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Rüdiger Dorn's LAS VEGAS: the Card Game from ALEA/RAVENSBURGER is the short and more compact variant of Las Vegas the board game.

It follows the same basic principle but is quicker to set up and play plus it is a lot easier to explain.

The game begins by placing the six Casino cards in numerical order 1-6 as an horizontal row across the table so that all players can see and reach them.

Then each player is given a small deck of cards, all decks contain the same 30 "dice" cards and are identical except for their identification colours.

The Money cards are thoroughly shuffled and placed as a face-down stack with two being dealt face up to each Casino, spread slightly apart so both values can be seen.

The players shuffle their own decks and deal themselves a hand of five cards, placing the remainder face-down in readiness for the next Round.

All players then decide whether they are going to play one or more cards from the five in their hand -  and then place their selection face down in front of themselves. Wait until all players have chosen their cards then decide on a start player and play will go clockwise from them. In turn the players place their chosen cards onto the Casinos according to the dice value - all One cards are placed next to the Casino marked "1", Two cards next to the Casino marked "2" etc. Any cards (from each player's 5) not selected for this Round are placed under the respective players Wine Glass. Once all players have placed their chosen cards next to the appropriate Casinos they check to make sure no one player has played 8 cards yet. Obviously this isn't possible on the first Round, but after Round 3 it becomes a possibility. Once a player has played 8 (or more) cards - they can play over 8 cards if at the start of the Round they had played less than 8 - then they can no longer play cards. The game continues with the remaining players dealing themselves a hand of 5 cards per Round and playing one or more onto the Casinos. The Round ends once all players have played 8 (or more) cards or after the 6th Round when all players will have depleted their decks to zero (30 cards, 5 cards per Round, equates to 6 Rounds.

  

The players then check each Casino, starting at Casino One, to see who has played the most and second-most dice (not cards) onto it. Some cards show one die, others show 2 dice, so count the dice per each colour at each Casino in turn. The player who has the most dice at Casino one takes the largest cash card from the 2 placed there at the beginning of the first Round.The player with the second most dice gains the second card. If there is a tie then tied players get nothing and the money (only ever one card per player) goes to the player with what will now be the highest number of dice showing. All Casinos pay out if possible but if any cash cards remain after the sixth Casino has been rated then they are removed from the game. Money collected is placed under each players Safe card and is then safe for the rest of the game. After four completed Rounds the player with the most money wins.

LAS VEGAS the Card Game is a super game with luck, skill, strategy in equal proportions. It plays well as a family game and equally as well with core boardgame players. Because you can play as many cards in a Turn as you wish there are of course limitations set in the Rules. These are that you can play two cards on two different Casinos as long as each card is different (which of course they will be as you can only play cards on Casinos which match the number on the card). If you want to play two or more cards in a Turn they must all show the same die denomination - all 3s for example, and of course they all have to be played against the same (matching number) Casino. This is how some players will play their 8 (or more) cars before other players. It is often likely that one player will be the only one with any cards left after the 4th or 5th Turns so they have a possible advantage as they can see where there is a possibility to score big, but of course they also have to have the right cards available to them.

For such a simple mechanic LAS VEGAS the Card Game is a clever and highly enjoyable entertainment, definitely a card game worthy of any player's collection.

  

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015