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You're Bluffing!
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You're Bluffing!

English language edition of Kuhhandel

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Product Awards:  
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1985

Ages Play Time Players
7+ 30 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Rudiger Koltze

Manufacturer(s): Ravensburger USA

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Product Description

650 going once, 650 going twice, 650 sold! The highest bidder gets the pig!

Be a clever auctioneer and bluff your way through cattle trades to earn yourself the most valuable animals.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1985

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.3 in 23 reviews

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June 26, 2006

This game never gets old! I will provide cons and pros, and a description.

Description: There are 10 animals of four cards each, ranging from 10(chicken)-1000(horse). Also there are money cards (0,10,50,100,200,500 gold). At the beginning of the game everyone is delt four 10's, one 50, and two zeros. Everyone pulls one animal card randomly; the player with the highest animal card is first, and the game goes clockwise. The animal cards that have been pulled out are then put beck into the animal deck, and shuffled with the rest. After this they are placed in the middle of the table, and the first player flips a card. He/she then becomes the auctionere, and the rest of the players bid for the animal. After this the second player becomes the auctionere, and the others again bid.. This continues for a while. The donkey (500-animal) brings in inflation, and the first time it is flipped over everyone receives a 50--second time everyone receives a 100, 3rd-200, 4th-500. The donkeys are auctioned off like any other animals. After a while, some players will have the same animal as another one. If i have pig, bob has a pig, and it's my turn, i can opt to challange for bob's pig instead of auctioning off an animal. I then put my pig forward, and bob puts his; since I am the challanger, I put an x ammount of money down. Bob only sees how many cards I put face down for his pig; he does not know what the value is.. Here is where the bluffing comes in, as If i put down 5 cards, they could be all zeros and tens, or they could be 500's. Bob then either accepts the money, and I get the pigs, or counter challanges my challange, and he places some money face down on the table too. If the second exp happens, then we exchange the money we have put down face down, we count it, and silently the individual who put the more money down will take the pigs, or what ever animal is challanged. This challange takes up my turn. (If by chance we put the same money, we go through the challange again.... if it's the same three times, the defender keeps the animals.) After all the animals are auctioned off, only challanges are in the play. It is important to acknowledge that at the end of the game you will only have sets of 4 animals, and money will not matter. The points of the animals that you have received four of are added up,(exp:4 horses of 1000 pts=1000pts-while 4 chickens of 10pts= 10pts) and multiplied by how ever many animal groups you owe. This is why it is important to have a mix of low valued and high valued animals: With having the 4 chickens and the 4 horses, you have 2020 pts, while just having the horse is 1000pts.

Pros: Great ideas!! great play, extremely fun!! It is expected that you remain steady with a poker face after each challange, but this is hard because sometimes you might be completly ripped off, and sometimes you might feel pitty for the other player and want to laugh at him or her. First two three games take about 45-60mins to play, but as you get better, you can play a game through with experienced You're bluffing players in 20 mins. This makes it a great filler, and the game is full of strategy, luck, fun, and trys of having poker faces. It is a blast!!

Cons: 1/10 (this is literal) people will not find the game that exceptional, and 1/20 or so will not like it. Otherwise it is a must buy game! Anyone from age 8 to age 183 and a half will enjoy it!

Buy it!

by BPeat
Quick to learn, fun to play, never ending strategy
July 21, 2004

This game works - within minutes players are into the game enjoying themselves to no end. Everyone is involved 100% of the time, you either trying to sell (for high or low - twist) or trying to buy (for low). How much would you pay for a chicken?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In my top 5 games, and I have a lot of games.

Just plain fun! Who needs more? I don't!
March 25, 2004

I have to admit, if you open the box, you might frown a little. 'These cards are for kids.'

Well they might look that way, but the game sure isn't! I introduced the game about one month ago in our pub. Yes in a pub! Introduced it to some friends. As we played a bunch of people watched us play and laughed at us. 'Look at them with their little childfarms.'

Let's just say most of them own the game now too!! Hahaha

Such a simple looking game, with so much in it!

You'll have times you really don't know what your next step will be....

Easily accessible and good fun
June 24, 2003

I find this to be a great game. Out of the the games I own this one is the easist to bring out with non-gamers. Its quick and the rules are simple, yet with hidden depth. The horse trading makes the end game very exciting and its a game that makes people feel anybody can win. It a real winner.

Bluff me!
April 29, 2003

I have to admit, I didn't have high expectations and hopes for this game when I opened it up. The cards looked kind of goofy - and who uses cards for money?! (Of course, many games do - but I love little plastic coins) And it was in a long line of new games that I had just purchased, so we were playing games just for the sake of getting them played.

You're Bluffing was the first game in this series that we played twice, immediately. And then we played it again the next day. It was simply fun! My family and friends, who aren't always keen on all my board games, loved it on the spot.

Your Bluffing comes with 2 decks - a deck of 40 animal cards (4 each of 10 different animals), and 55 money cards. Each animal card has points on it, ranging from the chicken, at 10 points, to the horse, at 1000 points. The object of the game is (surprise!) get the most points. The only way to get points is to get all 4 of the animals of each set. So, once I get all 4 chickens, I get 10 points total, while if I get the four horses, I'd get 1000 points. The catch in scoring is that if you get 2 sets, both sets are doubled, 3 sets, all three sets are tripled, etc. Rarely will a person get more than 3 sets.

So getting the chickens might be worth it just to double the points of your other sets that are worth more points (like the horses).

Each player starts out with 7 money cards, 1 worth '50', 4 worth '10', and 2 worth '0'. The animal cards are shuffled and placed in a stack down on the table. On each turn, a player has 2 choices: They can auction off the top card, or then can 'cattle trade'. Obviously, when the game starts, auctions are the only option.

So, in an auction, you turn over the top card, and everyone starts yelling out bids, each higher than the previous. When the bidding stops, the auctioneer can either buy the card for the final price - to the person who bid that price!, or take the final amount from the person. There is no change in the game, so if you bid '30', and only have a '50' card in your hand, hand it over - you're out of luck!

The game starts with a small amount of money. However, whenever a donkey card is turned over (They're worth 500 points), more money is handed out to all players. The donkey is then auctioned off like a normal animal. The first time the donkey is turned over, everyone gets another '50' money card, the second, a '100', and the third and fourth, a '200', and '500'. So, by the end of the game, there is a lot of money flying around.

The 'cattle trading' is the core of the game, however. If, and only if, you and another player have the same type of animal card (i.e., you both have 1 chicken card), you can offer them a 'cattle trade.' First of all, you slide 1 or more money cards face down towards them. If they accept your offer (having no idea what it is), you 'buy' their animal from them. This is where the '0' cards come into play. If I slide 2 cards to you, have I slid 2 '0' cards, or '250' total? If the player decides he doesn't want the offer (for whatever reason) he can make a counter offer. He slides some cards to the other player, and they both keep the cards given. Whoever gives the higher amount, gets both animal cards!

If each player has 2 of each animal, they are making a trade for both animals. The game is over when all the animals have been auctioned off, and all animals are in sets of 4. Then, points are totaled, and the game is over. Our games lasted a little over an hour. But what a fun hour!

Bluffing is a big deal in this game, as well as bidding. Decisions are crucial - should I bid a lot of money on this card, because I'll be giving that much money to the auctioning player? Should I bid high, and then have someone offer me a cattle trade and take my card for a small amount of money? What animals should I bid for, trade for?

Bluffing is a great aspect of the game. One time I offered my wife 5 cards for an animal. Little did she know that all 5 were '0's. She assumed that she'd be getting some money out of the deal, but didn't. That was the high point of my bluffing, as I was burned many times by others. Bluffing is so crucial to the game - should you take what they offered, hoping that it's a good amount of money you can add to your own bidding in the next auction, or are they offering you no money or very little?

We had a blast playing, bidding, and bluffing. The game went very quickly, and we all wanted to play again. We played with 4 and 5 players, and enjoyed both of them.

I highly recommend this game. It's inexpensive, easy to teach, fun to play, and has great replaying value.

