Racko

The game review is for the card game Racko. Racko has been around since the 1950s and is still sold and played today. The concept of the game is very simple–put ten cards in order from least to greatest. Simple but not so simple in this mostly luck, very light strategy game.

The game is for two to four players. It has special racks that hold the cards upright and has scoring points on the side. It has a deck of cards that are marked from 1 to 60. The numbers are 

Dealing:

As the dealer hands out the cards, the players place their cards in their racks starting at the back. This is where the challenge and frustration comes from. 

Ten cards are dlet and put into the rack strating from the back
Cards are placed starting at the back of the rack.
At the startt of a game, most cards are not in a useful spot in the rack
A typical start to a game of Racko. Players have to decide which cards to swap out

Playing:

The person the dealers left either chooses the top card on the discard pile or takes one from the draw pile. Then she chooses which card to replace that card with, discarding the old card. If she drew the card from the draw pile, she can discard that one if she would like. Play continues like this until a player gets all cards in order–a RACKO.

High cards at the front should be swtiched as soon as possible
Switching the 26 for a 6 is a good start.

Number of Players:

Racko can be played with two, three or four players. How many cards you play with depends on how many players. For two players the cards from 1 to 40 are used, the rest are set aside. If three players are playing then the cards 1 to 50 are used. For four layers, all cards are used.

We missed using this rule and played with all 60 cards no matter what who was playing. We then tried it again with the assigned number of cards. Honestly, it didn’t seem to affect the game all that much. With the less cards, we had to reshuffle the discard pile more often and it seemed to make for a slightly longer game play.

Scoring:

Scoring is easy with the racks that come with the game. For every card that you have in order from less to greater, you get 5 points–written on the side of the rack. The player who goes Racko gets the full 50 points and a bonus 25 points for a total of 75 points for the round.

The more cards you have in order, the more you score
Having 8 cards in line gives 40 points.

Winning:

The player who reaches 500 points first, wins. To shorten a game you can easily play to 400 or 300 points. For a supper quick game, you can play that the first person who gets a Racko wins; this is great for younger children.

To win, you need all the cards in order from least to greatest.
With all the cards in order from least to greatest, you win with 50 points and a bonus 25 points

Variations:

2 player challenge — In this game, a player may not got Racko until he has at least three cards in a sequence (in exact consecutive order).  You play the same way, and scoring is the same, but you could have a full Racko and not be able to go out. 

 At first, we thought this one who be hard, but it wasn’t as difficult as we had thought. (We did play this with a full set of 60 cards though.)

Bonus Racko — In this game, you play as usual but you score bonus points for consecutive runs. 3 in consecutive order is an extra 50 points. 4 in order gets you 100 bonus points. 5 consecutive is 200 points and 6 or more in order gets you an extra 400 points. If you have more than one run in your Racko, you only score points for one.

We tried this is two players and the full 60 cards. We found that it wasn’t super difficult to achieve but that it was super easy for one player to get too far ahead in points. One player can far out seed the other player in a matter of two rounds. This made the game not as fun. Maybe if we try it with the correct amount of card it would be different, but I can still see this as a problem.

Having the 34, 35, 36 and 37 in line leads to an extra 100 points.

Conclusion:

The game of Racko seems too simple to be fun at first, however it proves to be more challenging than it seems. Although, it is not the most fun that we’ve had playing a game, it is a good solid game. I played this game when I was a kid and I played it with younger kids when I was a teen. It is a great game for younger kids who are ready to move on from Candyland and Memory Match. If you have younger kids, I would make room for Racko on your Family Game Shelf. If you enjoy light games and have the room, I recommend Racko.

Rating:

rating of three dice out of six
Rating of four out of six dice

Julia

Rating of four out of six dice

Carrie-Anne

Pros: super easy to learn, good for the whole family, can be short or longer play
Cons: a bit simplistic, can get repetitive, cards can be damaged over use
Mom: number sense, probability

Looking of more games? Check out our game reviews.
For more quick family games look up our dice games and our list of card games.

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