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Farkle Rules: All The Instructions, Strategies And Tips You Need To Know

Farkle rules and complete instructions for the Farkle dice game

Farkle is a captivating game that has gained popularity for its simplicity and endless fun. It's a perfect choice for family game nights, gatherings with friends, or even when you want to enjoy some solo play. And the Farkle rules are simple and easy to learn but the gameplay is full of interesting decisions to be made.

In Farkle, players take turns rolling a set of dice and aiming to score as many points as possible. The game involves luck, strategy, and decision making. The objective is to accumulate points by creating specific combinations with the dice. The more points you earn, the closer you get to victory!

Keep reading for full Farkle rules along with a variety of rules modifications to add even more challenge and fun to your games. The most commonly used rules are described first followed by a list of optional scoring and rules variants.

Farkle Rules: How to Play Farkle

Farkle is played in rounds, and the goal is to be the first player to reach a certain point target, typically 10,000 points. You can adjust this target based on your preferences or the amount of time you have. Each round, players take turns rolling the dice, deciding whether to score their points or continue rolling to accumulate more.

The game continues until someone hits the point target. But there’s a twist! If you fail to score any points on your turn (this is called "Farkling"), you lose all the points you've accumulated in that round and pass the turn to the next player. This twist adds a lot of excitement and risk, making every roll a strategic decision.

Farkle is all about balancing luck with smart decision-making. Sometimes you need to take calculated risks, push your luck, or play it safe, depending on the situation. Analyzing the dice rolls, considering your opponents' scores, and deciding whether to keep rolling or stop is where strategy comes in. (You can learn more about that in our detailed guide on Farkle strategy.)

Now that you have a good overview of the Farkle rules, let's dive into the detailed rules and strategies. In the next sections, we will go over the step-by-step instructions, scoring combinations, different Farkle rules variants, and tips for maximizing your chances of winning.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Farkle can be played by 2 or more players, but is best with 3-8 players.

FARKLE COMPONENTS

To play Farkle, you'll need the following game components:

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Over a thousand varieties of dice styles and colors for sale. You can buy dice as singles or in sets, allowing you to customize your Farkle games or provide every player with their own set of dice!

And we provide a free printable Farkle score sheet and scoring and rules summary.

Farkle score sheets

 

Farkle Rules: Detailed Rules and Scoring

The following Farkle rules are the most commonly used, but there are numerous variations to choose from (see our list of Scoring and Play Variations below). Before the game begins, players should establish which rules or variations will be used. Our scoring summary chart makes this process easy and provides for endless variety in your Farkle games!

One player is chosen to begin and play moves clockwise around the table.

On a player's turn, they roll all six dice and check to see if they have rolled any scoring dice or combinations. (See Farkle Scoring below.) Any dice that score may be set aside and then the player may choose to roll all the remaining dice. The player must set aside at least one scoring die of their choice if possible but they are not required to set aside all scoring dice.

For example, if a player rolled 1-2-2-5-5-6 on their turn, they could set aside the 1 and the two 5's, or they could choose to set aside only the two 5's, or only a single 5, or only the 1.

Farkle rules

Any scoring dice that are not set aside may be rerolled along with the non-scoring dice.

If all six dice have been set aside for scoring (known as having “hot dice”), the player can choose to roll all six dice again and continue adding to their accumulated score or they can bank their points, end their turn, and pass the dice to the next player.

A player’s turn continues until either they decide to stop (at which point they then score their accumulated points) or until they fail to roll any scoring dice on a throw.

If a player scores no points on a roll, this is known as a Farkle. The player may continue to roll any dice that have not been previously set aside for scoring, but all of their points gained so far that turn are lost.

At the end of a player’s turn, any points they have scored are tallied on the scoresheet and the dice are passed to the next player.

Farkle game d6 dice shop

Farkle Rules: How Do You Score?

There are ten different ways to score in basic Farkle. By setting aside dice that match any of the following categories, you earn points!

