Farkas: A Dice Game

By Dick Oakes


Farkas is a fast and exciting dice game that could be of ancient Hungarian origin as the word "farkas" is the old Székely (pronounced SAY-kay) word for "wolf." Although pronounced FAR-kahsh in Hungarian, most European and Western players would use the Anglicized pronunciation, FAR-kus, for this game. The game could be named Farkas after the wolf's stalking to get close to its prey, and continuing to complete its goal with a final pounce when its prey has finally quit running.


There is no restriction on the number of players, but it is recommended that groups of seven or more players split into two or more groups.


A set of 6 same-sized cubical dice for each group of players. Each die has 6 faces, with faces having 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 spots respectively.


Accumulate at least 10,000 points (see End Play below).


A die with 1 spot, a die with 5 spots, or three-of-a-kind.


  • 1s = 100 points each.
  • 2s = 200 points (total) for three-of-a-kind.
  • 3s = 300 points (total) for three-of-a-kind.
  • 4s = 400 points (total) for three-of-a-kind.
  • 5s = 50 points each.
  • 6s = 600 points (total) for three-of-a-kind.
  • All 6 dice are counters = 1,000 points - called a "Farkas."


Scores may be kept by a designated person who keeps all scores (although individuals may keep their own scores if so agreed). All scores are subject to review.

To Begin:

All players roll one die; the player with the highest spot number starts (play out ties to determine first roll). The player who wins a game starts the following game.

To Open:

Each player must have 500 or more points in a single turn to be able to start the game.

Game Play:

  1. A player rolls 6 dice.
  2. As long as there is a 1, a 5, or three-of-a-kind, the player may keep rolling to accumulate points, saving out at least one counter per roll.
  3. A player may quit rolling at any time to end that turn.
  4. If a player does not roll a counter, all points accumulated on that turn are lost, and the turn passes to the next player to the left.

End Play:

When a player has accumulated at least 10,000 points on a turn, play ends except that each of the other players is allowed one more turn to try to better that player's score. The person with the highest total over 10,000 at the end of all turns is the winner. Because a person may stop at will, if there is a tie, the tie must be broken with another turn between those who are tied.


There is no four-, five-, or six-of-a-kind. Two sets of three 6s are a Farkas, and thus worth only 1,000 points. Often, all players howl the word farkas when one appears, which makes the game even more fun.


Long-time players tend to save their 1s (at 100 points each), but place their 5s (at 50 points each) back into the next roll to increase their odds of obtaining at least another 1 or a three-of-a-kind for a higher point score. Being too conservative by not taking chances usually does not accumulate enough points fast enough to win a game. On the other hand, taking too many chances and continuing to roll for a higher score, especially a Farkas, often causes accumulated points to be lost. Consistent winners learn to balance taking chances with holding on to points. In other words, "You gotta know when to hold 'em . . ."


Courtesy dictates that as dice are thrown and counters held, they be placed toward the player to the left.

Farkas Instructions © Dick Oakes, June 3 1996