How to play
Farkle for money (without losing your shirt, or your friends!)
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you not only know the rules of Farkle, but you consider yourself to be an above average player. One might venture to say you’re so confident in your capabilities – that you trust your tried-and-true Farkle strategies so unquestioningly – that you’re willing to stake your hard earned money on their efficacy.
First of all, let me clear up two things.
Farkle is a game less dominated by skill, and more influenced by
chance. Yes, a smarter player who knows the odds
and probabilities of Farkle dice will gain a slight edge
over their opponents. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to win
great sums of money.
Family and friendship are worth far more than proving your Farkle
supremacy. Winning is fun. Winning money is even more fun. But
winning large amounts beyond extra pocket cash isn’t worth losing
Suffice it to say, if you’re going to play Farkle for money in a
social setting, keep the mood and the cash pot light. With that being
said, let’s take a look at a few of the…
Best Ways to Bet Money on Farkle
There are actual several great and enjoyable ways to play Farkle for
cash. Below, I’ll describe some of the ways I’ve played, and other
ways I’ve only heard about.
Straight Up Betting
This is the easiest and most casual way to go about wagering on
Farkle. It involves straight up betting on a game, or the total
combined scores of a series of games. Each player puts the same
amount of money in the pot, and the winner takes it all.
If betting per game, keep the amount small, such as a quarter, or one
dollar at most. If betting on a series of games, the bet size and
number of games should correlate with the number of players involved.
If you have 5 players, play 5 rounds, betting up to $5 each.
This version is similar to straight up betting, but a lot more fun in
my opinion. Everyone places the same, small bet size in the pot to
start. Each time something special happens, players pay the pot.
For instance, if a player Farkles, that player throws in a quarter.
Or if a player rolls a straight (1-6), everyone else pays a nickel or
quarter to the pot.
You can take these rules in any direction you wish. You could even
allow players to pay the pot to negate a Farkle and try again,
although I’ve found that this particular rule is best applied in
early rounds, not the final round of play.
Farkle can be a very fun game to play by penny-a-point rules. Being a
potentially high scoring game, however, I suggest putting a cap on
the payouts. Or, eliminate the last zero in each players score for
For example, if one player has a great run, ending with 10,000
points, and another experiences terrible luck, finishing with just
2,000, by penny-a-point rules that loser would pay the winner $80.00!
That’s a lot of money to lose on a quick game of dice.
Instead, erasing that last zero (0) would bring the loss down to
$8.00; a much more reasonable amount. Instating a $5.00 cap might be
an even better idea. If combining scores from multiple games, a
larger but still manageable cap of $15 to $20 might be in order. Set
the cost at a level that’s appropriate for all of your group’s
members so there’s no loss of enjoyment for the losers, and the
entertainment can last a good long while.
This option is best suited for even-number groups of more serious.
Each player pays a small amount to join in. Then everyone splits off
into pairs of twos. You’ll need 6 dice for each pair, as they’ll all
be playing their own heads-up Farkle match. The winners of each match
faces off against one another until just two players remain.
Alternatively, if you only have 6 dice, allow everyone to participate
in a single game. At the end of each round, half of the players with
the lowest score are eliminated. The other half move on to compete in
the next round, with either two or three finalists (depending on
starting number) battle it out for the championship.
In a small group of up 4 to 6 players, the winner takes 75% of the
pot, and the runner up 25%. If playing with 7+, add a third place
position, splitting the pot 50%, 30% and 20%. You can divvy the pot
any way you wish, and to as many players as you like, so long as the
last person paid gets an amount equal to or exceeding their buy-in.
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