A humorous card game by ElPadre For 2-6 players age 10 and up.
Translated by Jeff Goldsmith and Alta-Vista's Babelfish


This game concerns illegal businesses. Naturally, this is only a game. It is not a primer in illegal behavior; players should keep their hands out of such business.

[Translator's note: this game is extremely similar to Grass. I shall use some of the same terminology so those who know how to play Grass will pick up the game very easily. Grass is a variation on Mille Bornes.]


By playing cards, each player tries to build his own company, specializing in businesses of all kinds. Income is possible both in legal and illegal means. Since the competition doesn't sleep, one must watch out. Otherwise, one is vulnerable to raids or tax auditors.


108 cards:
10 Market Open
4 Day of Accounting

Illegal Businesses:
7 "Gambling" (each 5,000 Euros)
7 "Pimps" (each 5,000 Euros)
10 "Merchandise" (each 25,000 Euros)
6 "Weapons" (each 50,000 Euros)
1 "The Coup" (100,000 Euros)

Legal Businesses:
8 "Tropical Fish" (each 1,000 Euros)
4 "Brokering" (each 3,000 Euros)
2 "Politics" (each 10,000 Euros)

Hassle Cards:
2 "Raid"
2 "Protection money"
3 "Tax Inspection"
3 "Vacation in Sweden"

Solution Cards:
4 "Informant"
4 "Mister Zero"
4 "White Coat"
4 "Alibi"
4 "Bribe"

Paranoia Cards:
4 "Death in the Family"
3 "Loan Sharks"
1 "Debris & Ash"

Helpful Cards:
4 "Hostile Takeover"
4 "Relatives"

1 "Magnum"

2 Overview cards

Prepare for Play

Choose a dealer. Shuffle the cards and deal seven to each player. The remaining cards are placed in a stack, face down. The player to the left the dealer goes first; turns follow clockwise.

Goal of the Game

Other than fun, the goal of the game is to make as much money from business. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins.

Normal turns

In each round a player may play only one card (exceptions: Legal businesses, Magnum, and Bribe). After the card's effects are resolved, he draws to refill his hand. The turn passes to the left. [One major rule isn't clear to me. I don't know if the player just draws one card or refills to seven. The latter probably makes for a better game.]

The Cards

Market Open (Geschäftseröffnung)

Playing a Market Open card is necessary for most other other cards to be played. When played, it is placed face-up in front of the player. Until one has played a Market Open card, one cannot play businesses (legal or illegal), Hostile Takeover cards, become taken over, play Relatives, or Day of Accounting. No one may use Hassle cards against a player who has not opened a store.

Illegal Businesses

There are five different illegal businesses, Gambling, Pimping, Merchandise, Weapons, and The Coup. They can be played if the player has already played a Market Open card and does not have a Hassle card played on him. Businesses score their printed value if one owns them at the end of the game.

Legal Businesses

There are three types of legal businesses, Tropical Fish, Brokering, and Politics. Legal businesses have lower values than illegal businesses, but they are easier and faster to play. A legal business may be played if a player has a Market Open card and does not have a Vacation in Sweden card played on him. A player may play a legal business even if he has already played an illegal one that turn, in which case, he gets to play two cards in the same turn.

Hassle Cards

Hassle hards are played on other players to hinder their business. Only one Hassle card may be played on a player at a time. The Hassle card is placed on top of the player's Market Open card, covering it. A player with any Hassle card may not play Hostile Takeover or Day of Accounting. The different Hassle cards are described individually:
Raid (Razzia)
"Alarm! Illegal businesses are forbidden. Each turn, you lose an illegal business." The player with the Raid card played on him may not play illegal businesses and at the end of each of his turns, he must discard one illegal business he has played. The Raid card is discarded if the player has no more illegal businesses or if he plays Informant, Bribe, Relatives, or Magnum.
Protection Money (Schutzgeld)
"Giving is better than taking. Each round, you lose a business. No illegal businesses may be played." At the end of a turn in which a player is hindered by Protection Money, he must discard a business. He may not play illegal businesses. If a player has no businesses, legal or illegal, he discards Protection Money. It may be discarded by the play of Mister Zero, Bribe, Relatives, or Magnum.
Tax Inspection (Steuerprüfung)
"And the receipts? You may not play illegal businesses and must play with open cards." While a player is hindered by Tax Inspection, he may play no illegal businesses and must keep his hand face up on the table. To remove Tax Inspection, one must play a Bribe or White Coat or Relatives or Magnum. Only then may one return one's cards to one's hand.
Vacation in Sweden (Urlaub in Schweden)
"Clean air is good for allergies. You may not play any businesses." No businesses, legal or illegal, may be played by a player who is in Sweden. To remove this card, play an Alibi, a Bribe, Relatives, or the Magnun.

Solution Cards

Solutions remove Hassles. They may be played on oneself or on another, but why help other players? When a Solution card is played, both the Solution and Hassle are discarded. The Solution cards in detail:
Alibi: Solves Vacation in Sweden
Informant: Solves Raid
Mister Zero: Solves Protection Money
White Coat: Solves Tax Inspection
Bribe: Solves any problem, but to use it, a player must also discard a business card (legal or illegal) from his hand. If he cannot discard a business card, he cannot play the Bribe.

Paranoia Cards

Paranoia cards affect the player who plays them. They can take affect even if the player does not have a Market Open card or if he has a Hassle card covering his Market Open card. Paranoia cards left unplayed in the player's hand at the end of the game count against him. In addition, after the play of an Paranoia card, each player passes a card face down to the player on his left.
Death in the Family (Familienfeier)
If played, lose one turn and one open business. If held in the hand at the end of the game, it costs 25,000 Euros.
Loan Shark (Kredithai)
If played, lose two turns and your most expensive open business. If held in the hand at the end of the game, it costs 50,000 Euros.
Debris and Ash (Schutt & Asche)
If played, lose two turns and all open businesses. If held at the end of the game, it costs 100,000 Euros. [Could be worse. In Grass, it also removes your Market Open card.]

Helpful Cards

Hostile Takeover (Geschäftsübernahme)
Take a business (legal or illegal) from another player. You must have an uncovered Market Open card. [In Grass, one may only take a player's smallest open business. This is probably for the best.]
Relatives (Beziehungen)
Relatives are just like a Hostile Takeover, but they can be played while a Hassle card is covering one's Market Open. In addition, the Hassle card is discarded.
Magnum (Magnum)
The Magnum card may be played in many ways, perhaps even on someone else's turn. In this case, the player does not immediately draw a replacement card. It can be used to stop a Hostile Takeover or a theft via Relatives. Alternatively, it can be used to remove any one Hassle card. In all cases, the Magnum card and the card it cancels are discarded.
Day of Accounting
"The game is over." In order to play Day of Accounting, one must have a Market Open with no Hassle cards on it. The game is immediately over. Accounting then follows.


If a player is unable to play a card, he must discard one and only one as his turn.

If a player has three cards identical in title and picture, he may discard all three. This is allowed even after the previously discussed discard, if desired. [It is not clear if this is an alternative to a turn or in addition. I think the latter, given that one may discard four cards.]

If one is able to discard all the cards in one's hand, the game is over.

Note: One may not discard one Paranoia card, but three identical ones may be discarded.


One may also trade cards with other players. One may trade more than one card, and the number of cards given and received need not be equal. One must, however, trade at least one card—no gifts. One may only trade with the active player. Whether one must know all the cards in a trade or not is up to the players. Trading is in addition to the normal card play (or discard). [Trading more than one card for one ought not be allowed. Otherwise, players can conspire to end the game quickly.]

End of the Game

The game ends if: In each case, accounting is performed.


At the end of the game, each player receives face value for each legal and illegal business he has played. Paranoia cards in his hand subtract their value. Also subtract the highest-valued unplayed business in each player's hand. Other cards in hand are irrelevant.

The player with the most money wins.

Several Hands

One may play Illegal as a single hand or over multiple hands. Play until someone has 500,000 or 1,000,000 Euros. The dealer should rotate.