1. Be somewhat certain you can get the 35 bonus before you fill up 4 of a kind unless you are totally winning and are just looking for a safe game.
2. The 35 bonus requires an average of 3x per ever single category. Aiming for 3x in each will fail. Aim for 4x on some 5s, and 6s and worry about the 1s, 2s, and 3s at the end. With this in mind, the 1s square is a pretty good box for busted draws as it is pretty much worthless.
3. The chance square should be used for busted large straight draws. Unless very high busted 3,4 of a kinds later in game can get you high chance scores.
4. Chase for 5 of a kind (Yahtzee) early in the game. Don’t be afraid to use it as a filler for busted draws as you run out of turns. On that note, this rule is the same but looser for 4 of a kind and full house. If you don’t score for 4 of a kind or full house, realistically, will probably lose.
5. Promising high initial rolls of 1s or 2s or other combinations of low numbers, unlike 6s, should be used to chase full house, 5 of a kinds (Yahtzee) or perhaps even straights. Busted full house, 5 of a kinds can be used to fill 1s and 2s, etc.
6. Though it might be tempting to re-roll everything if you get a bogus initial roll, consider keeping the highest number for high 3 or 4 of a kinds. On that note, don’t be afraid to re-roll everything if there is nothing, but always consider the board. For example, keep a 3 if you’re thinking about small straight possibilities, etc.
7. Though expected value is difficult to mentally calculate especially with three turns ahead, it is useful to be aware that it is unwise to go for 4 of a kind or 5 of a kind when you have a full house even if it is 3 sixes.
8. More expected value: If you roll a small straight with a double (2 5s or 2 6s), don’t reroll for the 35 bonus points. Get points for small straight.
9. Banking on rolling 3 of a kind for any specific number in mind is a bad idea as it is statistically infrequent. If you get a pair of 5s but you already have 5s, maybe good idea to go for 3 of a kind instead even if you are hard headed with the 35 bonus points.
Any other heuristics you use? share in comments! (: