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Cash or Crash
Cash or Crash
by The Game Crafter, LLC, MJ Games, Süddeutsche Zeitung (2013)
Player Count
2 to 8

Player Ages

Playing Time
30 minutes
  • Card Game
  • Abstract Strategy
  • Science Fiction
  • Bluffing
  • Deduction
  • Designers
  • Alex Weldon
  • Thomas Sing
  • Ralf-Peter Gebhardt
  • Mechanisms
  • Hand Management
  • Modular Board
  • Area Control / Area Influence
  • Auction/Bidding
  • Pattern Building
  • Press Your Luck
  • Commodity Speculation
  • Deck / Pool Building
  • Artists
  • Alex Weldon
  • Oliver Richtberg
  • Rating: 5.75/10 from 14 users


    Cash or Crash is a card-based bluffing game in the same vein as the classic Liar's Dice, but granting players a greater degree of control, and more strategic and tactical options.

    Players start with identical hands of ten cards, each showing differing numbers and combinations of the game's three commodities: Gold, Wheat and Oil. Normally, each player "invests" two of these cards to begin the round, placing them face down in front of himself. Players use their own hidden information (the cards they've invested) and the other players' bids to make educated guesses about the true value of the market (i.e. the total quantities of each commodity present among all players' cards), while trying not to give too much away themselves.

    One player kicks off the bidding, making a prediction about the minimum number of a given commodity present among all player's cards, for instance "Five Wheat." The next player must then either increase the bid, or "sell," thereby challenging the previous player's bid. When increasing the bid, however, players can choose between increasing the quantity (e.g. "Seven Wheat") or adding a commodity to make a combo bid (e.g. "Five Wheat and Gold," meaning that there are at least five of each). A player who is stuck, neither wanting to increase the bid nor challenge, has a third option available: investing an additional card (up to a maximum of 4) in order to change the bid to a new commodity (or combo) entirely, for instance, changing from "Five Wheat and Gold" to "Six Oil." The catch is that this additional card increases the player's potential losses should they be the eventual loser of the round.

    When a player sells, all cards are revealed, and the loser of the challenge loses all the cards he had invested: his initial two, plus any additional cards he invested in order to change the bid. A player without cards is eliminated, and the last player standing is the winner.

    Cash or Cash plays well in groups from two to eight (though with the usual caveats about player elimination when playing with a large group, i.e. make sure there's something to do for those out early), and features two additional game modes and an optional "doubling" rule to accommodate different groups' preferences.

    In Endurance mode, only one card is invested by each player to start, and the bids can only be raised in single steps, for a more tactical game. In Blitz mode, on the other hand, players may bid and challenge out of turn, and there is no cap on the number of cards a player can invest; challenging successfully out of turn allows players to recover a card lost in an earlier round.

    With the doubling rule, the bidder who is being challenged may "double" in response to the following player calling "sell." The challenger must then either withdraw her challenge and bid as usual, or else persist in the challenge, with the stakes now doubled (i.e. the loser will have to discard additional cards from their hand equal to the number lost normally).

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