Rules of the Game

History of the Game

Farkle goes back a long way and it would take a few pages to relate the whole history, so we will try to sum it up in one sentence. Back in the Early 13th Century, after having many daughters, Sir Anthony XVIII of Wasack finally had a son, but Sir Anthony begrudged the tradition of naming sons after their fathers, (after all he was the 18th in a long line of Anthony’s of Wasack) so he decided to break the tradition, but he couldn’t think of a suitable name for his new son so his son went nameless for about a year when, while playing with his favorite toy, a set of wooden dice, he spoke his first word, which was the word “farkle”, and in commemoration of this great event, Sir Anthony the XVIII of Wasack, decided to give his son this unique name while he was on the earth, speaking of earth, that is where Dacy and Amy found the ancient manuscript with the official rules of the unique game of Farkle, which was the game that Sir Farkle I of Wasack invented. (Some sentence!)

Equipment

Number of Players

Anywhere between 2 and 86 players may play in one game. Anymore than that, and it’s just way too long before you get to roll the dice again, let alone the size of the room you’d need.

The Object

To acquire points by a systematic rolling of the dice.

Preparation

Sit around the selected flat surface, write the names of each player on the scratch paper with the pencil (or pen), open Tostitos® chips and salsa, & grasp dice in closed fist.

Points

Points are acquired one of three different ways.

  • A roll of a 1 is worth 100 points.
  • A roll of a 5 is worth 50 points.
  • Three (3) dice rolled at the same time with the same value is worth 100 times the face value, for example: three 2’s rolled is 200 points and three 5’s rolled is 500 points.

One exception to this rule is that three 1’s rolled is 1,000 points rather than 100 points.

The Play

The first player rolls all six dice at the same time and sets aside any “point dice” (1’s, 5’s, or three of a kind) that appear. At this point, the player has the option to continue to roll the remaining dice to collect even more points, or stop and keep any points acquired.

A Farkle occurs when the dice are rolled and no point dice appear. At this point the player loses all the point dice he/she/it has collected during that turn, and the play passes to the player to the left. No points are recorded on the scratch paper.

If a player decides not to risk rolling a Farkle then he/she/it can stop rolling and the play passes to the player to the left. Any points collected during that turn are then recorded on the scratch paper. At this point the player may eat some Tostitos® Chips and salsa. Yum!

If, in the course of one turn, all six dice become point dice and are set aside, the player must roll all six dice at least one more time, before stopping and keeping the points collected.

Entering the Game

In order for a player to initially enter the game, (record points on the scratch paper), he/she/it must continue to roll until at least 1,000 points are collected during one turn. Once the player officially enters the game, the points are recorded and that player may stop rolling at any time during future turns. Sometimes it might take many turns before a player can get on the board.

Secret Strategy: All point dice do not have to be set aside. If you roll a 1 and a 5, sometimes it may be strategic to keep the 1 and roll the 5 again with the rest of the non-point dice. This may give you a better chance of rolling a three of a kind. But, at least one point die must be set aside after each roll.

Special Rule: If a Farkle is rolled when rolling all six dice at once, it is termed a “six-die Farkle.” When this occurs all players must throw their hands in the air, wiggle back and forth and sing “SIX-DIE FARKLE.” Any player refusing to follow this very important rule loses one point and can’t have any Tostitos® Chips and salsa.

Other ways of playing: While the original rules didn’t allow this, many electronic versions of the game now play with the following rule: If you roll 4 of a kind, your score doubles. So if you roll 4 3’s, you get 600 rather than 300. With 5 of a kind, it doubles again. Etc. Read about more alternative rules here.

We are purists and play by the original rules, but I decided to put this on the website because it is one of the most common questions I get asked.

Winning (As Charlie might say)

In order to win, A player must get 10,000 points recorded on the scratch paper for a normal game or 8,435,042 points recorded if your are going to play the extra long game.

