Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

A Gamut of Games

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Originally published  1969
4.3/5 Goodreads

Author  Sid Sackson
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A gamut of games book walkthrough w doron

A Gamut of Games is an innovative book of games written by Sid Sackson and first published in 1969. It contains rules for a large number of paper and pencil, card, and board games. Many of the games in the book had never before been published. It is considered by many to be an essential text for anyone interested in abstract strategy games, and a number of the rules were later expanded into full-fledged published board games.


Some of the games which were later sold separately include Focus, Property and Origins of World War I; Robert Abbott expanded his game Crossings, published here, into the more-refined title Epaminondas. Many of the games covered in the book were creations of Sid Sackson himself, who was a prolific game designer.

The sections of the book and the games covered therein are as follows:

In Search of Big and Little Games

  • Mate, a card game by G. Capellen
  • Blue and Gray, a board game by Henry Busch and Arthur Jaeger
  • Le Truc, a revived French card game
  • Plank, a serious revamp of the concepts in Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Zetema, a Victorian card game similar to Bezique
  • Hekaton, a card game originally published along with "Yankee Notion Cards" from the 19th century
  • Game Inventors Are People Too

  • Lines of Action, a board game by Claude Soucie
  • Cups, a mancala variant by Arthur and Wald Amberstone
  • Crossings, a board game by Robert Abbott; later turned into Epaminondas
  • Lap, a complex progeny of Battleships by Lech Pijanowski
  • Three Musketeers, a board game by Haar Hoolim; notably, this game and the character in it was once used as the mascot for the Zillions of Games software product
  • Paks, a playing card game by Phil Laurence
  • Skedoodle, a pencil-and-paper game by Father Daniel
  • Knight Chase, a board game by Alex Randolph (inventor of games like TwixT)
  • Origins of World War I, a historical pencil-and-paper game by Jim Dunnigan which teaches players history
  • Those Protean Pieces of Pasteboard

    All of the games in this section use a standard pack of cards.

  • All My Diamonds, an auctioning game by Sid Sackson
  • Osmosis, by Sid Sackson
  • Patterns, by Sid Sackson
  • Suit Yourself, by Sid Sackson
  • Bowling Solitaire, a one-player game by Sid Sackson that simulates ten-pin bowling.
  • Card Baseball, by Sid Sackson
  • Slam, a two-handed takeoff of Bridge by Sid Sackson
  • Poke, a two-player multi-genre card game that combines strong elements of Poker with trick-taking games
  • Color Gin, a two-handed modification of Hollywood Gin by Sid Sackson
  • New Battles on an Old Battlefield

    All of the games in this section use a checkerboard.

  • Focus, by Sid Sackson; this game was later sold commercially
  • Network, by Sid Sackson
  • Take It Away, by Sid Sackson
  • Grab a Pencil

    All of the games in this section are meant to be played with pencil and paper.

  • Hold That Line, by Sid Sackson; an attempt to move "boredom" games away from Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Cutting Corners, by Sid Sackson; another attempt at a "boredom" game
  • Paper Boxing, by Sid Sackson
  • Last Word, a paper-based Scrabble-esque game by Sid Sackson
  • Patterns II, an inductive-reasoning game by Sid Sackson; see Eleusis for another game in this small genre
  • Property, later republished as New York, by Sid Sackson
  • A Miscellany of Games

  • Solitaire Dice, by Sid Sackson
  • Domino Bead Game, by Sid Sackson
  • Haggle, a deliciously confusing party game by Sid Sackson
  • The No Game, a classic and simple party game
  • Change Change, a simple solitaire utilizing coins by Sid Sackson
  • A second edition of the book was published in 1982; Dover Publications released an unabridged reprint, with an additional preface by Sackson, in 1992.


    A Gamut of Games Wikipedia