Variations of Zonk

As with many games, Zonk has collected a number of variations and different styles of play over the years.

Wheaton College Zonk

This variant developed at Wheaton College in Massachusetts in the early-to-mid 1990s. We had a user kind enough to submit full details of this variant. Read the full rules of Wheaton's 5-dice Zonk variant.

This style is significantly different from the original rules, with differences such as:

  • It is played with 5-dice instead of 6.
  • "BH" is referred to as hits.
  • A "Royale" is referred to as a Straight and can be worth either 150 or 50 points depending on whether it is 1-5 or 2-6.
  • No "Colors"
  • Very intricate dice etiquette (Spaz and Space).
  • Hit integrity: A user must always take more "hits" than a previous turn in which they earned "hits."
  • A "Zonk" is referred to as Bloades.
  • A "Train Wreck" is refered to as a Zonk if it's the player's first roll or a Vanna if it's a subsequent roll.
  • No requirement to hit 300 to stop. Getting into the game (Dialing in) requires 250 instead of 500.
  • "Slim Pickin's" is not used.
  • Some additional scoring rolls, such as Devil Hit, Square, and Magic Number.
  • Reaching 5,000 points launches a Halftime Show.

Detroit Zonk!

Full details are outlined on Cap'n Jack's Guide to Zonk!

The most notable differences are as follows:

  • "BH" referred to as "Bonus" or "B".
  • A "Royale" is referred to as a "Straight" and is worth only 1000, instead of 1500 points.
  • "Colors" isn't mentioned—instead, there is a rule about "Colored Pairs".
  • A "Train Wreck" is referred to as a "Six-Die Zonk!" In addition, there is an optional rule that allows the player to make a new game rule.
  • "Slim Pickin's" is not used
  • There is a concept of "Permanent Rules".
  • It seems that players may stop even if all 6 dice are scoring.
  • "Spazzing" is a rule that states a player forfeits their turn if any dice fall from the playing surface during the first roll.

University of Wisconson - Eau Claire

This variant is pretty wildly different. It fuses a deck of Fill or Bust! cards into the game, making for some very different game play. Read the full rules of UW Eau Claire Zonk variant.

Albany Style Zonk

This is a variant of Zonk used in an Albany, NY league. The basic scoring is as follows, but there are a number of rule differences. Read the full rules of Albany Style Zonk.

  • 5's are worth 50 pts.
  • 1's are worth 100 pts.
  • Three of a kind are a hundred times the number , except for 1's ,which are 1,000 pts.
  • Four of a kind initiates a "social" no additional points are scored , for example four 4's would score 400 pts., and four 5's would score 550 pt's. All players receive a hit.
  • Five of a kind are a thousand times the number, except for 1's, which are 10,000 pts.
  • straights are worth 1,500 pts.