Yardzee is an outdoor group game that originated from Yahtzee. Yahtzee is a tabletop game, played with 5 dice and the goal of the game is to get the highest score. It is the same for Yardzee, the only difference is that the dice are larger. Much larger! Yardzee is a great game that you can play outside with the family from spring to fall.
In order to play Yardzee, you will need 5 larger wooden dice and a score card. Optionally a case to store and carry the dice, although that is not a necessity and you can easily play the game without it.
In this blog post, I will show you step by step how to easily make a homemade Yardzee game, specifically how to make dice for Yardzee. You can also find a link to a free printable Yardzee scorecard below.
Enjoy and have fun!
Table of Contents
- Material you will need to make Yardzee Dice
- Free Printable Yardzee Score Card
- General Questions related to Yardzee
- What is the goal of Yardzee?
- How many players can play Yardzee?
- What is the size of a Yardzee dice?
- What is the difference between Yahtzee, Yardzee, Farkle and Yarke?
- How to make DIY Yardzee Yard Dice
- Step 1 – Measure and cut the wood strips
- Step 2 – Glue the wood squares and make a block
- Step 3 – Make the Dice Dots
- Step 4 – Sand the Dice
- Step 5 – Apply Varnish or Laquer
*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!
Always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.
What you'll need to make Yardzee Dice
Wooden Yard Dice:
Beechwood (any wood) – Wood strips
(width 6cm, height 6cm, length any)
Outdoor Spray Laquer
(Acrylic paint / Acrylic paint sealer)
ø10mm Forstner Bit
Sandpapers 120-240 grit size
Hand drill (Drill Press)
(Japanese) Hand saw
Orbit sander (optional)
Belt Sander (optional)
What is the goal of Yardzee?
The goal of Yardzee is to obtain the highest score when rolling the 5 dice. The game is played in 13 rounds and the player with the highest score wins the game. A scorecard is used to keep track of each player’s score. Each player rolls the dice up to three times per turn in order to achieve one of the objectives on the Yardzee scorecard. A player must score once in each category which determines the number of points obtained. Once all categories have been scored the game ends and the player with the highest score wins.
If you want to know more, check out these detailed yardzee rules.
How many players can play Yardzee?
Yardzee can be played by any number of players. There is no limit to the maximum number of players. As this is a group game, it is assumed that at least 2 players will play. Each player needs to have a scorecard on which the points earned are recorded.
What is the size of a Yarzdee dice?
The size of the dice for Yardzee is not standardized. Yardzee can be played with dice of any size, however, for the best experience, it is recommended to use dice at least 6cm (2.4″) long along the edge. The best size of dice for Yardzee is between 6cm and 10cm (2.4″ to 3.9″) along each edge.
A 4×4 wood post is a good choice for a Yardzee dice. The length along the edge is 3.5″ and the posts are readily available in a store.
What is the difference between Yahtzee, Yardzee, Farkle and Yarke?
The following chart describes the main differences and similarities between Yahtzee, Yardzee, Farkle, and Yarke. Yardzee and Yarkle are outdoor games that originated from the original games Yahtzee and Farkle.
|Goal of the game||To collect as many points as possible through dice||To collect as many points as possible through dice||To score the most points by rolling different dice combinations||To score the most points by rolling different dice combinations|
|Game Rules||Yahtzee rules||Same as Yahtzee||Farkle rules||Same as Farkle|
|Number of players||Any number of players can play. At least 2 players||Any number of players can play. At least 2 players||Any number of players can play. At least 2 players||Any number of players can play. At least 2 players|
|Number of dice||5 dice||5 dice||6 dice (5 in some variations)||6 dice (5 in some variations)|
|What is needed / equipment||5 dice
|Indoor / Outdoor||Indoor/Outdoor||Outdoor||Indoor/Outdoor||Outdoor|
|Age range (recommended)||8+||8+||8+||8+|
|Dice size||16mm||Any size, recommended 3.5’’||16mm||Any size, recommended 3.5’’|
Table capturing the main differences and similarities between Yahtzee, Yardzee, Farkle, and Yarke.
How to make DIY Yardzee Yard Dice
The steps described below provide instructions on how to make homemade Yardzee blocks. Unlike most instructions that require a lot of power tools to make Yarzdee yard dice (which may not be part of a household – a miter saw, bench router) in this tutorial you will only need a hand drill and a hand saw.
