The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling, I'm In! is a game by Cliff Bohm and Jeff Morrow, published by Slugfest Games. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players of any of the Red Dragon Inn games can play an actual round of gambling when a "Gambling, I'm In!" card is played. It can even be played as a stand alone game. There are 9 different games that are provided along with variants. Each game begins with players anteing up before playing. I will briefly discuss the different games included in the rules.
Rogues and Warriors * - One of the easier games, this game consists of each player being dealt 2 cards from the Rogues and Warriors deck and then placing bets. Players reveal a card and then after some more betting, reveal their last one. The highest ranked pair wins.
Threes * - This game is another easy one that requires the use of dice. In this game, players roll some dice. They choose one of their dice and set aside any dice with that number on it into their Keep. Players then place their bets. Players roll the remaining dice and do the same thing again. This process is repeated until each player has all their dice set aside in their Keep. The player with the lowest total wins. Oh and 3's score 0 points.
King's Council * - Another easy game, this one uses the Rogues and Warriors deck. Players are dealt 5 cards. The top card of the deck is revealed as the King. Players place their bets. They are then able to discard up to 2 cards from their hand and redraw the same amount that was discarded. More betting is done as well as more discarding and drawing followed by placing final bets. Scoring is then done based on matching the King's rank, card color, and animal type. Highest total wins.
Jack of All Trades * - This is the last of the easy game. It's a dice game like Threes but include the use of the Rogues and Warriors deck as well. Players roll dice, bet and then reveal a card from the deck. Players can place a die that matches the die value on the card. If they have no matching die, they may place a 6 instead. Betting then takes place, followed by another card revealed and more matching. This is done a third time with betting, card revealing and matching. Finally, a 4th card is revealed and matching is done one last time. Players compare their unmatched dice and the player with the lowest total wins.
Three Kingdoms ** - This is the first of the medium level games. Players are dealt cards from the Rogues and Warriors deck. War cards are revealed from the same deck and placed face up in the middle of the table. These cards will determine the score at the end of the game. Bets are placed. Players can then discard up to 2 cards and draw for replacements. 2 more War cards are revealed, bets are placed and cards discarded and redrawn. 1 last War card is revealed and in case of a color tie, one more War card is revealed. Players bet one last time before revealing their cards. Scoring is based on relation to the War cards. Each War value is determined by die value on the rarest card in each color subtracting 1 for each additional card in the same color. Players add up their points and the highest total wins.
Den of Thieves ** - Another medium level game, this one deals with the portraits on each card. Players are each dealt cards and betting occurs. They can discard up to 2 cards and then redraw. Betting happens again as well as more dicarding and drawing. Final bets are placed and then hands are revealed. Scoring is based on the portraits. Bards are 1 point. Ladies are 1 point plus 1 for each bard. Merchants score 1 point for the first merchant, 2 points for the 2nd and 3rd ones, 3 points for the 4th and 5th ones and 4 points for the 6th and 7th. Warriors can kill up to 2 rogues and are worth 3 points plus 1 point for each rogue killed. Any rogues left over after warrior kills will kill another card beginning with merchants, ladies and then bards. Players can also declare their hand as a den of thieves, turning warriors into rogues. Any warriors or rogues that don't kill another card score 2 points each. Once scoring is complete, the highest point total wins.
Dragon Hordes ** - This is the last of the medium level games. In this game the grey cards are used along with the 3 dragon cards. Players will roll 2 dice taking any money placed on the 3 dragon cards when doubles are rolled. If no doubles are rolled, they then place 1 money on each card that corresponds to the rolled number. A roll of 6 refers to the dragons and the player chooses one of the 3 to place money on. The player then makes a prediction or passes. If the player passes, their turn is over. Making a prediction consists of choosing either a color, rank or color and rank then revealing the top card of the deck. The player receives money from the cards that they correctly predict but must place 1 money on the card if they guessed wrong. Once the cards have no money on them all, the game ends. The winner is the player that collected the most money.
City Square *** - This is the first of the two complex games. In this game, players are building a 3x3 city grid. The game is played over 4 years (rounds). Players are dealt 3 cards each year (round) which they must place in their city. They are allowed to extend the grid in any direction as long as it's not already a 3x3 grid. Players are allowed to place a second card on top of one already placed. The first card will no longer count for scoring, only the top one will. Once a card is placed it can not be moved and 2 cards can not be played in the same place in the same year (round). Once cards are placed betting occurs. Afterwards, it's all done 3 more times with 3 cards dealt, city placement and betting. Scoring is done after the 4th year (round). Players gain points on how the cards are connected to the others. Empty spaces are allowed in a player's city grid. Once scoring is completed, the player with the highest scoring city wins.
