So, is it a Saturday night and you and a group of two to four other friends are sitting around the house looking to kill some time before going to dinner or out somewhere else? Do you want a game that is taught quickly, but allows for people to discover their own strategies while playing? Well then this is a perfect game for you. When I describe it, the game will seem rediculously simple, but think again after playing a few hands and seeing how often you win.
The deck includes cards with number values from three to thirty five on it. There are also eleven point markers for each player. Before the deck is put into play nine cards are randomly removed. You will see how this adds to the game later in this article. On each round, a card will be flipped over face up from the deck. On your turn you can choose to claim the card, if you don’t you must play one of your chips on the card. This continues around the table until someone either claims the card voluntarily or is out of chips and must claim the card.
The scoring in the game is rather simple. At the end of the game, you all up the values of the cards you have taken (which by the way are placed face up in front of you as you take them), but if you have a sequence you only score the lowest card in the sequence. That is where the issue of the missing nine cards comes into play. Not every card will have a card of a touching value in play! After adding up your points, you subtract one point for every point marker you have in your hand. The person with the lowest total wins.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, just think of one situation that can arise. Say one of your opponents has the 35 card and the 34 is flipped up. It will actually help them to claim the card, but would hurt anyone else (unless they have the 33). The question though is if you have the 35 how long do you wait to claim the 34? Each time someone passes they have to play a point marker which will help lower your score if you are the one to claim the card, so obviously you’d want a lot of point markers on it. The thing is though, your cards are face up in front of you. People will realize what you are trying to do, but at the same time still be nervous about taking a high point value card. The question then becomes for your opponents do they try to stop you from getting all those point markers and eat the card themselves? Remember again, the more point markers you have the more chances you can pass on high value cards so that weighs into the decision as well. See…….. the strategy is not as simple as you might have believed.
This is a card game you can find for under $10 at most stores and online retailers that have it. It’s a filler game, which I mean it is used to kill time. It’s unlikely people will want to play more than four or five games in a row. An average game lasts 15-20 minutes so this is a good time killer for an hour or so. If you have a group of friends that enjoy very basic games to learn, this would be a good addition to your collection.