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Royal Turf
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Royal Turf


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Product Awards:  
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2001

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45-60 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): Alea

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Product Description

Ascot, in the summer of 1898. The world-famous racecourse, only a few miles from castle Windsor, is the scene of a royal racing day. And the players are in the middle of it, struck by racing fever! Which horse is the favorite? Does the long-shot have a real chance? How high are the betting ratios? Which bet promises the highest profit? But the race is already starting! The hooves fly, the crowd is cheering... and they're anxious... and....

Difficulty: 1/10

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2001

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Manufacturer(s): Alea

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 45 - 60 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 385 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • 1 game board
  • 7 horses
  • 21 horse cards (3 per horse)
  • 96 betting chips (4 in each color)
  • 6 color cards
  • 1 Pace chip
  • 1 special die
  • game money

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.8 in 13 reviews

by Ynnen
Excellent, light bidding/racing game
February 22, 2004

I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Royal Turf and how well received it's been by my gaming groups. The rules are simple and straightforward, but despite the first glace that this is a simple game, there is far more at work.

Players take turns moving horses around the track to get them to Win/Place/Show after each race. By observing your opponents' actions -- which horses they move how far, how they react to other player's movement of certain horses -- you can try to determine who is rooting for which horse. Since there is a 'zero' or fake bid in the mix, you can never be quite sure which horses a player is pulling for except through their behavior.

The game plays very quickly, and since you play several races back-to-back for a complete circuit, you are never truly 'out' of the game if you perform poorly in the first race or two. There is also often collusion among players to completely decimate a horse they believe the current winner is bidding large on -- which can sometimes have unpredictable results!

A fine game with excellent components, a quick learning curve and incredibly high replay value. Highly recommende.

January 23, 2004

This is one of the more fun games we have played in years. We played with my family over and over again. It was easy to learn and equally fun for a variety of ages (9 - 70). Highly recommended from someone who plays A LOT of different games. review is almost 50 words!

This game Wins, Places, AND Shows!
February 03, 2002

I must caveat this review by stating unabashedly that I am a huge fan of Reiner Knizia. Of the 14 Knizia-designed games that I own, I have never been disappointed with any of them. Time and again, Dr. Knizia delivers challenging games that generate a lot of fun.

That having been said, Royal Turf has become one of my favorite Knizia games. As he did on his classic auction game Modern Art, he has designed a game mechanic which puts value on objects that intrinsically aren't worth more than the paper they're printed on. I won't repeat the details here, except to note that the game can be explained to newcomers in less than a minute, and enjoyed over and over again. Twice, brand-new players have won the game.

How much fun is it? Well, I haven't played a race yet where players weren't cheering their favorite horses on. I've introduced Royal Turf to three different game groups, and each one has insisted on playing again. This is a great game for small parties and get-togethers.

I most highly recommend this game, for horse-racing fans and game-lovers alike.

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