A fast game of bluffing for 2 players.
(Based almost entirely on a wonderful game from the anime series ‘Kaiji’)
Empress is a gambling game distilled down to the finest points of bluffing. There is no random chance. It is just two players competing at their ability to ‘read’ the moves of the other.
One player is the powerful Empress. The other is the wily assassin. The empress has all the power, but a clever assassin can avoid her guards until she has nowhere left to hide, then claim the greatest of prizes.
- The Journey Deck - Only 10 Cards are needed (see below).
- Coin - This is an excellent gambling game.
How To Play
Empress is played in Sets of 4 Games.
Players first agree how many Sets they will play. For example, the players could agree to play 4 games, 8 games, 12 games and so on...
Each player has one of two hands. Both contain 5 cards:
- The Empress Hand - Consists of the Empress (11 of Trumps), and four random suit cards.
- The Assassin Hand - Consists of the Assassin/Sellsword (Sage of Swords) and four random suit cards.
(Usually the sixes and sevens are used for the suit cards. They are treated as identical and collectively called the Citizens)
The ranking is simple:
- Two Citizens Result in a Draw - For this is nothing more than humdrum existence.
- The Empress Beats a Citizen - For she rules over all
- Citizens Beat the Assassin - For he has missed his true target
- The Assassin Beats the Empress - For all debts must be settled
There are two outcomes to the game:
- The Assassin is Caught by a Citizen - The Empress player gets 1 point.
- The Empress Beats a Citizen - The Empress player gets 1 point
- The Assassin Slays the Empress - The Assassin player gets 4 points.
Each player takes one of the Empress or Assassin Hands.
Players take turns until one player makes a winning move.
The Empress hand leads the first round.
- The lead player looks at their hand, chooses a card and plays it face down.
- The other player then chooses a card from their hand to match it.
- Both cards are then flipped.
- If it is a draw (2 citizens) - The cards are put to one side. The round continues, with the opposite player leading.
- If one card beats the other - the game ends and points are tallied. The players now swap hands.
Winning the Set
Victory goes to the player who has the most points at the end of the final game.
Empress can easily be played for coin. Simply agree on how much (in coin) a point is worth.
At the end of the final set, the difference between the scores is paid to the winner.