Kohle, Kie$ & Knete
(Boodle, Buck$ & Bread)

Game invented by Sid Sackson.
Published by ?.
Copyright 1994, Sid Sackson.
Translated by Jon Ferro.

If you want to make a good deal from a hot transaction you need the necessary capital--or good connections. Without money, but with good contacts with influential investors, you can amass millions in winnings in this game, provided that you bring the correct people to the bargaining table. If the other players play their cards in your favor, then it is a matter of negotiations--and a question of the distribution of profits. But watch out for meddling players botching your handiwork with underhanded tricks, or taking the reins right out of your hands! Each play is a turbulent game of give and take in which every player will be involved.


The Board

... shows 16 "Big Deals" which are waiting to be concluded. Each of these deals shows how many dividends (Gewinnanteile) are to be paid out and which Investor or Clan cards are needed for the conclusion of the deal. The more participants, the higher the number of dividends. The value of each dividend is determined by the Deal tiles during the course of the game.

If a grey block shows more than one name, then the number next to it shows how many members of that group must take part.



The shown space requires the participation of Raffzahn, Liebgeld and Knetowitz, and 2 investors from the group of Talerfeld, Piepenbrok and Heiermann, making 5 people in all.

Object of the Game

Each player seeks to make deals by bringing together the needed investors and collecting the dividends. Money can also be gained by participating in the deals of opponents. At the end the player with the largest sum of Kohle, Kies und Knete [i.e., money - Jon] wins the game.

Preparation for Play

Remove the 6 Investor cards from the deck (solid color backs, without the money pattern). Each player randomly receives one card (with 3 players, each receives 2 cards) and puts it face up on the table. With 4 or 5 players, the 1 or 2 remaining cards are placed face up next to the board.

The rest of the deck is shuffled well. Each player receives 5 cards face down and takes them into his hand. The remainder of the deck is stacked face down in the middle of the board. Don't let the other players see your cards!

The Deal tiles are ordered by number and stacked in the middle of the board. The tile for the first Deal is on top, the one for the 15th Deal is on the bottom. You can see that by this stacking of the tiles that the value of each dividend is larger the later a deal is concluded.

One player is chosen to be banker. To begin, NO money is given to the players. You begin the game even, with empty pockets!

The player whose Investor is first in alphabetical order begins the game. The player to his right puts the dollar marker on the space of his choice. This game is obviously completely even at the start; the starting player has no advantage!

Order of Play

On your turn you have the following choice:

At the new space you again have a choice:

It is then the turn of the player to your left.

Play tip: At the beginning of the game you should first stock up your supply of cards, so that you will be able to interfere in negotiations or protect yourself against the actions of other players.

"Let's Make a Deal"

With these words you open negotiations on the Deal that the dollar marker stands on. You are now "the Boss" of this round and seek to bring together all of the people named in the space so that at the end you will receive the dividends.

As soon as you have opened the Deal, all players can interfere in the negotiations. There is no special order. Any player can be active at any time:

Bids in Negotiations

Players having Investors or their Clan cards that you are missing can make offers:

They then negotiate with the Boss over the terms by which the card(s) will be placed at your disposal.

Negotiations can only be for cash payments from the current Deal. The bidding players can ask for a dividend or for any other amount that they desire. You must decide for yourself whether you agree! The agreed amounts are paid at the conclusion of the Deal. Prepayments are not allowed.

Regardless of events, the cards entering negotiations remain on the table in front of the players that played them, whether you agree to bargain for them or not.

Other Influence Cards

Besides the Clan cards, each player (including the Boss) can play other Influence cards at any time to influence the negotiations or to react to the actions of other players. The cards give the negotiations additional "action" and excitement than they would have, because any player can play at any time and no one must wait until his turn. The detailed example at the end of the rulebook gives tips for possible plays. The numbers in brackets below show how many cards of each type are in the game.

Travel cards (21)

A Travel card can be played on an Investor or Clan card. The corresponding card can no longer participate in the current Deal. (There are 3 Travel cards for each family name in the game, and 3 nameless Travel cards that can be played as Jokers.)

If the card is played on an Investor, it stays on the Investor until the end of the negotiation round, after which it goes to the discard pile. If it is played on a Clan card, both cards are immediately discarded.

Recruitment cards (33)

These cards can only be played in triples; alone they are worthless. By playing a Recruitment triple you steal a foreign Investor card and make it your own. The Recruitment cards are discarded. With 4 or 5 players, the extra Investor cards near the board must be recruited first. Clan cards may not be recruited.

Boss cards (10)

By playing this card and saying "I am now the Boss!" the former Boss is unseated. The player of the card takes over the turn (thereby also changing the turn order that will follow).

The new Boss now controls the negotiations for the current Deal. Whether the other players stick with their previous agreements or negotiate new terms is left to them. Clan cards that have already been played remain on the table. People that have been sent on Travel continue to be on Travel after the change of Boss. The previous Boss can still take part in the negotiations and play cards.

Multiple Boss cards can be played in a negotiation round. The turn belongs to whoever played the last one.

STOP cards (10)

A STOP card can be played immediately after

to cancel the effect of that play. It cannot be played to cancel another STOP card.

A player can also play a STOP card in favor of another player, in order to protect his negotiations.


The Boss has secured the support of the Investor card of another player and they have agreed on the price. A third player plays a Travel card on the foreign Investor. The affected player has no STOP cards (or chooses not to play any). The Boss can then play a STOP card to cancel the Travel card, because he wants the Deal to go through no matter what.

No player may have more than 12 Influence cards (not counting Investors). A player drawing to more than 12 cards must immediately discard the excess or play a Recruitment triple.

Conclusion of the Deal

Are you still the Boss? Good, then read on:

As soon as you have all of the Investors for the Deal at your disposal (whether they are Investor or Clan cards does not matter), you declare that the negotiations are concluded ("The Deal is closed!"). No players may play any more Influence cards!

If you already have all of the cards necessary to conclude the Deal alone, you must regardless give the other players time to play Influence cards before you end the Deal. This means that you must open the Deal, wait at least some amount of time (count slowly to 10) and then you may declare "the Deal is closed!".

Play tip: As a harmless variant, you can also agree that the Boss must ask each player if he wants to play cards before the Deal is concluded.

Each player takes back into his hand any Clan cards that were played during the negotiations but were not required to conclude the Deal. All other played Influence cards go to the discard pile. When the stock of Influence cards is exhausted, the discard pile is shuffled and turned face down to become the new draw pile.

The banker pays out to the Boss the dividends shown on the board space. The value of each dividend is given by the top Deal tile.


For the first Deal, each dividend is worth $2M. If you conclude a Deal that returns 6 dividends, you receive (6 x 2 =) $12M from the bank.

After you receive your dividends you--the Boss--must pay to the other players the amounts agreed upon by negotiations. All agreements for payments must be honored!

After all payments have been made, put the Deal tile face down (Der Deal ist gelaufen!) on the completed space. The dollar marker is moved to the next free space (clockwise). It is now the turn of the player to your left. A reminder: Spaces covered by Deal tiles are always skipped when moving the dollar marker and are not counted.

Breakdowns in Negotiations

If you do not succeed in bringing together the necessary people for the transaction, you must announce that the negotiations have failed. This is sometimes bad, but sometimes not to be avoided, if the other players would be getting too much money from profit-sharing. In this case, like the previous, played Clan cards are taken back up, if they were not sent to the discard pile by Travel cards. All other played Influence cards are discarded.

When the deal fails, it is immediately the turn of the next player to the left of the Boss. The Boss may not roll again or draw influence cards. That is only allowed if the negotiations were never opened.

Game Money

Each player must keep his money visible on the table. He may stack it, however, so that the actual amount is not known to the other players.

