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Coises’ Quintzee

Coises’ Quintzee is a computer simulation of a classic “Poker Dice” game which you can play in solitaire mode or against a virtual opponent. It should run on any computer that has Sun Java 6 or greater installed.

version 1.1 build 2 (install package for Win32; 3.53MB)

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Coises’ Quintzee

version 1.1 build 2

About Quintzee · Before beginning a game · Game play · Score history · Options

About Quintzee

Coises’ Quintzee, a computer simulation of a classic poker dice game, copyright ©2009 by Randy Fellmy (aka Coises), is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Random numbers for the dice are generated by Sean Luke’s MersenneTwisterFast class.

The author is indebted to James R. Glenn of the Department of Computer Science at Loyola College in Maryland for his paper Computer Strategies for Solitaire Yahtzee, which elucidates analytic techniques upon which the strategy of the computerized virtual opponent in Coises’ Quintzee rests. This program would not have been possible without his work.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Before beginning a game

Before beginning a game, choose the Game mode, Simultaneous games and Bonus quintuplets settings with which you want to play. These settings cannot be changed during a game. When you have selected the desired settings, click Begin to begin the game and then Roll the dice to begin your first turn.

Game mode

Choose solitaire mode to simulate playing alone, where the object is to reach as high a score as you can.

Choose computer opponent to simulate two-person play where the computer takes the part of your opponent.

Choose synchronized computer opponent to play against the computer with the computer being given the same rolls of the dice that you get. This lets you compare the way you play to the computer’s calculations.

Simultaneous games

You can choose to play from one to six games (columns in the scoring grid) simultaneously. The upper left corner of the scoring grid shows the total score for all the games you are playing at once; if you’ve already played games on the same scoring grid, it also shows the total for the entire grid. You continue to play on the same scoring grid until the number of games you’ve chosen to play combined with the games already played would exceed six, or until you switch from solitaire mode to one of the computer opponent modes.

Bonus quintuplets

Choose the way you want to score quintuplets when no “Quintuplets” boxes are open. The options are explained below under the heading Scoring quintuplets when all “Quintuplets” boxes are filled.

Game play

Game play is a sequence of turns, either by a single player in solitaire mode or by alternating players in the computer opponent modes. Each turn consists of rolling the dice from one to three times, then scoring the final roll in one of the boxes of the scoring grid. The points you receive depend on both what numbers you roll and where you score, though the order in which the numbers appear is immaterial. You must score every roll; with the exception of quintuplet rolls when all the “Quintuplets” boxes in the games you are playing are full, you can score any roll in any box, though in some boxes the score will be zero. The game is over when all boxes for the games you are playing in the scoring grid are full.

Rolling the dice

You can roll the dice up to three times in one turn:

  1. Click Roll the dice to begin your turn.
  2. If you choose, you can score the roll now; otherwise, continue.
  3. By clicking on individual dice, you can select up to four dice to keep before rolling again. You do not have to keep any dice, but you cannot keep all five and roll again. If you change your mind, click a die again to reverse the indication that it should be kept.
  4. Click Roll again to roll the dice you did not keep.
  5. If you choose, you can score the roll now; otherwise, continue.
  6. Again select up to four dice to keep before rolling again.
  7. Click Last roll to roll the dice you did not keep.
  8. Now you must score the roll.

Scoring the roll

Your turn ends when you score by clicking on an empty box in the scoring grid in a column for one of the games you are playing. In each available box, the program shows in grey the number of points you will score if you select that box, or a grey horizontal line if you will score no points by selecting that box.

Scoring in the upper section

The boxes in each row in the upper section of the scoring grid score the total number of pips on dice of the number indicated for the row: for example, if you roll two fours and three ones, you could score either three in any available box in the ones row or eight in any available box in the fours row. You would get no points for scoring in any other row in the top section.

In each game you are playing, you receive a 35 point bonus in the top section if the total of the first six rows in that column is 63 or greater, which corresponds to scoring a roll with three relevant dice in each row. For columns in which whether you will score the bonus is not yet determined, the program shows a number with a plus or minus sign before it in the “BONUS” row indicating how far your current total is ahead or behind what you would have if you had scored three relevant dice in each upper section box that is no longer available. Sometimes you can use this information to help you decide where to score a roll.

Scoring in the lower section

Boxes in the lower section of the scoring grid are scored based on patterns in the dice. Any roll containing at least three dice showing the same number scores the sum of all five dice in the “Triplets” row; any roll containing at least four dice showing the same number scores the sum of all five dice in the “Quadruplets” row; and any roll scores the sum of all five dice in the “Anything goes” row.

A roll in which three dice show one number and two show another number scores 25 points in the “Full House” row; a roll containing a sequence of four numbers (1-2-3-4, 2-3-4-5 or 3-4-5-6) with any fifth number scores 30 points in the “Four in a row” boxes and a roll containing a sequence of five numbers (1-2-3-4-5 or 2-3-4-5-6) scores 40 points as “Five in a row.”

A roll in which all five dice show the same number scores 50 points in the “Quintuplets” row.

In any lower section box except “Anything goes,” a roll which does not meet the criteria for the row gets no points.

