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Subject: What a silly and capricious game rss

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James Fung
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This is the first session report for Yahtzee in 2009. Hurrah.

Background: A computer version of Yahtzee comes installed with Red Hat on our machines at work. I play every now and then because it kills a couple minutes while my code runs. I suppose if I ever logged these plays, it'd show a couple hundred games per year. The setup is me against 5 computer opponents, and they're good enough that I have the top score only about half the time. I've played enough times that it I have to get higher than 335 to get on the top 10 list.

The game: My first turn, I was working with 33, but 2 rerolls later I had 22336. I play a somewhat conservative top half game, meaning I make a serious stab at getting the 35 bonus points for having 63 or more in the top half, and scoring the pair of 2s would require me to score a four-of-a-kind in the top half later. So although I don't like to use it this early, I put it under Chance for 16.

I forget the exact order, but I think what happened next was I had 5555something after 1 reroll. I was thinking I'd end up putting it in the top half to give myself a little slack for the bonus when the 2nd reroll turned up a yahtzee. Well, that made things simple. 50 points for me.

Then I rolled 12346. Although I usually prefer going for the long straight when I have 2345 (2-in-6 chance per reroll of completing it rather than the 1-in-6 here), I will go for it in this case because 1) very likely I'll pair one of the numbers, and then I can try for a 3-of-a-kind in the top half, or 2) if I still have the 6, I can still bung it down for a small straight. Indeed, on the first reroll, I had 44, but the 2nd reroll was no improvement. With Chance already filled, I used it as a throwaway single 1.

I think we happened next was I put 222 and 333. On the one hand, it's good because it's 2 less top half rows I have to worry about. On the other hand, it's bad because it's 2 less top half rows to make up my -2 deficit (ideally, the 1 should have been a 111 ).

I like to work on the top half because then usually, over the course of the game, you'll hit a 4-of-a-kind or full house by chance. As for the 3-of-a-kind, usually what happens is, if I get dealt a pair of something (preferably 4 or higher, maybe 3 ) but it's already occupied in the top half, I'll try for that 3-of-a-kind, which is a 67% chance. The trouble are the straights, which I don't try for unless I have a good hand for them that doesn't work for anything else. What happened now was I trying for something in the top half, only got 44, but lucked out with a small straight, so down it went rather than make my top half even worse.

So, of course, this is when I roll another 12346 with small straight already filled. Well, I could just keep the 6 and hope for something for the top half, or I could try for a large straight. Nope, the top half has enough problems, so I try for the straight, which doesn't pan out. Knowing that my worst categories are (yahtzee), large straight, 4-of-a-kind, and full house, in that order, I put a big goose egg under large straight. I'll take a yahtzee over a large straight any day.

At this point, I rolled 111something. Usually I throw away these 1s because scoring them as 3- or 4-of-a-kind is almost a step backward but, at this point, the game wasn't looking that great anyway, so I keep them: 11111. Ayup.

I continue working on my top half, getting only 44 after 2 rerolls. This would doom my top half, so 4-of-a-kind gets a nice 0 too. I think I roll my 3rd yahtzee here then junk, which gets filed under 0 full house. Then I luck out with a 4444, which goes in the top. I only have to get 555 to get the bonus.

A 4th yahtzee. 0 for 3-of-a-kind. Finally, starting out with only one 5, I get 555.

Final score:

Top half: 1+6+9+16+15+18+35 = 100
Bottom half:

3-of-a-kind 0
4-of-a-kind 0
Full house 0
Small straight 30
Large straight 0
Yahtzee 200
Chance 16

Total: 346

This game is notable as:
1) My 6th all-time high score
2) The most 0s I've taken in a long, long time
3) The most yahtzees I've made in one game

Which brings me to my main complaint about the game: the points gained by rolling a lucky yahtzee or two are greater than the points gained by skillful play of the other 12 categories.
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Jesse W.
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It really took 'til October for people to admit to playing yahtzee this year?

And go Linux.
 
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Gordon Adams
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Aaaaaw ! I simply adore Yahtzee. Maybe because it brings back fond memories of playing this game with my mother who loved it. Since she passed away, I take the game out just to have one round, but I never play it with anyone else.

Alas, we can't all have the same taste.

Regards.
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James Fung
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elfrododumbo wrote:
Alas, we can't all have the same taste.

Well, despite the title, I do play it a couple dozen times a month...
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Gordon Adams
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That is great fusag

Poker dice are handy to have in one's pocket, but there is something about the game that makes it that little bit more appealing....OK, maybe I am a sentimental twerp !

Regards
 
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Sven Teuber
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fusag wrote:
Which brings me to my main complaint about the game: the points gained by rolling a lucky yahtzee or two are greater than the points gained by skillful play of the other 12 categories.


That's why we usually play like this: The Yahtzee-field is a field like all others. To be filled once and once only. By the way, our Yahtzee-blocks don't have those little "extra Yahtzee"-squares, just one big field like all the other rolls, so it seems pretty logical to play it like this.

The second or third Yahtzee must be filed under 4 of a kind, 3 of a kind, chance, or the numbers in the top half. It's still pretty much points, unless you roll 5x1 all the time, so it's not a "punishment" for rolling multiple Yahtzees.

Wondering if we had it wrong for years now, I just double-checked the rulebook of my german Yahtzee-variant, "Kniffel". It doesn't say anything about scoring Yahtzees twice. Seems like Schmidt Spiele already tweaked that part of the game.
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Bernd Caspers
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While I consider the meaning of life as "solved" (42, duh), there still remains one great mystery to humankind:

Why is a Yahtzee worth more than a large straight, even though it is more likely to occur than the latter?
 
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James Fung
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The Jakster wrote:
Why is a Yahtzee worth more than a large straight, even though it is more likely to occur than the latter?

I'm not sure about that. If we consider all 6^5 = 7776 ordered rolls, 6 are yahtzee and 240 are large straights.
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Bernd Caspers
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Yup, you are right, since you don´t need the straight in any order.
However I still think the large straight is the most frustrating to get, because when you miss only one die to a Yahtzee and fail you end up with 4 of a kind, but with one die missing to a large straight you often end up with nothing.shake
 
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James Fung
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The Jakster wrote:
Yup, you are right, since you don´t need the straight in any order.
However I still think the large straight is the most frustrating to get, because when you miss only one die to a Yahtzee and fail you end up with 4 of a kind, but with one die missing to a large straight you often end up with nothing.shake

Exactly. In the first half of the game, I usually only try for Large Straight if I have 2345.
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Dave Earp
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We really like the game ... and it is one that we can play with our family who live in the UK via Skype (other internet communication thingy-ma-jigs are available).

Cheers Dave
 
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James Fung
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Figilano wrote:
That's why we usually play like this: The Yahtzee-field is a field like all others. To be filled once and once only. By the way, our Yahtzee-blocks don't have those little "extra Yahtzee"-squares, just one big field like all the other rolls, so it seems pretty logical to play it like this.

After reading Knizia's book, Dice Games Properly Explained, I think this is the more traditional rule and is better than the rule implemented in the computer program I used.
 
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Nick Bolton
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fusag wrote:
Figilano wrote:
That's why we usually play like this: The Yahtzee-field is a field like all others. To be filled once and once only. By the way, our Yahtzee-blocks don't have those little "extra Yahtzee"-squares, just one big field like all the other rolls, so it seems pretty logical to play it like this.

After reading Knizia's book, Dice Games Properly Explained, I think this is the more traditional rule and is better than the rule implemented in the computer program I used.


You can roll and score multiple Yahtzees "Yahtzee bonus" in the actual boxed game too.
 
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