Preview: Roll, Bet, and Collect in Gemble | Casual Game Revolution

Preview: Roll, Bet, and Collect in Gemble


The right gem colors will earn points while the wrong ones will lose points. But you’ll need to collect a few of the wrong colors, at least, if you want a chance at making bets and winning cards.

Currently on Gamefound, Gemble is a light push-your-luck set collection card game for 2-4 players.



There are six sets of gem cards in the deck. There are also two special gem card sets: you add one to the deck for a three-player game and both for a four-player game. Each set of gem cards is a unique color, numbered 1-6.

Each player starts the game with three gem cards, which they place face-up in front of themselves. This is their personal display. Each player also takes two gem tokens. You look at these secretly and keep them face-down during the game. Each gem token corresponds to one of the colors of gems in the deck. These are the gems that will score you points at the end of the game. Next, three gem cards are drawn and placed in the center of the table to form the pot.

On your turn, you roll the gem die. If the color you roll matches the color of a card currently in the pot, you can choose to take that card and add it to your display. Your turn is then over. You can also choose not to take that card and instead move on to the betting phase of your turn. If there is no card in the pot that matches the color you drew, you draw from the deck. If this card matches your rolled color, you can add it to your display and end your turn. If the card you draw is added to the pot, you move on to the betting phase of your turn.

When you bet, you select one card or a group of cards of matching color in your display. If you have multiple cards of that color, you can split them up to only risk some of them. You then place the gem die you rolled at the start of your turn on the cards in your display that you are betting with. You make sure to keep the result that you originally rolled.

You then roll the numbered die. If the number you roll matches the value of one of the gems you are betting with, you win your bet. If the cards you used match the color on the gem die, you can collect all the cards in the pot of a single color of your choice. If the color does not match, you can take any one card from the pot. If you lose the bet, then you must add the cards you used to bet with, to the pot.

The special gem sets act a little differently. If one is in the pot, you may always choose to collect it regardless of what you rolled on the gem die at the start of your turn. The white gems will only ever let you collect a single card when you use them in a bet and win, while the black gem cards always allow you to collect all cards of a single color from the pot if you use them in a bet and win.

There are also wild cards. When you draw one of these from the deck, you may choose an opponent's display to act as the pot this round. You may take a card from it if it matches the gem color you rolled or use it to bet against. If you lose a bet this way, that player will add the cards you lost to his display. You may choose not to use a wild card's ability when you draw it.

The game ends once a player has collected all six cards of a single gem color or if the draw deck and pot run out of cards. You then score a set number of points for the number of cards you have of each of the two colors that match your tokens and lose points for the number of cards in your display of the other colors. The player with the most points wins.



Gemble is an enjoyable, light, press-your-luck set collector with a clever scoring system that brings extra strategic choices to the push-your-luck gameplay while keeping the rules streamlined and easy to learn. Your chances of winning a bet are increased by betting more cards of a single color, but you might not want to risk the cards that will earn you points at the end — while collecting too many of another color will actively hurt you during final scoring. As the end game approaches, players can actively try to lose cards they don’t want, but even here luck can betray you, so this balance at the core of the game ends up being important and engaging.

There’s also an element of trying to guess what cards other players are trying to collect. While you don’t want to take too many of them since it will hurt your own score, you can still try to keep one or two away from them which leads to some good player interaction, especially when wild cards are drawn, without ever veering too heavily into take-that territory.

The start of the game can be a little slow, as you try to build up enough cards to improve your odds of winning bets, but the end game is nicely tense as you try to balance the colors in your display to maximize your points.

Gemble has a pleasant, enjoyable simplicity that makes it an easy game to pick up and play. Its playtime is pretty fast, and turns are quite quick, leading to minimal downtime. This is the type of game that’s easy to chat over and have a pleasant evening with. Check it out on Gamefound and see if it’s one you want to add to your collection.

Pros: Simple rules with a clever scoring system, fast turns, interesting gamble system

Cons: A little bit of a slow start

Disclosure: This is a paid preview based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of this game, which is subject to change prior to publication.