Popular dice games for fans of Yahtzee who are looking for something new to play.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been playing Yahtzee since I was a kid. It was always one of my family’s favorites. But few other dice games existed, leading us to play more card games than anything else.
Just recently, I’ve learned of some alternative dice games that Yahtzee fans like myself are sure to enjoy. If you happen to be looking for new dice games that are similar to and as fun as Yahtzee, you may enjoy some of these…
Fun Dice Games (besides Yahtzee!)
Some of these I’ve played. Others I’ve only heard or read about, and fully intend to play when I get the opportunity. I’ve listed them in no particular order, so be sure to skim over each description for something that suits your fancy.
Qwixx is a dice game similar to Yahtzee, but reliant upon combining pairs of dice rather than large combinations. The object is to use the 6 dice provided to eliminate as many numbers (2-12) from the color-coded score card as possible. Sounds simple enough, but the rules of elimination complicate matters enough to make it a decently challenging, strategy-driven game.
Qwixx rules call for 2-5 players, but you can have more if you like. It won’t get boring for the players in waiting as they have an opportunity to score once on every player’s turn using the total of the two white dice. A typical game lasts 10-15 minutes, and should only set you back $9-$12. If you happen to have four different colored dice, plus 2 white ones, you can print free score cards for Qwixx and pay nothing at all! There’s also this handy online Qwixx scoring program that does all the math work for you.
No family gaming collection is complete without this classic dice game. Farkle utilizes 6 traditional dice. 5s and 1s are the only single die numbers that are worth points. You can score with combinations, like 3, 4, 5 and 6 of a kind, but you must roll at least 3 of a kind all at once to score it. You can’t roll a 5 in one roll, and 5-5 in the next, to total 5-5-5.
What makes Farkle so fun is that it’s a risk management game. You can always keep rolling in hopes of a bigger score, but if your score doesn’t improve on the next roll, you lose your turn, scoring nothing; known as a Farkle. If you happen to have 6 dice on hand, you don’t need to buy anything to play. Grab pen and paper, read over our quick Farkle rules page, and invite as many friends as you’d like to join in.
To Court the King
This dice game reminds me a lot of Coup, minus the trickery and deception. Each player’s job is to secure the influence of nobility in order to gain the favor of the King. A turn-based game, each player gets to roll 12 dice, looking for specific combinations that will earn them help from a secret character of nobility, and each character has a different ability in progressing nearer to the King’s favor.
To Court the King is a game for 2-5 players. It comes with 12 dice and a set of 50 character cards. You can purchase it online, but it’s not an easy find. Last I looked, it was going for $60+, as was its younger cousin, Favor of the Pharaoh.
Roll for It!
This unique dice and card game is very similar to Yahtzee in that players are competing to roll specific combinations on the dice to score points. However, the combinations you’re rolling for are decided by the cards that are played throughout the game. The cards have different degrees of difficulty, with corresponding point value. Cards that require 2 dice are worth 2 points, 3 dice 5 points, and 4 dice 10 points. In this turn-based game, players need to roll combinations and collect cards worth a total of 40 points to win.
Roll for It! is a game for 2-4 players. It comes with 24 dice (6 of each color) and a deck of cards. It’s an inexpensive alternative to Yahtzee, retailing for about $7-$10.
Phase 10 Dice
If you’ve ever played the exhilarating card game known as Phase 10, you’ll have a good idea of how this game works. My family and I love Phase 10, but it can be an incredibly long game. Phase 10 Dice is a shorter version that is very similar to Yahtzee, but with twice as many dice and larger combinations to achieve. Like the card game, those wilds come in very handy!
The object is to roll sets, runs, the longer runs of 7, 8 and 9, seven of a color, and all of the other difficult card combinations found in the original Rummy-style card game. Players get three rolls to complete the next Phase (i.e. dice combination) on the list. It’s not about scoring points though. The winner is the player to complete all necessary combinations first.
I’ve owned this game for a long time, and find it incredibly fun! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be in production anymore. You can find it used for $20+, or new from $30-$60. Yikes! And to think the card game is still selling in retail shops for about $7.
Boggle is a super fun dice game that’s fun for all ages! It’s often used as an educational reading/spelling tool for kids, but countless adults enjoy it too. The game consists of a square plastic casing that holds 16 lettered dice. You shake it up, place it down, and all the dice fall into the 16 little squares within the case. Players then compete against time to spell as many words from the adjacent dice as possible. The longer the word, the more points it’s worth.
Boggle can be played by 2+ players and comes with a 3-minute timer. It’s also available in deluxe versions called Big Boggle and Super Big Boggle, featuring a 5×5 or 6×6 letter grid.
A true board game version of the original title, Yahtzee Showdown allows players to compete against one another for the same dice combinations. The board contains 12 open positions and 4 wild spots. Players roll to move around the board, then again to claim a position they’ve landed on.
