press your luck

Luck Be a Gamer: Press Your Luck Games

In case you don’t know what constitutes a press your luck game, here’s the BoardGameGeek glossary definition: “a game where players can repeatedly choose to perform a random event on their turn. They temporarily collect points each time, but usually receive nothing on the turn if an unfavorable event happens. They must voluntarily end their turn to permanently keep the points.” Based on the responses from the rest of the LudiTeam, it appears I’m one of the few lucky enough to enjoy this mechanic.


Piraten Kapern! This game pushes all my buttons as far as “push your luck” games are concerned. There is nothing more tense and exciting altogether as the moment when you risk your 6-faced spree just out of hope to score something even better! Lots of laughs and competitive spirit involved! Try it out!

David T.

I really really don’t like games with PYL as its central mechanic, sorry. (Dungeon Roll, Zombie Dice, Shark Attacks!, etc) Just no. Strategic games with PYL elements in it might be okay, but I’m struggling to come up with a good example right now. Maybe XCOM, but I merely tolerate the PYL element of it, in order to have the more fun, pressured resource management game hidden in it.


Diamant is the best of fast simple pushing your luck games where you also have to calculate odds and the willingnes of others to move deeper into peril. Prisoner’s dilemma made game by true masters.

Battle Star Galactica has a huge and painfull push your luck element when you can try the necessary ftl jumps with less or more preparation with every human’s succes in the balance.


I don’t like press your luck games. I much more prefer good tactics to good luck simply because coming up with a good plan requires skill. There is no skill in being lucky.


As someone who much prefers a nice, heavy euro to any other type of game, it surprises most people that I enjoy press your luck games as much as I do. As long as they don’t take themselves too seriously, they’re lots of fun. Ra is the exception to the this rule. The press your luck element of the getting one more tile on the bidding row v. Ra being called or pulled can be brutal.

Other fun press your luck games that don’t take themselves seriously are Can’t Stop, Incan Gold, Pairs, and Polterfass. They’re all quick and silly, and, with the exception of Can’t Stop, can handle a lot of players, which is always good when trying to push for the victory.

Todd S.

I like Roll Through the Ages for the variable paths to VP it provides, have fun always building aspects of my civilization.

Todd W. & Corrie

Neither of us is big on press your luck, but the best of the bunch is Can’t Stop. It’s fun, and ends before it wears out its welcome.


How do you feel about press your luck games?