Yahtzee is amazingly simple and yet complex at the same time. The premise is very straightforward. You have five dice in which to roll certain hands that will garner you a score on a score card. These dice need to be made of certain orders or amounts of numbers set up like poker hands. There is a great deal of strategy to Yahtzee, but before you learn the strategy you need to learn the basic rules.
Anyone can play Yahtzee because of the easiness in learning the game. The overall object is to achieve the highest score in 13 hands. Each hand consists of a roll of five dice, a second re-roll, and then a third re-rolls. As the hands are each finished you take the score that you get and record it on a special score card that has an Upper Section and a Lower Section. Each combination of rolls gives the player a certain number of points, and depending on what you rolled, the score will be noted either in the Upper Section or the Lower Section.
The Upper Section is made up of boxes of numbers. You have your Ones, Twos, Threes, Fours, Fives, and Sixes, as well as a bonus box. Your goal is to fill in as much of these numbers as possible. For example, you want to get as many Sixes as possible to get the highest score. If you get 63 points in total you get a 35 point bonus. The Lower Section is made up of 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, Full House, Small Straight, Large Straight, Yahtzee and Chance. Each one has a certain number of points attached to it.
The rules are as follows. You roll your five dice. After looking at the dice you decide if you want to keep any of the dice that you see, and re-roll the rest of them. You have a huge amount of flexibility as to which of the dice you keep, if any, and which you want to re-roll. When it comes to re-rolls there are two subsequent rules. You can either keep any of the dice you want before you re-roll, or you can keep all of the dice and stop at any point. You do not need to re-roll if at any time you get the hand that you are looking for.
For example, if you roll a 3-4-4-5-6 on your first roll you may decide that all you need is the Small Straight so you do not roll any more. However, if you need a Large Straight, you may put the 4 back into the cup and re-roll two more times to see if you can get the Large Straight. It is not mandatory to use all three dice rolls, but if you need to then you have that option. To reiterate, you can stop after the initial roll, the second roll, or you may continue till you have exhausted all three rolls.
Essentially that is the entire game. Your whole premise is to make the hands that correspond with the scorecard. The more hands you make, the more points you get. At the end of the game you tally up the points and whoever has the most points wins.