End of Game

Starting with the tenth deal, the die decides after each concluded deal whether the game is over. The player rolls the die after placing the Deal tile on the space. If one of the numbers shown on the back of the Deal tile is rolled, the party is over. Otherwise, play continues.


At the conclusion of the 12th deal, the game will end if the Boss rolls a 1, 2 or 3.

The game will end at the latest after the 15th deal. Each player counts his money and the player with the largest amount wins.

Example of a Round of Negotiations

The following example demonstrates some of the many possibilities the Influence cards allow and how turbulent the negotiation round can run.

12 deals have been concluded, and the 13th is next. One share is now worth $5M. The space that the dollar marker stands on will give the controlling Boss (6 x 5 =) $30M--an enticing sum. However, it requires 5 Investors: Raffzahn, Liebgeld and Knetowitz, and 2 from the list of Talerfeld, Piepenbrok and Heiermann.

It is Axel's turn and he resolves to make this deal (or at least to try). He controls the Liebgeld and Piepenbrok Investor cards, which are automatically in play. From his hand he plays Heiermann and Raffzahn Clan cards.

The other players control the following Investor cards: Bert: Knetowitz; Chris: Raffzahn and Heiermann; Doris: Talerfeld.

Axel asks Bert, "If you let me use Knetowitz, I'll pay you one share for $5M."

Bert considers that too little: "I'm not interested in anything less than $8M. You'll be getting $22M anyway!"

Axel can't fault this argument and accepts with gritted teeth. But before he can declare the Deal concluded, Chris sends Axel's Liebgeld Investor card on vacation with a Travel card. Axel successfully fends this off with a STOP card (both cards are then discarded). However, Doris also plays a Travel card on Liebgeld and Axel has no more STOP cards to defend with. Instead of this Investor card, Doris offers the use of a Liebgeld Clan card which she plays, demanding a participation fee of $9M.

While Axel negotiates with her, Bert announces, "I'm the Boss! Forget Axel, you have to deal with me now," and plays a Boss card.

"I think not!" retorts Axel and plays a Boss card of his own, so that he remains the Boss. Unfortunately, regardless of what he thinks, Bert has another Boss card in his hand and plays it. No further Boss cards are played (the others having none in hand or declining to play them), so he really is the new Boss and now controls the Deal (all played Boss cards are discarded).

"I have Talerfeld and Piepenbrok myself," says Bert and lays those Clan cards in front of him. His Knetowitz Investor card is automatically in play. Therefore, he still needs Raffzahn and Liebgeld to complete the Deal.

Doris speaks up first. "I was offering Liebgeld to Axel, but it'll be more expensive for you: you will have to promise $10M to have him."

Axel offers the Raffzahn Clan card that he played at the beginning of the round for $10M also, hoping to still get a piece of the pie.

"Mine is cheaper!" says Chris and offers Bert his Raffzahn Investor card for $8M.

"No it's not!" answers Axel and plays 3 Recruitment cards on Chris to steal his Raffzahn Investor card. Chris feels stupid for not having kept any STOP cards to protect against this. "As I was saying, Raffzahn costs $10M," repeats Axel. He now has Raffzahn as both Clan and Investor cards in front of him.

"Usury!" whimpers Bert, but he agrees quickly before the Deal gets away again and declares, "The Deal is closed!"

The banker pays $30M to Bert, who pays Doris and Axel $10M each and keeps a profit of $10M for himself.

Of the Clan cards, Bert's Talerfeld and Piepenbrok are discarded since they were needed for the Deal, as is Doris's Liebgeld. Naturally, Axel used his newly recruited Raffzahn Investor card for the Deal and not the Clan card of the same name, so he can take the latter back into his hand. He also takes back Heiermann, since he was not needed for the Deal at all.

All played Influence cards are put on the discard pile, as well as the Travel card that was covering Axel's Liebgeld Investor card.

Bert, the final Boss, puts the Deal tile on the space and rolls the die to determine if the game ends. He rolls a 5, so it continues.

