After playing Zilch a fair amount as a kid, I ran across Farkle as an adult, which is a bit of a folk game, with lots of various scoring rules to choose from. One commercial version (spelled 'Farkel' instead of 'Farkle'!) uses "spicy" dice, each featuring on side with red pips that provides a simple way to make the game more exciting. Rather than buy the commercial version, I took clear dice with white pips and colored the pips with a red permanent marker to make spicy dice.
- Six (6) six-sided dice
- These should be spicy, with each dice featuring exactly one side colored with red pips so that among the set, there is exactly one red side for each dice value: ⚀⚁⚂⚃⚄⚅.
- Paper and a pencil
Each player takes a turn consisting of one or more rolls of the dice. On a player's turn, they:
- Roll all six dice.
- Identify and "freeze" (set aside) one or more scoring dice (see Scoring, below), adding the score to the player's score for the turn.
- If no scoring dice are rolled (a "farkle"), the player's turn is over. They pass the dice to the next player, scoring 0 for that turn.
- If desired, the player may roll the remaining (unfrozen) dice to attempt to increase their score for the turn, but as with the first (and any other) roll, they must then freeze some combination of scoring dice. If they roll no scoring dice, it is a farkle and they score zero this turn.
- If the player has frozen all six dice, they have the option to "turn the corner", and roll all six dice again to continue adding to their score. If they farkle after turning the corner, they will lose all points accrued during their turn, both before and after turning the corner.
- If the player chooses not to roll again and has not farkled, they add the score for their current turn to their total score on the score sheet, and pass the dice to the next player.
This table lists scoring combinations that can be set aside after a given roll of the dice.
If a combination contains a spicy dice, the score is doubled.
A player rolls ⚃ ⚃ ⚃, so it scores 800 rather than the usual 400.
If more than one spicy dice is part of the combination, each spicy dice multiples the score by two.
A player rolls ⚀ ⚁ ⚂ ⚃ ⚄ ⚅, which scores 6000 rather than the usual 1500, since each spicy dice multiplies the score by two, and there are two spicy dice in the combination.
High stakes adds an additional rule to the game not found in vanilla Farkle: a player may begin their turn by rolling the non-frozen dice from the last player's turn. If a player scores on their first roll, they add that to the previous player's score that turn, and may continue rolling if they wish.
About Scoring Combinations
As players set aside dice, they may not "stack" them to make new combinations. For example if a player rolled a ⚄, froze it, and then rolled two more ⚄s in the next roll, the player may not combine the three ⚄s take make a ⚄ (worth 500 points). Instead, the first ⚄ is worth 50, and, if frozen, the next two ⚄s are worth 50 each, for a total of 150 points.
Play continues in turns until one player gets 25000 (or more) points. When that happens, every other player gets one more turn to try and beat the high score so far. When the last player has finished their turn, the player with the highest score on the scoresheet is declared the winner.