Cockroach Poker Royal Review

Kakerlakenpoker Royal (Cockroach Poker Royal)


  • Designer: Jacques Zeimet
  • Publisher: Drei Magier Spiele
  • Players: 2-6 Players
  • Age: 8+ (I can see this as a guided 6+)
  • Time to Play: 15-20 Minutes

Hey folks! I’m back with another review. This time we’re looking at a bluffing game about ugly critters. Know what’s worse than seeing just one bug? An invasion of the little buggers. That’s what we’re trying not to get in this game. There are collective winners but more importantly just one loser in this game. What does that mean? Most games you’re trying to be the clear winner, in this one you’re trying not to be the loser. Let’s take a look at the components and how not to lose.



Cockroach Poker Royal comes with 56 Animal Cards, 7 Royal Cards, 2 Special Cards, and the rules.

Animal Cards come in 7 different species. Each species has 8 cards. The species are Bat, Fly, Cockroach, Toad, Rat, Scorpion, and Stink Bug.

The Royal cards are just the species wearing crowns. They do something special during game play.

The special cards are just that. They don’t follow the same rules as the species cards, but instead either always counts as the truth or always counts as a lie.

Set Up


  • Shuffle the cards together to form one deck.
  • Take 7 cards from the deck to make a penalty deck.
  • Deal the rest of the cards equally to all players.
    • If there are cards left over, the starting player gets one and the rest are added to the penalty pile.

Game Play

  • The first player selects one card in their hand to pass face down to another player.
    • Before passing it to a player face down, the player passing the card makes a claim. Either claiming a species or Royal. When claiming a card, the information can either be truth or a lie.
  • The player that’s receiving the card has two choices. Challenge it or pass it.
  • Challenge it – The receiving player either says “Yes, that’s the truth” or “No, you’re lying.” They then flip the card over.
    • If the receiving player is correct with their guess, the passing player has to keep the card face up in front of them.
    • If the receiving player is incorrect, they have to keep the card in front of them.
  • Passing it – The receiving player decided to pass the card along. The receiving player says they’ll pass the card on before looking at it. They look at the card, picks another player to pass it to and can either claim the same species that was said before or make a new claim.
    • This can go on until there’s one player left who hasn’t seen the card yet. At that point, that player must challenge it.
  • After a player has challenged a claim, whoever places the card face up in front of them starts the next claim.
  • The game goes on until either a player has 4 of the same species in front of them or a player has no cards in their hand at the start of their turn.


Special Cards



Royal Cards – If you ever get a royal card from a challenge, not only do you get that species card but you always draw and take one card from the penalty pile. Two cards for the price of one.

Truth Card – This card counts as all the species. What ever species claim is made, the card is always the truth. The only time this isn’t the truth is if someone claims it’s a Royal card.

Lie Card – This card always counts as a lie.

If a player receives the Lie or Truth card, they put that card in their hand and instead puts a card from their hand in front of them based on the last claim. If someone claimed Fly, and you got your challenge incorrect, you have to place a Fly in front of you if you can. If you can’t follow that, instead you have to place two other cards in front of you.

Final Thoughts

Components are standard cards. I found the quality of the deck I received seemed lower quality than expected. I’m not sure if this is just an isolated thing, or of all the games were like this. Several of the cards had scratches on them or some residue from another card. While I know this happens from time to time, it seems somewhat of an issue when you’re passing marked cards around. A simple solution to this is to sleeve the cards I have already, which I’ll eventually do. Each card has different art of the species on them. All are done in the ugly animal motif. It’s really nice and stylized to fit the theme of this game. Not wanting these species in front of you.


Game play is great. I like bluffing games and games where you’re trying to read other players. This does that perfectly. I like that instead of just challenging a claim, you have another option. You can pass it along. Now, this isn’t always the safest option, as the player receiving your claim can stick you with the card. Cockroach Poker Royal is a follow up to Cockroach Poker. The main difference is the royal and special cards. I really like the added special cards and royal cards. The ability to simply say royal when passing a card along heightens the alert of other players. No one wants to get stuck drawing from the penalty pile. It’s called the penalty pile for a reason. Then the two cards that are either always the truth or always a lie is a nice addition and then almost trapping the other person with the prefect card to add in front of them is the icing on the cake. That’s, however, if they fall for it. This is a fun bluffing game that can be played with the whole family. It’s great when a card gets passed from player to player and the species is changing a couple of times. Then it comes to you, and you need to try and figure out if it’s the truth or a lie. This game is a lot of fun and doesn’t out stay it’s welcome. There’s nothing better than playing fast game and trying to lie to friends and family with the outcome being laughter.

3 thoughts on “Cockroach Poker Royal Review

  1. I really regret buing not the original cockroach pocker. Because i tend to play with diffrent grups, the special cards are kind of wierd to explain. I don´t feel this game needs those extras at all

    Liked by 1 person

    1. emartindalegames April 29, 2020 — 4:02 pm

      What about the royal critters? Did you like that addition?


      1. that was alright… but is more for someone who knows the original, because you have to consider the animal in the middle.

        Liked by 1 person

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