Some might say that the Major Fun award-winning Dutch Blitz is actually a variation of Ligretto, others might claim Ligretto is yet a variation of Spit, and/or Speed, and perhaps even of Nertz (a.k.a. Stits, Nerts, Nerks, Dooker, Canfield, Crunch, Nirts, Nerf, Gluck, “Blitz”, Maxcards, Peanuts, Popeye, Pounce, Snerds, Solitaire Frenzy, Scrub, Stop, Squeal, Squeak, Squid, Squinch, Lapu-Lapu Dirty Dance, Swish, Racing Demons, Race Horse Rummy, Lucky Thirty, Grouch, Hell, Hallelujah, Hoorah, Mertz, Moofles, Flip Flip, Knertz, Nuts, Nutz, Nutsy, Kitz Nitz, Double Dutch Bus, Snatch, and Nerds). But all will find many hours of undeniable fun in the knowledge that Ligretto is the only of the aforementioned that can be played with as many as 12 players (providing you’ve purchased each of the three different sets – red, blue and green).
The object of Ligretto is to be the first player to get rid of your stock. Stock? That’s actually a solitaire term for the cards you place on the table and are trying to play. Which makes a lot of sense, insofar as Ligretto is very much like a solitaire game you play with other people. In Ligretto, the stock consists of a stack, actually, of 10 cards, face down. Then you place 4 cards in a row, face-up, next to the stack. The rest of your cards remain in your hand. If any of the cards in your row is a One, you can immediately play it to the table, and use one card from your stock to replace it. If any player has already played a One, and you have a Two of the same suit, you can play your two onto that player’s One. And so on, and so on, with evermore passionate intensity, until someone, having exhausted all her stock, screams “Ligretto” (best when the “r” of Ligrrrretto is rolled victoriously).
Sure, it gets chaotic enough playing your basic 4-person game. But with 12, you reach a level of exacerbated frenzy that transcends reason. So many cards on the table, so much to look at, the possibilities, the likelihood that someone else will find the very card for which you are so desperately seeking, and so deservedly deserve… it’s a conceptually quantum shift, is what it is. And fun? O, yes and most certainly major.