Hol's der Geier
1999 German edition
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from 7 customer reviews
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A quick bidding and bluffing game; however, unlike many card games, this is a game of skill and steely nerves. All players start with the same hand. Spiel des Jahres nominee 1988.
I read that Raj was out of print so when I saw it at a local game store I grabbed it and I'm really glad I did. What a neat game. Everyone has cards numbered 1-15, turn over a tile a nd bid simultaneously. Your strategy doesn't always work but what fun planning it. I'll be playing this in the parlor when I'm old and gray. Maybe then my wife will let me win once in awhile. Great game!
I purchased this game several years ago in a differenly named and themed edition called Raj. I was sad when it went out of print, until I learned that this was the exact same game under a different title.
The game is simplicity itself. Each player has an identical set of cards, numbered 1 to 15. There is a set of scoring cards (tiles in Raj) as well, which range in value from a high of 10 down to the horrible -5.
Each turn a score card is turned up, and players make a single card bid for it. In the case of positive numbers, the card is taken by the highest unmatched card. In the case of negative numbers, it is taken by the lowest unmatched card. After all score cards have been taken, the highest score wins.
So, sounds boring, right? It isn't. The whole unmatched mechanic is the key to the game. As an example. If four players all secretly bid their 15 card to win the 10 score card, and one player uses her 1 card, the 1 card player will take that valuable 10 score. This is a game of subtle bluffing and out-guessing your opponent. This is a game with almost as much subtlety and derring-do as a good game of poker.
Highly recommended for those wanting a quick, simple, and classic game.
I don't even remeber where I found RAJ, but now that I see it's out of print I'm glad I bought it; I only wish I took better care of the cards!
For my non-gamer friends, this was one game they actually took a liking to. (Well they also like Apples to Apples, but I'm glad they like Raj which let's us 'serious gamers' have fun too!)
I always get calls telling me to bring Raj to the next get-together. We even adapted Raj into a drinking game, making card counting in the latter rounds challenging. :-)
Another review here mentioned a near identical import (Hol's der Geier). I highly recommend getting it!