Auf Teufel Komm Raus, or to give it its google translation, Come on hell, come on! is the game that sees you taunting the devil by stealing coal from his cauldron in the fiery pits of hell. The theme for this slightly bonkers game is immaterial though: it’s all about betting, and pushing your luck.
The board is placed centrally and a large number of coal pieces are placed on it face-down. The coal pieces have either a number value (between 10 and 100, with more of the lower numbers knocking around and only two of the latter) or, in the case of nine of them, the devil.
Before each round players bid on how much one player can pull out of the cauldron without going bust – remember, it doesn’t have to be you, but any player. These bids are revealed simultaneously and placed in front of each player in plain sight. Then everyone takes a turn pulling coals from the fire, and flipping them over. If you reveal a devil, you are instantly bust. If you don’t, you can either stick or push your luck by taking another coal. After all players have taken a turn burning their fingers, bets are resolved: anyone whose bet wasn’t collectively met loses their money. Anyone whose bet was met receives the same amount from the bank. If the highest bet was met, that person receives double! There are also $50 bonuses too: for the player who pulled the most coal pieces, and the player who pulled the most number value (often the same person).
The scoretrack cleverly keeps everyone from knowing each others’ exact scores by asking you to place your markers between, say, 300 and 600. You might have only $320. You might have $590! Any player having the misfortune to be alone in last place on the track does get compensation: they instantly make a pact with the devil and any time another player goes bust, the busted player has to pay this straggler $50.
A new round begins when a minimal amount of coals are left on the board, and play continues until at least one player breaks the $1600 mark.
It’s so absurd, and yet so agonizingly tense when you just need one more measly coal to hit your bet and see it paying off big – and then you pull out a devil instead. Or worse, you pull out the 100 and help an opponent hit pay dirt with their huge bet. Now you’re tempted to keep going, and deliberately go bust instead! …If you like to feel in control, this probably isn’t for you, but we had a ball playing it. Good silly fun.
This a great addition to the canon of first-class push your luck games. The ‘coals’ are lovely tactile wooden counters, and the poker chips are proper heavyweight jobs. You can still win from behind if you get a lot of luck and are prepared to bet big – it’s great at the higher player counts too.
A bit, but most of it is inadvertent, or from your own luck-pushing.
None really. When it's not our turn you're still focused on what the other players are up to. It is a game that seems to encourage table-talk!
Almost none. You just want to make sure your own bet gets paid out, and, if anyone has bid more than you, you hope to stop pulling coal before you get enough to pay theirs too.
How random can pulling coal get? You don't know when you'll get a devil... but what makes the game very replayable and fun is how it encourages players to risk a high bet, even as the coals decrease and the likelihood of flipping a devil gets higher... best with more players rather than less, though.