The best choice of wood for Yardzee dice is a type of wood that resists well to outdoor conditions. These include, for example, teak, cedar, redwood, cypress, white oak, or fir. Although, these types of wood can be quite expensive and harder to get.
However, any available wood can be used. Additionally, you can treat the wood with tung oil, polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer to seal the wood and extend its longevity.
For this project, I used beech wood. I had some leftovers in the shop and besides, I like how beech wood looks. To seal the finished dice, I applied several layers of outdoor lacquer spray. The size of the dice is 6x6cm (2.4’’x2.4’’) and for the dice dots, I am using epoxy resin. As an alternative, you can easily use acrylic paint.
Each step can be done in various ways, which will be discussed below. You can make the dice in a few hours or you can spend days on them depending on how elaborate you want them to be.
Step 1 – Measure and cut the wood strips
First, cut the wood strips into squares (6x6cm). Draw the line on the strip and cut the wood pieces.
I am using wood strips that are 2cm thick so I need 3 pieces for 1 dice. To cut the strips I am using a Japanese hand saw. Preferably, use a wood strip without planed edges. Optionally, you can sand the edges of the cut.
TIP: Use a marking gauge to mark the line on the wood piece before you make the cut. This will ensure that each piece is exactly the same size. For cutting, preferably use a Japanese saw. The cuts are clean and precise and you will end up with a straight perpendicular cut.
Miter saw, circular saw, jigsaw
Step 2 – Glue the wood squares and make a block
Glue the squares on top of each other and create a block. Use a fence to align the sides of the dice. Clamp the wood squares and let the glue dry.
After the glue has dried completely, sand the sides of the dice. Sanding the sides will get rid of excess dried glue and will smooth out the inequalities between the individual layers (squares) of the dice. Use sandpapers of different grit sizes (120 – 240 grit).
Orbital sander, Belt Sander
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Step 3 – Make the Dice Dots
1) Drill the dice holes (pips)
Mark the dots on each side of the dice. Use a ruler or a ruler marking gauge so that each of the dots is perfectly aligned.
NOTE: The sum of the opposing faces of a dice equals seven. The 1 is opposite to the 6, the 2 is opposite to the 5, and the 3 is opposite to the 4.
Use a scratch awl or a punch to punch a hole in the marked places, and drill the holes using a ø10mm Forstner bit. You can use a regular hand drill for this, although if you have a drill press or a drill stand table, it will make it much easier and quicker to drill perpendicularly with more accuracy.
2) Color the dice dots
There are several options on how to color in the dice dots.
- Use colored epoxy resin
- Use colored acrylic paint
Out of the 2 options using acrylic paint is quicker. In comparison to epoxy resin, the acrylic paint dries faster and you can paint more dots at the same time.
Using colored epoxy resin:
Mix the 2 compounds of epoxy resin and add the desired dye. When filling the holes, be careful and make sure not to go over too much. The raw wood will suck up the epoxy into the grain (possibly even spread in the wood) and you will need to sand the dice more.
TIP: Use a syringe to fill the dots nicely with epoxy. Also, to avoid epoxy spread-out, you can seal the holes first before filling them with epoxy.
To get rid of the bubbles from epoxy resin you can use a hot air gun or a propane torch. This should be done as soon as possible after pouring the resin. Start from a greater distance and slowly approach in a circular motion. Make sure you don’t heat one area specifically.
Step 4 – Sand the Dice
Once the epoxy resin is fully hardened (acrylic paint completely dry) sand down all the faces of the dice. You can either use a hand sanding block or preferably an orbital sander or a belt sander, if available.
Also, soften all the edges. It is a good safety precaution. The edges are sharp and you could get easily injured.
Step 5 – Apply Varnish or Laquer
Apply a few coats of polyurethane, tung oil, varnish, or lacquer to seal the epoxy/acrylic paint and extend the wood’s longevity. Also, depending on the type of wood the protective layer will make the wood grain stand out beautifully.
This is how the finished dice look. Looks pretty good!
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So now we have a set of giant wooden dice. Are you ready to play Yardzee? Get the score card and let’s do it!