- Tom Vasel

by Alan
Simple and Clever!
December 11, 2002

As an avid gamer, one of my biggest problems is finding a game that is both simple enough to teach my non-gamer friends or relatives, doesn't last for hours, has little luck involved, and yet is clever enough to make for good strategic competition. This game has all the above, and is thus one of my favorite all around games.

The game is about 15% luck, the rest, pure outwitting and outbluffing opponents (and yes, contrary to some other posts, there most certainly is bluffing in this game, though I agree that the name 'You're Bluffing' is retarded).

In any case, throughout the game, you are developing strategies to win, calculating your opponents strategies, playing your opponents against each other, and thinking, constantly, about what cards (animals) you need to win, and what animals must you prevent others from obtaining. Best of all, even one who is losing can come back and win with some clever cattle trades (kuhandels as the original German version calls it).

I gave the game 5 stars becuase it can be played on so many levels, it is so easy to teach, and the strategic decisions on what and how much to bid are intense. I have seen people spent 15 minutes deciding what to put down for a cattle trade only to lose by $10. But unlike other intense games, the rules and basic strategy are simple enough to get. My 12 year old niece loves the game (and has won), as does my mother-in-law. Also, it is a fun social game, and even when played by cutthroat people bent on winning, it is still a game you are smiling while playing.

Highly recommend this game. It gets better every time you play.

Cute Cards, Exciting bluffing, fun to watch, easy to learn
September 29, 2002

This is one of the card games I enjoy most and I decided to write a review for it. (My first review) I'd like more people to know about and enjoy this funny auction/bidding game. Great for any kind of gamers. I consider myself a serious gamer, yet I enjoyed this game a lot with 3 other non-serious gamers during my cruise vacation.

The thing is, you can never really predict what your opponents are thinking and bidding. I have bought 2 horses ($1000 each) for $170 (I was proud with my bluffing skill) and I also lost a cattle trade of two pigs when I bet $650 and my sister counter offered me with a $660.

I was also once holding only one horse and one cow as I enter into the cattle-trade phase, but still, I managed to complete both sets. Therefore, there is no absolute winner as long as the game is still playing. I agree luck is a factor in the auction phase, but only to a certain extent. You can still win all the big-pointers back if you are skillful in your bidding/bluffing.

And I enjoy watching others trading too. Looking at their ways of cheating, faces turning red and blue, laughing and joking around, it is absoultely fun. I would say though, this game is ideal for 3-4 players. When playing with 5 players, it might take too long and occasionally a player may have no one to trade with for the entire round.

My suggestion for winning the game:

-Keep as many money cards on hand as possible. (i.e. offer with less money cards, don't use up your 10s too soon)

-cattle-trade with people you assume with less money

-treasure the small-pointers (chicen, goose and cats) as they can multiply your final score

-don't bid for animals that are more than $160 in the auction phase.

-Always keep more kinds of animals when entering the trading phase. For me, I always have at least 6 kinds. (Give me more choices of sets to complete)

-Giving up the big-pointers (horses, cows and pigs) might be a good idea in exchange for big cash.. (especiall if u have 3 of a kind of these, you can always win it back in the 2:2 trade)

Give the game a try, and you will surely enjoy it no matter u are a casual or serious gamer.

April 02, 2002

Absolutely great game. Easy to teach to new players, after 3 rounds of gaming everyone is enthoustiastic and bloody fanatic to win the game.

Bluffing, yelling, speed, tactics: It has it all. I bought it for the good price and the funny pictures, it now is one of my favorite games.

by Tom
Lame Name, Great Game!
February 20, 2002

From the bland name and the cartoon looking animal pictures on the cards, this looks like a childs game at first glance. But looks can be deceiving! This has become my favorite new card game. Its fun with just three players and an absolute blast with 5 players.

