6 takes !
6 takes is a game originating from Germany. It is played with a deck of cards numbered from 1 to 104, where each card is unique. The objective is to get as few ducks as possible !
Course of the game
At the beginning of the game, the dealer deals 10 cards to each player and places 4 cards face up on the table. These 4 cards are starting the 4 card rows.
Unlike more traditional card games, 6 takes doesn't follow a classic turn structure, but rather is based on a simultaneous choice pattern. In other words, everyone plays at the same time rather than one after the other. Each player chooses the card he or she wants to play, and only when all players have made their choices are all cards revealed and placed on the table.
When all players have chosen a card from their hand, they are placed in the rows. The player with the smallest card goes first, and the next cards are played in order with the highest one being last.
- The rows are always going in ascending order; otherwise said, the next card to put in must always be greater than the last card already present in that row.
- If several rows are possible, then we must, among the different possible options, take the one where the last card already present is the greatest one. Another way to express this is to say that we must put the card in the row where the difference between this card and the last card already present in the row is minimal.
- A row is full when it contains 5 cards. The player obliged to complete it with a sixth one must first pick up the five cards already present. His or her card then starts a new row.
- If a card does not fit into any row because it is too small, the player who played it must pick up one of the rows already present, and this card will form the beginning of a new row.
Picked up cards do not return to the hand of the player who took them, but are instead discarded and contribute to the scoring at the end of the round.
Once all played cards have been put on the table according to the rules above, each player chooses the next card to play, and the same rules are followed again. The round ends when all players have played their 10 cards.
Here is an example to illustrate the four rules explained above. Let's suppose that there are four players: Alice, Bob, Celia and David, and that the following rows are currently on the table :
- 9, 12 and 21
- 19 and 24
- 33, 42, 50 and 57
- 69, 72 and 81
Alice plays a 23, Bob a 88, Celia a 7 and David a 64. Here is what happens :
- Celia goes first because 7 is the smallest amongst 23, 64, 7 and 88. 7 is smaller than 21, smaller than 24, smaller than 57 and smaller than 81; it doesn't fit in any row. Celia thus decides to pick 69, 72 and 81, which gives her 3 ducks. The 7 card starts a new row which can be used right away.
- Alice goes second. 23 can either go after 7, or after 21. Between 7 and 21, 21 is the greatest; 23 will therefore be put following 21.
- It's Bob's turn now to place his 64. He has four options: after 7, after 23, after 24 and after 57. 57 being the greatest of those four, it's where 64 will go.
- Finally, David goes last with his 88. Still by following the same rules, 88 must go after 64. But the row has already 5 cards! David must therefore pick 33, 42, 50, 57 and 64, which gives him 11 ducks. His 88 starts a new fresh row. Bad luck! David probably thought that his 88 would go after the 81 that Celia picked up...
- Everybody has played for this turn; the game continues by letting each player choose the next card to play.
When a round ends, the cards picked up by the players are counted. All cards give ducks :
- Multiples of 5 that aren't multiples of 10 give 2 ducks
- Multiples of 10 give 3 ducks
- Multiples of 11 give 5 ducks
- All other cards give a single duck.
Note: 55 is a multiple of both 5 and 11, so this card gives 7 ducks !
The objective of the game is to have as few ducks as possible. Players who exceed a defined limit (66 by default) are out of the game, and the winner is the last who didn't reach the limit, or, if everyone is out at the same time, the player with the fewest number of ducks.
Advanced or professional mode
In this variant, the game is played with the minimum required number of cards according to the number of players (the cards from 1 to 10n+4 are kept and the greater cards are discarded), instead of always 104. As a result, the game is much more strategic and there's less room for chance, as it is possible to deduce the cards held by other players with practice and memory.
Summary of keyboard shortcuts
- V: View rows currently on the table in a menu
- 1 to 4: announce the nth row
- C: announce the value in ducks of the currently selected card or row
- T: announce who has already played and who hasn't yet played for the turn
- S: announce the scores