Simple, easy to learn, fast play (60 minutes), but puzzling to play! Do you go for high hand, or the top of a pyramid? The more you play this game, the less you understand its strategy. That is because the secret to winning is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing!
Come early, and have someone teach you to play. Then completely ignore any strategy advice you are given! The Mad Mike strategy works surprisingly often!
Heats will consist of 4-player games (5-players only if necessitated by lack of games).
Semifinals will ideally consist of 5-player games, but perhaps 4- or 6- depending on the number of semifinalists. The goal is to create a 5-player final.
Runners-up will not advance, unless needed to provide 16 semifinalists, or four finalists.
The GM-specific tiebreaker will be the margin of victory between the winner and runner-up in a game. If still tied, high die roll advances.
Table talk is allowed and even encouraged among players (not spectators). However, new players would be wise to do exactly the opposite of whatever advice you are given!
Version Differences: More recent versions of the game have a couple differences from the German version. The following rules will be used:
1. Players begin with 30 florins regardless of the number of players.
2. The 5-florin bonus spot is not paid.
3. The payment for high hand is as follows.
4-players: (30, 20, 10, 0)
5-players: (30, 20, 10, 5, 0)
6-players: (30, 20, 10, 10, 5, 0)
We once had four finalists argue over who gets to play red. If players cannot agree over choice of colors, the youngest player chooses first. However, any player who brings their own custom-painted playing pieces can always use those colors. (Purple with pink polka dots is reserved for the GM)
Additional Prizes: A copy of the Collegiate Crew board game will be given to the highest ranking Finalist whose last name is not Cornett.