Tichu Card Game Review

Work together with your partners and defeat your opponents in Tichu, the exciting and volatile trick-taking card game! Use your strategy skills and teamwork to rid your hand of cards before your opponents can. Take advantage of the powerful effects of unique cards such as the dragon, phoenix and dog. Use bids of confidence, card trick bombs and deductive reasoning to get ahead of your opponents. Risk it all in your quest for victory!Tichu, whose name in Chinese means roughly to “propose” or to “put forward”, is a fast-paced trick-playing card game with roots in Asia. It bears large similarities to the Chor Dai Dee and Da Lao Er Chinese card games which are hugely popular in East Asia. There are elements of Bridge and Poker in the game, and this fusion of styles and mechanics has created a very popular card game. The Tichu variation of this Asian card game was designed by Urs Hostetler in 1991, and has steadily acquired a growing fanbase.Tichu is mostly played with 2 teams of 2 players each (though the game can accommodate between 3 to 6 players in total). You sit across from your partner, and your team’s goal is to win more points than your opponents during each game, and games continue until one team achieves the target number of points. A hundred points are up for grabs each game, and the target score is usually a thousand.The game is played using a standard 52-card deck containing 4 suits of 13 cards each, plus an additional 4 special cards unique to this game. The game is played using tricks, which are very similar to poker hands. You can play single cards, pairs, a series of pairs, three-of-a-kind, full house, and straights of at least 5 cards.The basic premise of the game is pretty straightforward: the lead player opens a round by playing a trick, and players take turns playing tricks that are of the same kind and larger in value than the previously played trick. Once everyone passes, the player who played the last trick wins all the cards played that round, and he gets to start a new round by playing any trick in his hand. For example, Player A opens a round with a pair of 4’s. Player B passes because he either does not have any pairs in his hand or chooses not to play them. Player C plays a pair of 7’s. Player D then plays a pair of Queens. After everyone else passes (opting not to play anymore pairs), Player D wins the round and claims all the cards on the table, and then starts a new round by playing a full house.Winning the cards played in each round is what scores you points. However, only a few cards are worth anything. 5’s are worth 5 points each, and 10’s and Kings are worth 10 points each. The other normal cards are worth nothing, and merely act as tools for you to win the point cards. The game continues until one player “goes out” by emptying his hand. The game still continues with the remaining players, until only one player is left. Each partnership then totals the number of points they earned that game. You are penalized for coming in last though; the last player has to give all the cards he won that game to the first player who went out, and all the remaining cards in his hand to his opponents.As you can see, this is a game where teamwork and strategy are required to win (though partners are not allowed to talk strategy during the game). You have to make sure your team wins the rounds where point cards are involved. You also need to make sure you aren’t the last player remaining in the game. In addition, if your entire team goes out before any of your opponents can, the point cards don’t matter and your team earns a whopping 200 points!Unfortunately, that was just the basics. Tichu has a lot of other rules to make the game interesting and challenging. As mentioned before, there are 4 special cards in the game. They are the Mahjong, the Dog, the Dragon and the Phoenix, and each has its own abilities. The player with the Mahjong card gets to play the first trick, and can force a card to be played. Playing the Dog gives the lead to your partner. The Dragon is the highest value single card and is also worth 25 points. However, you have to give all the cards you won that round (including the Dragon) to an opponent. The Phoenix acts as a wild card and can be played with any trick, but it comes with a hefty -25 point penalty.There are also tricks you can play called “Bombs”. If you have a four-of-a-kind or a straight-flush, this acts as a Bomb and you can use it to interrupt any round and immediately take the lead. However, your Bomb can also be interrupted by another bigger Bomb. Lots of fun! There are also a couple of other rules to the game. At the start of each game, you need to pass a card to each other player, thereby slightly influencing the quality of the other players’ hands. Before each player plays their first card, they also have the opportunity to call a Tichu. This means they are proclaiming that they will “go out” first. If they do, they win a bonus 100 points. But if they don’t, they lose the 100 points. You can also call a Grand Tichu when only 8 cards (out of 14) have been dealt. This works the same as a Tichu call, but the bonus (or loss) is 200 points!The many rules in the game can seem daunting, and they can take a while to learn, especially for players who are new to this game genre or have not experienced trick-playing card games such as Bridge before. However, once you do get the hang of it, you will find that it becomes a game full of strategy, teamwork, guessing and second-guessing. And if your gaming group is of the high-risk variety, the constant calls of Tichu or Grand Tichu will turn the game into a suspenseful and exciting game where the point lead can swing wildly until the very end.Tichu is a great game that you can play a very many times without getting bored. The level of thinking, planning and tricking in the game can even rival that of Bridge. Suffice to say, if you are willing to learn the many rules of the game, you will be rewarded with hours of fun! You will like Tichu if you like other trick-taking card games such as Bridge, Hearts or 500.Rating: 4.5/5.0
Complexity: 3.5/5.0
Playing Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Number of Players: 3 to 6 players

