Yahtzee: a Math Game


 Yahtzee A Math Game

Today we played Yahtzee as one of the games for our weekly game day. My five year old son picked this one out. We each pick out one game each week and the rest of the games are chosen by a random number. We use random.org to choose a random number. We started off the year by listing all our games and assigned each game a number. Random.org gives us a number and we look up to see what game is next.

Yahtzee is a well-known game that is full of teachable math moments. To play you need to roll 5 dice. You can reroll as many of the 5 dice that you want up to two times trying to get a certain combination. If you roll all five dice as the same number you get a Yahtzee. The winner is the person with the highest score after the score sheet is filled up. Today my five year old easily won.

What math moments did we encounter?

  • recognition of patterns
  • addition
  • multiplication
  • probability

yahtzee game playing

Above you will see a picture of my seven year old trying to determine what pattern he wanted to use.  Although the game is for age 8 and up, we have been able to successfully use it.  I just provide any guidance on strategy and patterns that they need and in the process they are learning math concepts.  All in all this is a great math game without seeming like a math game to kids. We’ll be playing this one again. I need to have a rematch with my five year old!

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