Game Night:  Farkle

Sometimes we want to have a game night, but not everyone likes board games.  One of the simple go-to games we have in the stack is Farkle, which is a simple dice game like Yahtzee.

When we need a quick non-board game, one of our easy choices is Farkle!

Game Night: Farkle!

What is Farkle?

On a recent trip to visit a friend, his family was having a reunion and there were six people at the game table.  I brought a few board games and we played Mysterium, which is good for larger groups.  Then the host brought out Farkle, which was light-hearted and fun.  It allowed us to talk while playing, since it is really so simple and you don’t have to pay attention when it isn’t your turn.

Farkle is played with six dice and a cup.  The rules are simple:

  1. Roll the dice.
  2. Single 1s and 5s are worth points
  3. If a single roll includes:
    • 1s and 5s 
      • 100 points for 1s
      • 50 points for 5s
    • 3 of a kind
      • 300 points for 1s
      • 200 points for 2s
      • 300 points for 3s
      • 400 points for 4s
      • 500 points for 5s
      • 600 points for 6s
    • Other special rolls
      • 1000 points for Four of a Kind
      • 2000 points for Five of a Kind
      • 3000 points for Six of a Kind
      • 1500 points for a 1-6 Straight
      • 1500 points for Three Pairs
      • 1500 points for Four of a Kind with a pair
      • 2500 points for Three of a Kind twice
  4. When you roll any of the above, you can set aside the dice with points and keep rolling.  
    • If you run  out of dice (ex: roll Three of a Kind, then a 1, 1, 5) then you can roll all six and keep adding points!
    • If you roll and don’t get any 1s, 5s, or any of the other combinations, you lose all points for that round and pass the dice.
  5. You can stop rolling at any time and keep the points you gained so far that round.
  6. If someone passes you the dice, you have the option of rolling the remaining dice and continuing from their point total!
  7. First one to 10,000 wins!

Is Farkle easy to learn?

It is a really easy game to learn.  You just roll and look for 1s and 5s or any of the combinations listed on the chart and on the side of the box.  

Is there any strategy or is it totally luck?

Some people will keep only 1s, since they are more valuable and try to get a better combination on the second roll.  For example, someone rolls 1, 2, 2, 5, 5, 6.  They keep only the 1 and re-roll five dice, so they have a chance at Five of a Kind and all of the other combos besides the Straight.

Some people will always try to continue the previous roller’s turn by rolling the remaining dice, while others only do that if it is worth at least 500 points or some other number that they like.

Some people will only continue the roll if they have at least 3 dice to roll.

Other than that…it is really just blind luck!

Who should buy Farkle?

Anybody who wants to have an easy-to-learn, fun, quick game on the shelf should get this.  Games can be played in about a half hour.  You can play with 2-6 players according to the box, but there is really no limit except that too many people creates a long wait for your turn.  3-4 people is probably about the best.

Farkle points table

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you ever played Farkle?  
  2. What other dice games have you played?

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