Stay Tuned For The Quarantine Olympics

   It’s game on.

   The 2021 Yahtzee challenge has been issued and accepted. 

   Jeannette loves to tell the story of one of our first dates when we went bowling.  I assured her that I wasn’t very good and we would just have a fun time. I was telling the truth, I’m pretty dreadful at bowling.

   Then she won the first game.

   “You got that look on your face and I thought ‘uh, oh,’” she says.

   Good for her to see my competitive streak less than a month into the courtship.  Why wait? Early on, she became familiar with “that look.”

   Yes, I won games two and three of our “fun” bowling date night.  

   So fast forward to 2021 and our Quarantine Olympics.  We chose Yahtzee as the main event.  

   Jeannette and her cousin, aunt and uncle taught me how to play some years ago at a family reunion in Western Kansas.  As I recall I won at least one game even then. 

   Here’s some info on how to play Yahtzee from Wikipedia.

   “The objective of the game is to score points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make various scoring combinations and the dice must remain in in the box.”

   I’ll stop there.  We don’t do that. Having the dice rattle around in that canister makes an awful lot of racket. We cup the dice in our hands and roll them. If we are barred from the Yahtzee Hall of Fame for that, so be it.

  OK back to the rules.

   “A game consists of thirteen rounds. After each round the player chooses which scoring category is to be used for that round. Once a category has been used in the game it can not be used again.”
   “The scoring categories have varying point values, some of which are fixed values and others for which the score depends on the value of the dice.”
   “A Yahtzee is a five-of-a-kind and scores 50 points, the highest of any category. The winner is the player who scores the most points.”

   We don’t have a set schedule for playing, other than we play three games every time and the competition lasts for this calendar year.

   At stake is the Yahtzee Bear Trophy, a teddy bear with a single di taped to his head.  The bear looks serious and so do we.  When the game is on, all other activities cease.

   We had our fifth set of three games on Super Sunday, Feb. 7.  I won the first game 275-221 and was just one point away from getting a 35-point bonus on the upper section. That would have put me over 300.

   Jeannette won game two 249 to 188 and game three 240 to 236.  It was the first time Jeannette won two games and I got one.  The first four times I won two games and she won one.  You math majors can figure out that means I lead the big challenge nine games to six. 

   There has never been a sweep. If she does it next time though, we’ll be even in games.

   I once heard a baseball guy say you can do a lot if you just don’t get swept.  He meant if you win at least one of three when you’re playing poorly, you can make it up at better times.

   I suppose that is also true of a game of chance played with dice on the dining room table.

   We must be missing some other rules besides not using the canister to shake the dice. Wikipedia says the best possible score is 1,575.  The way we play, the best possible score, 13 Yahtzees, would be 1,250.

   Whatever.  We play by the rules Jeannette’s family taught me.  

   I’ve been thinking about tweaking the rules even more so that if you roll something you want on the first roll you can bank those other two rolls for when you really need them.  We would use the banked rolls only in proportion. For example if I banked four and Jeannette banked two, we would each get two extra rolls.

  We’ll set that aside for future consideration. For now, I have my three-game lead and “that look.”

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