Frequently Asked Questions
I thought Freethedice.com was free...
It is, it is entirely free to play regular yahtzee on the website. However, we do also have triple and painted yahtzee and a subscription is required to enjoy these two game types against other players, although anybody may play them alone without an opponent in solitaire mode. Subscriptions cost $5/month and also come with a couple of other minor benefits, find out more here.
The site says it's not secure or that it is insecure...?
Please do not panic. The "insecure"/"secure" comment refers to the transfer of data between the website itself and our server and we do actually handle log in "securely". You will notice that the homepage has httpS and the little padlock icon associated with secure pages. This means that your email and password are encrypted before they are sent to our server to log you in. However, once you are logged-in, the data that is transferred is mostly publicly accessible chat (games hall) and your selection of held dice (which will be literally an "on"/"off" for dice 1-5). So, as encryption really slows down data transfer, we do not use encryption for that data. Modern browsers are updated to display this as being insecure.
If you would like to discuss this further please do write to Admin about it. Thanks!
Why do you allow only one registration per person?
The main reason is social accountability. This is a games site yes, but also an online community where people should take responsibility for their behaviour under a given, recognised identity. Of course, most people are wonderful, but we have a need to prevent people from taking advantage of that and this is one way to do it ;). If anybody wants to "start again" they may do so but would first have to resign from their first account and then create a new one.
Why do I need to be older than 13 to join?
It is illegal to collect data about anybody under the age of 13, according to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, so in order to comply with that legislation and to avoid any potential issues, we restrict registrations to players older than 13 years of age.
How does the server clock work?
Freethedice.com is an online community consisting of players from all over the world, so timing will always be a problem. We decided to use the timezone of the server itself and it happens to be based in UK, so we follow London time. Whatever the time is in London, the site will follow the same time.
This means that twice per year the server will change timezones from GMT to BST (British Summer Time) and back, for daylight saving hours. Many other countries also using daylight saving hours although the exact dates vary from one country to another.
Does typing 'yahtzee yahtzee yahtzee' before every roll result in improved chances of success?
No, it does not. There are no such cheats in this game.
Why aren't special rules "sequence/roulette/etc" enforced by admin and what should I do if somebody breaks the rules?
Some people created additional games such as 'sequence' or 'roulette'. In response to player requests, we decided to publish these rules on the site to make things easier when starting new games but do not have the resources to develop the site so that each special rule set is enforced. It is the responsibility of the player starting the game to ensure that ALL players fully understand the special rules before he accepts the players and the game begins.
If a player confirms that he understands the special rules before the game begins and then refuses to follow them, then the admin team can attempt to resolve cases where players are not following the special rules. Where the player creating the game has not sought that confirmed, it is deemed his fault for not properly explaining the rules.
What do I do if one player CONSISTENTLY resigns from a game when he is losing?
DO NOT go onto Games Hall and start shouting abuse about it. You never know, there may have been a good reason. Instead, be calm, make a note to not play against that player and report him to admin. If you are able to tell us details of the games where you can see that the player has consistently resigned then that will help matters a lot. It is not 'cheating' to resign from games whilst losing but it is exceptionally rude and bad mannered.
How are winners picked in case of a tie?
In the case of a tie, the winner will be the player who played their turns the quickest.
I do not want to have tied games. Programmatically it creates a headache I don't need, so there must be a winner. I used to have a dice roll-off to pick a winner, but too many players complained that they lost a game due to "bad luck" :) So in the end we settled for picking the player who managed to achieve their score in the quickest possible time as this is a loose representation of who had the best achievement. Ultimately, it's a game where luck plays a huge role. If you lost on a tied score where someone else rolled more quickly than you, then that's unfortunate.
Why is there a turn timer in automated tournament games?
I want all players to be welcome to play in these tournament games. It's important. Some players are unable to roll quickly and take a while to play their turns due to physical impairments or some other reason. I want those people to be able to play. However, some people were deliberately taking far too long so I introduced a total turn time cap per player. The time was chosen based on carefully analysing live data and making sure the restriction was low enough to prevent those players from ruining other people's gaming experience whilst also allowing genuinely slower players to play.
Why did a player who was kicked beat me in a game?
The winners of games are picked by whoever scores the most points, regardless of how many turns that player took. This is the only fair way to do it. If a player reaches 250 in 10 turns then that is far more deserving of a win (even if that player then resigns or is kicked) than a player who scores 235 in 13 turns.
Why can't I use the word 'movie' in chat?
Hahaha, sorry to my American fellow humans. This was a joke left over from when I first set up the site. It amused me and I have left that and other language filters in the site to maintain some of the humour (however childish) and character and spirit that inspired the construction of the site in the first place.
What is the difference between XP points and Yahtzee Rating?
XP points refers to the original ratings system that was devised during a dream whilst sleeping on a train. It tended to bias towards players who had played the most games, but that was not really foreseen as being a problem at the time. During the rebuild in 2010, we decided that we should create an additional rating system that gives a better indication of skill as well as how long a particular player has been on the site. This is what is now known as Yahtzee Rating. We kept the old ratings system but renamed it XP points, and this is what is used when deciding when to award free dice sets to players.
The XP points are calculated using a very rigid formula:
my_rating = (total_num_players - 1) * 20 - (my_position - 1) * 30
(eg: where I finished third in a five-player game :
my_rating = (5-1) * 20 - (3-1) * 30
my_rating = 4 * 20 - 2 * 30
my_rating = 80 - 60
my_rating = 20
We cannot disclose the dynamic formula for calculating the yahtzee rating, but, we can tell you that it takes into consideration the following factors:
- the speed that you play your turns
- the 'difficulty' of the game and the 'difficulty' of obtaining your final position
- the number of players and number of rounds in the game
- your final position
- your final score
One final note: there is only ONE way to score negative points, and that is to resign or be kicked from a game that you are not doing well in.