Home » Cards and Dice » How to Play Farkle in These Simple Steps

How to Play Farkle in These Simple Steps

If you want to learn how to play Farkle then our guide can help. Farkle is a classic dice game similar to games like Zonk, Hot Dice, and Cosmic Wimpout. In fact, many people confuse these games with one another. 

But Farkle is very much its own game with its own distinct rules and characteristics. While the game doesn’t require much equipment, getting your head around the rules can be a little tricky. 

So, let’s look at Farkle in more detail, so you can better understand how to play. 

What is Farkle?

Like many dice games, Farkle may seem quite simple and straightforward at first. This makes it a popular drinking game. But Farkle can also be played at parties and board game nights very easily. 

In Farkle, players use 6 dice (under traditional rules) and take turns rolling the dice to score points. With each turn, the number of dice they roll will get less and less. But of course, there is more to Farkle than just this. 

Certain combinations will score different points. But you might need to discard more dice to take that score. This means you’ll have less dice for your next roll. You could also risk losing all your points if you get a bad roll. 

So, yes there is more to Farkle than you might think. While the game is believed to be quite old the name Farkle wasn’t used till the 1980s. There are also many different variations to the rules as well. Although most players will likely stick to the standard/ traditional ones. 

What You’ll Need 

If you want to play Farkle then you are best buying a Farkle set. While you can use dice from other board games and make your own scoring sheets, it will be more convenient to simply use a Farkle set. 

This also means you’ll be using matching dice. Which will be very handy when it comes to playing Farkle. Farkle sets are available in numerous shops and online. The product below is a great example of what to look out for. 

Brybelly Farkle

The Dice 

Well, there isn’t much to really say about these. In Farkle you’ll need dice, under standard rules you’ll need 6. Although some versions do use less. Using matching dice is recommended to ensure the dice are the same weight. 

The Dice Cups 

You don’t need to use dice cups in Farkle. But they are recommended and are included in Farkle sets. Using dice cups will make rolling fairer and will help prevent people from cheating. 

The Score Sheets/ Cards 

You’ll likely be adding up a lot of points in a game of Farkle. So, having a scoring sheet/ card will be very helpful. While you can just use paper it will be easier to simply have a sheet ready for you to write on. 

Farkle Rules and Gameplay

Farkle Rules and Gameplay 

The Aim of The Game 

Farkle can be played with just two people or with a large group. During each turn, a player will have time to build up their score. Once a player has reached the desired score, they win the game. 

Like most dice games, Farkle is very much a game of luck. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for strategy either. We’ll get more into that by looking at the rules of Farkle and the gameplay in more detail. 

Setting Up 

To get started with Farkle players will need to first decide, who goes first. To do this, each player should roll one dice. The player with the highest roll will then go first. But before players start taking their turn, you’ll need to decide what scoring system you’ll be using. 

Scoring and Winning 

This is where things might seem complicated because scoring in Farkle can be done in numerous different ways. When a player rolls their dice they will likely have a number of different scores available to them. 

For example, let’s say that you throw all 6 dice and roll these numbers 1, 1, 1, 4, 4, and 5. You could either take the score or the three 1’s which would reward you with 300 points. Or take the score of the single 5 which will score you 50 points. 

Now the choice might seem simple, since 300 is a lot bigger than 50. However, if you take 300 points you have to discard three scoring dice. Whereas if you just take the 50 points you only discard one dice. 

This means you have more dice to roll on your next turn. So, there is more strategy involved in Farkle than you might first think. There are numerous variations to scoring systems used in Farkle, below we have detailed the standard scoring system. 

Dice Numbers Points
Each 1100
Each 5 50
3 x 1s 300
3 x 2s200
3 x 3s300
3 x 4s400
3 x 5s500
3 x 6s600

After every successful roll, a player will have the option to bank their score and end their turn. However, they can continue rolling once discarding their scoring dice. If a player manages to score with all six of their dice then they get a Hot Dice bonus. 

This doesn’t add to their score, but it does mean they can roll again with all six dice. If a player rolls and doesn’t score then they have Farkled, this means all their points are lost. Once a player has finished their roll/ rolls play continues in a clockwise fashion. 

A player wins Farkle when they have reached the target score. Traditionally this is 10,000 points but it can be increased or decreased. If you are playing Farkle with a larger group we recommend opting for 5000 points instead.  

Rule Variations  

There are many different rule variations in Farkle. Many simply change the scoring system in some way. For example, one popular variation is to give a big bonus score if a player rolls six of a kind. 

Other common variations add penalties that deduct from a player’s score as well. For example, instead of a Farkle losing you points for one round, it can deduct points from any score you have banked. 

Another popular variation is to only play with 5 dice. The 5 dice version of Farkle will usually also have an instant win rule. If you manage to roll 5 of a kind at any point then you instantly win the game. 

Farkle – A Fun Dice Game Anyone Can Enjoy 

So, that’s everything you need to know about Farkle. For a dice game that simply involves adding up your score, there is a lot of strategy involved. It’s a fun party/ drinking game and, while it does have a bit of a learning curve, it’s sure to be fun for everyone. 

About Bar Games 101

Bar Games 101 is a website devoted to helping you learn about the best games to play with your friends. We review the games, research the rules, and uncover helpful tips and strategies.

Get our free guide to the 50 Best Bar Games.