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An ancient game of ornate skulls and deceptive flowers, Skull is simple to learn, but dangerously difficult to win. If you want to best your opponents, you must bluff, lie and pierce the deceptions that surround the flowers. Be wary, though—if you reveal a skull, the consequences are dire! Each turn, you may either add another disc to your pile or bet how many flowers you can reveal without revealing a skull. If you succeed at your bet, you gain a point, and two points wins the game! But you can be sure your opponents won't just let that happen. Keep your cards to the bitter end to win this game of deception and perception.

August 12th, 1921. We have finally reached the port of San Francisco, the last leg of our trip around the world. Among the relics we have gathered is a surprising collection of flowers and beautifully decorated skulls. During our travels, their fascinating presence has opened my mind to the rules of a captivating traditional game: “The Game of Skulls.” I’ve immediately represented these skulls and flowers on a series of cardboard cards and transcribed the rules in order that others may enjoy this game as much as I and my crew.

Bid, bluff, and make the desperate gambits you need to claim victory! Skull is a classic game of deception and gambling for three to six players. Previously known as Skull & Roses, this game challenges you to outwit your friends and lure them into traps when they least suspect it. Is your friend going to try for victory this round, or is that exactly what he wants you to think? You can never be sure what your friends are thinking in a game of Skull.

Flowers and Bones

Skull is played very simply. At the beginning of the game, each player has four discs. Three discs feature flowers, and the fourth disc shows the grinning visage of a skull. To begin a round, all of the players simultaneously choose one of their discs and place it facedown in front of them. On your turn, you have a choice to make: you can either add a new disc to your stack or bet how many flowers you can reveal without revealing a skull.

If you decide to add a disc, you choose one of your remaining discs and place it on top of the first. Then, the turn passes to the next player. Alternatively, if you choose to bet, the next player can either raise your bet or pass and step out of the round. As soon as one player bets, no more discs can be added to the stacks—each player must either raise the bet or pass.

If everybody else has passed, you must attempt to fulfill your bet by turning over a number of discs equal to your bet. The catch, however, is that you must reveal all of your own discs before you reveal anyone else’s. If you reveal a single skull—your own or another player’s—you fail your bet, and you lose one of your four discs. If you lose all of your discs, you’re out of the game!

If, however, you successfully complete your bet by turning over enough flowers, you gain a point. You only need two points to win a game of Skull, so you can be certain that everybody will be even more eager to trap you once you’ve scored a single point.

Outwit Your Friends

Are your opponents making a gamble to win? Or are they just trying to make you think they’ve played flowers? Every disc may hide a grinning skull beneath its innocent surface. Enter a world of deception and second-guessing by picking up your copy of Skull at your local retailer today!

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