ROMAN POKER is the brainchild of "Hare & Tortoise" author David Parlett and Johannes Krenner of "Junta the Card Game" fame
It is 30+ minutes of dice-rolling, skill, luck and fun for 2-6 10 year old and up players and is published by Amigo with illustrations by Markus Wagner
This game uses the well known "Greed" mechanic of rolling a number of dice, putting one or some aside, rolling the remainder again, putting one or some aside etc etc etc
At the end of 7 Rounds the player with the highest overall total is the winner.
One player takes the scorepad (provided) and writes the name of each player along the top. They then give each player, including themselves, a set of six Action cards. Every card in the set is different and each set contains the same range of cards with a different Action on each.
The player chosen to take the first turn picks up all six of the dice and proceeds to roll them one die at a time. After rolling a die the player has to make up their mind whether to "stick" or "twist" (using old card game language). You may continue to roll the dice as long as you can make a valid number in ROMAN NUMERALS. If you don't know how to count using Is, Vs and Xs then this is where you begin your education.
A "I" is a One a "V" is a Five and an "X" is a Ten. Thus II = 2 and III = 3 but IV = 4 (5-1). By using all six dice the highest number you can achieve is 37 XXXVII (10+10+10+5+2) and although it only uses five of the dice 39 XXXIX (10+10+10 +10-1) is the highest achievable number in the game.
The Action cards you hold can be used only once per game and are discarded after you have played them. Action cards not used are worth 5 points each at the game's end but obviously if used at the correct time in game they can score you a lot more than five.
The rules for entering the numbers rolled on the scoresheet are the make or break of the game. When you roll a valid number you have to choose where on the chart you will write it, you have rows 1-7 and you do not have to write the numbers in Row order. The problem is the numbers have to run from low to high from Row 1 (lowest) to Row 7 (highest) with each Row having a higher (or equal if a card is used) number than the previous Row.
Obviously if you roll a super high number such as 37 or 39 (it is impossible to roll a "38") or even a 36 it should be placed in either the 6th or 7th Row, and anything from about 1 to 20 is good for the 1st Row. If you find you are unable to write a number you roll then you cannot change the order of the numbers on the chart but you may be able to use an Action card to affect the roll so that it can be placed.
The player's scores are tallied in the Round when one player completes all 7 Rows, but this doesn't automatically make them the winner because the scores are still to be tallied and they are what actually count.
Each card has a different effect when used: Each card uses a pictogram (visual aid) which is pretty easy to understand straight up.
a). You may reroll any 5's you have rolled this turn - roll them all at the same time ands the new result stands.
b). You may reroll any I's you have rolled this turn - roll them all at the same time ands the new result stands.
c). You may reroll any ONE die you rolled this turn.
d). You may add a number into your score column that you have previously used but keeping to the increase/decrease rules of the Rows.
e). The Wild card may be used to repeat any previously used (or still held) Action.
f). You may remove any ONE die from those rolled this turn.
ROMAN POKER (RÖMISCH POKERN) from Amigo is pocket-sized edition in a solid, hard to crush, box. It is colourful, easy on the eye and easy to learn. You need some dice rolling luck and enough savvy to know when it is a good idea to use a card.