Balk is the real deal! It's super fun and simple to learn, yet becomes increasingly more complex as you discover its intricate strategies. To win you have to outfox your opponents and get into their heads! Gameplay is fast paced and it's ultra-portable – so take it to a party, play while waiting in a restaurant, or plan your next family game night around Balk!
- 2-4 Players
- Ages 7+
- Each game around 15-20 min
One complete deck of Balk cards includes:
- 10 point cards
- 10 blue bid cards
- 10 green bid cards
- 10 salmon bid cards
- 10 purple bid cards
The goal is to win each round by collecting more points than your opponents. The first player to win three rounds wins the game!
The gold point cards are shuffled and placed in the center. Each player chooses a color and takes all ten of their bid cards. With fewer than four players, unused bid cards are removed from play.
Turn over the top point card and place it face up. Each player bids for the point card by placing the bid card of their choice face down on the table. Once all players have bid, flip the bid cards over. The player with the highest bid wins the point card and takes it.
If more than one player bids the same highest card, no one wins the point card and it is removed from the round. All played bid and point cards must be placed face up on the table so all players can see them.
Each round ends when all ten point cards have been played. Players then add up their points and the player with the highest score wins the round. If more than one player ties for the highest score there is no winner for the round. There are no ties in Balk! The first player to win three rounds wins the game!
Balk is great exercise for your brain! You can immediately start playing with some basic strategy and kids love it too. The more you play though, the more you'll realize how complex and intricate the strategies can get. You can fake out your opponents and even calculate out moves several cards in advance. Here are a few things you can start off with:
High and Low – Bid higher for high cards and lower for low cards. Remember you earn the values of the point cards in each rounds, so higher point cards are worth more than lower ones. Don't discount the power of the low cards though! Many rounds are won by just a point or two.
Slightly Outbid – In general you want to just slightly outbid your opponent by a bid of one, therefore not using up higher cards than necessary throughout the game.
Bid One Higher – A simple way to get going is to bid one higher than the point card. So if a three point card comes up, bid a four. Obviously that doesn't work for the ten, as there is no eleven bid card, so you just use the approach as a general guideline.
Bid Two Higher – Same deal as above, but bid two higher than the point card. If your opponent seems to be going one higher, then two will just slightly outbid them.
Sacrifice a Low Card – Your low bid cards are not very powerful but you need to use them in each round. In a four player game, multiple players may bid tens for a ten point card, so why bother wasting yours? Remember, if the two highest bids are a tie, the point card is removed from the round and no one wins it. So you might try bidding your one card, surprising your opponents, and letting them fight it out for the ten.
Force a Tie Bid – If you have more points than your opponents, and there are only a few high cards left in the point card deck, you might be able to force a tie bid by playing the same card you've deduced your opponent will. This will render the point card null for the round, and hold your lead.
Counting Cards – Most players will order their cards in their hands from one to ten, as it's a lot harder to keep track when they're out of order. Count the cards in their hand to figure out what they might be bidding. Sounds like cheating, eh? No way! You're not actually looking at their cards - just making an educated guess at how they're holding their cards. To combat this from other players, try switching up the order of your cards from round to round, or closing the hand before pulling out your bid card.
Looking A Move Ahead – If all other players have used their tens and you still have yours, you know you're guaranteed to get the highest point card that's left in the deck. Since all point cards that have been used are face up on the table, just look around to figure out what the highest remaining card is and save your ten for it.
Looking Several Moves Ahead – Now we're getting into the real strategy. The stuff that will determine the mighty from the meek. As you play more you'll start looking multiple moves ahead and be able to determine exactly what moves to make based off of your opponents' remaining bid cards and the remaining point cards. Check out the video at the top of the page for an example.
There's tons more you can do and make up your own strategy. Good luck and may the best balk strategist win!
Our goal is to make Balk accessible to as many people as possible and we have worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible. How are we doing that? Not by skimping on quality. These cards are beautiful and will be made of high-quality materials.
We are going with a simple but beautiful tuck case, that will make it cheaper to ship and easier to carry. Note that we'll be shipping from the United States so within the U.S. shipping is very reasonable, but unfortunately shipping to some countries may cost more than the game itself ... but it's still probably more economical than most games :)
We're also streamlining the whole process to make it simple and easy. There are no add-ons just an awesome simple game, so there's no need for a pledge manager. We're aiming to use the native capabilities of Kickstarter to their max, and deliver the games to you as soon as possible.
Game preview on Man vs Meeple!
Thanks so much for checking out Balk! We hope you enjoy it as much as our testers have!
Risks and challenges
The game will be custom produced with high quality control, so if any vendors have issues meeting supply times, it could potentially affect the overall shipping dates. Also, due to ongoing development, final materials and appearances may vary slightly from the prototype featured here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)