What: The feeling of poker distilled into a straightforward game of bluff.
Players: 3-6 players
Time: 5-15 minutes (but you’ll have fun playing multiple times)
People: Ideal for pubs, small gatherings…anything with a drink. Suitable for anyone, even my gran likes it.
Available: ~£15 on Amazon here or $10-20 for US peeps here
Why we recommend it
Skulls distills poker down to its best parts, taking risks and bluffing. You will all take it in turns to raise the stakes until everyone else wimps out, leaving you as the bravest person left.
All you need to do is find the flowers without hitting a skull. This time you must find four of them amongst five face down cards, if you find one skull, you’re dead. Everyone’s eyes are on you.
Firstly, you flip your own cards…two flowers, two to go. You’d be surprised how many push their luck and bluff so hard only to instantly lose, “You’ve skulled yourself!”
The table will erupt with laughter. It’s not your finest moment…but when you push the stakes higher with a well timed bluff forcing someone else into a situation they can’t win you will grin to yourself.
Adam is to your left, “Well I have a skull, I always have a skull”. He smiles, it’s a shit eating grin, you fucking hate that smug smile as he strokes the back of his card.
“Skull” he mouths. He loves to play the skull, he plays it so often he has even coined a term for it “ABS, Always be skulling”.
He is insistent it’s the best strategy there is. It isn’t.
Then there is Jasmine. “Yeh I have a skull as well” she tries to keep a straight face but the corner of her mouth bends. Her tell. “LIAR!”
You flip it over and a beautiful flower blossoms back. Just one more flower and you’ve won.
Joel is to your right. “I didn’t look, I just put one down at random”. It’s a left field move, did he pick at random? Did he really do that? He likes to play games with you.
He only has two cards left, it’s 50/50. Or is it, he might be toothless, all bark no bite.
He might not even have a skull left. You look back at Adam, “I told you. I’m ABS, Always be skulling.” He usually is, he revels in putting that skull down.
He loves nothing more than people trying to call his bluff only to shove it in their face.
Joel is a 50/50 you win, maybe even better than that. Your head tells you, it’s obvious you flip his, it’s very likely you win.
The table is silent, the tension is palpable. Your heart though, it wants to flip Adam’s card. It’s much less likely, but you know if it’s a flower you get to wipe the grin off his face.
The sweetest of victories.
You put your hands out and rest them on each card, ready to flip either. Joel starts a drum roll with his hands “ooooOOOhh”. Head or heart, Adam or Joel, Joel or Adam, who do you choose.[accordion][apane title=”Make your choice”][/apane] [apane title=”Joel (Head)”]
You pause for a moment moving your hand subtly to imply you will flip Adam’s card over before quickly turning Joel’s and slamming it down. It’s a flower, the table erupts with excitement. Everyone claps “Well played”. “I was out of skulls” Joel smiles.
[/apane] [apane title=”Adam (Heart)”]
You look Adam in the eye again “Don’t do it, I’m telling you, it’s a skull”.
He’s already skulled 3 others earlier, including himself. This time he won’t have a skull. This time you will get to rub it in his face. “It’s a flower!”, you flip the card.
“I told you, Always be skulling”. Everyone laughs and so do you. You take back your cards and get ready for the next round.
Another chance to be brave, to skull, to flower, another chance to out bluff and win.
Just remember, Adam always skulls.[/apane][/accordion]