A Blast from the Past with The Bogey and a Deck of Cards

Sep 20, 2023 | Sessions | 0 comments

Make quick, meaningful choices about how to organize a full deck into columns with the simple card game of The Bogey.

Looking back at the solo games I played around 4 years ago, one that fell out of my rotation was a surprising one… I loved playing The Bogey long ago, yet I abandoned it! Ready with a deck of cards and my old set of re-themed rules, it was time to explore this one again and find out what I saw it in so long ago. No damage to the wallet with this one!

Game Overview

Game Name: The Bogey
Publication Year:
Katharine Turner
Publisher: Unpublished (Print-and-Play)
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)

Gameplay involves moving through the deck to neatly place cards in columns according to suit and value. It’s not so simple when only 12 columns may be used… And the end of each turn involves a random draw from the top of the deck that must be placed! Lots of decisions to make.

Choosing a Random and Apparently Rare Deck of Cards for The Bogey

First Play

August 6, 2017



Latest Play

September 19, 2023



Setup Time

Almost None

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

5 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

20" x 18"


Low Score


An Old Printout

Goodness… I haven’t printed out any updated rules in ages, and this format is so old! But it was still pretty neat to go back in time a bit and find out where I started.

There really isn’t much in terms of the rules and how to play. My real interest here was the re-theme with seating parishioners. Such a neat idea from John Kean!

My only real issue with this one is the general lack of a theme, so it’s rather nice to have a little flavor to it.

I also play where I organize everything in a 2×6 grid of columns… Makes it thematic and saves some table space!

Going Back to a Very Old Re-Theme with Parishioners in The Bogey

Interesting Decisions

Depending on the difficulty level, 4 or 5 cards will make up a hand. Each card can be played, discarded, or kept.

With the random draw, it’s often best to discard low value cards early on. All of the discards get reshuffled later on, so it can be a good idea to plan to save those placements.

But what of middle value cards? A hand like this can be very tricky to figure out! Starting a new column isn’t something to do lightly… Yet what might come out?

That sense of the unknown and having to make decisions with imperfect information adds to the fun!

Making Hard Decisions with a Hand of Middle Value Cards in The Bogey

Getting Closer

My skills were a little rusty after all this time, and I came so close to a victory with this play! Actually, it would have worked out had the 2 and 3 of spades come out later.

No place to put these cards! Technically, it’s possible to keep playing after 12 columns are formed… But I just consider it an automatic loss and reset the deck.

The play time is around 5-10 minutes, so I’ve never felt like I needed to make a loss even worse. Moving along!

I haven’t played with this Romeo and Juliet deck in ages, and it’s apparently just completely out of print. Pretty!

Getting Very Close to a Victory with a Few Leftover Cards in The Bogey

Fully Organized

Maybe it happened in the past, but I was kind of hoping for some sort of cool moment to happen with a suit.

In one of my last plays, the clubs looked like they were actually cooperating! A minimal number of columns are desirable, so I was hoping to get them all in a single one.

Success! This was pretty neat to see happen, even though a good deal of it came down to luck.

However, there is a decent amount of strategy involved here… It’s about understanding what cards have been used and the probabilities. Really fun and challenging!

A Really Cool Moment with All of the Clubs in a Column with The Bogey

Doing More with Less: Simple Solo Card Games

There was a time when I was exploring lots of different games that could be played with just a deck of cards. I’ve been sidetracked with the endless arrivals and extremely high number of unplayed games, yet this is something I hope to return to at some point! It’s really neat to see how much can be done with practically no special components.

I’ll also say that in terms of the value of an investment, a deck of cards is most likely the best purchase. Lots of decks cost somewhere around $5-$10 USD, and can then be used to play dozens or hundreds of solo games. Nothing has to be fancy to have fun in this hobby! This deck of cards never came out for years, either, so it was another surprise.

A lot of these solo card games go under the radar and might not seem like they’re all that great, but I think there are a lot of excellent options out there. The best part is that if a ruleset doesn’t work, it’s not like any money was lost… Just keep on looking for some other ways to use that card deck. I’ll certainly keep sharing some more games like this one!

Session Overview

Play Number: 83-90
Solo Mode: Designed for Solo (Included in the Base Game)
Play Details: Normal Difficulty Level
Outcome: 13, 12, 13, 10, 13, 11, 11, 13 (4 Wins & 4 Losses)

Such a great time! I flew through some of these plays and felt the agony of the wrong cards coming out at the end of each turn. Allow me to draw your attention to the 2 of spades or 4 of hearts starting their own columns. Ha ha! There is a lot more to this simple game, and it’s a great way to think through some strategies with a deck of cards. Definitely need to keep this one in my rotation!

The Intersection of Neatly Organized Cards and Meaningful Decisions in The Bogey


90 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • The only required component is a standard deck of playing cards, which means the cost to play is very small.
  • All of the rules can be explained in a couple of sentences and takes practically no time to learn or re-learn.
  • Play time takes a matter of minutes but includes some interesting decisions about what to do with the cards.
  • Although there is a random draw element, a lot of strategies are possible to delay the placement of some cards.
  • Multiple columns require some table space, yet the general area remains pretty contained for using all 52 cards.
  • Changing up the hand limit seems like a minor difficulty level adjustment, but it increases the challenge a lot.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • There really isn’t a theme to be found, and no matter what, it boils down to ordering and organizing cards.
  • A decent amount of luck is needed to end up with some of the better scores, purely due to the card order.
  • Gameplay is pretty static from play to play, and the fun is in trying to use the least number of columns to win.
  • If an organized play area is desirable, it can take a little extra effort to keep so many card columns neatly aligned.

More The Bogey

Explore related posts about The Bogey!

Victory Conditions

Finish with Less Than 13 Columns

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Place all cards of a suit in a single column in at least 1 game.


Score 10 points.


Score 9 points.


Score 8 points.


Win at least 1 game at the normal difficulty level.

Continue the Conversation

What do you think of The Bogey? Are there any other solo games you enjoy playing with a deck of cards? It’s pretty odd to see that I went about 4 years between plays, but it was a nice surprise to return to this one! I’m learning to appreciate simple designs and complex decision spaces some more. Now, to just make sure I keep playing regularly!


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