You still have a couple of days to enter to win the cardgame Rowboat.

Tichu

  • Designer: Urs Hostettler
  • Year: 1991
  • Players: 3 – 10
  • Time: 60 – 90 minutes
  • Ages: 10 and up

This is a great card game – a little confusing the first few times you play it. First I’ll give the blurb since I find it a little tough to explain.

Partnership climbing card game — object is rid yourself of your hand. The deck is a standard 52-card pack with four special cards added. When it’s your turn, you may either beat the current top card combination or pass. If play passes all the way back to the player who laid the top cards, he wins the trick and can lead the next one. The card led determines the only combination of cards to be played on that trick. So if a single card is led, then only single cards are played. If a straight of seven cards is led, then only straights of seven cards, etc. The last player out gives all the cards he won to the player who exited first, and the last player’s unplayed cards are handed to the opposite team. Fives, Tens and Kings are worth points, with each hand worth one hundred points (without bonuses). The first team to 1000 points wins.

The four extra cards are a dragon, which is the highest single, a phoenix which is basically a wild card, a dog card that passes the deal to a partner and the mah-jong, which is a one and whoever hold it starts the round.

To be honest, I almost never played it again after the first two games. We usually play with six people, which breaks down to to teams with three players on each, although I would imagine it would play very well for a group of four, too. In general, I’m not good at cooperative games, but once I got the basics down and began to understand some of the strategy, I’ve come to really enjoy this one. In one way, it’s simple: get rid of you cards, but there is so much strategy. When do you want to take the lead, when don’t you, what cards are still out there, do you want to go out now or try to go out last? How you play the game actually takes more thinking the more you play.

I’ve only played it with adults. I don’t really see Amber, who is at the low end of the suggested age range really enjoying it. She’s not quite into card games yet. But if you have a group who likes card games, this would be an excellent one to add to your rotation.

The copy we play is owned by a friend and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon.com and Funagain games associate.