Many people have compared this game with Bonanza but I think that it is much different and better than Bonanza. I gave Bonanza a glowing review after I had played it about a dozen times but it simply collects dust on my game shelf now because of some flaws that made it increasingly less fun. The first (and by far the biggest) is how easy it is to cheat, by either secretly rearranging your hand or by taking more coins than you deserve for a cropping. I have a few people in my group who cheated very effectively and were only discovered because they bragged about how easy it was to get away with. I must admit that I even started cheating to stay competitive. On the inverse, my group of liars and cheaters can find no way to cheat in Your Bluffing, and even better, the itch to be deceptive is scratched just by playing by the rules.

One other flaw of Bonanza is the time it could take between turns with 5 or 6 people playing. Some players were so hell-bent on getting the perfect trade they would take up to 5 minutes wheeling and dealing and if you had nothing to offer them you would simply count the dots on the ceiling till they were done. In Your Bluffing turns are always quick and interactive. They involve either auctioning off an animal or doing a cattle trade. I wont get into the details of these because other reviewers already have.

In summary, the game is a blast, and has Bonanza beat hands down in our opinion. The rules are so simple but the strategies are very subtle and the luck factor is minimal. We added one optional rule to enhance the fun every time a golden donkey is flipped everybody cheers and takes a drink. Pick up a copy of this game (which happens to cost less than a 12-pack of beer) and have 4 friends over and I guarantee you a very fun night.

by Fred
Best Card Game Around
January 07, 2002

I'd say this is better than Bohnanza because it is less mechanical and much more insidious in its bidding and trading pros/cons tradeoffs. Plus you always have the pack of jackals at the gaming table ready to pounce on the successful high bidder of the last item, to clean him out in horse trade. It's a bad, nasty world out there.. farming never looked so tough ;-)

The game is a blast, easy to explain, and much more involved than it seems at first sight. You may feel you're paying a lot for a couple of decks of cards, but it's worth it. You're buying a winning mechanism. Plus the pictures are big enough that kids would enjoy it, too.

I really like it with 5 players. It's a mess then.

Great bluffing and auction game
December 13, 2001

The German Kuhhandel has been translated to You're Bluffing. In the game, animals are auctioned and can be traded with other players using a simple bluffing procedure. Overall, the game is easy to learn, but winning is not so easy. It is one of the favorite short games at my home, and liked by grown-ups and children.

Don't bet the farm!
November 01, 2001

Wow! Yet another game I held off on buying because I hadn't heard too much about it. I'd nearly purchased it when I read how much Bruno Faidutti appreciated it, but fear of the unknown meant I never made it a priority. One member of our game group picked it up, and when I saw it, I had to play it. (Very occasionally I would read an obscure comment about this game, and people would rave about it saying it was one of the best card games since [page scan/se=0122/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=20]Pit!) Well, we played it that night and had an absolute blast, and that was with the bare minimum of 3 players!

The game sounds too simple to be that good. All you do is either auction off the next animal from the card deck or horse trade. When I read reviews of the game, I didn't understand the desciption of the horsetrade and so I didn't understand how fun it could be! Everyone has a limited amount of cash, and that cash keeps going back and forth between the players. If I flip a goat, and you end up with the winning bid of 110 gold, I can take the gold and give you the goat, or I can take the goat and pay you your price. So sometimes you want to bid high if you think the auctioning player wants it badly, because then you will be the one who gets paid. But bid too high and he'll sell it to you and reap the profit.

And horsetrading? Wow! Basically you bid your cards--face down--and the player decides to either take them (without knowing how much it is) in payment for the animal, or he counterbids. If he counterbids, you both flip over the cards and see who bid higher. Highest bid gets an animal and then they swap bids! In other words if you bid 180 for a cow and he counterbids (without knowing how much you bid) 170 on the cow, you get the cow for 10 gold even though he may have paid 140 for it in an auction! (Talk about tense...) Do you bid low and hope he accepts, and you get a steal? Do you bid high and hope he bids high, but a bit lower than you so that you get a steal? Do you use your zero-value cards? Should you play 1 card wth a high value to psych him out or do you play a fistful of low cards to try and confuse him? This game is all about clever bluffing, bidding, and second-guessing. But don't let that scare you off if you don't like bluffing games. I've played it with non-gamers and they loved it. Tense sighs erupt from the players. Pounding heads on the table after bidding 10 gold too low is common. Shouts of 'Nooooooooooooooooooooo!' are often heard in this game.

