Cockroach Poker (also known as Kaker Laken Poker) is a game like no other! The amount of joy and playtime I have got from this tiny-boxed game has been incredible. If someone who hasn’t played any proper games in the past but want to try something out, this will always find its way to the table. In Cockroach poker, you will need to have your wits about you and be sure that you stay on top of what cards you have unsuccessfully guessed or palmed off. There are no winners here, just the loser, and you sure don’t want to be that person!
How to play
Cockroach poker is perhaps one of the easiest games to play I have ever come across! All cards are dealt out to however many players are playing. On these cards are 8 different animals, each with their own colour. There is a fly, a toad, a scorpion, a spider, a bat, a rat, a stinkbug and of course, a cockroach. There are 8 cards of each (64 total) and you will have a mix of these cards as your hand. The aim of the game is to not be the person to either have 4 of the same card in front of them or end up with no cards in your hand. If you do, you’re the loser!
Each turn, a player must select one of their cards and slide it across, face down, to another player, stating what card it is. The key thing here is, you can either be truthful about which animal is on the car or, you can lie!
The player receiving the card then has two options. They can decide to guess whether the card-giver is either lying or telling the truth. In this case, they announce their decision and then turn the card over. If they are right, the card is passed back to the original player and it is placed face up in front of them. If the guessing player is wrong however, they have to place the card in front of them!
If they don’t want to guess what the card is, they can pass it on to another player. If they choose to do this, they can then look at the card (in secret) and pass it on to another player, announcing what is on the card. They are also allowed to lie about what is on the card and can change the animal from what was originally said.
The player they pass it to then has the same two options and this can continue until all players have had the card once and will finish when one player finally ends up with the card in front of them!
That’s it! Continue taking turns and the first player to either run out of cards or have 4 of the same card in front of them, loses, and will eternally be known as a “loser”!
This simple card game is devilishly enjoyable and actually quite tough! If you’re bad at bluffing or have a rubbish poker face, you will lose! You must have your wits about you and keep a straight face, especially when trying to palm off a fly onto a player that already has 3 face up! The feeling of accomplishment when you force someone to lose is such a great feeling.
Being easy to play means the gameplay is smooth and dead easy to teach to new players and they will be picking this up in no time at all!
The one element that I didn’t enjoy as much, is the artwork. I am really not a fan of the artwork on the cards. The illustrations are quite obscure and maybe that is why I am not much of a fan but I just felt that they don’t do the game justice. Of course, this is just my opinion and this does not affect the gameplay whatsoever!
Artwork aside, this game is sure-fire win with any gaming group and the fact you can pop it in your pocket before heading out to a game night just makes it that little bit better!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a bluffing king or queen and you’ve exhausted games like Sheriff of Nottingham and want something that plays quickly and easily, then you need Cockroach Poker!