After a player gets over 10,000, each of the other players get one turn to try to beat the first player who goes out. If none of them beat his or her score, then he or she is declared the winner. If someone beats his or her score then that new player wins the game.

Questions or Comments email info@officialfarklerules.com

85 thoughts on “Rules of the Game

  1. Jean Ann Stevens

    People beg to join our Farkle group but, we are very selective 😉 They must be fun and able to take a ribbing.
    We play with 8 to 12 people, trying to keep even #’s because we bet! I have a big dining table and 8 – 10 is a good #; 12 is a leeeeetle crowded but works.
    We start with dinner and drinks at 6. (We rotate 4 bringing dinner each month and it’s still too much food!) It’s BYOB and snacks (popcorn w/m&M’s) on a couple of TV trays at the outer edge of the dining table w/small cups to keep at your place.
    7:15, clear the table (but leave the extra in the kitchen. Great thing with Farkle is, you can get up and move about, eat, potty, whatever when it’s not your turn.) Give your $2 to the banker! (We’re retired and cheap!)
    First choose teams by the roll of the dice. Last night we had three teams of four.
    You don’t have to sit as a team as long as you all write down your team members so you know who to cheer for and who to rib. “Oh, too bad. So close!”
    Then, roll one dice each til you get the person who starts the game. Our scoring is like yours. EACH person gets a pen and small spiral notebook along with a rule sheet and keeps their own score. MUCH more fun for everyone than one person trying to play and keep score for everyone.
    Once 10,000 + has been hit by one player for the last round, they win half the pot $12 this time. Teams total points of their 4 players and highest team wins $12 or $3 per person.
    Need to figure out how to divy team money if there’s an uneven # playing. Eh! Best game ever! I keep the small cannister in my purse and play with the grandkids while waiting on dinner in a restaurant. People stand and watch and are amazed that the kids aren’t running around screaming and being ugly like everyone else’s kids.

    Reply
      1. dacy Post author

        They can continue to roll as many times as they want. They stop when they either 1) Get a Farkle (No Points) or 2) Choose to stop and not risk the points that they have.

        Reply
          1. dacy Post author

            I’m not sure where a rule like that would have originate from. My guess is by somebody who was losing. 🙂

          2. Chris

            It origates with Yahtzee and doesn’t have anything to do with any Farkle rules I’ve ever seen. I’ve been playing for twenty five years and seen a TON of variant rules. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this, and dare say it’s wrong. It violates the most basic premise of Farkle, which is that players risk losing their points every time they roll. The more one rolls, the higher the probability of scoring more points, balanced by a higher probability of Farkle. That’s where the element of suspense comes from. It’s the veritable spine of the game. Limiting turns to three rolls eliminates the very essence of the game.

    1. Cathie

      This with teams sounds like fun, I think I will get my family together and we could do this over the summer outside.

      My nursing home residents like it too, only we play modified rules, they are old some have alzheimer’s but they love to shake the dice and pour them out. They don’t care about the rest LOL. Modified nursing home rules include: everyone is in the game and get to keep the points if they roll a farkle but the turn goes to the next person. Everyone enjoys it, don’t really understand it, but I have worked with advanced alzheimers patients and tell them “shake the dice and pour them out of the cup” simple easy commands work best.

      Reply
  2. Jackie K

    If you roll 3 of a kind the first roll, doesn’t matter which number, and you roll again and add a 4th…does it count as 4 of a kind?

    Reply
  3. Brycelyn

    If I roll a 1 on the first roll and a 5 on the second and on my third roll I get 2,3,4,6. Does this count as a strait.

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      In the original rules, there are no “straits”. In most alternative rule games, all dice have to be rolled together to get the points.

      Reply
    2. Kay

      No. You can only get a straight on the first roll as there are 6 dice required for a straight. After the first roll you will no longer be rolling 6 dice but 5 or less.