FARKLE SCORING

1 100 points
5 50 points
Three 1's 1,000 points
Three 2's 200 points
Three 3's 300 points
Three 4's 400 points
Three 5's 500 points
Three 6's  600 points
1-2-3-4-5-6 3000 points
3 Pairs 1500 points (including 4-of-a-kind and a pair)

 

Farkle Rules - Scoring Chart

Note that scoring combinations only count when made with a single throw. (Example: If a player rolls a 1 and sets it aside and then rolls two 1’s on their next throw, they only score 300 points, not 1000.)

Sometimes a single roll will provide multiple ways to score. For example, a player rolling 1-2-4-5-5-5 could score in one of the following ways:

  • 100 points for setting aside the 1
  • 150 points for setting aside the 1 and a single 5
  • 500 points for setting aside the three 5's
  • 600 points for setting aside the 1 and the three 5's

In this case, scoring the 600 points is probably the best option, but should you then roll again using the two remaining dice? To get further insights into the game, read our article Farkle Strategies and Tactics for Dice Game Success.

Farkle Rules: How Do You Win?

The first player to score a total of 10,000 or more points on their turn wins.

Farkle Rules: Scoring and Play Variations

The Farkle rules described above are for the standard, original version of Farkle. But new optional rules and scoring variations have been created by Farkle fans around the world, and these are listed below. These can be used in combination with, or in place of, the basic scoring scheme above. You are free to choose any or all of the variations that you wish, although you may only want to use one or two at a time so that the game doesn't get too complicated.

The basic scoring rules, along with all these variants, are conveniently listed on our free Farkle score sheets and scoring and rules summary.

Alternative Scoring

Three pairs = 500 points
Alternatively: 600, 750, 1000, or 1,500 points

Four of a kind = 2x (double) the 3-of-a-kind value
Alternatively: 1000 points
Alternatively: 4x the 3-of-a-kind value

Five of a kind = Triple the 3-of-a-kind value
Alternatively: 2000 points
Alternatively: 6x the 3-of-a-kind value

Six of a kind = Quadruple the 3-of-a-kind value
Alternatively: 3000 points
Alternatively: 8x the 3-of-a-kind value

Six 1’s = 5000 points
Alternatively: The player instantly wins

Two triplets = 2500 points
 
Three 1’s = 300 points (Known as a Pocket Farkle)

Straight = 1500 points
Alternatively: 0, 1200, 2000, or 2500 points

Alternative Rules

Opening Score
When the game begins, each player must continue throwing the dice until they have scored at least 500 points or until they Farkle. Once they have reached the 500 points, they are free to continue rolling or end their turn.
Opening scores of 350, 400, 600, or 1000 points may be used instead of 500.

Higher (or Lower) Winning Score
The target score needed to win the game is greater or less than 10,000 (e.g., 20,000 or 5000)

Hot Dice Roll
A player who scores on all six dice must roll them all again at least once.

Three Farkles
A player who rolls three Farkles in a row loses 1000 points.

Toxic Twos
Four or more 2’s thrown in a single roll cancels the player’s entire score for that turn and ends their turn immediately.

High Stakes (or Greed)
A player may choose to begin their turn by rolling the dice remaining from the previous player’s turn (e.g., those dice that were not set aside for scoring from the previous player’s turn). If the player scores with any of the dice on the first roll, they receive 1000 points in addition to any other points they may accumulate.

Welfare
A player must score exactly 10,000 points to win the game. If a player scores more than 10,000 points, then all points scored that turn are given to the player with the lowest score.

Five Dice Farkle
Five dice are used instead of six. (Obviously, certain scoring combinations, such as three pair, are impossible using this variant.)

Team Farkle
The game is played in teams. Teammates sit opposite each other at the table and combine their scores. The game is typically played to 20,000 points instead of 10,000.

Farkle Rules: Scoring Tactics

Mastering Farkle scoring requires a combination of risk assessment and strategic decision-making. Here are some tactics to improve your scoring game:

  • Focus on high-scoring combinations: Prioritize rolling three of a kind, three 1s, three 6s, and a straight sequence, as these combinations offer significant points.
  • Avoid excessive risk-taking: While attempting to achieve high-scoring combinations can be rewarding, be mindful of the potential consequences. Remember that rolling dice that do not contribute to any scoring combination will result in losing all your accumulated points for that turn.
  • Strategically bank your points: If you have already scored points in a turn, consider banking them to safeguard your progress. This strategy prevents you from losing everything in case of a Farkle.

