Have you ever been frustrated when you are playing Rummy that your opponent’s get all the melds on the table? Well Crazy Chicken gives you an opportunity to get revenge. Crazy Chicken is not a true game of rummy, but more one that borrows a lot of aspects of Rummy and tweaks them just enough to create an entirely new game. The goal in the game is to get the most points, but the set up and play of the game are slightly different.
The game is played with a deck of 110 cards, these include cards with values of 6 through 9, as well as 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. The number on the card doesn’t only tell you how many points you get if you are the player with that set melded on the table, but it also tells you how many cards are available with that number value. The game also includes two draw piles as well as two discard piles. The discard piles work slightly different than normal Rummy, in that you can only take the top card off of either of the discard piles and none of the cards beneath it. To begin the game each player starts with three cards.
On your turn you are able to draw two cards to begin your turn. You have an option of four different spots to draw these cards from, in that you can draw from the two draw piles or either of the two discard piles. Regardless, you will draw two cards After drawing your two cards you have an option. You may either play a set, or discard one card. Sets are made up of two or more cards of the same rank, but of course there is a twist. If your opponent already has a set of that number on the table, you must have a larger meld than your opponent to play that number. If you do have a set of more cards than your opponent and you play it, then your opponent MUST discard their meld of that set! This makes interesting decisions in the game early on. Do you want to play a small meld knowing eventually your opponent might get a larger meld of that same value later and make you discard your meld, or do you want to try to increase the size of your hand?
The game ends when either one person has melded 6 different number sets, both players combined have melded 9 number sets or both of the draw piles have been exhausted. At that point the hand is scored. Keep in mind for scoring whoever has the meld on the table only gets the face value of one card from the meld. For example, if you have 7 cards of the 20 value as your meld, you only earn 20 points, not 140! All the points are totaled and the person with the highest total is the winner.
Overall this is a rather unique version of the Rummy genre of games and one of my favorites. I like the strategically aspects of having to decide when to play your melds knowing there is a risk of them being worthless by the end of the game. The scoring mechanism is good too, this way blow out games are rare. The general suggestion is to play four rounds to have a complete game, and that seems to work well. This game will probably not have a strong appeal with people who are not into Rummy, so I do lower my rating slightly. I will give this game an 8 out of 10 rating.