Friday, July 29, 2011

Life, Gaming, and the Gospel: Farkle

I looked up Farkle on Wikipedia to do some research, maybe score a picture.  I wasn't expecting so much text of variants.
I was first introduced to Farkle while I was in Philadelphia about eight months ago.  I borrowed it from another Elder, Elder Brower.  I and my companion, Elder Butler, were hooked.  We'd come in from a busy day of proselyting, ready to take our two hour break around 2'o-clock.  We'd cook up some ramen, eat it, and then bust out the dice cup.

So what is Farkle?  Simply put, it's one of the many dice games out there.  You have six dice, and you're trying to be the first one to reach 10,000 points.  You do this by attempting to make certain dice combinations.  For example, '1's are worth 100 points, '5's are worth 50,  three '6's is worth 600 points, six of a kind is worth 3000 points, and you're always trying to get the best score possible.

Once you score some points, you have an option: either you can stay with the score that you have, adding it onto a running total, or you can reroll some of the dice that didn't score in hopes of getting a greater score.  If all six dice produce a score, you can continue the cycle indefinitely.  However, if none of the dice in a throw produces a score, you Farkle.  That means, however many points you had for that turn are gone.  For example, let's say you roll three '5's and two '1's for a total of 700 points.  You could either stay with that seven-hundred points, adding it onto your running total, or you could roll the last dice and hope for a '1' or a '5', to score a lot more points.

The only problem, and one that makes me shy away from most dice games, is that it's entirely luck.  If you're lucky, you win.  If you don't, you don't.  It brought out someone that I didn't know existed, someone who said, 'You've got three thousand points on the line.  You're really lucky.  Go ahead, roll that die.  You'll win.'
And then, I'd lose.  I just am not meant to be a gambler.

Neither is anyone else.  That's actually why God, through his prophets, has told us to avoid gambling.  It makes us believe that we can get something for nothing, and it never works.  If you've ever gone to a casino, you'll see a whole lot of people getting cleaned out.  Nobody ever wins.

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