Gameschooling with Hamilton: Deal or Duel Game Review


Deal or Duel is an Alexander Hamilton card game. As you may have already guessed the setting of the game is United States post American Revolution. The main objective here to get all the money or die trying. Deal or Duel is a card game of financial savvy and strategy mixed with a little bit of luck.



From the jump each player needs to decide how they want to play the game. As I mentioned above this is a game of strategy. Players can choose to play as a Democratic-Republican (be the last Man standing) or as a Federalist (be the first to get to one thousand dollars. Getting to either of those goals can be tricky.

Luckily tips for playing either strategy can be found on the back of the rulebook. The tips are great but it takes a few play throughs to get the execution right.



Before gameplay begins players must choose what color Face Cards they will be playing with. These cards will be used when dueling and can also be used as money. The Face Cards also contain quick facts about the historical figure on the card. My daughter and I found these facts to be cool snippets of of history as we played the game. Also at the start of each game, each person is also dealt a purse of one-hundred and fifty dollars and five Action Cards. The Treasury is stocked according to the amount of players.

Deal or Duel treasury chart


After a few Action Cards have been played players may find themselves with Face Cards in Debtors Prison. When a player has a Face Card in Debtors Prison the card cannot be used for gameplay. We found that this an put a player in a tough spot when the value of the face are is high. This can change how people play the game in the blink of an eye.

At the end of each round a Hamilton card is drawn. During the time all face cards on the playing mat advance five paces. This is when the real Deals and Duels go down. After the dueling Face Cards reach ten paces (equivalent of 2 rounds) Duel or Deal cards that were tucked under the Face Card are played. Players do not have to challenge another player to a Duel, but if they’re feeling lucky…



On the other hand if a Deal card is played in response to. Duel a player can opt to by their way out of the Duel. Sometimes this is a smarter move, especially if you have a high value face card up for grabs.

But wait… There’s one more twist! Conduct Cards. These special cards can be played by the person responding to a Duel. Conduct Cards give the responder some extra fire power to work with by allowing the player to play multiple Duel Cards. This could result in winning the Duel plus some extra cash on the side.

Round play continues until someone has one thousand dollars in there purse or has at least one Face Card while eliminating the other players. You cannot win the game if you have Face Cards and no money. The exact opposite is also true. Players cannot win if they have money and no Face Cards.

Final Thoughts: 

My daughter (12 year old Hamilton the Musical fan) and I really enjoyed this game. The fast facts on each game card are education added another fun element to the game. We definitely recommend this to any strategy card gamer. It’s good for parties, and definitely better for more than two players. Deal or Duel adds a great deal of information and fun to any gameschooling homeschool day.

Deal Or Duel is Available at these Online Retailers




Chelle is a homeschool teaching mother of two, and wife to an author. She loves matching STEAM projects and challenges with books, games, educational apps and other media to make whole brain unit studies. In her downtime, she loves gaming, reading, and listening to music. Chelle is also a techie.

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