The Iowa Casinos

For those who have not spent much time in the great heartland state of Iowa, you may not know just how progressive this seemingly little state is that sits in the center of our country. Iowa was the first state in the nation to legalize riverboat casinos in 1989. Soon after that numerous riverboat casinos popped up along the Iowa banks of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Riverboat gambling was revived and thriving in Iowa.It was around that time that Native American tribe casinos also opened in Iowa. Iowa further progressed by allowing land-based casinos in the mid-2000s. Since then the riverboats have begun to dwindle as the new modern and expansive land-based casinos are being built. These land-based casinos are quite nice and provide a Vegas-like feel of a casino without the gaudy lights. The riverboats do have a certain charm to them and are definitely worth a trip.Iowa has twenty casinos spread throughout the state. Many still line up and down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and others located in the central part of the state. From casinos in Council Bluffs along the Missouri River, to the Des Moines area, and casinos along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities and Dubuque, there are certainly casinos along any stretch of Iowa. Not all, but the most of the casinos along the rivers are riverboats. There are still six riverboat casinos in Iowa. That number will begin to dwindle as these casinos build new ones to replace the expensive upkeep of a riverboat.Sioux City, Iowa will probably be the next area to build a new land-based casino and retire their riverboat. If you look at a map of Iowa, these casinos are spread out to cover the entire state without having to go too far without running into one. Most casinos offer much more than just gambling. Fine dining and hotels adjoin most casinos or is located nearby. Some provide live concert venues and most land-based casinos offer a resort style setup with golf and spas.Some offer live racing as well. Bluffs Run Greyhound Park is located at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs and the Mystique Casino Racetrack also offers greyhound racing. Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, just outside Des Moines, offers thoroughbred racing. I know that if you have never visited the Iowa casinos it may be hard to believe that they can offer so much. They can and do. They are much more than a stop along the way, they have become a destination. Check them out and give them a visit sometime. You won’t be disappointed.

Online Casino Rules and Percentages Explained

Online casino reviews are the best place to start looking when selecting the right casino. You will find a lot of useful information on these sites which will help you in making a decision before you deposit. Many readers do not understand the information on each of the casino websites, however, I will be able to explain what each of them means.We’ll start with the basic concerns that you should be aware of when selecting a casino.Is this internet casino available to your country?There aren’t many online casinos accepting US players, but if you look around you will find them. Being an editor, I will only pick ones who are 100% friendly to US residents and accept Visa & Mastercard to be listed on my review website. You will discover this shortly after you try to deposit money. Some tell-tale signs are unknown deposit methods, such as “Skrill” or “Moneybookers” or “Eurocard”. You should look for the more familiar logos like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Pick one that you are comfortable with. There’s no need for you to jump through hoops, or lose your money to some swindling scam sites. Take your time and pick one that is right for you.What is a welcome bonus?You should consider taking a healthy welcome bonus from online casinos when one is offered. Why not, it’s free money, take it! If you read the fine print, pay attention to the details on these, as some may have higher restrictions than others for claiming your welcome bonus. A good welcome bonus is anything over $7,000. Most will say that the bonus is spread out across your first 2 to 5 deposits. The higher the bonus, the more payments it will be spread across. But remember what bonuses are for, they are to make you feel more comfortable in the event you are careless with your money, as most players are when it comes to gambling. If you play right, and spread your money around to games you know you have an edge on, this welcome bonus can turn into your winnings.What is an online casino percentage deposit match?Let’s say you deposit $1,000 to your favorite casino, and the terms are 400% deposit match on your first 4 deposits, up to $8,000. You would see a total deposit of $4,000 in your account. If you do the math, that’s $1,000 x 4. You will not be able to exceed $8,000 in matchups, so you could do the $1,000 deposit 1 more time to reach $8,000. This is how percentage deposit-matching works. Be sure to read the fine print before depositing your money to ensure you receive the highest match as possible. You will need all the money possible to leverage yourself when the odds turn against you, so you can have time for the odds to be in your favor.What is an online casino payout percentage?Not to be confused with withdrawals, this is the percent of wagers paid out to the winners, while the remaining percent goes to the casino. An acceptable payout percentage would be above 97%. This means that the online casino will keep 3% of all wagers made. If you were to find one above 98.5%, this would be ideal. Each online casino website will disclose their payout percentages. You can find a lot of this information as well in online casino review websites.What kind of support and customer service options is available?This is actually very important to consider. What happens if you deposit money and some or all of the games are not working? You will need to be able to contact someone at the online casino by phone or live chat to discuss the problem. It might be a good idea to hit the “Live Chat” button on the online casino’s website and see who answers! Find out what kind of options their casino offers, and how helpful they are with troubleshooting. Make sure the casino you choose is 24 hours, since not all online casinos are run in your time zone.What kind of game selection is there to choose from?You should check to make sure there are plenty of games. Pick ones you are familiar with. If you want to learn to play, then you should choose the “Fun” option when using the casino’s software or website portal. I find that playing blackjack, poker and other games where more strategy is involved will make my winnings more of a reality. Many people have fun playing slots, but I want to earn a quick buck, not spend all day pulling on a lever for random chance. You can get lucky with slots, but if I wanted to play just for fun, I would play in “fun” mode! Play something that you can at least feel dignified in the event you take a loss.How are online casinos rated?Online casinos are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Some review sites may rate them on a star system of 1 through 5. To make it easier think of 1% to 100%.The Total Rating on a scale of 1 through 10.
This is the final score based on all of the listed factors below.

Software Rating:

Game Selection (1 – 10)
Graphics & Sound (1 – 10)
Payout Percentage (1 – 10)
Speed (1 – 10)

Trust Factor:

Security (1 – 10)
Certificates (1 – 10)
Fair Play (1 – 10)
Customer Support (1 – 10)
Deposit Options (1 – 10)
Withdrawal Options (1 – 10)

Bonus and Promotions:

Promotions (1 – 10)
Max Bonus (1 – 10)

If you are looking for an online casino review website, trust that we have everything you need before choosing your first or next deposit landing.