A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

The Farkle Principle: How I Lost Millions because of My Big BUT!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about any gross or humorous bodily functions.

I learned how to play Farkle, a dice game, when I was five years old, maybe even earlier. That was way back in 1978. Since then I have taught almost every friend I have how to play. It’s a very simple dice game.

If you want to skip the rules of the game and go straight to the point of the post skip the italicized paragraphs.

The only equipment you need is six dice, a piece of paper and a pencil. Ones equal 100 points. Fives equal 50 points. Three of a kind in one toss of the dice equals 100 times the face value of one of the dice. Thus, three fours is 400 points. If you role four of a kind that doubles. Thus, four fours is 800 points. Five of a kind doubles it again. Thus, five fours equals 1600 points. If you roll six of a kind in one toss, you automatically win. Since a single one is already 100 points, three ones is 1000 points and each additional one doubles it. If you roll a straight with all six dice, that is 1500 points.

You start with six dice and roll. You pull out the point dice you want and keep rolling. If you end up with all six dice having points, you then pick them all up and keep rolling. Before you can actually start recording your score for the first time, you have to get to at least 1000 points. With a 1000 points you can get on the board. Then you can quit at any time. Beware, if you toss the dice and have no points, then you lose all the points you have earned that turn. Once you are on the board and it comes to your turn again, you can then stop at any point you want, whether you have 50 points, 500 points or 5000 points. 

The first player to 10,000 wins. However, once one person crosses the coveted finish line, the dice makes one final pass around the table to see if anyone can surpass your score. So, if folks are close, you want to go out big. If someone goes past you, you don’t get another chance to beat them.

That may sound confusing, but it is really quite simple. It is also extremely fun. I could tell you some great gaming stories about my family and friends playing this game over the years. However, I’m not writing this just to teach you to play a simple but fun game for the whole family. I’m not writing this to share family memories with you. I am writing because for years, I have occasionally thought, “You know, I ought to figure out a way to package and market this game.” But I always came back with, “Yeah, BUT you don’t know anything about breaking into the game market.” Or “Yeah, BUT who would want to spend money on a game that really only needs six dice, some paper and a pencil?” There was always this little nagging part of me that thought I should do something about it, however, I always let my big BUT get in the way.

Just a few weeks ago, while perusing Barnes and Noble, I passed the game table and something incredible caught my eye. A packaged game entitled Farkel. The rules were slightly different and they  spelled it differently than I always had but it was the same game. Search the internet and you will find Official Rules and all kinds of other stuff. Someone even came up with a party version. How cool is that?



Because I always let my big BUT get in the way. 

I have now learned the Farkle principle. If it’s a good idea, someone is going to capitalize on it. Might as well be me. Now I just need to have another good idea.


August 5, 2008 - Posted by | Making Mistakes, Our big BUT, regrets, Success | , , , , ,


  1. so it always is… wish I’d thought of selling five dollar cups of coffees in small shops with a green logo first… 😉

    Comment by Mark | August 5, 2008

  2. No kidding, Mark

    Comment by edwincrozier | August 5, 2008

  3. Or my idea of cameras that save pictures digitally instead of using film…

    Comment by Jeff | August 5, 2008

  4. We played that game but a bit differently. Only 5 dice and counts were a bit defferent and we either called it 10,000 or just Dice. But even Justin and Jonathon can play it with us and it is fun.

    Comment by Friedaj | August 5, 2008

  5. Jeff, I remember in high school when cds came out telling someone that eventually, we would just have little disks, cubes or sticks we could plug into the wall at the music store and just have them put all our music on it. I guess that is not quite what an mp3 player is, but it’s close. Of course, I have no idea how that works, so I guess it was a great idea, but I needed to pursue some kind of education for that one.

    Frieda, when I moved to Texas, some friends we taught were already playing it but they had a few different rules and called it 5000.

    Comment by edwincrozier | August 5, 2008

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: