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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Edition:  Wizard
Series:  Wizard
Genre:  Trick-Taking
Format:  Card Games


deluxe edition

List Price: $15.00
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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Ken Fisher

Manufacturer(s): US Games Systems

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Product Description

If you like Hearts, Whist, or any suspenseful card game of strategy, then you'll be charmed by Wizard! It's the ultimate game of trump... pure fun, challenging, and simply habit forming.

The rules are simple and easy to learn... mastering the strategy is the real challenge. Players bid the number of tricks they think that they will win in each round.

Make the exact number of tricks bid and you win points; too many or too few tricks and you lose points. The Wizard and Jester cards add a wild card element to the strategy.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Ken Fisher

  • Manufacturer(s): US Games Systems

  • Year: 1997

  • Players: 3 - 6

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 425 grams

  • Current Sales Rank: #111

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #154

Wizard has the following expansions available:
Wizard: Bidding Coins (Restocking)
(9% savings!)
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.7 in 35 reviews

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Great, easy to learn game
November 22, 2005
For years now I've enjoyed playing Wizard with both casual and more dedicated gamers. It's the perfect game for those who like to play card games like spades or hearts but don't want to invest too much effort. For someone who wants to put out effort to do well, however, they will be rewarded. Also serves as a great warm-up game for those long gaming sessions. The only drawback to this game is it can become a little chaotic when played 5 or 6 player.
Very Addictive Card game
September 26, 2004
Wizard is a challenge. I enjoy lots of card games, but Wizard is the first that I am ADDICTED to playing. Online or at home with friends, I love this game. An excellent choice for any card player.
Portable fund
April 24, 2004

Our friends and we have traveled together for many years and have played a lot of cards together. Once we learned Wizard and bought them a deck we have given up all other card games. We played Wizard in Cancun in the tavern each night. We played Wizard in Puerto Vallarta around the pool area every day for 7 days. It is great fun and each game is different with different strategy. Our children and grandchilren enjoy it as well. It is a game that allows all ages to play together.

Awesomely Addicting!
March 13, 2004

I love this game, both in real life and online. Incredibly easy to learn, but tough enough that you have to use your brain! Not only is it the luck of the cards, but how you play them. I enjoy the challenge of trying to outsmart the other players. Unlike Hearts or Spades, you have to be accurate with how you bid your hand, or you go down in score. By far and away my most favorite game of all time!! A game that I will always cherish!

The best card game in the world and online.
March 11, 2004

What can I say.... I thought this card game was so incredible that we created an online game and web site for Wizard Cards at

This is truly a strategy game the likes of no other card game. If you know the rules and have played the game, then you know that bidding 2 on two Wizards and taking a trick early on a non-trump 2 card poses a big problem with how you play your remaining cards. There are other strategies, playing Wizards on trump leads and leading back with trump, playing Wizards on aces to disrupt another players bids, etc. The truly good players learn how to set other players and still make their bids. A WARNING, this game is addictive.

Caution: Addictive Fun Ahead
March 09, 2004

Before you play Wizard for the First time, be fore warned that it is an extremely fun, ADDICTIVE game that will keep you coming back for more.

And when you can't get enough friends together to play, there's the On-Line version you can play with new friends from all over the world.

Fun, Fun, Fun.....

Dazzling again and again
March 08, 2004

As the description says - the rules are easy to learn, but you will be surprised over and over by the twists and turns this game takes. Just when you thought you had figured it out, you will find yourself amazed by what just happened.

Another great thing: there is hardly any round that's decided before the final hand, which makes this even more entertaining.

Just great.

Fun and Unpredictable
March 08, 2004

We were introduced 8 years ago by our Canadian snowbird friends, here in Arizona in the winter. We played twice a week with them, and bought our own deck right away. Then we introduced the game to our Montana friends and they love it too. They went out and bought a deck (not easy to find in the states). And we play with them once a week. Then we got our daughter and other relatives hooked on the game. I find the Wizard and Jester make the game a lot more interesting, as it is harder to count the cards, and an Ace of Trump doesn't by any means guaranteee taking the trick. We've had hours of fun, and will continue introducing the game to other friends. I just wish the game were easier to find in stores here in the states.

Great card game, and fine place to meet new friends.
March 07, 2004

This web sight is very easy to navigate and learn, the card game is easily learned and very fun to play. Any experience you have on this web sight will be rewarding and memorable. All players are willing to help teach new players the game, the game is learned fast but very hard to master. Great card game and fine place to meet new friends..Bob

by Ynnen
A phenomenal 'new' classic card game
February 22, 2004

Despite the arguments of some that this is not a revolutionary new game like Puerto Rico or Settlers, Wizard is the single finest 'traditional' card game in existence.

I have to disregard some of the reviews which state it isn't on par with Eurogames on the market. While the colored map and strategy options and cool wooden bits may be missing, it's almost like saying Chess was never that great a game to begin with.

Wizard takes classic card games and adds two beautiful new elements -- the Wizard and the Jester. By now from reviews and descriptions I'm sure you've seen that Wizards trump anything while Jesters will pass on any trick. The simple beauty of these two new cards add incredible depth, strategy decisions, tension and replayability to the game.

I would say that Wizard is the single most requested game I own, and is played by a wider audience than any other game I own. Yes, Puerto Rico is incredible. Yes Settlers is awesome. But I have no other game that my parents, my in-laws, my niece and nephew, my aunts and uncles, my friends and neighbors all want to play over and over again.

And that is saying a lot.

great all i can say is great
February 11, 2004

I was intoduced by my sky science teacher havent quit playing since this game is so fun you wont wanna do anything else.any game that is this fun and fits up to six players deserves some type of award.this game mixes three other games that i can think of and adds the element of the wizard and the jester making it even more insane.carfeful of the dreaded last round of no trump it will get you.WARNING may cause anger toward other

by Becky
January 12, 2004

This game is absolutley womderful and mind boggeling. I enjoy playing it and everyone that i have introduced the game to has gotten hooked. They end up going and buying the game within a week. I enjoy it and hope to never get bored with it. I hope you enjoy it too. I would request that whoever you are you go and buy it without hesitating.

Outstanding game of trump
January 05, 2004

One of the best card games I have played. I have shown about 30 differnet people how to play and have not found a single one who did not like it. Does not lose interest over time either. I have worn out four decks we play it so much. Fun for everyone.

Fantastic Game
December 31, 2003


Buy the German version you wont be sorry.
December 11, 2003

This is the best trick taking game out there. Just like Oh Hell, but with Wizards and Nars in it. My weekly session group plays the German version of this game every Monday night. That is 2-3 tables of 4-6 players each. (Only art is different between German and US version).

November 20, 2003

My family has been playing for a year now. We were introduced to this game by some close friends. We are sooooo addicted. Our close friends are moving to New Zeland for a year and we are now looking for some way to continue to play on-line. If you know of any sites please let me know !! This game is full of laughs and good times and brings family and friends together.

[email protected]

by Dave
A Great Game for lots of people!
April 28, 2003

We bought this game knowing already how to play OH Hell. This game is just as fun. It also comes with a score sheet which is a big plus. We cane play a couple of games of this as well as other games in a quick amount of time. I recommend this game highly. We have actually ended up buying 3 additional copies for our friends and relatives.

Great game
August 02, 2002

Our family loves this game. I had to buy one for my daughter who was moving to Wyoming. Recently we took it with us when we were visiting some Appalachian Trail hikers. They liked it so much that we gave them ours to take with them.

The wizards and jesters add a great twist that really frustrates those card counters in the game.

For Cut Throat Strategy - Play 3 Player
July 14, 2002

I love Wizard and have been playing it for years now. It is probably the most played game in our group over a number of years now. Our group likes to play three players as we feel with fewer players there is a greater amount of skill involved. I still find it tolerable at four, but once you get to five or six players you have entered a realm where there is a lot more chance to the play. Fun for some, but not as fun for me. With three players, you can directly affect both the other players with your card play- unlike with a higher number of players.

I've probably bought about 8-10 decks for myself because we've worn out the cards and I have given away about as many as gifts. Can't say that about any other game I've ever played. Give it a try - you won't be sorry!

by Terry
Fun, Addictive, the best card game ever
July 02, 2002

I love cards games and picked up Wizard in a game store on the owners recommendation. I have been hooked ever since. I have introduced Wizard to my family and friends and everyone loves it. I must have purchased over 20 decks as requested gifts. The great thing about Wizard is that the game is never the same. The strategies are endless. The game can be brutal because everyone likes to set the leader. It is also fun to see everyone develop their own style of playing. You can be aggressive, passive or somewhere in between and there are always options to add havoc to the game by using the Wizards and Jesters at different strategic times, i.e. taking an ace with a wizard when someone was counting on that trick. Most people think the Wizard card is the best card to have, however the Jester is without a doubt the best card to have in your hand. It can get you out of the lead, save you from taking an unwanted trick, and save trump. This game combines all the fun of hearts, spades or any other bidding card game and improves on it. Its an easy game to learn but is never boring to play. BUY THIS GAME!! YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!!!

by Todd
A great game combining strategy and luck
December 14, 2001

I hadn't played the game in about a year and then introduced it to a few other people for the first time last month. They loved it and were going out to get their own.

While several people have complained that the Wizard and Jester cards eliminate strategy, I did not find this to be the case. There are several times that you are counting on them to be played or not. I find that they merely add a strategic twist to the game. It is an adaptation of Oh Hell, but a good one. It is worth a few extra bucks to have a proper Wizard set of cards

Hare-and-tortoise dilemma
June 27, 2001

This is one of the most fun and captivating card games I have played. Other critics have compared it to the likes of Oh Hell and Up the River, but the Wizard cards add a special dynamic.

In terms of strategy, there is a real hare-and-tortoise dilemma: do you bid conservatively for tricks in the hope of slowly but steadily accumulating points, or bid rampantly--at the risk of being penalized for overbidding--in the hope of leaving your contenders reeling in the dust? Knowing just when to play your Wizard or Jester card is crucial.

A word of advice: take turns with the scoring; keeping track of all the penalties and bonuses (especially for 6 players) can be very hard on your concentration!

Challenging game strategy and fun
June 26, 2001

Once you start, it is difficult to put the game down. Amaze your friends, conquer your enemies, pretend you are the wizard and you can be! Certainly one of the best games I would play when presented with a hi-tech game or Wizard as a choice. I would highly recommend this game.

by Mary
May 02, 2001

I picked up this game idly in a game store, and tried it on the weekly card group of cousins--we LOVED it--it's addictive--we wore out two decks (my only criticism is that the cards are not of high quality) and now play with plastic decks that we made out of standard plastic decks plus blank cards we ordered from the plastic card people and marked ourselves. We're pretty expert card players (ages 56 to 61) and aren't bored with it after 2 years. I can't understand why it's so slow to catch on. Maybe it's the quality of the cards originally supplied? Anyhow, we're nuts about it.

Excellent tweak of a classic trick-taking game.
April 23, 2001

Some of the reviewers of this game took points off because they didn't like the 'uber-trump' nature of the four Wizards in the deck, or because it is clearly based on the classic game, Oh Hell.

I think the addition of the Wizards and Jesters is genius, and the best things in life always stand on the shoulders of their predecessors.

Long-time card players frequently find the Wizards frustrating at first, because they throw off the traditional card strengths of a trick-taking game with trumps. You can be dealt the Ace of Trump and not take a trick in Wizard. Therefore, the Wizard 'unbalances' play because traditional certainties are suddenly not certain.

I disagree. The beauty of the game is in getting to know how the Wizards and Jesters affect the game, and learning to bid accordingly. Wizards and Jesters are both very powerful cards, but I don't feel they unbalance the game, they just make it different. If one person gets a large amount of Wizards over the course of a game, they will have an advantage, but getting lots of good cards in any game gives a player an advantage.

Since the deck is only made different by the addition of Wizards and Jesters, you can also play any traditional trick-taking game with a Wizard deck if you want to shake things up a bit. Try Spades or Bridge--it's interesting (although probably sacreligous in the eyes of some).

I've worn through three Wizard decks of my own, and have given about ten copies as gifts. I have found that a broad range of gamers love Wizard, from the rare gamer to the card shark. Give it a try....

by Dana
Easily Learned Before One Game Is Over
February 05, 2001

Introduced to Wizards on an eight-day charter sailing the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. This game can be taught to anyone. It starts with a one card hand and then builds up from there. You learn the game and gain skill as each hand is played. Four of us (three had never played before) played every night of our trip and had a blast. There is strategy and luck of the deal. I picked up three extra decks just to give to friends who enjoy the occasional game of recreational cards.

An outstanding game for an evening of entertainment
March 20, 2000

This is such a popular game in our house that we are on our third copy--the other two have worn out! My daughters (aged 12 & 14) have discovered the strategy behind this, and have proved to be outstanding opponents.

The game is based on taking a previously predicted number of tricks, and utilizing appropriate strategies to do so. With each hand, each player is allowed to make a new bid, reflecting the strength or weakness of their hand. Each hand has a progressively increasing number of cards, with trump being changed at every hand. The presence of 4 wizard cards (universal high trump) and 4 jokers (universal low trump) make strategy a definite necessity for winning this game.

The scoring is based on the number of tricks taken, with penalties for an over or under bid.

What I appreciate most about this game is its universal appeal. We have even enjoyed it with grandparents, so its appeal is for all ages.

We seldom vacation or travel to any length without a copy of this close by.

Best Card Game in Town!
December 01, 1999

Wizard is a game that I have had for a long time and over the years it has slowly grown on me, and I can now say it is may favorite card game.

It is both simple and elegant at the same time. A novice can easily pick up this game but it will take some time to learn its subtle inner workings. If you like hearts, you will love this game.

Here are a few variations that you may find might spice up the game:

  1. Make the last hand count for double points--this gives those who are behind a 'fighting chance'.
  2. Cut-throat play... The total number of bids for a round cannot equal the number of cards dealt. The dealer bids last, and at their option, takes one extra card from the deck into his/her hand and makes his/her bid (not being allowed to make a bid that would 'make' the bids equal the number of cards dealt) and then discards one back to the bottom of the reserve deck. This ensures that at least one person will not make their bid.

Enjoy this game! Buy it today!

by Wendy
Simplest trick taking game around!
May 30, 1999

We play Wizard more than any other game!

It's very true to what is said about it... that it is probably the most addictive game ever.

We usually play with four, but have played with five and six.

If you are a Hearts player, then I'd recommend this as the next step to more adventure. As in hearts, you either take all point cards AND the Queen of Spades and 'go for control' (in which you get zero points and everyone else eats 26) or you try to sluff all hearts and the queen to someone else and end up with the least amount of point cards. But in Wizard, you score points by correctly predicting (at the beginning) how many tricks you think you will take. Wizards always win and Jesters always lose, so playing the highest trump is safe... only if there are no Wizards played that round!

Some of our gamers have said that it is difficult to catch someone way out in the lead and if you don't predict the amount of tricks (and are correct) right at the beginning, then you'll never catch up and win. But hey... this is from a guy who is a particularly BAD trick predictor... but is an EXCELLENT hearts player!

A strategy in Wizard is: if you have some Wizards but you're planning to take tricks via other cards and you see that it's getting to the end of the round and an opponent really needs to take a trick... you can dump a Wizard down and totally get him mad!

Very exciting... makes for a great night!!

A fun challenge to some card-playing traditions
June 24, 2001

Wizard is a fun game, but a large part of the appeal it has for me is the challenge it makes to some traditions of card-playing. The most obvious one of these is that winning tricks is necessarily a good thing. However, before I had ever played Wizard I knew a game called Up The River, which had a similar bidding and scoring system. The most interesting challenge is that posed by the special cards: the Wizards and Jesters. Learning how to adapt one's play to incorporate these cards and the likelihood of their turning up in other peoples' hands is a major highlight.

My friend has two Wizard packs and we recently played a variation using both of them. Not for the faint-hearted, as it took hours for 6 players to get from one-card hands up to those with 20 cards in them! Still, it was a lot of fun, and just goes to show how enthralling this game can be.

The illusion is shattered
October 02, 2000

I thought this was a very original game when I first played it. I bought a deck while on a boating vacation with my family and we played it every night for the rest of the trip.

I was disappointed to learn that this game is not original at all. It turns out that it is the same as 'Oh, Hell', 'Oh, Pshaw', or 'Blackout'. The only difference is that it has 8 extra cards (wizards and jesters) to make an even 60 card deck.

There are a few minor tweaks to the game to make it different. I just find it odd that Hearts and Whist are mentioned when describing the gameplay. I guess using the slogan "It's Oh, Hell with 8 more cards!" on the box won't sell the game. I still think it's a good game, but I feel that's mostly because it's built on a good game.

You could do worse, but you can do better
January 24, 2007

If you are set on playing a whist type card game then this may be up your alley. With the introduction of 2 new cards to the deck (the wizard and the Jester) it is more challanging then the classic standard deck card game. However, I find when friends and family want to come over and ask to play this one I am disappointed they did not choose something else. There are better games out there for the money (Bohnanza, Nottingham).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this game but with all the other choices available on the market you could do better.

by Rich
Can't see what all the fuss is about
April 06, 2004

I mean it's a good game with good card playing strategy involved but as far as being REALLY fun I can't agree with that. It's basically like spades but single player and has a few extra cards; the wizard and the jester. All in all it's a good game but nothing to write home about.

Familiar with Bidding, or Oh Hell? Play that instead.
October 24, 2000

This game is basically a variant of Oh Hell.

You start with one card and work up to dealing out the entire pack. I like the more evenly divisable 60 cards, which creates the oddity that for the last round all cards are dealt and there is no trump. I also liked their scoring system.

What I did not like is the name of the game, and one of the two extra cards in the game: Wizards. I consider Oh Hell to be quite a skillful game, and Wizards goes ahead and reduces the skill needed without adding to gameplay. Basically these 4 Wizard cards are an ubertrump that you can play at any time to take a trick. The other new card allows you not to follow suit and avoid taking the trick. Anyone holding these cards has an overly powerful hand unbalancing the game. The combination of playing without following suits and automatically taking or avoiding the trick... just annoying. I'd much rather have a Cavalier as the extra card, and just have longer suits.

by Mike
what's the big deal?
February 20, 2004

I don't think that this game comes anywhere close to the great games of this generation such as Settlers of Catan (and its many expansions), El Grande, or Carcassone. This game is no more exciting than Poker or Blackjack, and really adds nothing new to the world of gaming (at least not compared to the games mentioned above).

by Ken Fisher
O.K. I'm biased! I created the Wizard Card Game.
June 22, 2001

Yes, Wizard is based on Oh Hell!. But then 'Bridge' is based on 'Whist'. The bottom line is that I have received hundreds of letters and calls from people who love the game but can't find it. Marketing 'Wizard' without the big budget of a major game company has been our main concern. Sales continue to grow, mostly through word of mouth. Nothing in life is perfect but if you like playing cards you'll enjoy Wizard.

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