Dutch Blitz is like Skip-bo on steroids. It's like Skip-bo, only fun. Each player receives an identical deck of forty cards, numbered 1-10 in four colors (red, blue, green, yellow). That is, the decks are identical except for their backs. Each deck has a different Amish implement on it, either a buggy, a plow, a pump, or a barrel, in order to track which player played which card during the game. Each card has a number, a color, and, tied to the color, a corresponding Amish girl or boy pictured. (Blue and red cards = boy. Yellow and green cards = girl.)
Dutch Blitz is a simultaneous card game: everyone plays at the same time. There are no turns. Thus, if you play slowly, you will be left behind. It is a multitasking game. A player must keep track not only of his own cards, but also of the cards everyone else is playing. Dutch Blitz is not an amble through the countryside; it is a sprint through the city. Don't let the nonthreatening pictures of Amish boys and girls fool you. Take the "blitz" in the title seriously.
|My sister being crowned Dutch Blitz|
champion by the last champion
The center of the table is the common area, where any player can play cards, but piles in the center of the table must be played in order. For a pile to start, someone must play the 1 card of a color, then any player may play the 2 of that color, and so on up to 10. (When the 10 is played, that pile is removed from the center.) Up to four people can play, so there can be up to four piles of a color during any round (if all players move their 1s out to the center). To aid in playing cards, in addition to the three building cards and the blitz pile, the remaining cards in each player's deck act as a draw pile, which players can turn over three at a time, solitaire style, and either play to the build cards or to the center of the table. (Obviously, it is better to play to the center of the table if possible.) At the end of the round, when one player empties his blitz pile, players sort the cards in the middle. Each card played is worth one point. Each card remaining in a player's blitz pile is worth -2. So, it behooves players to play (or at least move) cards from their blitz piles if possible.
|The siblings hold up the card|
symbolizing their place in
2010's tourney (I finished
third of eight)
But for whatever reason--likely the comaraderie engendered by a shared experience--I don't hate Dutch Blitz. I've gotten much better than I was when I was in elementary school, and I've even won one of my family's annual Dutch Blitz tournaments (though there is some controversy about this--but haters gonna hate). The tournament always opens with a recitation of the Dutch Blitz creed (displayed on the front of the game box), but I still haven't memorized this. (I think I'm the only contender for the crown who hasn't.) I now play with the buggies as a badge of honor, and I always count the cards in my blitz pile twice, just in case an errant card sneaks in; I know I can expect no mercy from my family. Then again, they know they can receive no mercy from me.
I'm nowhere near the best in my family, as evidenced by my performance in the last Dutch Blitz tournament, which my sister Jennifer won. (Jennifer, by the way, being the next youngest after me, often suffered a similar fate when we would play when we were younger. This was her first win at a family tournament, and there was some controversy surrounding her victory as well--something about demanding special seating and demanding optimal playing conditions. Her winning may have been a sham.) But I still enjoy this game, mostly because the only time I play it is at Christmas or special visits in the summer, when all of my family is together.
|Jennifer flaunting her royal power.|
Next year, Jen. Next year...