Players: 3 to 5
Game Length: 20 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 3-5 players up for a light risk management game, who hopefully won’t think it’s hilarious to refuse to play by repeating the game’s name back at you
No Thanks is a light abstract card-based risk management game where each player is trying to get the lowest score possible. The components of the game are very simple; just a deck of cards numbered from 3-35 and a number of plain tokens.
Players start with a stash of tokens. Each round, a card will be revealed from the deck, and in turn players may either:
- Refuse the card and add one of their tokens to it, or
- Accept the card and all its accumulated tokens, then turn over the next card.
Once a card has been accepted, it belongs to that player and will count towards their final score. However, if a player gets a run of cards of consecutive values, only the lowest card will count towards their total – so a collection of the cards 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 will only add 21 to the player’s final score.
Compounding issues is that in setup, some of the cards will be removed, so you can’t rely on being able to make a run to negate the value of your highest cards. Furthermore, if you run out of tokens, you must take the card! When you start running out of tokens, you can enter a vicious cycle where you are constantly forced to take undesirable cards, getting little or no tokens in return. You’ll need to consider how close to the wire you want to run – or how many tokens you want to extort from the other players, if a nasty high card turns up that you can turn into a run!
No Thanks can be quite a luck-driven game – the draw can allow one player to make large runs, while another player using a similar strategy will end up with holes due to the random removal of cards. It’s very quick to play, usually taking under half an hour. Due to its short play time and easy-to-learn rules, it makes a decent filler game, but it’s quite dry and not particularly deep.
No Thanks is still a decent game, and encourages interaction between players as they force their opponents to take high-value cards. The game itself can be found for cheap, and makes a good addition to a collection in need of a light filler.