6 Apr

Betting on Yahtzee? You Betcha!

Ways to play Yahtzee for money (there’s more than you think!)

Betting on Yahtzee

Do you fancy yourself an expert Yahtzee player? Are you ready to take your “friendly” games to a new level with “friendly wagers”? There are quite a few ways you can play Yahtzee for cash – more ways than you might imagine.

In the following text, you’ll learn about several interesting ways to bet on Yahtzee. Being raised in a family where game night and coin jars go hand in hand, most of these come from personal experience. But I have to admit, I haven’t come across the Yahtzee slot machine yet…

Before you start playing Yahtzee with your hard earned cash on the line, might I suggest expanding your knowledge of the game with some of the following information pages?

Cash Pot: The Easiest Way to Play Yahtzee for Money

By far the simplest way to bet on Yahtzee is to simply have a cash pot for each game. Every player puts the same amount in the pot before the game. When it’s over, winner takes all. My family used to play for anywhere from one quarter to one dollar per game, just to make things a little more interesting.

Cash Pot w/ Penalty Pays

I never tried this myself, but a cousin of mine told me about the way she and her friends play. They start with a basic $1 cash pot, then apply penalty payments for certain situations. Anytime a player scratches a scoring section (takes 0), they pay a quarter to the pot. Scoring the Upper Bonus also incurs a quarter penalty. You read that right – players pay a quarter for scoring the Upper Bonus! It makes for some pretty interesting games, so I hear!

Penny-a-Point Yahtzee

Like most games where scores easily soar into the hundreds, Yahtzee is a popular betting game for penny-a-point payouts. Of course, since Canada did away with pennies a few years back, you can either round the scores to the nearest five, or play for nickel-a-point instead.

An example of payments in a 4 player game might look like this (note that I’ve rounded all scores to the nearest 5 for use of nickels):


  • Player 1 Score: 320
  • Player 2 Score: 280
  • Player 3 Score: 225
  • Player 4 Score: 190


  • Player 2 pays Player 1 $0.40
  • Player 3 pays Player 1 $0.95, and pays Player 2 $0.55
  • Player 4 pays Player 1 $1.30, pays Player 2 $0.90, and pays Player 3 $0.35

Multi-Game Cash Pot

This option is perfect for hard-core groups who plan to roll through an entire score sheet of 6 games. It’s usually played with at least $1 per player going in the pot before each new game. The traditional way to play is to have every player put one bet unit in the pot per round. If 4 or less people are playing, winner takes all. In 5-7 player games, the top two scorers split the pot, with the greater portion going to the winner (decide how to divvy it up before you start). In 8+ games, the top three players take a cut.

This is a great betting set up, but also kind of boring… If you want to spice things up, try one of these alternatives.

Reward strong performances and penalize the weak. The player in the lead after each round is not required to place a bet for the next round. Instead, the player who is trailing must wager double to cover the leader’s entry. In case of a tie, the tying players split the cost/reward. If two tie for lead, they each pay half the pot price, with the losing player covering the rest. If two tie for last, they split the cost of the leader’s entry.

Another option is to have everyone bet after every round, with the lowest scorer (lowest 2 scorers if playing with 6+) sweetening the pot with a double bet. This tends to result in players dropping out early, though. If you really want to make things interesting without losing players, make the leader pay double!

Yet another option is to allow one “raise” after any round of play. The leader must bet first, therefore cannot initiate the raise. Only the rest of the field has the option. If any player raises, all others must call or forfeit the remainder of the game. Only one raise can be made per round, not to exceed two betting units.

Yahtzee Slot Machine

Ways to play Yahtzee for money - Yahtzee online slot machine by WMS and SG Gaming

By far the most unique way to play Yahtzee for money is to partake in the slot machine version of the game. This 5 reel, 25 line slot mimics the family dice game in many ways through its symbols and features. It was developed by WMS Interactive, a subsidiary of Scientific Games that supplies thousands of slots titles to First Nations tribal casinos all over North America. It’s also available as an online slot machine at most WMS / SG Gaming powered internet casinos.

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