Instructions for Word Yahtzee

By Kate Bluest
Playing word games can be a family bonding activity.

Word games such as Word Yahtzee can help young people improve their language and math skills. Additionally, word games make great economical gifts for an individual or for the whole family. The object of Word Yahtzee is to beat your opponent’s score by forming words with high-score values.

Sit in a circle around a table or other flat surface that you can roll dice on. Pass out Word Yahtzee score sheets. Players will use these sheets to keep their own scores.

Select a player to take the first turn. Players should take turns in clockwise order, starting with the first player. Roll the dice by shaking them in the dice cup and dropping them on a flat surface.

Look for high-value words that you can form using the letters on the dice that face upward. Each die side has a letter and a number. The number is the value (score) of the letter. If on your first roll, you can form high value words with the face-up letters on the dice, record your score and do not roll the dice again.

Roll the dice up to three times. If on the first roll, you cannot arrange any of the letters into words; set aside any letters likely to be in a word, such as an “a” or “e” and roll the remaining dice.

Add the numbers on the face of the dice for the letters in the word you formed. This is your score. Place your score in any box on your scorecard for which the word or words fit the criteria. Once you use a score box, you cannot use it again.

Write the score in the upper section score box that matches the letter count for the word. The five scoring boxes in the upper section of the score sheet are labeled from two to six-letter word.

Roll all vowels or consonants and add up all seven dice to get the score for the “All Vowels” and “All Consonants” boxes in the lower section. No word formation is necessary.

Use the “Chance” score box in the lower section for any formed word score that does not meet the criteria for any other open score boxes.

Use the “Yahtzee” score box in the lower section for any word formed using all seven dice.

Enter the score in the “One Word,” “Two Words,” and “Three Words” in the lower section where applicable. You form the words from the seven letters you get in one turn in Yahtzee.

Add a score to any box on the scorecard where the rules allow it. For example, you can place a score of 10 for a four-letter word in the box in the upper section labeled “4 Letter Word” or in the lower section of the score sheet in the box labeled “One Word Box” or “Chance Box.”

Place a zero in any box you choose if you cannot form any word or grouping that fits into a box. That zero cannot be moved once you have placed it.

Complete Yahtzee by filling in all 12 scoring boxes on the score sheet by going through 12 rounds of play.

Add up your scores on the scorecard. The person with the highest grand total wins.

Tip

Only use the letters and values on the side of the dice facing up to form letters.

If you get a zero score, try to place it in a box that is harder to fill, for example, the "Yahtzee" box.

About the Author

Based in New York, Kate Bluest has been writing for various online publications since 2005. She has participated in several writing workshops, including the MIT Writing Workshop. Bluest holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from SUNY Empire State College.