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Control Nut
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Store:  Card Games
Genre:  Auction & Bidding, Trick-Taking
Format:  Card Games

Control Nut

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): James Miller

Manufacturer(s): James Miller

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Product Description

You never thought that collecting nuts would be so addictive! Play as a partnership or play head to head as you attempt to be the squirrel in control.

Be careful though -- in order to gain control you have to give control. Experience the excitement as you exert your control. Gather nuts and become top squirrel.

Warning: With enough play you may become a Control Nut too!

You can download the rules for 2-3 players from BoardGameGeek's Control Nut page.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Miller

  • Manufacturer(s): James Miller

  • Artist(s): Rob Terrell

  • Year: 2005

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Est. time to learn: 10-20 minutes

  • Weight: 142 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.


  • 60 cards:
    • 4 suits (1-13 in each)
    • 8 control cards
  • instructions

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

Nuts for Control Nut!!!
May 05, 2005
Great game!! I like how each game is different depending on the what Control cards are used. If you like trick taking games, you will love this one!!!
Getting nutty
July 31, 2010

This four-player bridge-like card game will have you hoarding nuts in no time. If you’ve never played bridge, that’s OK, you just need to play one trial game with everyone’s hands face up to get the idea of what’s going on.

Mechanics: Two players are on a team and sit across from each other. Make sure no player can see each others hands after the cards are dealt and picked up.

By luck of the draw, typically a couple players will have powerful hands and others will not (just like in bridge). That’s OK. If your hand is weak, your teammate might have some high numbered cards and you’ll be there to support them. Both players on a team share the winning points and nuts!

At the start of the game you can bid for Control Cards. These are mostly used during game player to add multipliers, help win tricks and

Play goes clock-wise, each playing laying cards and following suit.

Pro’s: Pretty good replay value. Cute artwork.

Con’s: Must have exactly four players. If you’ve never played bridge, basic concepts will need to be explained in detail.

Fun, But Hard to Learn
January 01, 2006
Four college-educated people attempted this game over the holidays, and once we figured out how to play it, we found it to be a lot of fun. However, the caveat is -- the instructions are VERY difficult to follow. It took us several attempts to figure out trump, the bonus cards, and what type of strategy was required in order to win (not to mention the scoring!). We almost gave up, but we're glad we didn't. Once we got it figured out (after many false starts), we enjoyed playing.

The bonus cards make each round variable, especially the trump-changing card! Three of the college students who played with me (a middle-ager) -- all of them gamers -- commented that once they got the general idea of what the rules were, they were impressed with the strategy required to win points. The squirrel art is very humorous! And the game is very compact and portable.

Although it says "10 and up," I don't think a 10-year-old could play this with his friends. (A bummer, since I also bought this for my 10-year-old nephew). They'll need lots of adult help (or at least older teens) to learn the basics. If the game is updated, I'd recommend that the creator sit in with a group of first-time players and rewrite the instructions as the first-timers tried to learn the game. Just a few simple additional instructions and some clarifying examples would make a tremendous difference, and help players enjoy the game more quickly. We used some of the reviews on this site in addition to the instructions to help us figure it out.

Show all 4 reviews >

Other Resources for Control Nut:

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