      Reply
      1. RODZILLA

        Some of this pertains to Kay & Jackie Kay posts: If 1st roll yields any 3 of a kind, say three 6’s, doesn’t matter if a 1 or 5 accompanies, these are scoring dice & remaining 3 dice can be rolled. If 2nd roll yields more 6’s, each 6 adds 100 for each. Not doubling the 600 from 1st roll. If 1st roll get 3-3’s, 2-1’s, 1-5 = 550 & roll all dice again. “550 rolling 6” as we call it. Scoring Straights & 3-doubles decided by group, but must be rolled on 1st roll. 2-3 of a kind on 1st roll obviously scores. 1 other option I’ve seen: If tossing last 2 dice yields a non scoring pair, can roll those 2 again. Kinda iffy on that one? “May The Bonz Be With You!”

        Reply
  4. jerry

    New twist you might try. When someone stops rolling and stops to collect points. Next person has option to roll remain dice and continue score. Example: I’ve built up 3500 points and have one dice left. Chicken out and stop. Next person rolls my remain dice and gets a 5. They have 3550 and rolling. Or if it was a 3 they farkle.

    Reply
    1. Chris

      It origates with Yahtzee and doesn’t have anything to do with any Farkle rules I’ve ever seen. I’ve been playing for twenty five years and seen a TON of variant rules. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this, and dare say it’s wrong. It violates the most basic premise of Farkle, which is that players risk losing their points every time they roll. The more one rolls, the higher the probability of scoring more points, balanced by a higher probability of Farkle. That’s where the element of suspense comes from. It’s the veritable spine of the game. Limiting turns to three rolls eliminates the very essence of the game.

      Reply
  5. gale anderson

    Assuming two people are playing. If a player stops at some point value and passes the option for the next player to roll the dice and try to add to the last value AND then stops to ensure his/her points can the first player roll the dice and try to add to the that value? In short, can the play continue until either player stops trying add to the last value?

    Reply
  6. Torichef

    If you are bearing 10,000 pts and you roll to exactly 10,000. Can you put a 5 die aside and take the remaining pts without rolling again or are you required to take all the points in your hand?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      The points don’t count until they decide to keep them so yes, they can “not win” by not playing all their dice. They have to keep at least one of their dice. That could be a good strategy to then, next round be able to get a lot higher and harder to beat.

      Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      On the first roll, your 3 two’s would be 200 points. On the next roll, your three fives would be 500 more points for a total of 700 points and then you would roll all 6 again.

      Pairs are not part of the original rules. Those are alternative rules often used on electronic games and apps.

      Reply
        1. dacy Post author

          The first 3 two’s give you 200 points. In the original rules, the 4th two doesn’t give you anything. Some players play that a 4th two will double the 200 to 400 points but that’s not in the original rules. It all depends on what rules you are playing with. We suggest that you decide that before you start playing the game.

          Reply
  7. Betty Donovan

    If a player rolls all six dice and gets to roll again do they continue to roll if they roll all six scoring dice again in their bonus roll. And how many times are they allowed this bonus roll.

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      Every time all your dice are point dice, you get to roll all 6 dice again and start the process all over. You can ultimately win in one turn if you were lucky enough.

      Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      Our rules don’t include “pairs” as point dice. Only 1’s, 5’s or 3 of a kind. New Alternative rules sometimes include rules with pairs. Pairs were made popular with electronic versions of the game (Apps) They weren’t part of the original rules.

      Reply
    2. Steph

      On the Farkel box you can buy at most toys and game stores, or online, 3 pairs will earn you 1500 points. 4 of a kind is 1000 points. But 4 of a kind plus a pair is considered 3 pair: 1500 points. BTW, 2 triplets scores 2500 points. 5 of a kind = 2000 points, and 6 of a kind = 3000 points.

      Reply
  8. Judy Brooks

    Are points awarded if you roll 5 dice at one time, what if all 6 dice rolled at the same time and is there points for one time roll of 3 pairs?

    Reply
  9. James

    If the other player has scored 11150, and you start your roll with 9850 points. You score 300 points and have 2 dice left to roll. Can you stop at 300 points to force a tie and make each player roll again. My better half says I cheated. That I had to roll and could not stop.