By understanding the scoring system and implementing effective tactics, you can become a skilled Farkle player and outscore your opponents. So roll the dice, aim for those high-scoring combinations, and enjoy the thrill of the game!

Tips for Beginners

If you're new to Farkle, getting started can be exciting but also a bit overwhelming. Don't worry! In this section, we've gathered some valuable tips and advice to help you navigate your way through the game and make the most of your dice rolls.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Rules

Before diving into your first game of Farkle, take the time to understand the rules. Make sure you know how to score points and which combinations are valuable. This will lay a solid foundation for your Farkle journey.

2. Take Calculated Risks

When playing Farkle, strategic decision-making is key. As you gain more experience, you'll learn to take calculated risks. Assess the potential point rewards of different combinations and consider the probability of rolling a specific combination. Don't be afraid to take chances, but always weigh the risks before making your move.

3. Know When to Stop

Farkle can be an exhilarating game, but it's important to know when to stop. Pay attention to your score and the scores of your opponents. If you're ahead, consider playing more conservatively to protect your lead. If you're falling behind, taking bigger risks might be necessary to catch up. Remember, Farkle is a game of strategy and adaptability.

4. Stay Focused and Have Fun

Lastly, keep in mind that Farkle is ultimately a game meant to be enjoyed. Stay focused, but don't forget to have fun along the way. Engage with your fellow players, celebrate each other's successes, and be a good sport. Whether you win or lose, the experience of playing Farkle should always be a positive one.

By incorporating these tips into your Farkle journey, you'll be well on your way to becoming a skilled player.

Farkle Rules: Advanced Strategies

Ready to take your Farkle game to the next level? Check out our article on advanced Farkle strategies to help you assess risk, make strategic choices, and optimize your scoring opportunities. By mastering these techniques, you'll gain an edge over your opponents and increase your chances of victory in the game.

Farkle Rules: Etiquette and Sportsmanship

When playing the Farkle game, it's not just about winning; it's also about creating a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Good sportsmanship and following proper etiquette are key in fostering a friendly and respectful playing environment. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Show Respect to Fellow Players

  • Practice good sportsmanship by treating all players with respect, regardless of their skill level or experience.
  • Avoid excessive celebrating or rubbing your victories in the faces of others.
  • Be gracious in defeat and avoid getting frustrated or angry. Remember, it's just a game!

Communicate Effectively

  • Be clear and courteous when communicating with other players. Use polite language and avoid using offensive or disrespectful words.
  • Listen to others and give them a chance to speak. Allow everyone to express their thoughts and opinions.
  • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a rule or scoring procedure. It's better to ask questions than to make assumptions.

Be Mindful of Time

  • Play in a timely manner and avoid unnecessarily slowing down the game. This shows respect for the other players' time and keeps the game flowing smoothly.
  • Avoid distracting activities like using your phone or engaging in unrelated conversations while playing. Stay focused and attentive to the game.
  • If you need to take a break or step away from the game momentarily, communicate this to the other players and ensure it does not disrupt the game's progress.

Play Fair and Honor the Rules

  • Follow the established rules of the game. Playing by the rules ensures fairness and prevents any disputes or arguments.
  • Resist the temptation to manipulate or cheat the game for personal gain. Honesty and integrity are essential in maintaining a fair and enjoyable playing experience.
  • Be gracious in accepting decisions made by the group when it comes to ambiguous situations or rule interpretations. Remember, the goal is to have fun together!

By embodying good sportsmanship and practicing proper etiquette, you contribute to a positive and harmonious atmosphere during Farkle game sessions. Remember to play with kindness and respect for others, creating lasting memories and forging strong connections with fellow players.

If you like Farkle, you may also want to give one or more of the following dice games a try. We provide free rules for each!