Stack 21

Designed by Andy Daniel
Published by Enginuity
Review by Ken Tidwell

2 - 4 players (but I've played with up to 7!)
20-30 minutes

Stack 21 is a clever twist on Blackjack. It is played with a deck which is basicly two standard decks of cards with some interesting variations on suits and the four Jokers thown in. To start, each player is dealt four cards which form the basis for four stacks. The goal is to have each stack sum to 21 points. Any stack which sums to greater than 21 points is immediately tossed out. Any stack that sums to less is still in play. Only stacks that sum to 21 score. When all stacks have either scored or blown, the round is over.

On their turn a player must draw a card and look at it. With most cards, they have the option to either play the card on one of their own stacks or try to place the card on another player's stack which has neither scored nor blown. If they try to place the card on another player's stack and the card would blow the stack, then they must play the card on one of their own stacks.

Keeper cards limit your options, though. These cards must be placed on one of your own stacks. Bonus cards allow you to score extra points if you manage to score the stack you place them on. Of course, you can always give bonus cards away - but you may regret it.

Stack 21 is another great filler/evening ender card game. There is some strategy there in choosing to keep or pass on cards. There is the ever popular "screw your neighbor" element. And, since it is loosely based on another popular card game, learning time is nearly nill. Recommended.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell