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Climbing game in partnerships, mostly about predicting who can go out first and making dramatic wagers on the outcome of hands. The card-play mechanism is engaging and flexible, so your hand is a puzzle with missing info, and playing with a partner makes solving that puzzle simultaneously easier and more difficult. I don't get to play this often enough (requires exactly 4 players), but it is a great game to play with two couples.
In most ladder climbing games, it makes strategical sense to play weak cards early and 'climb' from there, but in Tichu, players are confined to one exact set-type each round, which I find very restrictive and dull. Instead of climbing, it feels as though players descend the ladder, which leaves the game feeling flat and void of tension. I enjoy the partner aspect of the game, but there are a myriad of superior partner games.