The Story of Canadian Dice Game Yahtzee


You might not realise it, but the classic dice game of Yahtzee was conceived in Canada. According to games manufacturer, Hasbro, an anonymous Canadian couple created the game and initially labelled it ‘The Yacht Game’. This was because they enjoyed playing the game on their yacht with friends and family.

The couple enlisted the help of game and toy entrepreneur, Edwin S. Lowe, to manufacture professional copies of the game as gifts to their friends and loved ones. Lowe was so enamoured by the game that he would eventually offer to make 1,000 gift sets in exchange for securing the legal rights to the game. It was an offer that the couple couldn’t refuse, and the rest is history.

It’s been almost 70 years since Lowe patented the game of Yahtzee as we know it today. Fast forward to the present day and the table game has made a name for itself in other entertainment sectors, namely iGaming. The Yahtzee Instant Tap game has made a big splash in the regulated UK iGaming market. So much so that it’s now listed as one of the ‘favourites’ at Paddy Power.

It is a new release at Paddy’s online casino, which includes online slot games, daily jackpots, table games and live casino gameshows within its offering. The Yahtzee Instant Tap game is currently positioned as the second most popular game within Paddy’s Favourites section. This is no surprise when you consider the sense of nostalgia this release must conjure up among the operator’s customer base.

According to Hasbro, the current publisher of the board game version of Yahtzee, the most recent data suggested upwards of 50 million copies of Yahtzee are sold worldwide each year. The game was given its unique name as players are required to shout ‘Yahtzee’ whenever a player rolls the same number with all five dice in play.

The rules of Yahtzee explained

The general vision for the game of Yahtzee is a fusion of several dice-based games, like the games of Cheerio and Poker Dice originating in England and the German dice game called Kniffel. Its closest predecessor is arguably the Yacht, which is a sequence-based game.

The game of Yahtzee features multiple rounds. Within each of them, players roll the dice up to three times. They have the option to end their turn after their first or second roll, depending on how successful they are.

The scoring in Yahtzee is split across two sections. The upper section focuses on matching number combinations. Let’s say you roll three sixes and one four and one five. The upper section scoring will only focus on the three sixes, giving you a score of 18.

The lower section scoring has a host of different poker-related categories, including three and four-of-a-kind, a fully house (three of one number and two of another), as well as small straights (four numbers in a sequence) and large straights (five numbers in a sequence).

The best possible score in the lower section is ‘Yahtzee’, giving you a score of 50 when all five dice have the same value.

From very humble yet middle-class beginnings, the game of Yahtzee is a Canadian success story in the world of family entertainment

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