Scoring quintuplets when all “Quintuplets” boxes are filled

While the “Quintuplets” box in at least one of the games you are playing remains available, quintuplets are scored like any other roll: you are free to score a roll in which all five dice show the same number in any available box following the rules of that box. However, if you roll quintuplets when the “Quintuplets” box in every game you are playing is filled, special rules apply. You receive a 100-point bonus if all the “Quintuplets” boxes in games you are playing were scored with 50 points; if any were scored with zero points you do not get the bonus. The remaining rules depend on the Bonus quintuplets setting:

  • use classic “Joker” rules:
    1. If any box in the upper section row corresponding to the number on the dice is available, you must score the roll in that row. The score is the sum of the dice (i.e., five times the number on the dice).
    2. Otherwise, if any box in the lower section of any game you are playing is available, you must score in the lower section. The quintuplets act as a “Joker” in that the normal criteria used to qualify for a non-zero score are suspended: even though quintuplets do not meet the ordinary requirements for scoring in “Full House,” “Four in a row” and “Five in a row” boxes, you still score 25, 30 or 40 points, respectively, if you choose one of those boxes. “Triplets,” “Quadruplets” and “Anything goes” boxes score the sum of the dice.
    3. Otherwise, you must score zero points in an available box in the upper section.
    4. In all cases, you score 100 points in the “Bonus Quints” row if and only if all the “Quintuplets” boxes in games you are playing were scored with 50 points.
  • score 100 + normal score:
    1. You are free to score the quintuplets in any available box following the rules of that box.
    2. You score 100 points in the “Bonus Quints” row if and only if all the “Quintuplets” boxes in games you are playing were scored with 50 points.
  • take an additional turn:
    1. If all the “Quintuplets” boxes in games you are playing were scored with 50 points, you must score the roll in the “Bonus Quints” row. This row does not contain ordinary scoring boxes which can be used only once: you can click in any column in the row to add 100 points to that game. Since a game continues until all the ordinary scoring boxes are filled, your game will include an additional turn.
    2. If any of the “Quintuplets” boxes in games you are playing were scored with zero points, you are free to score the quintuplets in any available box following the rules of that box. You do not score a 100 point bonus and your game will not include an additional turn.

Score history

Because the expected score when playing simultaneous games is not proportional to the number of games played (the more games you play at once, the better you can expect to do on each of the games), Coises’ Quintzee maintains separate statistics for each number of simultaneous games. According to the number of simultaneous games selected, the Score history area shows the last five scores and the best five scores you attained, as well as your average score and the total number of games of that simultaneity you have played. The average gives more weight to more recent scores: specifically, it is a weighted arithmetic average in which the score of each game but the last is given 93% of the weight of the score of the subsequent game.

Options

The Options button displays the Quintzee Options dialog, which lets you customize the game.

Unfinished games

The options in the Unfinished Games section let you choose what will happen if you close the program while a game is in progress. Normally, Coises’ Quintzee offers you the option to save unfinished games so you can resume them when you next run the program. Remove the check mark beside save unfinished games if you never want to save unfinished games.

When save unfinished games is checked, Coises’ Quintzee normally asks you whether you want to save an unfinished game when you close the program, and also whether you want to resume a game you saved when you start the program. If you always want to save unfinished games without being asked, uncheck the prompt before saving box; if you always want to resume saved games without being asked, uncheck the prompt before resuming box.

Coises’ Quintzee always saves games as of the beginning of your turn. If you have already rolled the dice but have not yet scored the turn when you close the program, your turn will begin again with a fresh roll of the dice when you resume the game. If you close the program during the computer’s turn, the computer will complete its turn before saving the game.

Speed of game play

The options in the Speed of game play section allow you to control the pace of the game. Check automatically roll the dice at the beginning of each turn if you want to skip having to click Roll the dice at the beginning of each turn. Use the dice throw time slider to change how fast the dice appear when rolled. (The times listed are the approximate time taken for all five dice to appear in an initial roll.) Use the computer opponent action time slider to control the speed with which the computer opponent holds and rolls dice and scores its play. (The times listed are the approximate time the results of each action remain visible before the next action is initiated.)

Computer opponent detailed analysis

Detailed analysis maximizes the quality of the computer opponent’s choices near the end of a game. There will usually be a significant delay in beginning the computer opponent’s first play using detailed analysis; subsequent plays proceed at normal speed but continue to use the results of the detailed analysis. The options in the Computer opponent detailed analysis section control whether and when Coises’ Quintzee uses detailed analysis.

Remove the check mark beside enable detailed analysis if you do not want the computer opponent to use detailed analysis at all; or use the time limit for detailed analysis to set the maximum length of time you are willing to wait for the computer to begin its first play using detailed analysis.

When Coises’ Quintzee begins a detailed analysis that will cause noticeable delay, it shows a button labeled thinking with a countdown timer below the dice. You can click this button if you don’t want to wait for the detailed analysis: the computer opponent will then use a faster but less comprehensive method to choose its play for that turn.

Detailed analysis is computationally intensive, and the more open boxes remain on the scorecards, the more processing is required; hence, it is only practical to use this method when very few open boxes remain. Typically only two to four turns will be left when detailed analysis begins. Coises’ Quintzee uses the time between the end of your turn and the time at which the computer opponent would normally make its first decision (to score, to hold particular dice or to reroll without holding) to begin detailed analysis and to estimate how long it would take to complete the analysis. If you set the dice throw time and the computer opponent action time very short and the time limit for detailed analysis very long, it is possible the program will never be able to use the full length of time allowed for detail analysis because it will not be able to complete enough of the analysis to estimate the remaining time before its regular decision time arrives; but because the time required for detailed analysis drops dramatically with each turn, chance will have it that detailed analysis for the first turn eligible will usually proceed in much less time than is allotted regardless of your settings.