Dice Game: Zilch

Zilch is a fun dice game to play with the family. Tweens and teens especially love this game.Roll those dice! Whaddya have? Snake eyes? A straight? Zilch? To bad. You lose all your points!

Over thirty years ago, our good friends taught us a dice game called Zilch. It is easy to learn and fun to play. You can play this game on New Year’s Eve with your grandchildren, on your grandchild’s birthday, when your grandchildren come over on Sunday evening, on a summer afternoon when it’s too hot to play outside. Play this game when you just can’t face one more game of Uno . . .

Not only is this a fun activity to do with your grandchildren, it is an easy birthday present, Christmas gift, or a ‘just because’ gift to give to your grandchildren. Just go to a dollar store, buy 6 dice, and wrap them up!

Here’s a video showing how to play the game.

As I make these short videos demonstrating games and activities, I have come to appreciate all of the skill, time, and effort that goes into making a full length movie! Here is a blooper clip of playing zilch. (Hopefully it won’t take long for these two videos to load . . .)

Below, you’ll find the rules for playing Zilch. Have fun as you are creating many happy memories playing Zilch with your grandchildren!


Items needed: 6 dice, paper and pencil for scoring

Scoring points

1 = 100
5 = 50

In one roll:

3 ones = 1,000
4 ones = 2,000
3 twos = 200
3 threes = 300
3 fours = 400
3 fives = 500
3 sixes = 600
a straight (five dice in a consecutive number order) = 1,750
3 pairs = 1000

How to play:

The first person rolls six dice. One or more scoring dice must be pulled out and set aside on every roll. The player must get 500 points before he can start keeping score. If he does not get 500 points, he gets ZILCH for that round and passes the dice to the player on his left.

If the player gets 500 points, he may may continue rolling the dice. Or, he may stop, write his score down, and pass the dice to the next player. It is his choice as to what to do.

Whenever a player rolls the dice and cannot pull any points out, he gets ZILCH (no points) for that round and passes the dice to the player on his left. As long as he can pull out at least one pointer dice, he may continue rolling the dice and accumulating points. If no score is made on a roll, the player zilches and all the accumulated score for that turn (not from previous turns ) is lost.

If all the dice are used for scoring, the player can pick up all six dice and continue playing with all 6 dice again.

The winner is the first person who gets 10,000 points.

4 thoughts on “Dice Game: Zilch

  • SM DAY

    Our Family loves playing Ziltch and it is considered a right of passage when you become old enough to play. U must be able to count the scoring dice and know how to add. We teach each family member the various rules of scoring and winning. Our Family has added some basic strategy rules to make the game more challenging. We love it!!

  • Nina Lewis Post author


    Farkle, huh? Haven’t ever heard of it referred to as that. But I agree. It’s a fun game for all ages.


  • Maria@SewTravelInspired

    This is the game our family calls Farkle. Everyone from my 93 year old mother to my 5 year old granddaughter plays it. All you need are pen, paper and 6 dice to play. My sister and I often play in airports when we travel. Great fun and easy to play.

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