Design by Katja Stremmel | Published by AMIGO
3-5 Players | 30 min
In Dealt! players work to get rid of the cards in their hand in a trick-taking fashion. The last player left with cards in their hand is the loser. The catch: You don’t rearrange your hand.
Each player is dealt 7-10 cards depending on the player count. Players are not allowed to pick up their hand until they’ve received all their cards. That order is the order you must keep your hand in as you work to discard your cards. Players additional receive 2 face-up reserve cards used in-case you can’t play.
One turn consists of each player playing a card or set of cards from their hand. Each player must play a card or set of cards ranked higher than the previous play. The winner of the trick gets to play first on the next turn.
The rank of card sets is as follows:
1. Solo: a single card
2. 2-Straight: two cards in a sequence
3. Pair: two cards of the same value
4. 3-Straight: three cards in a sequence
5. Trips: Three cards of the same value
For straights, the card order doesn’t matter, but they must be adjacent to each other in your hand. Pairs also must be adjacent in your hand.
In the case you’re not able or choose not to play a card from your hand, you may select one of the two reserve cards in front of you and place them anywhere in your hand.
The deck also features special cards such as wilds, draw threes and stop cards that have different effects.
In the case you can’t play and have exhausted your reserve cards you have to play a chit. Once a player loses all their chits or is the last player with cards in their hand, they lose and everyone else wins.
Dealt! Is a reimplementation of the game Krass Kariert. This is a light-weight family game in the realm of Uno. As simple as the game may seem, it was like cracking a safe to figure out the instructions. Of course my 2 very impatient kids were busy flicking their cards at me the entire time so that may have contributed to the challenge.
Where Dealt! separated itself from other Walmart-style cards games is that it requires some abstract thought. Since you can’t move the cards around in your hand it forces you to read between the cards and consider the negative space. Working your hand in a way that allows you to play that whammy of a pairing at just the right turn is pretty cool. Building toward those more powerful groupings often leaves you with challenging decisions: Do you abandon your pursuit of that killer play or just try to survive and not lose a chit. OR do you push your luck in hopes of getting that knockout punch that’ll carry you into the winners circle.
I will say I’m not a huge fan of the “everyone wins but one player” end game. The player who devised the most clever hands typically unloaded their cards first and is deserving of more than a shared victory. As much as I detest it – that simple mechanic will likely appeal to more than not. If you like the idea of more winners – this is your game!
Dealt! aspires to sit on the shelf with popular games such as Uno and Phase 10, but requires a slightly higher attention level and game plan. It probably won’t be my first choice when reaching for a casual, family-level card game, but you could definitely do worse. For those casual gamers looking for more of an abstract challenge that still crave easy accessibility, Dealt! might be the opportunity you’re looking for.