The Game for Today!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yahtzee - The Poker Dice Game!

According to the officials at Hasbro, Yahtzee was invented in 1954 by an unknown Canadian couple who called it “The Yacht Game” because they played it on their yacht with friends. Two years later they found toy and game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe and asked if he could make some sets to be given away as gifts for the couple's friends. Lowe had the vision to market the game and acquired the rights from the couple in exchange for 1,000 gifts sets. The complete story is explained by Lowe in the 1973 book “A Toy is Born.”

According to Lowe, the game did not do well initially, since the rules and appeal were not easily explained in advertisements. Eventually, he organized “Yahtzee Parties” where people could play the game and gain a firsthand appreciation for it. The idea paid off and word of the game spread quickly.

Although Lowe filed a Yahtzee trademark with the U.S. patent Office on April 19, 1956, the origins of the game can traced to a number of poker dice games. Among these are the Puerto Rican game Generala, and the English games of Poker Dice and Cheerio.

The E. S. Lowe company sold Yahtzee from 1956 to 1973. During this time, Lowe sold over 40 million games around the globe. In 1973, Milton Bradley purchased the E.S. Lowe company and the rights to produce and sell Yahtzee. The game has remained popular and according to current owner, Hasbro, 50 million Yahtzee sets are sold each year.

Try your luck for six of a kind and a Yahtzee!

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