Rules of Engagement

Cutthroat Negotiations in Sid Sackson's _Kohle, Kie$ & Knete_

Despite the number of appearances of the word "turbulent" in the flavor text of the original rules, the negotiations rounds of this game basically revolve around a single type of inter-player bargain: cash from the Boss for the participation of a single card controlled by another player.

In play at the CMU Gaming Club, the following expansion and clarification of the negotiations round has been developed. Some inspirations came from the usual initial mistakes due to a quickie translation of the rules to this game itself, but a lot of this is based on our meta-rules for generally "how negotiations rounds should go" which we have carried from game to game for years. (Kudos especially to _Republic of Rome_ for finally making it clear by rule that if you didn't take pains to make sure you weren't screwed, then you are.)

  1. Deals can be between any players for anything. However, the only thing that can actually change hands is cash, which can only be paid by the Boss out of dividends upon the successful conclusion of a Deal.

  2. All bargains with the Boss are binding until either the end of the negotiations round or until the Boss changes; if the latter, the non-Boss player usually has the option to retract the agreement as in the original rules, but terms of the agreement itself may give this option to the new Boss instead (this hasn't actually come up yet, but we're leaving it in in case someone really clever manages to use it).

  3. All non-Boss bargains (i.e. other bargains between specific players which are clearly not related to who is the Boss) are binding until the end of a negotiations round if declared so publicly, after which they are purely good will regardless.

  4. In the case of disagreement, compliance with intangible terms of agreements is determined by consensus of the other players. (Fortunately, this hasn't come up much either.)

  5. Agreements between players can be discussed privately, but players are not allowed to leave the table to do so and eavesdropping is actively encouraged. Any agreement for cash from the current Deal must be public anyway.

  6. Players may never reveal any contents of their hands. They may declare or deny possession of any card or cards, but may not confirm this except through actual play of the cards. Any player may answer the question "How many cards to you have?" with just "I don't have to discard."

  7. Discussion of possible bargains and/or play of any influence cards (including Clan cards) is *NOT* allowed until the current player clearly announces that the current deal is actually open. No encouragement is allowed to affect the decision of whether the deal should be opened at all or not. (That is, the correct answer to even a simple observation of "Gee, if Brian opened that one, he and Will could just clean it up." is "Yes! He knows that! Shut up!!") The only exceptions to this are a Recruitment triple played as a forced discard and a STOP played in response to this.

  8. The eventual final Boss must ask consensus of all the other players before closing a Deal, after repeating how all of the dividends will be distributed. Even a declaration of "Going... going..." can be momentarily interrupted by "Wait, I want to finish asking Chris what cards he has before we have to shut up again."

  9. Finally, it has been found useful to predesignate a specific way to confirm that a bargain has actually been agreed to amidst the hubbub of other bargaining continuing. Instead of bashing knuckles trying to quickly perform an actual handshake, recommended substitutes are either only touching hands (a la Akbar and Jeff?) or simply making eye contact and simultaneously saying "Shake!"

  10. All of this is, of course, subject to the usual meta-rule of "play faster or we'll hit you".

An extended example of play would be impossible, fraught as it is with multiple conversations, sign and body language, and inferences drawn from cards pulled halfway out of hands, but a not unreasonable final reckoning would be of the form:

"Okay, so I've got what I need: I've got R and K myself, I'm paying 7 total to Dave for T and P and future considerations, nothing for Mark's T because Dave required me to use his T to get his P, 3 to Jeff for L less a penalty of 1 for playing a Boss card that made my turn get skipped AGAIN, 4 to Jon for the two STOP cards he played when Josh was Boss and that he's holding me to paying for, and 3 to Josh for putting his hand down on the table and doing nothing for the rest of the round, leaving me with... um... 2?? Jesus Christ! I don't want this crap--can anyone vacation something so that it doesn't go through?"

Have fun!

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell