It goes without saying that times are strange right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of #stayhome. Chances are you have a regular deck of cards or dice laying around, right? If so, all you have to do is grab some paper, a pencil and a couple of friends (virtually, of course) – and you’ve got a ton of easy games to play during #stayhome.

How To Play Farkle

For example, Farkle is a simple dice game that is easy to play and a lot of fun. Rumored to date back to the early modern period, it was eventually introduced to the mass market in the 80s, becoming some enthusiasts’ favorite ever since.

The objective of the game is to be the player with the highest score above 10,000 points on the final round of play.  Each player takes turns rolling all six dice at once. 1’s, 5’s earn you points as do certain sets of dice.

The scoring system works as follows:

·      5’s- 50 points

·      1’s- 100 points

·      Sets of three – the number you roll x 100 (ex: three pairs of 4 = 400 points)

·      Sets of four- 1000 points (regardless of the number dice)

·      Sets of five- 2000 points

·      Six -dice straight- 3000 points

You must select at least one scoring die before you have the option of either passing and banking your points or rolling the remaining dice.

This is where strategy comes into play.  If you choose to roll again you stand to either win more points or lose the points you’ve earned.  If you roll two scoring dice, such as a 1 and 5 -you also have the option of setting aside one and rolling the other again to increase your chances of a better score on your next roll.

If none of your dice in a roll earn points, you get a “Farkle.” In this case you lose all the points collected in that turn and you must pass the dice to the next player for their roll.  If you Farkle three times in a row you lose 1,000 points.

Play continues until a player scores over 10,000 points, in which case the other players get one turn to try to knock the high-scorer out of the game. After this round, a winner is declared and the game is over.

While Farkle is a great game, if it’s not your fancy there are tons of other games you can play with limited supplies. All you’ll need is a standard deck playing cards or six-sided (6d) dice. From there, simply print your scorecards (which can be found with a quick Google search) and you’re ready to go! 

Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

Pig

Did you know? Pig is commonly used by mathematics teachers to teach probability concepts…but that doesn’t mean it’s not tons of fun. Roll the dice and collect points for as long as you want, but if you roll the wrong number — you lose all your points from that turn.

Number of players: 2 to 10
Equipment required: One 6-sided die; Pencil and paper for scoring

Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a bona-fide classic and for good reason. It’s an easy game for beginners and doesn’t take long to play. The aim of the game is simple: score as many points as you can by rolling the best dice combinations.

Number of players: 1 or more
Equipment required: Five 6-sided dice; score- cards

Domino

No -not those dominos. A classic card-shedding game. A player leads with a card and then the other players must add a corresponding card to the table.  The first player to all shed their cards wins.

Number of players: 3 to 8
Equipment required: A deck of cards

Sevens

In this game seven is not such a lucky number. The goal of the game to be the first player to shed all your cards each round. Players can play cards into the middle that build out from the 7’s

Number of players: 3 or more
Equipment required: Six 6-sided dice; Pencil and paper for scoring

Bunco

A dice game best suited for large groups but can be played with less people. Players try to roll the same number as the round that they’re in (ex: 3’s in the third round). When the table collectively reaches 21 points the round is over. 

Number of players: 8 or more
Equipment required: Six or more 6-sided dice; paper and pencils

Beetle

A simple but inventive little dice game. Each number on the die corresponds to a body part of the beetle. Player rolls the die, and on their paper, draws that body part until the image of the beetle is complete. The first player to draw the entire beetle wins.

Number of players: 2 or more
Equipment required: One 6-sided die and pencil and paper for each player

Gin Rummy

 A classic two-player card game based on memory. Each player uses their hand to form combinations of three or more cards. The goal is to get more than 100 points before your opponent over the course of several hands. 

Number of players: 2
Equipment Required: A deck of cards

Liar’s Dice

A fun game of bluffing and deception. All players roll their dice at once, each player looks at their own dice but keeps them hidden from others. The first player states a bid while the other players challenge it for their own glory. 

Number of players: 2 or more
Equipment required: Five dice per player; One dice cup per player

Mafia

Crime doesn’t pay in the end. Mafia is played by two teams, the uninformed villagers and the more- knowing werewolfs. Depending on your role, the object of the game is to either “kill” or identify members of the other team during alternation “night” and “day” game cycles.

Number of players: Best with 3 to 5
Equipment required: Five 6-sided dice; chips or counters for each player; Pencil and paper

Solitaire

The original game of solitary patience. The objective is to play into position certain cards to build up each foundation, in a sequence and in suit, from the ace through the king. The ultimate goal is to build a whole pack onto the foundations. When that is done you’ve got a winner.

Number of players: 1 or 2
Equipment Required: Yourself and a deck of cards

Poker Dice

In this simple little dice game, your goal is to roll the best poker hand possible.Each player takes a turn and may roll the five dice up to three times. On any three rolls the player can set aside however many dice they want to.


Number of players: 2 or more
Equipment required: Five 6-sided dice

Zanzibar

A great game for two or more people. Each player begins with 20 chips. Players roll to try and get the highest number. The player with the lowest number receives chips from the other players. Game play continues until one player has no chips remaining. 

Number of players: 2 or more
Equipment required: Three 6-sided dice; 20 chips or counters per player; Pencil and paper