No Thanks often shows up in recommendations for casual gamers due to its speed and simplicity and recommendations for travel games due to its small size and cost. I thought it was decent, but it doesn’t have a place in my collection.
33 Uniquely numbered cards, 3 to 35 (I wonder why they settled on that?)
55 chips (each player gets 11)
Great portability, and needs very little room to play, making it great for travel.
Before playing, shuffle the deck and remove 9 random cards. The goal is to have the fewest points, and cards earn their face value. Players start with 11 chips that reduce your score by 1 each. One card is revealed at a time. On your turn, you can either put one of your chips on this card to pass, or take the card and any chips on it. When the last card is taken, players add up points on their cards and subtract the number of chips they have, and the lowest score wins. But, if you have runs of two or more cards (e.g. 22, 23) only the lowest card in the run scores. The game is full of guessing when other people will pass so you can avoid taking high cards, while collecting chips and completing runs to lower your score.
The simplicity of the game makes it easy to teach and quick to play. It’s a light, quick game, making it good filler material for a game night, or when you don’t want something heavy.
No Thanks is so light, I don’t feel invested in the game. It doesn’t need a theme, but it doesn’t feel like it could really support one, either. It’s pleasant enough but not something I would go out of my way to play.
I feel like the designer of No Thanks played For Sale and thought “If only this game were even simpler.” Part of that feeling is because both games are in the light auction game category. But I already enjoy For Sale more with both my serious gaming group and family. For Sale is already small, quick and easy and provides more game, and it plays up to 6, instead of 5. No Thanks is a different experience that I don’t need if I own For Sale (or if I borrow it from my neighbor for three months). So while I won’t turn down an offer to play No Thanks, I’ll pass on buying it.