Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Rüdiger Dorn


No. of Players:
2 - 5



Gamebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:

The players take the role of gamblers at the glamorous casinos at Las Vegas trying their luck at a game of dice. The gamblers may place their dice at six different casinos with different amounts of money to be won for each round. Only those players who were able to place the highest amount of dice at a casino get its jackpot. Each round is a competition between pure luck in rolling the dice and a bit of tactic and coolness when placing dice at a casino trying to achieve the majority of dice and win the jackpot. But be careful, in case of a tie you are out!


The rules of Las Vegas are simple and most of it has already been said in the few lines above. Las Vegas is played in four rounds. Each round consists of several dice rolls per player. At the start of each round the six casinos gets an amount of at least 50,000 bucks as jackpot. The jackpot is increased banknote by banknote until at least $50,000 is reached. Due to the different available banknotes with values from $10,000 to $90,000, the actual value of a jackpot can be much higher than $50,000. Each player has eight dice at the beginning of a round. All dice available have to be rolled at a player's turn then he has to choose one number of the dice roll and place all of these dice on the corresponding casino (each casino displays a dice number from 1 to 6). Following this rule each turn the numbers of dice decrease until all players have placed all their dice at the casinos. It may happen that some players run out of dice very early and they have to wait until the remaining players have placed all their dice as well. When no dice are left, the evaluation of the round takes place. First all players who have placed an equal amount of dice at a casino have to take their dice back and gain nothing - bad luck. Then for each casino the remaining dice are evaluated. The player with the majority of dice gets the banknote with the highest value of the jackpot. Then all other remaining players get in the order of majority of dice the remaining banknotes, if any are left. If there are fewer banknotes than players in a casino, some end up with empty hands.


Las Vegas nicely picks up elements of other dice games like "Kniffel/Yahtzee" and Poker elements. You carefully have to make a choice how and where to place your dice. It is not generally a good advice to put four or more equal dice at one casino. Of course you will most probably win that casino, but you have so few dice left for the other casinos. So in contrast to "Kniffel/Yahtzee" four or five of a kind is not always good (only if you can surely win a jackpot of $90.000 by exceeding an opponent). After each dice roll you might very likely be of two minds about placing your dice: placing a good amount of equal dice at the one casino with the biggest jackpot and not missing the other casinos' jackpots with a similar good amount of money. And at the end two competing players may just manage a tie and the third player with his tiny one dice gets all the money. Sometimes luck is not fair! And exactly those unpredictable results, the possibility to prevent another player from winning or sometimes just pure luck of have the ultimate roll, makes playing Las Vegas pure fun with a note of compulsive gambling. Because just another round of revenge is played so quickly, you might end up with a dozen games of Las Vegas. Since the game can be played with 2-5 players the question comes up whether the two player game is as much fun. I would say no, if it were just two players rolling the dice on their own. But Las Vegas has a smart rule extension which should be used if only 2 or 3 players are participating: Each player gets an amount of neutral dice (4-2) which have to be rolled and placed together with the players own dice according to the normal rules. But this neutral dice have a strong influence on the evaluation phase, because they might yield the one or the other tie. Each player must see that he somehow gets rid of the neutral dice and place them at a casino where the player does not loose anything but the opponent might get a disadvantage. Thus the neutral dice introduce a tactical element which makes Las Vegas even more interesting for a two players' game. Nevertheless playing Las Vegas with 4 or 5 friends means having a lot of fun in just scoring off your opponents and counting cash at the end of each game. Las Vegas has captivating smart and simple rules. I have barely seen games where I could explain the rules in 2 minutes and all players can't stop gambling after a couple of rounds. Thus it is no surprise Las Vegas was proposed for "Game of the year 2012"-award.

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany