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This unusual production was originally invented to fill a gap in a card print run: It's a set of only 11 cards, and a single hand last only minutes.
Pico is a fast bluff and skill game for two players (with two decks you can play with three players). For two players, cards are shuffled, every player gets five cards, and the remaining card is put face up on the table (the card is not used during that game, but its value is revealed). Now both play a card face down and reveal it simultaneously. Higher card wins -- unless it isn't too high!
Pico 2, the 1997 edition of Pico, has an improved set of 11 cards, with slightly altered numbers.
Pico consists of 11 cards, each with a different numeric value, and with from 1 to 4 scoring dots on it. Five cards are dealt to each player, and each lays down a card face-down on the table. High card wins and stays on the table, UNLESS... it is more than twice the value of the other card, in which low card wins. The play goes on until a player only has one card left, when players total their scoring dots. They then exchange hands and play again with the five cards their opponent had just used. After two rounds, the player with the highest score wins.
That is Pico in a nutshell, and it takes almost longer to explain than to play. Because each player knows exactly what the other player has in hand, it is really a matter of outsmarting your opponent. Play is lightning-fast, and the entire deck of cards fits into a shirt pocket. This is the perfect game to take along when you MIGHT want a quick game of wits with a friend, to while away a few spare minutes, or just to tuck into a pocket or purse.
The cards are of good quality and sport Doris Matthaus' usual jaunty hedgehog illustrations. You sure can't beat it for the price!
What's the point in a game with only eleven cards? Outsmarting the enemy! Pico II is a fast and simple game that can be played in less than a minute.
Five cards are dealt to each player; the last card is placed face up on the table (so you know exactly what cards your opponent has). Each player selects one card, and both a revealed simultaneously. The card that is higher wins, unless the cards differ by more than a factor of two, in which case the lower number wins. The winning card is placed on the table next to the player. The round ends after one player has won four cards. Each card has a number of pips on it; players score the pips on their winning cards. To even out the game after one round the players swap hands and play again.
These simple rules offer a surprising depth as you try to outguess your opponent and figure out if they will play high or low. The more you play against a particular opponent, the more you will learn about their strategy - but the more they will learn about yours!
The cards have the usual delightful Doris Matthus hedgehog decorations. With two decks Pico II can be played by three people. You can also play Pico II with a Java-aware browser on the Doris and Frank web site.