I’ve been looking for a great three-player trick-taking card game for a while. I designed Ambition, a four-player trick-taking card game, back in 2003. I believe Ambition’s one of the best playing card games out there, but it scales quite poorly. It works best with exactly four players, but not well with three. So, if nothing else, I need something to play when a fourth for Ambition is unavailable.
Skat I found appealing in concept, but loaded with a bit of cruft. I wanted to improve it or, better yet, develop a brand-new three-player trick-taking card game. Throughout December 2010 and January 2011, I spent much of my spare time play-testing a brand new (and, in my opinion, quite good) game of cards. It’s called Balls, and the rules can be found here.