Don't be as slow as I was to pick this up. It rivals [page scan/se=0027/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Bohnanza as one of the best card games ever made. Simple to learn, but tougher to master (due to the human element), this game is, in my mind, a true classic.

Kuhhandel redux
December 16, 2000

I wrote the last review of Kuhhandel here, but I am forced to re-evaluate and raise my rating for this fine little game. Yesterday I had the chance to play the game with three people new to the game, and they loved it! This immediately bumps up the perceived value of this game to me. Casual gamers and armchair strategists alike can revel in the sheer nastiness of this little auction game.

My wife, who came in last place, said that it reminded her of Pit, and that she would be more than willing to play again. Since she rarely likes to play games again where she did badly, this is indeed an event worth noting. Pit is a game that has always held a warm spot in her heart, so the comparison was high praise indeed. Another of the players usually dislikes card games, but she too found this one to be a very social and fun game.

I highly recommend Kuhhandel as an addition to any family game shelf.

Great game -- and I am not bluffing
July 22, 2005
This is truly a fun card game and one of our family's favorites. The somewhat silly artwork creates the illusion that it is a very lighthearted game. But it is a much deeper game with several layers of strategy that can only be discovered upon multiple playings.

Just a quick example, the first few times we played we auctioned off all the animals before beginning to cattle trade. In a later game, I had a chance to get a second horse for virtually nothing because the player just before me paid way to much for it to prevent me from getting it. I knew how much money she had (not much) so I called a cattle trade and got the horse dirt-cheap.

One of my biggest complaints is late in the game when there are only a few animals that aren't in quartets. There really is no strategizing, as players just bid all their money and whoever had the most wins the cattle trade. A better rule would be count remaining money in the final tally. This would change things dramatically, making final offers much more tactical.

As far as the bluffing, the game is probably misnamed. There really isn't a ton of bluffing involved. It's more calculating and second- guessing with a dash of bluffing for good measure. This game really would probably fit into the category of money management, as that is the key to success.

At the price, this should be in everyone's game library.

by Henry
It's a collections and trading game
May 03, 2003

This is another of the really good group games. The war gaming groups will most likely go, (Huh?). However the fans of highly interactive games will enjoy this production. People that take their gaming seriously may be a little upset by the kingmaker issues at the end. However most games have this aspect to them and possibly are not always viewed as a problem. After all is said and done at least the kingmaker got to participate. I like this game for large groups of social individuals. The more the merrier the lesser the number of players the more the game starts to unbalance.

Remake of Wrott & Swindlers
January 28, 2003

I had been looking for Wrott & Swindlers for some time, so I'm please to see it re-issued. I prefer the collectibles/antique theme of the original, but barnyard animals is better than nothing.

This version has an improvement where players can either choose to auction off a remaining item or attempt to buy somebody's collection, so there is some more variability. On the other hand, some of the newer rules didn't help and our group reverted back to the W&S rules.

Pure Fun (but can take a while)
August 06, 2002

This game, in my experience, is a blast to play, and is a real crowd-pleaser, especially with casual gamers. The rules are easy to explain, and game play is fast with amusing cards. In all of my games, there was definitely tension and plenty of surprises in the cattle trading phases, and auctions were fun. The only downside is that the game can take 90 minutes or more to play. The reason for this, though, seems to be that, during the first part of the game, there is a tendency to fool around in the auction phase, waiting for more bids, kidding around. If you tell everyone that, when they serve as auctioneer, they should really keep the auction moving with frequent interjections of 'going once, going twice ...' etc., the length of the game is much more tolerable. If you don't do that, the game can drag and get a less positive response from the crowd. If you can control the auction lengths a bit, the game is 5 stars.

Insidious little trading game
September 14, 2000

Opening the box, it is easy to be underwhelmed by Kuhhandel. There are about 100 whimsically illustrated cards, 40 of them devoted to various animals (in sets of 4) with varying values, and 55 money cards in several denominations.

