Farkle is a dice game that combines both strategy and luck. Players compete to try to get high scoring combinations on their way toward the goal of 10,000 points. The strategy in Farkle is based on deciding whether you want to take low point combinations or risk your score and continue rolling for higher scores. Considering that the strategy portion of the game is not too advanced, Farkle is a good game for social occasions, allowing players to talk while they play the game.
Number of Players and Equipment
Playing Farkle requires a minimal amount of equipment, including six dice and a piece of paper and pen or pencil to keep score with. The number of players in a game of Farkel is unlimited, though the more players you have the longer the game will last.
The goal of Farkle is to score as many points as possible on your turn. Points are scored for combinations earned by rolling three matching dice, three pairs, or six dice in numerical sequence. A single die with a one or a five on it can also be used to score points. Each die can only be used once in the scoring for Farkle, and then is set aside and is not rolled again unless the player eventually uses all six dice to score as combinations or single dice.
The highest scoring combinations are either three ones or six dice in a row in numerical sequence. Both of these combinations score 1,000 points. Other sets of three of a kind score anywhere from 200 to 600 points depending on the number the player rolls three of. Three pairs on a single roll scores 500 points. Single dice scoring is 100 points for each one, and 50 points for each five. A player can stop rolling at any time he wishes and add his points on his score sheet. If a player manages to use all six dice to score, she is then permitted to roll all six dice again, and continue until she chooses to stop or until she rolls a Farkle.
Rolling a Farkle
When a player rolls the remaining dice in play and does not roll a scoring combination or any ones or fives on that roll, it is called a Farkle. This means that the player loses all the points he had accumulated for that turn. During the game, if a player rolls a Farkle for three turns in a row, she not only fails to score that round, but a 1,000 point penalty is also deducted from her score.
Winning in Farkle
The traditional rules of Farkle require a score of 10,000 points to win the game. The game of Farkel does not require that each player has an equal number of turns. Also, the 10,000 point score total can be reduced for a shorter game of Farkle. Tournaments can be played by having players compete at several tables, with the winners at each table advancing to a final table for a Farkel championship.
Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.