The Wheel *** - This is the other of the two complex games. In this game, players will be influencing the spokes of the wheel by playing cards from their hand until the clock runs out. The grey cards are placed in order in a circle. Players are dealt a hand of cards and 3 cards are taken from the deck and placed face down. These cards are the clock. Players in turn order will each draw a card from the deck and then play a card to the wheel. The card is placed either on the spoke of the same rank or one of it's neighboring cards. Same ranked cards are called companions and neighboring cards are allies. Each card played adds strength to the spoke. Once each player has taken their turn, a clock card is revealed and placed one spoke clockwise from it's rank. Betting then occurs. The whole process continues again and again until there are no more clock cards. At this time, players reveal their hand and scoring occurs. The strongest spoke is determined. Players are then awarded points for matching the rank and for matching it's neighbors. The player with the most points is the winner.
As you can see, there are a lot of games here to be played. What I've outlined is the basics of each game. Each one has several different variants that mix up the gameplay as well.
The game comes with a 90 card Rogues and Warriors deck, 3 Dragon cards and 5 Grey cards. The artwork is rather nice and I like it quite a bit. The design is really unique and allows for so many different games. The only problem is that it doesn't really match up with the artwork on the "Gambling, I'm In" cards used in the Red Dragon Inn games. The cards are the same style of thickness and quality as those in the Red Dragon Inn games. The box is quite large compared to what you get inside the box. I'm guessing it's to make room for the very thick rulebook that's included. If you are not pairing this up with one of the Red Dragon Inn games, you'll have to provide your own money or chips to play. Some games will also require that you add dice as well. Seems like there was more left out of the box than was actually put inside it. For what's here, it's good. I just wish that this had been complete with everything you needed to play but it's not. Just be aware.
7 out of 10
The rulebook, as mentioned above, is quite thick. There are detailed rules for each of the games mentioned above, as well as several variants for each one. There are pictures throughout the book as well as examples of scoring and the various setups. There are explanations of the different cards as well as different terms and rules. The book is fairly thematic along with the cards. Everything is explained really well and very detailed. It has a lot of information inside. As noted above, there are games for all different difficulties from easy to complex. All in all, it's well designed and quite nice.
8 out of 10
With so many different games that can be played, there's sure to be at least one that tickles your fancy. I'm not really all that crazy about the dice games as there are no dice included with the game. Kinda takes away the fun if I have to go looking for dice just to play the game. I have to say that Rogues and Warriors and Den of Thieves are probably my favorite ones. They seem to really fit well into the Red Dragon Inn universe and are quite fun. The cool thing is that the it can be played by itself as well. I can definitely see this being played at a Renaissance Faire or something of that nature. The games would fit in well in that type of setting. Each game is unique in it's own way and can be played with any number of players. Some of them can be very strategic like a good game of Poker or Rummy. I will say that I like what you get out of the box, gamewise. It's quite fun and provides for lots of different gameplay styles.
8 out of 10
The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling, I'm In! is a bunch of gambling games that can be integrated into any of the Red Dragon Inn games or can be used as a stand alone game. There are 9 different games as well as variations for each. Players are sure to find one that they enjoy. The artwork and card style is quite unique and interesting. The cards are very thematic even though they don't match up with the card image in the Red Dragon Inn games. There are several games that require dice to be able to play. These are not provided, neither are the coins or money to wager with. If using one of the Red Dragon Inn games, it's not a problem for money. However the lack of dice in a game that requires dice is a bit of a bummer. It's like allowing people to go swimming in a pool with no water. I'm a bit disappointed but it's not like I don't have a stack of dice just lying around in a box somewhere. Fans of the Red Dragon Inn series will probably still enjoy the game as will RPG fans that are looking for something to deepen their role playing sessions with. I do like the games that are provided, including the dice games. I just wish that it was all inclusive. There is a lot of fun to be had inside the box, even though the box is way bigger than the contents. It's one that I would say to check out first and make sure that it's right for you and your group. As long as you know that you aren't getting everything you need inside the box, you'll be ok. It's still fun to play.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Slugfest Games at their site.