-4-4) earns 750 points.

Scoring Everything or "hot dice"

If a player rolls all six dice and scores on all of them, they can choose to keep rolling with all six dice again. This is known as "hot dice" or "scoring everything." It allows the player to accumulate more points in a single turn, but if a farkle occurs, they lose all the points earned during that turn.

Starting a Turn

At the beginning of each turn, the player rolls all six dice together. This roll will determine the potential scoring combinations for that turn. After rolling the dice, the player examines the results to identify any scoring combinations. The player earns points based on the combinations achieved. Refer to the scoring combinations discussed earlier, such as 1s, 5s, three of a kind, straights, and more. Each combination has its own point value. After scoring, the player faces a crucial decision. They must choose whether to continue rolling the remaining dice in an attempt to accumulate more points, or to play it safe and bank the points earned during that turn. If the player decides to continue rolling, they must set aside at least one scoring die and roll the remaining ones. However, it's important to remember that if a roll does not result in any scoring combinations, the player farkles and loses all the points earned in that turn. It's a risk/reward decision that requires careful consideration of the current score and potential gains.

Banking and Risk Management

Banking points refers to the action of choosing to stop rolling and keeping the accumulated points from the current turn. It is crucial to understand the importance of banking points as it guarantees that those points are safe and will contribute to the player's overall score. By banking points, players protect themselves from the risk of losing everything in case of a farkle.

Continuing a turn comes with inherent risks. If a player decides to roll again after scoring, there is always the possibility of not achieving any scoring combinations with the remaining dice. This would result in a farkle, causing the player to lose all points accumulated in that turn. The more dice are rolled, the higher the probability of a farkle.

Strategic Decision-making Tips

Consider the potential gains and the likelihood of scoring combinations with the remaining dice. Assess the risk of a farkle versus the potential rewards of accumulating more points. Make an informed decision based on the current score and the target score required to win the game. Adjust your risk management strategy based on the game situation. If you are trailing behind, you may need to take more risks to catch up. Conversely, if you have a significant lead, it might be wise to play more conservatively and focus on banking points. Pay attention to your opponents' scores and the progress they are making. This can influence your decision-making process, especially if you are in a competitive position where you need to strategically balance risk and reward.

By understanding the concept of banking points, being aware of the risks involved in continuing a turn, and employing strategic decision-making, players can optimize their gameplay and increase their chances of success in the dice game.

Farkling and Passing the Turn

"Farkling" is a term used in dice games to describe the situation when a player fails to score any points with their roll. When a farkle occurs, all points accumulated during that turn are forfeited, and the player's turn ends. It is an unfortunate outcome that can significantly impact a player's progress and strategy in the game.

If a player farkles and loses all their points in a turn, the turn automatically passes to the next player. In some variations of the game, players may have the option to voluntarily pass their turn, even without farkling. This could be a strategic decision to preserve points or mitigate risks in certain situations. The rules for voluntary passing may vary, so it's important to establish the rules before the game begins.

Winning the Game

The objective of the game is to reach or surpass the predetermined target score to win. The target score is typically agreed upon by the players before the game begins. The first player to reach or exceed the target score is declared the winner.

Depending on the specific rules of the game or the preferences of the players, there may be additional rules regarding the final round or tiebreakers. In some variations, once a player reaches or exceeds the target score, all other players have one final turn to attempt to surpass that score. This ensures that all players have an equal opportunity to catch up and potentially win the game. If there is a tie between two or more players' scores at the end of the game, tiebreaker rules may be implemented. These rules could include playing additional rounds with specific conditions or utilizing predetermined tiebreaker criteria, such as the player with the highest single turn score or the player with the fewest farkles.

It is important to establish any additional rules regarding the final round or tiebreakers before starting the game to ensure fairness and clarity in determining the winner. By understanding the winning conditions and any additional rules, players can strategize and make decisions throughout the game with the ultimate goal of achieving victory.

Tips and Strategies

Evaluate the probability of scoring with the remaining dice before deciding to continue rolling. Assess the potential rewards versus the risk of farkling and losing all your points. Sometimes it's better to bank your points and secure them rather than taking unnecessary risks.

Keep track of your score, as well as the scores of other players. Understanding the current standings can help you make strategic decisions. If you are behind, you might need to take more risks to catch up. If you have a comfortable lead, you can play more conservatively.

Armed with knowledge of the rules, scoring combinations, and risk management, you're ready to embark on thrilling gameplay. Gather your friends or family, roll the dice, and enjoy the timeless fun this classic game has to offer.