Farkle Heuristic I

firebus's picture

I've been playing a lot of solitaire Farkle recently, having been introduced to it a few years ago by the Yun family.

I haven't started to grind out the probabilities for ideal play yet, but I'm thinking that I need to calculate the expected outcome for each possible throw (6 dice, 5 dice, etc.), and then determine if it makes sense to bank or roll based on the expected outcome and the probability of farkle for that roll.

Here's a heuristic for playing farkle, with some explanation of the assumptions it makes:

  • The expected outcome drops by more than 50 points each time you lose a die, so it never makes sense to score a 5 if you don't have to.
  • The expected outcome drops by less than 100 points each time you lose a die, so it always makes sense to score a 1
  • On the first set of dice, you should always roll if there are 3 or more dice remaining (maybe not if you got three 1s on the first roll...)
  • Otherwise you should bank if your score is greater than 100 times the number of dice remaining (thus you will almost always bank when you have 2 or less dice remaining.)



Did the Yun Family teach this to you at Sheva's wedding?

firebus's picture


it was more recently

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