Brett J. Gilbert

Card game

3 or 4 players • 10 minutes

Published 12/07/13 • Cards v1.0 • Rules v1.0

What you need

You only need the 18 cards. Nothing else is needed to play.

It’s time to lay your cards on the table, and try to build the best ‘Jest’ possible. Spades and Clubs are the safest bet, Diamonds are bad news, and as for Hearts? They can be trouble, if you’re not too careful. Keep your wits about you — and watch out for the pesky Joker!

About the game

Jest is an odd little curio, the distillation of my game Jukers!, an equally curious, if slightly larger, card game that was shortlisted in the Hippodice game design contest back in 2010.

The game is suitable for 3 or 4 players, but is probably best with 3 players. In each round every player receives two cards and must offer them to their opponents, one card face up and one face down. In your turn you pick just one card from another player’s offer, adding it to your Jest.

The trickiest card in the deck is the single Joker. On his own he’s worth a healthy bonus, but if you capture a few Hearts, things won’t look quite so rosy. Oh, and a black pair is worth extra! And sometimes an Ace becomes a five! And unfortunately, not all of the so-called ‘trophies’ are actually worth winning! So watch closely, play wisely and keep your cards close to your chest.

About the designer

Brett J. Gilbert is a professional board game designer, which is every bit as lucrative as you might imagine. His first published game, Divinare (Asmodee, 2012), was recommended by the 2013 Spiel des Jahres jury; a fact he mentions purely in passing.