Farkle is an ages-old dice game. It has the advantage that it can be played with just a set of 6 dice and some paper for scoring. It requires no cards, the counting is easy, and it can be taught in just a few minutes. It also contains a good deal of strategy.
At least two players (the more the merrier!)
Six traditional dice (6-sided)
Pencil and paper to keep score
Be the first player to 10,000 points by rolling dice.
Farkle is played in rounds. At the beginning of each round, the player throws all six dice. If no dice can score, the round is over and the player has Farkled. After each throw, the player must set aside at least one scoring die. Then the player has two choices: either stop rolling and take their points, or continue to roll and risk their accumulated points for that round. There is a required minimum point total before you can stop, which is explained below.
If the player has set aside all six dice for scoring, then they continue the round by throwing all six dice anew (and keeping the score they have so far for the round).
Once the round is over, if the player stopped voluntarily, their score is added to their total and the new total is recorded on the paper; if the player Farkled, they do not get any score for the round (and their total score remains unchanged).
If the player's total score is zero (i.e., it's their first turn, or they have thus far only Farkled), then they must have set aside at least 1,000 points before they can stop rolling the dice for the round. After they have recorded points successfully, they need only achieve at least 350 points before they can stop rolling dice for the round.
The scoring dice are (in a single roll):
Three of a kind
|Four of a kind
Five of a kind
Six of a kind
|2x three of a kind
4x three of a kind
8x three of a kind
All scores above are for a single throw of the dice. For example, if the roller sets aside a single 1 spot and counts 100, and then on his next roll comes up with two 1 spots, he cannot count 1000 for three of a kind (he may set aside the additional as two single 1 spots for 200 points).
The first player who reaches a total of 10,000 means that the following round (after the current round) will be the last round. This allows his opponents at least one more attempt to reach 10,000. After that final round is finished, the player with the highest score is the winner of the game.
In the event of a tie, the tying players will continue with full rounds until one player has a higher score than the other(s).
It is better to leave yourself with three or more dice for a throw than it is to take single scoring dice. For instance, if you have set aside 2 dice already, and then throw two single scoring dice (say, a 1 and a 5), then you should only take the single 1.
If you are significantly behind, it is better to play aggressively than to play conservatively. Conversely, if you are significantly ahead, then it is better to play conservatively than aggressively. Some players are always aggressive or always conservative, but the adaptive player is the one most likely to win.
Throwing all six dice will almost always lead to at least one scoring die. Only the ultra-conservative player will stop rolling with all six dice in their hand. An exception to this rule is the first round, since scoring the first round is much more difficult than subsequent rounds.