Roll Up Math Skills with Yahtzee!

I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Yahtzee – Part 1

One of my favorite games growing up was Yahtzee, and I was super excited when my oldest son was old enough to learn how to play it!  It can be such an educational game, and so, I thought it was the perfect game to feature as my second board game for Game Night Fridays!  (The first game was Chutes and Ladders, click here if you missed it!)  Here are four ways to use Yahtzee to teach math skills.  Check back next Friday to see my four ideas for how to use Yahtzee to teach literacy skills.

1. Standard Play – Yahtzee has so much math built into it, that simply playing the game with your class will work on math skills.  Not only can you work on strategy, problem solving and decision making, but you can work on addition, multiplication, comparing numbers and probability all simply playing Yahtzee by the rules provided in the game.


2. Dice Graphing – Rather than play with the whole Yahtzee score card, play simply with the upper section of the game card.  Have each player role just one time and mark how many of each die they roll.  Then, create a graph with the ready made table that the score card provides you.


3. Best Set – Rather than play with the whole Yahtzee score card, play simply with the 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind and Yahtzee sections.  Encourage students to try to get a 3 of a kind with a different number than their classmates.  After YahtzeeScoreCardeveryone has one 3 of a kind, one 4 of a kind and one Yahtzee, compare scores.  Discuss the fact that using 4 sixes gives you a much better score than using 4 ones.  Great time to compare addition and multiplication too!


4. Straight to Order – Rather than play with the whole score card, play simply with the small straight and the large straight.  Talk about the different ways to make a small straight.  Talk about ordering numbers and using the ordinal names of numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)


I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Yahtzee in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!



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About rakisradresources

teacher mother of 3 wife

4 responses to “Roll Up Math Skills with Yahtzee!”

  1. Mrs. Gumby says :

    Yahtzee is one of my favorite games to play with my students. I played it a lot with my grandma and family. It always brings back such great memories. 🙂

  2. Tricia says :

    I teach my preservice teachers to play Yahtzee and am amazed each year by how many have never seen or played before. I will admit to telling them to save their money and download resources online. Hasbro makes the directions available here:

    Click to access Yahtzee.pdf

    You can download score sheets here:

    Click to access scoresheet.pdf

    One of the things we do with their Yahtzee cards is collect class data to teach mean, median, and mode.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Yahtzee Reading « - 01/21/2012
  2. Games to Play in Math « - 01/25/2012

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