Farkle (also known as Ten Thousand, Zilch, and 6 Dice) is a fun and challenging dice game with multiple scoring options. Here you'll find the instructions on how to play Farkle, and also information on modifying the rules and adding variants to provide even more variety in your games!
How to Play Farkle
The object of the game of Farkle is to roll the dice and set aside scoring combinations, attempting to be the first player to score a minimum of 10,000 points.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Farkle can be played by 2 or more players, but is best with 3-8 players.
To play Farkle, you'll need the following game components:
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And we provide a free printable Farkle score sheet and scoring and rules summary.
Farkle 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.
Each player in turn rolls all six dice and checks 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 is 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.
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 written down and the dice are passed to the next player.
|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|
|3 Pairs||1500 points (including 4-of-a-kind and a pair)|
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.
The first player to score a total of 10,000 or more points on their turn wins.
Farkle Rules - Scoring and Play Variations
Several new Farkle rules and scoring variations 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.
- 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)
- No points for a straight
- Straight = 1500 points
Alternatively: 1200, 2000, or 2500 points
- 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.
- Alternative 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.
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.