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Yahtzee is the trademarked name of a popular dice game made by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro). The object of the game is simply to use a plastic cup for rolling five dice. Each player takes a turn rolling the dice in an attempt to match the combination of the number values ("dots") on the dice with a predetermined combination in order to score points.

The game was invented in 1954 by anonymous Canadian couple, and called "The Yacht Game" because they played it on their yacht with their friends. Two years later they asked toy and game entrepeneur Edwin S. Lowe if he would make up some sets to be given as gifts to their friends who enjoyed the game. Lowe perceived the possibility of marketing the game, and acquired the rights to the game from the couple in exchange for 1,000 gift sets.

Lowe changed the name to "Yahtzee." He initially had trouble selling the game commercially, since the rules and appeal were not easily conveyed in an advertisement. Eventually he had the idea of organizing "Yahtzee parties" where people could play the game and thereby earn a firsthand appreciation for it. The idea was successful, and enthusiasts quickly popularized the game through word-of mouth. Milton-Bradley purchased the E. S. Lowe company in 1973.

Yahtzee can be played in solitary or by a group. The group version simply consists of a number of players playing the solitary version simultaneously, with the highest score winning.

The game consists of 13 rounds. In each round, you roll the dice and then score the roll in one of 13 categories. You must score once in each category -- which means that towards the end of the game you may have to settle for scoring zero in some categories, which is known as "scratching". The score is determined by a different rule for each category.

A "Yahtzee" occurs when all five dice have the same value during a player's turn. Yahtzees are one of the most difficult combinations to have in a game. If a player scores one or more additional yahtzees during the same game, that player is awarded bonus points and given bonus chips that correspond to each bonus yahtzee that a player rolls. Bonus yahtzees are worth 100 points each.

The object of the game is to maximize your total score. The game ends once all 13 categories have been scored.


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