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      No, you cannot tie. The only way for the 2nd player to win is to beat the 1st player. They can’t stop at a tie.

      Reply
      1. JJ

        Actually, four 5s and two 6s nets you, at a minimum, 550 points — three 5s for 500 points (even stated in your rules above), plus 50 for the additional 5. If you use the doubling rule, four 5s gives you 2×500=1000 points. But most players today would score it like JR as three pair, for 1500. Cheers.

        Reply
  10. JR

    I rolled two 2s and four 5s.

    Do I have 1,000 for the four 2s & for the & 200 for the 1s or can I count it as three pair for 1,500 ?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      In the original rules there are no “pairs”. Only 5’s, 1’s and 3 of a kind mean anything. Computer versions play with pairs.

      Reply
  11. Kirsten

    So let’s say your neighbor rolls like 350 and has two dice left and wants to stop. She passes the rest of the die to me – do I have to roll the rest and try to add on to hers or can I decide to decline adding on and start with 6 fresh die? We’re in a debate here!

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      2 5’s give you 100 points (50 points each). 2 fours give you nothing and 2 sixes give you nothing. So that roll would be only 100 points. Unless you are playing alternative rules in which it all depends on what rules you are playing with.

      Reply
  12. ryan

    If I roll 3 6’s and two 5’s and a 4 can I keep the 6’s and rill the rest… or must i keep all the point dice?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      You can keep the 6’s and roll the rest. You have to keep at least one point die, you don’t have to keep them all.

      Reply
  13. Paul

    If I throw a straight on my initial roll(no points on the board yet), do I continue rolling to get additional
    points? Thanks

    Reply
  14. Sean

    One thing is unclear to me in the rules, so please help me out!

    If I roll dice that have point values, I can keep rolling (got that). If after some rolls (1 or more) all of my dice have point values, I have to roll at least one more time. Does this mean I can keep rolling for points? Can you roll on your turn over and over until you decide to stop or get a farkle? This is where it is unclear to me. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      Yes, you can roll as long as you want. You stop when 1) You decide you don’t want to risk your points or 2) You farkle (None of the dice you rolled are points dice)

      Reply
  15. Tom

    I have played Farkle for about 40 years. I have played that if a player rolls 3 Farkles in a row, 1000 points is deducted from their score. I can’t find this anywhere in the rules. Did I make this up or is it a rule?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      I’ve heard of a rule similar to that that somebody used to play with. Sounds like an interesting rule. I’ll have to try it.

      Reply
  16. kasey kerr

    My friends and I play dungeons and sragons and so we decided to add a rule. Called the 20 sided gamble when a player gets a farkle they roll a sided dice.eac side equals 100 times it value so 1. Is 100 12 is 1200 and so on. Now, if a person farkled with 800 points than they roll the dice if they get a higheer roll (9 or higher) they continue, if they get equal to or lower they farkle and get points lost. Equal to whatever the 20 sided dice was. So if I needed a nine(900) and roll a eight(800) I farkle and take off 800 points.

    Reply
  17. keecha love

    I want to no if I roll three 4’s and next roll I roll another another 4 does that count as another hundred. Like three 4’s and another 4 would it be 5 hundred

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      No it does not, using the original rules. You can use any rules that you would like as long as you determine the rules before you start the game.

      Reply
  18. Craig

    I like your “original rules”. It’s Farkle at it’s purist. People have tried to teach me how to play this wonderful game.
    They always seem to play with different rules for scoring. It got so confusing I never played Farkle. Now that I am disabled and have these rules maybe I will be able to find others to play Farkle with. 1’s 5’s and three of a kind only. Easy quick and simple. The only different rule that I have seen everyone play by is that 500 points are required to enter the game, not 1,000 points. Lower point rule makes the game more fun. More active players makes a more intense game.