If the position is open, they can roll for any combination card that’s not yet taken. If the position has a card on it, the player must roll for what’s on the card in hopes of stealing it from the player who currently owns it. Landing on a wild allows players to roll for any card, taken or not. Each card combination is worth a certain number of coins, depending on the difficulty. The winner is the player with the most combined coins on the cards at the end of the game.
Yahtzee Showdown is a game for 2-4 players. Although it doesn’t appear to be on any store shelves these days, you can snag a used one online pretty cheap.
Lord$ of Vegas
This is far from your typical dice game. Although there are 48 of them – 12 per player (2-4 player game) – the dice are only used for certain aspects of the game. In this regard, it’s nothing like Yahtzee. In fact, it’s more like a Las Vegas version of Monopoly.
Players gain ownership properties along Las Vegas Boulevard and its major side streets (Flamingo Rd, Tropicana Ave, etc.) As players gain money, they can take various actions, like building, expanding or remodeling a casino, or – since this is Vegas – gambling in an opponent’s casino!
I wouldn’t recommend buying this one on a whim. It’s not a cheap game for one thing, costing anywhere from $45 to $65. It’s a little more complicated than Monopoly, taking some time to get used to. It’s not a good one for young kids either – not necessarily because of the gambling aspect, but because it’s a rather complicated game and can take 1 to 1-1/2 hours to play. Overall, Lord$ of Vegas is very fun once you get it down, and offers an expansion pack for true fans of the game.
Vegas Dice Game
Not to be confused with Lords of Vegas (above), this game is all about the dice. Designed for 2-5 players, each gets 8 dice to start. There are 6 tile cards, marked with die numbers 1-6, each representing a Las Vegas casino. By drawing random money cards, every casino is assigned a value of no less than $50k, and players will roll to see who wins the cash.
This is a quick game, super easy to comprehend and play. And there’s no actual or simulated gambling involved, so the kiddos are welcome (recommended for 8+). Note that this was originally sold as “Las Vegas Dice Game”, but the “Vegas Dice Game” is the exact same game, by the same company, that comes in a cooler dice-shaped box. They can go for $20-$40, but shop around. You can usually find them new on eBay for about $10-$15.
Roll Through the Ages
This is a very unique board game that uses symbolic dice to lead players through the building of a civilization. It comes in multiple ‘Ages’ (The Bronze Age, The Iron Age, etc.), but the goal is always the same. Players compete to evolve a thriving civilization, building new cities, developing more resources and keeping the growing population fed. It all takes place by rolling dice that proffer materials, workers, food, coins and more.
This dice & board game will set you back anywhere from $25 to $40, but it’s worth the cost. It comes with enough wooden pegs and player boards to suit 1-4 players (yes, solitary play can be fun too!), with six wooden dice and a thick pad of score sheets. If you run out, you can print free score pads for Roll Through the Ages direct from the creator’s website.
Catan Dice Game
Catan Dice is to Yahtzee what Mahjong is to Dominoes. It comes with 6 dice, but instead of numbers, they are marked with images. The images are different resources you need to build structures; bricks, wood, coal, wheat and sheep. The object is to build roads, knights, settlements and cities. Each structure requires a different, progressively difficult combination of resource materials. You can’t just build anything though. You must choose a path on the game board to expand, with each structure along the path being worth a set number of points.
Here’s the catch… Catan is a game for only 1 or 2 players. The solo game is quite fun, but that set-up isn’t acquiesce to a family game night. You could expand for more players, but you’ll need to draw up a new game board to accommodate. That’s not too hard – I’ve done it before. You can find this game for around $10, and if you really enjoy it, there are bigger, better expansion packs you might want to try.
Formerly sold as ‘Don’t Go to Jail‘, Monopoly Express is a quick and fun dice game in which players compete with be the first to collect $15,000. You do this by rolling symbolic dice and taking risks. The game board is just a small circle, about the size of a saucer. It’s got color-coded squares that represent the different properties in Monopoly, including railroads and utilities. Each group has a point value. You can keep rolling as long as you want, but if you end up rolling a trio of cops, all accumulated points for that turn are lost and your turn is over!
It’s labeled for 2-4 players, but you can have as many as you like if you take score on paper instead of the score pad provided. You can also increase the point/cash value needed to win if you want a longer or more challenging game. This one sells for about $10 online and comes in a very compact case, making it perfect for travel.
BANG! The Dice Game
If you’ve ever played BANG! The Card Game, you’ll have an idea of what’s in store here. This version is quicker, but maintains the core values of its predecessor. Each player gets a character card, giving them a special ability in the game. Taking turns, players roll the five dice up to three times. The results allow players to take actions, like increasing range of shots, shooting neighbors, or healing life points after taking damage.
Playable as a team game, everyone is competing to accomplish whatever their team’s goal is. Your goal is determined by your character (Sheriff, deputy, outlaw, or renegade). The sheriff and deputies are trying to kill all of the outlaws, the outlaws are looking to kill the sheriff, and the renegades are out to kill everyone and be the last ones standing. There are a few theme variations of the game, all retailing for between $10 and $20.
Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.