A Gamut of Games

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A Gamut of Games is an innovative book of games written by Sid Sackson and first published in 1969.[1] It contains rules for a large number of paper and pencil, card, and board games. Many of the games in the book had never before been published. It is considered by many hobbyist gamers to be an essential text for anyone interested in abstract strategy games, and a number of the rules were later expanded into full-fledged published board games.

Some of the games which were later sold separately include Focus, Property and Origins of World War I; Robert Abbott expanded his game Crossings, published here, into the more-refined title Epaminondas. Many of the games covered in the book were creations of Sid Sackson himself, who was a prolific game designer.

Book Sections[edit]

The sections of the book and the games covered therein are as follows:

In Search of Big and Little Games[edit]

  • Blue and Gray, a board game by Henry Busch and Arthur Jaeger
  • Hekaton, a card game originally published along with "Yankee Notion Cards" from the 19th century
  • Le Truc, a revived French card game
  • Mate, a card game by G. Capellen
  • Plank, a serious revamp of the concepts in Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Zetema, a Victorian card game similar to Bezique

Game Inventors Are People Too[edit]

Those Protean Pieces of Pasteboard[edit]

All of the games in this section use a standard pack of cards.

New Battles on an Old Battlefield[edit]

All of the games in this section use a checkerboard.

Grab a Pencil[edit]

All of the games in this section are meant to be played with pencil and paper.

A Miscellany of Games[edit]

  • Change Change, a simple solitaire utilizing coins by Sid Sackson
  • Domino Bead Game, by Sid Sackson
  • Haggle, a deliciously confusing party game by Sid Sackson
  • Solitaire Dice, by Sid Sackson; published commercially under the names Choice, Einstein, and Can't Stop Express
  • The No Game, a classic and simple party game

A second edition of the book was published in 1982; Dover Publications released an unabridged reprint, with an additional preface by Sackson, in 1992.



  • Sackson, Sid. A Gamut of Games. ISBN 0-486-27347-4


  1. ^ Harold D. Stolovitch; Sivasailam Thiagarajan (1980). Frame Games. Educational Technology. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-87778-144-8.
  2. ^ "GAMES Magazine #36". February 1983.
  3. ^ "Games and Puzzles 1973-05: Iss 13". A H C Publications. May 1973.