General Yahtzee Strategy

firebus's picture

Some counter-intuitive, some not. I haven't done the math on many of these. Some of them I gleaned from looking at the logs of the Optimal Solitaire Yahtzee Player, an invaluable resource.

  • Early in the game, ditch a bad roll in the ones.

    Sure, you'll go negative on the bonus, but it's likely you'll make it up if there are still 4 or 5 number boxes left to fill on the left.

  • Don't actively try to fill the 1s and 2s boxes.

    You'll have better luck/score working on the larger numbers. Ideally you'll get a 4 of a kind (4K) on a larger number so that you don't need to roll 1s. Then you can use the 1s box as another chance for Yahtzee or another high scoring box on the right

  • Play 4K in the number box.

    If you roll a 4K, and the number box is open for it, you should probably play in the number box and not in 4K. If I have enough extra on the number bonus to cover a bad roll on any open box, then I might play 4K in the 4K box.

  • Don't use Chance unless you have > 20 points.

    I'll give up on Yahtzee before I'll play 9 points in Chance.

  • Ditch Yahtzee, Large Straight, and 4K before giving up on the number bonus.

    Late in the game, ditch Full House. Never ditch 3K or Small Straight

  • You get what you roll for.

    The more times you roll for Large Straight, the more likely you are to get it. Any time you get 2 sixes on the first roll, and the 3K box is open, you should go for it. Etc.

  • Roll on 3Ks.

    Any time you get 3K on the first roll, consider going for Yahtzee, even if you're not covered by an open number box or the 3K box, it might be your best chance in the game.


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