Zilch > Strategy

Getting hammered by the Reckless CPU opponent? Struggling to make to 10000 points? Here are some strategy tips that improve your scores.

The basics

Here are a few ground rules for playing Zilch. This will stop getting hammered all the time.

  1. If you've only got one dice left, don't roll it. It's a 2/3 chance you will zilch.
  2. If you keep banking small amounts, they soon rack up to a large score.
  3. Banking 350 points it better than zilching.
  4. Rolling more dice increases your chances of rolling higher scoring dice. Leave as many dice in play as possible.

Roll more dice

The more dice you can roll the greater your chances of rolling multiples. Say you roll all six dice and get:

Dice with a 1 Dice with a 1 Dice with a 3 Dice with a 4 Dice with a 6 Dice with a 5

It is better just to take one of the 1's and re-roll the other five. Rolling 5 dice is more likely to get a set of three (or more) than rolling four, or three dice.

Your first roll doesn't matter

The opening roll of the game more or less irrelevant as you don't have any points to lose and the other players don't have any lead on your score. You might as well take a risk you normally wouldn't on the first roll.

Avoid the third zilch

If you have two zilches in a row already and you're about to make your third zilch, just bank the bare minimum of points and avoid losing 500 (on your third consecutive zilch).

Take your free rolls

Once you have scored some points from all six dice then you get a free roll. Make sure you use it! The worst that could happen is you get an extra 50 points from rolling a single five but you'll probably get more points than that when rolling all six dice again.

You could have a free roll

If you've just rolled the dice make sure you check if you can get a free roll from using all the scoring options. Sometimes no single score option will give you a free roll, you may need to use them all to get it.

Three two's is a crappy roll

Rolling three twos may look good as it uses up a lot of dice but it is bad for precisely that reason. 200 points from three dice is a pretty lame deal so if you have the option to take a single one or single five instead of three twos, go for it.