Seven Trick-Taking Games that Deserve a Reprint! (Article by Chris Wray)

I recently asked the Trick Taking Guild which out-of-print games they’d like to see reprinted. More than 120 members voted on more than 30 games. I promised the Guild I’d publicize the list, so here I am satisfying that promise! I mention below the seven trick taking games the Trick Taking Guild most wants to see in reprint, giving a brief description of each one.

The top vote getter in our poll by far was Nokoso Dice, with 65 votes. Nokoso Dice was a finalist for the Trick-Taking Guild’s annual award in 2020, losing out only to The Crew. In many ways, Nokoso Dice feels traditional: players must follow suit, they’re aiming for an exact bid, there is a trump suit (and a trump number, in fact), etc. But the big twist is that there are also dice in the game! Players draft the dice, which can be played just as cards are. And their bid is equal to the pips on their last dice (and they must always have one dice left unless the bid null). The game is a big hit among trick taking fans, and even among people aren’t obsessed with the genre.

Next up was David & Goliath, which is in the Trick-Taking Guild’s Hall of Fame. It received 42 votes. David and Goliath is likely so revered because, as its name implies, it rewards low ranked cards too. The winner only takes the cards he didn’t play in the trick. That card that won is given to the player with the lowest card, regardless of suit. After all tricks are played, scoring begins, with each player scoring the face-value of the cards in the suits that they only collected one or two of, and one point per card for suits with more than two. This hasn’t been in print for quite some time, and the prior versions all had some production issues, so even those few people who have a copy might be willing to upgrade.

The number three vote getter was Scharfe Schoten, which is now nearly impossible to find. It received 41 votes. The bit catch here is that the cards have different colored backs — a mechanic becoming increasingly common, but which is still rare! — and player bet on which suit they’ll take the most of and which they’ll take the least of. The game is a real gem, but because of the suit backs, it is hard to proxy with other games. This was originally published by Zoch, so I assume a decently large number were printed, but it is devilishly hard to come by on the secondary market, going for sky-high prices when it is available.

received 35 votes. It is also in the Golden Trickster Hall of Fame. Long available in Mü & More and then Mü & Lots More, this modern classic is now really difficult to find. Mu has a couple of twists — there are two trumps, plus changing partnerships from round to round — and has long been one of the more revered trick takers at five players. There was even an app available a few years ago! This seems like it could earn a particularly dedicated following if it were paired with some of the other trick taking classics, as it has been in the past, but it would do just fine on its own too.

One game that made the list is Voodoo Prince, which is in print in Japan and Korea, but which only previously received a German printing. There was a U.S. release under the name Marshmallow Test, but that appears to have sold out, and it also removed a couple of the mechanics that gave Voodoo Prince its joy. It received 34 votes, and it was the first ever recipient of the Trick-Taking Guild’s annual award. Designer by Reiner Knizia (a name that helps sell games), Voodoo Prince would appeal to families and gamers alike. The twist here is that a player goes out when they capture three tricks, and they score points based on how many players went out before them. The best position to go out is second-to-last; the player going out last doesn’t get many points at all. It is a clever scoring mechanic that makes the game and rewards clever card play.

Potato Man is another Zoch game that is long out of print, and which goes for high prices when it hits the secondary market. It received 32 votes. This is one of the few games where you can‘t follow suit. Additionally, the lowest ranked cards beat the highest ranked cards. It is an extremely clever game that is a personal favorite of my family’s, and of the games on this list, it towards the top in terms of family-friendly appeal. It had a Brazilian version, but I don’t think this has ever been a release in speaking countries.

The last game on this list is also the newest game: The Green Fivura. It received 29 votes. I personally would predict it will be a finalist in the Trick-Taking Guild’s annual vote next year (which is the first year of its eligibility). Designed by Taiki Shinzawa, considered by many to be the best designer out of Japan, the twist here is that each card has a “Green 5” as the back. Players must follow suit, but they can play that Green Five anytime they’d be able to following that rule. When a player wins a trick, they keep the top card of it face up, and the closest to 25 without going over gets more points than the players below them. Going over means losing points, so this has a “Price is Right” feel. Thus, having the Green 5 at your disposal is helpful since it allows you to dump high cards and manage what you win with. It is a fun, family-friendly title that always has a fun ending. (Update: CMYK has announced it will be releasing it next year!)

As I said above, these were just the top 7 games. About 25 more games received votes. You can see the full list at the poll in the Trick-Taking Guild.

Dear publishers, consider giving these a reprint! The trick taking scene is growing. Any one of these could be a commercial success!


Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t follow up on a similar article I did five years ago. Several of the games did get reprinted! The oh-so-amazing 7 Symbols, and 7 Nations got reprinted as Yokai Septet, and indeed has had a couple of printings and internationalizations since then! Familiar’s Trouble got reprinted as Trick ‘n Trouble and appears to have done well, though The Crew took over as the dominant cooperative trick taker (Familiar’s Trouble was pretty original in that respect). Sticheln (finally) got a U.S. publisher in Capstone and was released as Stick ‘Em.

I’m still waiting on a few, though. Pala, Filipino Fruit Market (or at least Tindahan), Stich-Meister, and Was sticht? have all been reprinted in Japan since then, but I think each of them would do well again in front of an English-speaking audience too. Stich-Meister is also being reprinted in Korea.

Tezuma Master is still devilishly hard to come by, but it is astoundingly good, and indeed, it is the highest rated game behind-the-scenes in our Opinionated Gamer’s Tricks & Trumps rating spreadsheet. Not the highest game out-of-print: the highest rated trick-taking game period. It really is that good.

The other games I mentioned at the time were Hattrick and Sticht Oder Nicht. The former is by the same designer that did Sticheln and Mit List und Tucke, and both of those have gained traction in recent years, so hopefully it will get some love too. Sticht Oder Nicht is probably the most questionable of my choices — I think it’d need some minor development work to be commercially viable — but it remains the most family friendly of the trick takers with rules variations (i.e. it is a simple version of Stich-Meister or Tezuma Master), and a family audience is who it would appeal to.

So dear publishers: consider these games too!


What would be my personal list today? In alphabetical order, and with this the subject of a future article, they are as follows. I took into account the fact that some of these are relatively easy to import, so I put higher priority on games that can’t even be imported, though a couple of these I still felt needed to make the list:

Bargain Hunter

David & Goliath

Nokosu Dice

Null & Nichtig


Potato Man

Scharfe Schoten

Seven Prophecies


Tezuma Master

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2 Responses to Seven Trick-Taking Games that Deserve a Reprint! (Article by Chris Wray)

  1. Alex Hague says:

    Excited to share the news that CMYK will be publishing Green Fivura next year!

  2. Larry Levy says:

    Of the games on Chris’ list, my #1 choice by far is Bargain Hunter. I’m not sure why this game can’t stay in print, since a huge number of people I know consider it to be one the best 3-player trick-takers of all time. Maybe I just hang around a strange bunch of folks. But it took 12 years after the game debuted as Schnappchen Jagd for it to get reprinted as Bargain Hunter, and that was back in 2010, so it’s once again impossible to find. Hopefully, some publisher will appreciate its worth and get it back in print.

    Of the other games, I’m quite fond of Scharfe Schoten and Potato Man. Mu really needs to be available. I’ve never played Voodoo Prince, but I always thought it sounded good and would love to try it. A lot of the other games on the list I’ve never played, but would like to.

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