The Take 6 card game is entertaining

7. September 2019 - Alexander Schmidt

Take 6! Card Game – Don’t Be a Chump in This Game! | Review


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Skillfully playing cards and avoiding penalties as much as possible – the Take 6! card game is an entertaining game with surprising twists and turns!

Since “Man, don’t get angry!”, no game has appeared that made me swear as often as the Take 6! card game. However, that certainly speaks in favour of the card game, because getting annoyed yourself or being delightfully gleeful with other players when someone has to pick up a whole row of cards with a total of 13 horndogs once again, that is simply part of the fun here.

Take 6! Card Game at a Glance

  • Age: 10 years and up
  • Players: 2 – 10 players
  • Duration: approx. 45 minutes
  • Publisher: Amigo
  • Published: 1994
  • Awards: German Game Award 1994, à la carte Card Game Award 1994, nominated for Game of the Year 1994
  • Game author: Wolfgang Kramer
  • Game objective / What’s it about?: Playing and laying out your own cards in such a way that you collect as few Hornochsen (= minus points) as possible


How to Play the Take 6! Card Game

In the Take 6 card game, 4 cards are placed vertically underneath each other on the table at the beginning.

The 4 initial cards in the Take 6 card game!

First, pencil and paper are laid out for the scoring. Then all 104 cards are shuffled well and 10 cards are dealt face down to each player. Another 4 cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. Each of these forms the beginning of a row, which must always be a maximum of 5 cards long, because 6 takes! All remaining cards are discarded for this round.

Tip: As a player, it is best to sort the cards you have in your hand by ascending numbers.

Playing Cards

Each player first places a card face down on the table in front of them. Only then do they all reveal their cards together. Now the players can play the cards, starting with the lowest card, then the next highest card and so on.

There are 2 rules to follow when laying out cards:

1. ascending numbers: the card must always be higher than the one it is placed next to.
2. lowest difference: the card must always be placed in the row whose last card has the lowest difference to the card placed.

These rules guarantee that there is always exactly one correct row where the card can be placed.

Example: The initial cards are as shown in the picture above and 4 players are playing. They each lay out a card, then they turn over: the first one the 60, the second 47, the third 98 and the fourth 47. Now they lay out according to the rules, but in the order 47, 59, 60, 98!

6 takes! - Example of rows on the table

The rows after the 1st move with 4 players

Collecting Penalty Cards in the Take 6! Card Game

As long as you can place your card in a row, everything is still okay. But if your card has to be placed in a row where there are already 5 cards, i.e. the row is full, the rule is: take 6!

The player must take all 5 cards of this row and places his card on the table as the new starting card of this row. The cards taken, however, are not taken into the hand, but each player places them next to him on the so-called horndog pile.

Example: In the next turn, the 4 players put out the cards 5, 52, 62 and 63. The player with 63 was hoping that none of the others would play a card between 60 and 63, but he is unlucky and so 6 takes! He has to put all 5 cards of this row on his hornet pile. The 63 now forms the new beginning of the row.

Another case where you have to take penalty cards is when you only have one card left in your hand that is so low that it does not fit into any row. However, you can then choose which row to pick up for it, choosing of course the one with the fewest minus points (Hornochsen).

Example: One of the players has deliberately played the 5, which of course cannot be placed anywhere. He may now decide which row he will take as a penalty and naturally chooses the row with the card 89, which shows only one Horned Ox.

The Takes 6 card game is a game where you can often get angry

The row is already full, which means: 6 takes!

Sometimes it can even make strategic sense to play a card that is too low, in order to specifically only collect a small number of minus points, but at the same time create a new row as a basis for further cards of your own.

Round End and Evaluation

A round of the Take 6! card game ends when all players have played their hand cards and, if necessary, drawn penalty cards for them. Now it is evaluated who has made the most minus points.

But be careful: it is not the number of cards in the Horned Ox pile that counts, but the number of Horned Oxes at the top of each card.

Most cards show only one horned ox at the top, but numbers of 5 show two, numbers of 10 show three and numbers of doubles even five horned oxes! However, the nastiest card is the one with the number 55 – since it is both a 5-number and a double number, it shows 7 Horned Oxes!

The minus points are noted for each player and, if necessary, added to those from a previous round, then a new round begins. The game is played until one player has collected a total of 66 horndogs. The winner is the player with the least points.

Of course, a different number of points or a fixed number of rounds can be agreed in advance.

Picking up penalty cards when 6 takes!

Grrr, there’s another player annoyed by having so many Hornochsen!

Review and Conclusion

Price / Performance

The Take 6! card game is super quick to learn and the rules are intuitive. The first time we played the game was with four of us in an adult group and we quickly got a taste for it. We also noticed that from round to round we started to play more strategically, or at least tried to.

Because after experiencing a few surprising situations in the game, you do try to think along and consciously start closing rows, blocking or building up for your own future cards. However, since with 4 players there are only 44 cards in the game and you don’t know which ones, there is still a very large portion of chance involved.

For those who prefer a more strategic approach to the game, the game instructions also suggest a professional variant.
Another time we played Take 6! with eight players in a round that also included teenagers and children. 6 nimmt! became even more unpredictable, and with the majority of players, it was much quicker for a row to fill up and someone to get hornswoggled. Both times we found that 6 nimmt! can be downright addictive – you can spend hours playing it, even though it is built on very simple principles.


Take 6! is an original and extremely entertaining card game with a ludicrous effect when you need to pick up a row. Because it is small and easy to transport, it is also a great travel game to take with you.

On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find many more game tips, for example on other original card games like The Mind or The Game Face to Face. Every month, the website features new inspiration for finding gifts and ideas for activities with friends, family and partner.

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