Farkle is a dice game played with at least two players. The game is widely believed to have originated in the 14th century. There are several versions of the game, including one which is packaged in slender metallic tubes and renamed “Farkel.” No matter how you spell the name of the game, the rules remain the same.
Getting a game of Farkel started is a simple process. Required materials include six dice, writing materials to keep score and a flat surface on which to play. Two or more people can play; however, the suggested number of players is at least three and no more than eight. To determine who begins the game, each player rolls one die; whoever receives the highest score begins the game.
Scoring is a complex, but integral, facet to the game. Every 1 scores 100 points. Every 5 scores 50 points. Rolling three 1’s scores 1,000 points; three 2’s scores 200 points; three 3’s scores 300 points; three 4’s scores 400 points; three 5’s scores 500 points; three 6’s scores 600 points.
Three pairs of numbers scores 500 points; rolling four of a kind scores 1,000 points; rolling five of a kind scores three 1,500 points; rolling six of a kind scores 2,000 points and rolling a straight (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) scores 1,000 points.
Scoring can be completed in several ways, depending on the combination of dice. For example, if a player rolls a 2, 2, 2, 5, 6, 6, he can keep the three 2’s and one 5 for 250 points and roll the remaining dice. She could also keep only the 5 for 50 points and roll the remaining five dice. Every time a player rolls the dice, the score is calculated separately.
How To Play
Each Farkle player’s objective is to achieve the highest score over 10,000. To play, each player takes a turn to roll the dice. If the player scores a minimum of one point, he can take the scoring dice out of play and bank the points or continue rolling the dice. If the player does not score any points, she must pass the dice to the next player and take a “Farkle,” which eliminates any points that the player has accumulated in his turn.
Occasionally, a player may score on all dice. This is called “hot dice;” the player has a choice to roll all of the dice again or bank her points and pass to the next player. Each player must write down the points that he scored in his turn and pass the dice to the next player. The dice are passed clockwise.
Players continue until someone reaches 10,000 points, at which time the final round begins. Each player gets one more turn to score as many points as possible. Whoever has the most points at the end, wins the game.
- dice image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com