Game Shows Wiki
Peter Marshall
Hostesses/Dice Girls
Teresa Ganzel
Denise DiRenzo
Kelly Grant
John Content
Mark Daniels
Pilot: 7/1/1987
Syndication (Daily): 1/11/1988 – 9/1988
Ralph Andrews Productions/
Bernstein-Hovis Productions
ABR Entertainment

"From Trump's Castle/Showboat Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City… great shakes, it's Yahtzee! (insert celebrities' names). And here is the star of Yahtzee, PETER MARSHALL!"

Yahtzee, the popular dice game turned into a TV game show.


Two teams of three players (whom were named according to a common bond, for example "The Rollers" or "The Slapshots") played against each other along with a panel of five celebrities in a game show version of the classic dice game.

Main Game[]

Round 1[]

The team in control starting with the challengers got to choose one of six Family Feud/Outburst-type questions (for example, "a game show with a lady host" or "a food product with the word fruit in its name"). When a question was chosen, host Marshall asked it to the panel, who then wrote down their responses. When they finished, each player starting with the team captain would try in turn to match the stars' answers (ala Match Game). The other team would then do the same thing with one of the remaining five questions. The team with the most matches won the round. If the teams had the same number of matches, a tie-breaker involving only the team captains was played. In the tie-breaker, Marshall would read a question and the first team to buzz in (the buzzers on this show were called "The Yahtzee Lock-In Lights") got a chance to match at least one celebrity. If successful, he/she won the round for the team; otherwise, the other team got a free guess.

Rolling the Dice[]

Winning a round gave the team captain a chance to roll five dice as in regular Yahtzee. The dice were in a huge clear plastic cup given to the player by the "dice girl", and each die had a number replaced by the word WILD. If "WILD" was landed on, that die could be turned into any natural number that showed up on the table. The object of the game was to get five of a kind (aka a "Yahtzee"), or to make a big combination with the dice. If no Yahtzee was made, the closest combination to a Yahtzee was used to build on in the next round (Ex: if three 4's, a 2, and a 6 were rolled, the captain would then try to roll two 4's later on; if two 2's, two 1's, and a WILD were rolled, the captain had a choice of taking three 2's or three 1's).

Three rounds were played but with two exceptions in the other two rounds.

Round 2[]

The losers of the first round played first and chose from the remaining four questions, leaving the other team with a choice of three. If the winner of the second question round also won the first round, that team rolled to build on the combination made from the last round, but with all five dice (as opposed to using only the remaining dice as in regular Yahtzee).

Round 3[]

The losers of the second round played first and chose from the remaining two questions, leaving the other team with the last question. The team that won this round had the option to roll the dice or pass them to the other team. The team that played this dice round got two rolls instead of one. If the winner of the third round also won round 2, that team built on the combination made from the last round.


The first team to make a Yahtzee, or the team closest to a Yahtzee at the end of three rounds (in other words, one team with four 1's beats the other with three 4's) won the game. If the game ended a tie (one team had four 6's and the other had four 5's, for example), a sudden death question was played, with the same rules as the tie-breaker in the question rounds. The first team to match at least one celebrity won the game.

Bonus Round[]

The bonus round went through two formats in its eight-month run.

Format #1[]

The winning team faced the word YAHTZEE. Under each letter was one of three dollar amounts:

Amount Letters hiding this amount
$5,000 4
$10,000 2
$25,000 1

Host Marshall read one final question to the five-celebrity panel. As in the upfront game, each team member tried to match the celebrities' responses. Each match was now worth one roll of the dice for a maximum of five rolls. The winning team always started with a one-roll guarantee.

After finishing the question portion of the round, the team captain would then roll the number of rolls earned. If the team rolled a Yahtzee before running out of rolls, the team split the pre-selected money amount; but if a Yahtzee was made on the first roll, the team won $100,000. If a Yahtzee was not made, $500 was awarded for every die used toward a Yahtzee for a maximum of $2,000 (example: if four rolls were earned, two 2's were rolled as well as a 1, a 5 and a 6, and one more 2 came up on the last of the three succeeding rolls, the team earned $1,500).

Format #2[]

The bonus was altered after two teams had won the $100,000. This time the first-roll Yahtzee was worth twice the pre-selected amount, for a maximum of $50,000. The $100,000 grand prize was only won if a team rolled five "WILD" dice on the first try (which was how the first $100,000 prize was won).

Any team that remained champions for three consecutive games won a vacation and retired undefeated.


Yahtzee suffered from backstage battles, financial problems (keeping the producers from paying some contestants), and low affiliate clearances, all causing the show to be doomed to cancellation.

The series has not been rerun since its cancellation.


Based on the game of the same name by Lowe, Milton Bradley, and currently Hasbro.


Yahtzee at Game Show Garbage

YouTube Videos[]

Promo with clips of the 1987 pilot

Trump's Castle era, with original bonus round rules
The full January 11, 1988 premiere episode
Most of an episode with a $100,000 win (average quality)