Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Triple Yahtzee tips

Yahtzee strategy is about odds. No strategy will produce good results all the time. Good play occurs when you position yourself to increase your odds of success. Just keep maximizing your odds of success, and you will be playing well irregardless of the dice results.

Know where your bailouts are before you go for something. You are going to need some bailouts in every game. Example: if you're rolling for a third 3, and you don't hit it, will you bail out by listing 6 points on the "Threes" row in the single score column? Try to have a bail out available: maybe place a zero in the "Ones" row; maybe - if you don't get a third 6 - you can bail out in the Chance row; maybe bail out with a zero in the Yahtzee row. If you don't have a bail out available: do you really want to go for that particular score at this time? Can you go for something else?

Also, always be alert, after your second roll, to see if you might have a Sm. Straight (or a budding Sm. Straight) and can bail out that way.

Excepting for a freakishly good unfolding game - which might occur in about one of every five games: I recommend against going for the 35 point bonus in the upper section single score column. It's very difficult to maximize your points w/o using the upper section single score column as a bail out column.

Try to use a four of a kind score in the upper section in the triple score column, and a four of a kind score in the upper section in the double score column. Then you can use the "Ones" row in each column as a potential bail out, and will still maintain your 35 point bonus for achieving an upper column score of 63 or above. Also for this reason: do not aggressively seek to fill the "Ones" row. Try to keep the "Ones" row open for bailouts.

Think of each game as having 14 potential bailouts:
3 bailouts in the Chance column
3 bailouts in the Sm. Straight column (b/c it is the easiest to achieve - even if changing strategy after a second roll)
6 bailouts in the upper single score column
1 bailout in the "Ones" row of the double score column
1 bailout in the "Ones" row of the triple score column

All that equals 14 bailouts - as compared to 25 boxes into which you are endeavoring to place good scores. Late in the game, use an empty box in the "Yahtzee" row as an emergency bailout.

Focus on scoring in all the lower section columns: aggressively seek all of your 4 of a Kinds, Full Houses, Lg. Straights. These are significant points, even in the single Yahtzee column. You also really need those Sm. Straights - yet can finesse them a bit.

If you have two aces and two of any other number: go for Full House. If the dice do not produce a Full House: bail out by placing 2 points in a "Ones" row.

Early on, don't stretch for a Large Straight via trying to fill a Large Straight from the inside. In most games, you will accidentally roll at least one Lg. Straight. Otherwise, go for a Lg. Straight when you show a 2,3,4,5, and thus rolling either a 1 or a 6 will complete your Lg. Straight.

Good goal scores for 4 of a Kind:
Single column: 21 or above
Double column: 24 or above
Triple column: 26 or above
Note: in the later stages of a game, take whatever 4 of a Kind you can get into a column. 4 of a Kind is a difficult box to fill.

Good goal scores for Chance:
Single column: 20 or above
Double column: 22 or above
Triple column: 24 or above

Have fun! This is a game of some skill and much luck: if you get the most Yahtzees, you've a strong chance of winning. Victory is not very meaningful. Having fun with your friends and family is meaningful. Smile at your loved ones! Lavish some attention on them.

Top row L to R: Jake, Courtney the Irresistible, Baron
Bottom row L to R: Youngest Niece, Mom, Dad, Youngest Nephew

Note: it's easy to hand-make Triple Yahtzee scorecards on lined tablets. All you need for this game is 5 dice, tablets, pencils. Note #2: scoring regular Yahtzee might be good practice for children's math skills (Triple Yahtzee might be too involved for children - they like games which resolve more quickly).

Sample abbreviations for hand-made scoring tablet:



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