|Courtesy of Funagain Games|
While the dealer is turning over cards, each player must decide whether the set is valuable. Confounding calculation, there are bad cards as well as the good. The person winning the draw must take all the cards as a set, the good and the bad. Once a person claims three piles of cards, they are out for the remainder of the round, and their score stands.
|Courtesy of Dan Becker|
After the deck is finished or everyone has claimed their three card sets for the round, points are tallied. The first player to win two rounds wins the game. Our group found this scoring system to be a bit "do or die". That is to say, the first player to win a round threatens to end the game with their next win. Instead, we simply play 3 rounds and tally everyone's score from the three rounds. This tends to even out the play scoring and make the game length more uniform.
Yelling "It's Mine" is a lot of fun. Everyone want a larger set, so there is always the tension of letting the set grow, versus the possibility that another person will grab the set. Because the sets of cards are variable sizes, there also is a real danger that one or more players may come up short in the round. This happens frequently in our group, where early table-slappers get a few big card sets, and the late table-slappers see nothing but a rapidly dimishing card deck for their turn. While we are on the subject of slapping, our game group also has done away with the It's Mine playing board. We find it too difficult to reach in the center of the table. Rather, we simply knock the table, and let the dealer resolve which player knocked the table first.
Those of you who like Reiner Knizia's Ra, myself among them, may also like this game. The similarities between the two games are striking:
After a few games, our plays of It's Mine have become very much a psychological battle, just as it did with the old Hand's Down game when we were kids. Most everyone fakes a table-slap, or makes some other kind of audible as the dealer turns the card. The dealers too have developed styles, some taking thier time and allowing everyone to calculate a score, while others turn the cards over in quick succession, creating a furious blizzard of points and calculations. With any style, it all boils down to how fast you can knock the table.
If you don't like abstract point systems or games that reward quick thinking, It's Mine is not the game for you. However, for light, fast fun, this is a great game. It is also a good introduction for new gamers, to play in between the larger games, or as a simple, fun game to play with kids.