Footsteps is a psychological game that requires a little bit of mind-reading and bluff. It’s a great little “appetizer” game—play while you’re sipping an aperitif and munching on salted peanuts.

The Gear: paper, pencils, and a coin to use as a token

The Game Plan

Trace the coin seven times, making a horizontal line of circles. Place a vertical slash through the center circle. One side of the line belongs to one player (the leftmost three circles, for example, for Player A, and the rightmost three circles for Player B.)

  • Place the coin on the center circle. The object of the game is to get the coin on your opponents’ end circle.
  • Each player begins with 50 points.
  • On each turn, both players jot down the number of points they wish to “spend.” This can be any number from 1-50.
  • The two players then reveal their numbers to each other. The player with the larger number then moves the token one space into his opponents’ territory. If the numbers are the same, the coin stays in the center.
  • Both players deduct the amount they had jotted down from their totals (on the first turn, they will be deducting from 50).
  • Players again write down how many points they wish to spend, and so on.
  • If one player uses up all his points, the other player wins. If one player advances the coin to the far end of her opponent’s territory, she wins. If both players run out of points, the game is a draw.

STEALTH TIP: Try to win each turn by as small a margin as possible—one point is ideal. If you bet too large, too soon, you’ll quickly run out of points.