By Kara Ben Hering (a famous Artist and Boxer).
Published by Goldsieber.
Translated by M. Schloth.
Copyright 1995, Kara Ben Hering.

For 2 - 4 Players.

Game Contents

Illustration (page 1 top)

The city inhabitants are: the guards (Wachter), the servants (Diener), the harem girls (Haremsdame), the eunuchs and the fakirs. The inhabitants are represented many times on the game board. The Caliph is represented only once on the game board. He is seated on his throne at the top (the palace level) on the far right of the board.


Game Outline

Unlike most other games where the players take turns, in Bakschisch all players perform their actions simultaneously. The game is played in rounds. In each round, the five concealed person cards (inhabitants or Caliphs) are revealed and bribed one at a time.

The goal of the game is to successfully bribe your way to the throne and remain there until the end of the round. If you use more gold than the other players to bribe any of the first four revealed cards, then you will move towards the throne. If you use the least amount of gold to bribe the fifth card, then you will move back towards the start space. After each complete round (5 bribes), all of the bribes of that round are redistributed as evenly as possible to all of the players. Once per round a player may use his or her thief rather than attempt to bribe the current card. The thief steals the bribes of the other players of the current card only. If more than one player plays a thief, then they must divide the bribes as evenly as possible. The game ends when a player occupies the throne at the end of a round.

Outline of a Round

For each bribery, the following five steps are executed in the indicated sequence.

  1. Turn the next person card.

    First you need to know who it is you have the chance to bribe: ONE of the cards is turned. The first card turned is the one on the far left, then the one to its right and so on.

  2. Take your gold or your thief into your fist.

    Each player reaches into his or her sack and takes either:

    Each player may take his or her thief only once per round. You are allowed to take neither gold nor the thief.

  3. Open your fist.

    Once all players are sure of what they want to do, they all must extend their fists over the game board. The fists are opened simultaneously and each player declares the contents.

  4. Determine the result.

    Here's what can happen:

    1. One player has made the largest bribe (this counts only for the first four bribery attempts).

      The player moves his or her game figure to the next space on the board that matches the person on the bribed card.

      EXAMPLE: If you successfully bribe a guard, then you move to the next space towards the throne that contains a guard.

      Any number of players may be on the same space.

      Thieves may not be used past the Stop Thief space. That is the last space before the topmost level.

      IMPORTANT: The result of the 5th bribe may send you backwards. See "The 5th Bribe".

    2. Several players have made the largest bribe.

      If there is a tie for the highest bribe, then ALL of the tied players move forward to the next space (relative to each player's current space) that contains the same person as the bribed card.

      EXAMPLE (page 2 lower right): The card to be bribed is the Eunuch. The players Black and Gray have both bribed the Eunuch with the same highest amount of gold. Black moves 3 spaces to the next Eunuch and Gray moves 1 space to the next Eunuch.

      If all players reveal no gold pieces, then nobody moves.

    3. The thief is revealed!

      The thief may be used instead of gold pieces for all five bribes, but you may only use it once per round.

      If a player reveals a thief in his or her fist, then that player takes all of the gold pieces (if any) that the other players used for the current bribe.

      The player who revealed the thief places these "stolen" gold pieces into his or her sack. That player's thief is then set next to the game board and may not be taken back until the end of the current round even if the thief steals nothing.

      If more than one player has revealed the thief, then they all divide the gold pieces of the other players' current bribe (if any) equally. Any remainder is set next to the game board. If there is not enough gold pieces in the current bribe to give each player a share, then nobody gets a share. For instance, if 3 players play the thief and the fourth player revealed 2 gold pieces, then none of the thieves receive any gold.

    4. The 5th Bribe: Go backwards!

      Whichever player reveals the least number of gold coins for the 5th bribe must move his or her game figure BACKWARDS to the next space that has the same person as the bribed card. If the person on the fifth card is not behind you on the board then you move back to the start space.

      If several players reveal the least number of gold pieces, then they ALL must move backwards.

      If one or more players reveal zero gold pieces or the thief, then either case qualifies as least gold pieces and they all must move backwards.

    EXAMPLE (page 3 top right): The 5th bribe is for the Harem girl card. Players Black and White both bribe the least (1 gold piece). Black moves back 4 spaces and White moves back to the start space.

  5. After the bribe.

    The bribed person card remains face up on its space.

    All of the gold pieces revealed in the players' fists are placed next to the game board (if no thief was revealed). They remain there until the end of the round.

    The game is continued with the next bribe, until all five persons are bribed.

    After the fifth bribe, the ROUND is completed.

End of a Round

If all 5 persons were bribed (all 5 person cards are face up), then the round is over.

The 5 revealed person cards are discarded and 5 more from the stack are placed face down on the person card spaces.

If the stack is ever depleted, then shuffle the discards and make a new stack.

The gold pieces from the previous round's bribes are divided evenly among the players. Any extras remain next to the game board.

All thieves return to their owners. EXCEPTION: If a player's game figure is in the palace (the topmost level), then that player DOES NOT get his or her thief back. See: The Palace is Forbidden to Thieves.

Then, the next round begins with the turning of the first person card.

Special Rules

The Caliph Card

When the Caliph is revealed during a bribe the following movement rules take effect:

Bribes 1 through 4:

If you spend the most gold, then you move forward as many spaces as corresponds to your current position on the game board. That is to say: If you are first, then you move 1 space forward. If you are fourth, then you move 4 spaces forward.

The 5th bribe:

If you spend the least gold, then you move backwards as many spaces as your reverse position on the game board. That is to say: If you are fourth, then you move back 1 space. If you are first (in a 4 player game), then you move back 4 spaces.

If two or more players are tied for spending the most (bribes 1 - 4) or the least (bribe 5) gold pieces, then they ALL will move forwards or backwards according to their current positions.

EXAMPLE (page 4 top right): In the 2nd bribe the Caliph was successfully bribed by both the Black and the Gray players. Black moves forward 3 spaces and Gray moves forward 1 space.

The Palace is Forbidden to Thieves

Thieves may NOT enter the palace of the Caliph. As soon as a player moves his or her game piece over the "Stop-Feld fur Diebe" (see illustration page 1), that player must give up his or her thief.

If the 5th bribe forces a player to move out of the palace, then the player gets to take back his or her thief.

Game End

The goal is to reach the throne and to still be on it at the end of the round. If a player can successfully bribe a person that is not on one of the spaces between that player's game piece and the throne, then that player moves onto the throne. EXAMPLE (page 4 bottom): Gray has bribed a guard. Gray moves to the next guard space. If the person Gray had bribed was a servant (or a fakir), then Gray would have been permitted to move onto the throne. If a player on the throne manages not to move backwards at the end of the 5th bribe, then that player wins. If more than one player remains on the throne at the end of the 5th bribe, then the player on the throne with the most money wins. If this doesn't break the tie (more than one has the same greatest amount of gold), then the player who moved onto the throne first (and is still on it) wins.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell