Named for the Turkish word for “fate,” Kismet is a dice game of chance and strategy that has been entertaining players since it was introduced in 1964. The rapid pace and heightened energy of this game have made it a popular pastime for both young and old alike.
How to Play Kismet
The game consists of scorecards and a cup for throwing dice, as well as five white dice that feature colored pips. The 1 and the 6 are black, the 2 and the 5 are red and the 3 and the 4 are green.
There are two sections on a Kismet scorecard: the Basic section and the Kismet section. Kismet has six categories, which are Aces, Deuces, Treys, Fours, Fives and Sixes. The categories are tracked in the Basic section of the scorecard and any of the boxes can be filled in any order, but once they do have a score, it can’t be changed.
Players in Kismet take turns rolling all five of the dice. They are allowed up to three rolls per turn and are able to keep the dice that they want and to re-roll those which they do not. After they have rolled three times, the player is obligated to enter a score for their turn. If the values of the dice aren’t something that they can use, they must enter a zero somewhere on their scorecard for that round. The game goes for fifteen rounds and all of the boxes on the Kismet score sheet must have a score in it by the end.
The Basic Section of the Kismet score sheet is comparable to the upper section on a Yahtzee scorecard in that they both require you tally your score based on the number of dice that you roll with the category number. So, if your final roll were to come out as a 1, 3, 3, 4 and 5, the score could be one point in the 1 category, six points for the 3 category, four points in the 4 category or five points in the 5 category.
Winning Kismet Combinations
In the Kismet section of the scorecard, players keep track of wins from a variety of dice combinations. These combinations are based on the hands in game of poker, so they will be familiar to anyone with a grasp of the card game.
Two pairs of the same colored dice or any four-of-a-kind combination is rewarded with a score based on the total value of all five dice in the roll. Three-of-a-kind is three of any number and this win is scored in the same way. A Straight is a consequential sequence of five numbers, which in standard dice is either 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 or 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Rolling a straight in this game will win you thirty points.
A Flush is when you get five dice, all of the same color. The numerical value of the dice don’t matter in a Flush, it’s entirely about the color of the pips. This roll will earn you thirty-five points. A Full House are three of the same number and two of another. To score a Full House, tally up the face value of the showing dice and then add another fifteen points. A Full House Same Color is the same thing, but all of the dice are the same color. Since each of the three colors are only featured on two numbers, this can be a tough hand to roll. If you do, score it by totaling all of the dice and then adding twenty points. Tougher still, four-of-a-kind means four dice with the same number. Take the sum of all five dice and add an extra 25 points in order to score this win.
A Yarborough can be thought of as an escape box. Whenever a player has a hand that doesn’t have a combination or number that is needed, the player can tally up the total of the five dice and put it in the Yarborough box.
Kismet is when you get the same number on all five of your dice. Take the total of all the dice and tack on another fifty points to score a Kismet. Because there is only one Kismet box on the scorecard, if another Kismet is rolled, the protocol is slightly different. First, they can put the score for the five-of-a-kind in whichever category it does fulfill. If a player rolled five 3’s as their second Kismet, for example, they could total the value of the cards, add their fifty point bonus and put sixty-five points into their 3’s category. The rest of the players automatically lose a turn and they all have to enter a zero in the empty box on their card that is closest to the top. This means that the player who rolled the second Kismet gets to keep the dice and start the next round. Any other Kismets that are rolled later should go through the same steps.
Bonus Points in Kismet
Once the six boxes of the Basic section are full, the player adds up their points in order to determine whether or not they will qualify for a bonus. If they scored between sixty-three and seventy points, they receive a thirty-five point bonus. From seventy-one to seventy-seven points earns a fifty-five point bonus, and anything over seventy-eight points in the Basic section is worth seventy-five bonus points. The sum of the Basic section scores and the bonus points is then recorded at the bottom of the scorecard. The points from the Kismet section are added to this total and the player with the highest point tally wins the game.
The energy and excitement of Kismet have made this game a reliable go-to for any party or social event. Regardless of whether it’s played by two or by ten, this fun and lively game will keep players engaged with the action that is sure to heat up whenever you roll the dice and tempt fate.