Farkel : A Game of Quick Mental Math

Last Christmas my side of the family decided that instead of exchanging gifts with everyone we’d do a “pirate exchange”. Basically, it’s a game where you can decide to open a present or steal someone else’s present. It was a lot of fun, and it gave us a great math game!

Farkel math game

Requiring fast mental addition, Pirate Farkel Roll These Bones Dice Game is a fun twist on the classic Farkel dice game.

The object of the game is to reach 10,000 points first.

To begin the game each person rolls a die, the person who rolls the highest number (or a bone) goes first.

Each player then rolls all of the dice and adds up their numbers.

The easiest way to play, and reinforce quick mental addition, is to score the dice as such:

skull = 100
numbers = number x 100 (3=300, 4=400, etc)
4 of a kind = 1000
5 of a kind = 2000
6 of a kind = 3000
3 pairs = 1500
2 triplets = 2500
straight = 1500

Don’t worry about memorizing that, Pirate Farkel has a handy scoring reference sheet inside the storage case.

farkel math game

There are a hundred ways to customize the game to the match the skills of your children, don’t be afraid to experiment! Here are just a few ways:

-Children just learning how to add can add the numbers as is, the first to reach 100 wins

-Children working on their times tables can multiple each die by the table they are working on

-Each turn can involve three rolls, with your child choosing which numbers to keep and which to roll again for a better score

The possibilities are endless, making Farkel a great & inexpensive addition to your home game shelf!



Meg Grooms, Gameschooling at HomeschoolGameschool.com

Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.

Meg blogs about Gameschooling, Educational Gaming, and the Gaming Community at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes. If you’re interested in scheduling a workshop, review, ad space, or just saying hi –> Click here. Happy Gameschooling!

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