    Reply
  19. Craig

    Roll #1 A single 5
    Roll #2 A single 1

    Can I keep the ace and pick-up the 5 and re-roll it with the other “non-point” dice?
    Or do I have to keep “each” point dice/die from different rolls?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      No, you cannot. You must keep at least one die per roll. Once you keep it, you have to keep it, you can’t pick it back up on a subsequent roll.

      Reply
  20. Paul Bevan

    hi ! our family have placed a version of this game called zilch for many years. I have never heard of farkle until today when i went on line to buy dice. In our game every turn you get you have to score a minimum of 350 before you can take a score other wise the rules are the same except that, if you score 0 in any turn its called a zilch and if you get 3 zilches in a row you lose 1000 points. The dice scores are very close to farkle. I make sets of these in little mini chests as gifts. I have always wondered where this game came from. now I can die happy Cheers paul

    Reply
  21. Patsy McCracken

    question,we played farkle for the first time for some of us…there were 10 people playing…one of our players on first roll was 6 6’s…how should that have been scored for points….had so much fun we agreed to do it bi-monthly as a get together…

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      On the original game, that would be scored: 1200. 600 for the first 3 sixes and 600 more for the 2nd. Then since all the dice are point dice, the player MUST roll again and risk those points on another roll.

      Many people play new rules in which 4 of a kind doubles the “600” to 1200, then 5 of a kind doubles that again to 2400, so 6 of a kind would do it again for 4800 points. We don’t play that way. We stay true to the original game.

      Reply
  22. ROBIN SMITH

    Don’t you have to roll a 1 or a 5 on every roll or it is considered a farkle?? So if I roll and get 2 1’s and then my next roll I get 4 4’s it would be a farkle right cause I didn’t roll a 1 or 5 with it ??

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      No, you don’t have to roll a 1 or a 5. You can also roll 3 of a kind. So, in your case…..

      The first roll, you get 2 1’s = 200 points
      next roll, you get 4 fours, 3 fours = 400 points for a total of 600 points
      then you keep the 600 points or roll the remaining die and hope for a 1 or 5.

      If you are playing with alternative rules, then the 4 fours could be played together but in the original rules 4 of a kind doesn’t get anything other than 3 of a kind plus an extra die.

      Reply
  23. Jay Cut

    Question about spicy farkle. I’m asking here because, well, I’m here lol..
    Can points be passed on without attempting to roll dice?
    Players A, B, C. Player A gets a lot of points to get way ahead. Player B doesnt want to attempt to add to A’s dice because they won’t beat player A and passes the 3 dice to player Cwho can beat player A. Player C rolls the 3 dice and steals win from player A. Is this legal?
    Can player B just not attempt to roll the dice from player A’s 3 of 6 dice and pass them up to player C?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      Sorry Jay,

      I can’t answer your question about spicy farkle. Those rules don’t apply to the original rules which I use.

      Reply
  24. Don Moses

    I belong to a group of motorcycle riders called “The Iron Butt Association,” or IBA for short. We ride insanely long distances in contrast to the Harley Davidson crowd who consider it a long ride to travel from one bar to the next. The pinnacle of our sport is the Iron Butt Rally held in odd years. Without going into too much detail, the object of the IBR is to ride 11,000 plus miles in 11 days, collecting proof of having visited places chosen from a list of “bonus” locations.

    Why, you might ask, am I posting this to the farkle website? Some years ago, coinciding with the appearance of the first GPS computers like those manufactured by Garmin, we began to install these devices along with auxiliary lighting, CB radios, radar detectors, etc. on our motorcycles to aid in executing rally instructions. When a motorcycle is enhanced with these devices we say the motorcycle has been “farkled.” Thought all of you farkle fans might find this interesting.

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      Nice. I was trying to figure out where you were going with that but it all became clear in the end.

      Reply
  25. Cathy

    The Farkle game that I have on my iPhone sometimes shows Farkle in red. What is the significance of the red Farkle?

    Reply
    1. dacy Post author

      I don’t play the electronic game so I’m not sure. They add lots of their own rules. Consider talking to the game developer.

      Reply

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