What sets this game apart, however, is very much in the gameplay. On most turns, the active player will turn over an animal card, which is put up for auction. When bidding ends, the active player can either sell the animal to the bidder for the bid cost, or more nastily, can pay the bid amount to the high bidder and keep the animal.

The active player can also opt to instigate a 'horse trade,' where he puts one of his animals up against a matching animal from another player. Both players make secret bids, and when revealed, the high bidder gets both animals, and both players exchange their bid money.

What makes this second option so insidious is that each player is provided with a couple bluff cards with a zero value. What appears to be a large bid might in fact be a bunch of bluff cards, causing the opponent to overbid badly.

If two players have matched sets of 2 identical animals, the horse trade is for the whole set. Since nobody can affect a completed set this can be a make-it-or-break-it proposition. The game continues until all 40 animals have been collected into their respective sets of 4, and then scoring occurs.

This is the final straw in this evil little bale of hay. Cash is worth nothing toward the final score. Instead, the values of each group are added together and then multiplied by the number of completed sets a player has. Having several low-scoring sets can be even more devastating than just having one or two high scoring sets.

This is a game that stands up well against other auction games, such as For Sale, Modern Art, Medici, and Ra. The gameplay is quick and the strategies are surprisingly deep. Highly recommended.

Excellent bidding game!
April 18, 2000

Our group enjoyed playing with a more recent edition of Kuhhandel, from FX Schmid.

At the beginning of the game, bidding sessions are relatively quick and easy. However, as the game goes by, you will see furious bidding sessions as players fight for cards to complete their series. You will also see lots of trading between players. The point system allows for players having lower value cards to compete with the one who got the most valuable series.

All in all, if you like bidding games, this one's not to miss!

by hanseat
Great game (and in fact it translate to cow trading)
November 03, 2008

It is a great game to play and you will have a lot of fun. We have played it many evenings for hours. It might seem a little bit slow at the beginning but it becomes much faster and more engaging at the later stages of the game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Fun, but has serious kingmaker problems
August 10, 2002

Up until the last few plays, I really like You're Bluffing. Its great fun auctioning/bidding/buffing with horse trades. The cards are cute, of high quality, and have a great theme.

The trouble is that you can be caught in a situation at the end of the game where a player has no way to win. For example, you only own incomplete sets of low point chickens and cats, while one or more opponents have higher point complete sets. You've lost the game, but you're required to continue to play because you have incomplete sets, yet still have control over who wins. It ends up being a popularity contest.

This left a very bad taste in my mouth. Remove the kingmaker problem, and you have a really fun, light game, 4 stars. With it, You're Bluffing is a nicely produced, easy to learn game that won't last more than two or three plays.

What bluffing?
June 25, 2002

While we had fun playing this game a few times, it was not the best game we've ever played. Still, it is enjoyable.

But where is the bluffing? Nowhere in the game do you get to bluff. Sure, you hide the amount you offer for a cattle trade, but since you aren't required to announce the amount that you offer, there's no bluff involved.

Since each game we played lasted 90 minutes or more instead of the advertised 30 minutes (there's NO WAY to play this game in 30 minutes, unless perhaps you use the optional rule variant for dealing out animals at the start), perhaps the bluff is on us.

Because the game dragged on so long, nobody was anxious to play it again.

by Ken
What's the Big Deal?
May 28, 2002

Hmmm. Our group of four very experienced gamers tried You're Bluffing this weekend and came away less than impressed.

The rules seem so simple that we doubt we misread them, but something didn't seem right. We went around auctioning animals and having cattle trades. Money exchanged hands, but we found no point in bluffing, and the cattle trades definitely were not exciting.

Is the bidding on cattle trades supposed to go back and forth, or it is just one bid for either person involved in the trade? Is there supposed to be excitement generated by blocking people from obtaining quartets of animals? There doesn't seem to be enough money in the game to provide incentive for blocking buys.

Overall this game has been disappointing, but if anyone out there can shed any light on what we might have done wrong while playing it, please do. I bought this game based on FunAgain reviews and would be happy to give it another try.

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