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Turbo 21 - Most addicting card game ever.

Okay, I have to write this review so that I'll STOP PLAYING Turbo 21!! It's like I opened a bag of heroin laced potato chips!

Turbo 21 is a Pogo game, and as you may have guessed, it's addictive. ^_^

The goal is to make cards add up to exactly 21. Whenever you get a stack of cards to equal 21, the entire stack/lane is cleared and you have a place for more cards! If you go over 21, it's called a "bust," and you lose 5 tokens. You have 4 "lanes" to place cards anywhere you want. (They went with a racing theme, if ya couldn't tell.) The total values of the cards are written above each lane, which helps with the math. ^_^

The number cards are worth their face value. (4 = 4.) Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 10. And Aces are either 1 or 11. Turbo 21 automatically scores Aces as 11 points, unless that would make the lane bust.

A lane counting an Ace as 11 might say "soft" under the total. This means that if you add another card so that the total goes over 21, the Ace will squish down and count as 1 instead of 11. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of soft Aces. They mess with my speed math. :(

Now there are a total of sixteen 10 point cards, so the best thing to do in Turbo 21 is to make the lanes equal 11, and then drop a 10 point card on it for an easy 21.

This means you want to look for the following combinations:
  • 2 + 9 = 11
  • 3 + 8 = 11
  • 4 + 7 = 11
  • 5 + 6 = 11
With practice you'll see these combinations easily and quickly. Heck, last night as I was trying to sleep I kept seeing 9's and 2's. *^_^*

The more 21's you make, the more points you'll earn! So far the most 21's I've hit in one round was 16! The max is 18. That takes some serious skill. 

Timer Bonus

Turbo 21 has three difficulty levels, cleverly named 1, 2, and 3. The only difference between these three levels is the timer.
  1. 70 seconds on the timer. If all 52 cards are used before the timer ends, you earn 15 bonus tokens!
  2. 65 seconds on the timer. If all cards are used you earn 20 bonus tokens!
  3. 60 seconds on the timer. If all cards are used you earn 25 bonus tokens!
The timer bonus is exactly what it sounds like: a bonus! If the timer runs out just keep playing!

Special Combos

Making any of these combinations is worth an extra token.
  • 777 = Lucky 7's!
  • Ace + 10, Jack, Queen, or King = Blackjack!
  • 5-Card Gimme = Any 5 cards that are equal to or less than 21 will do.

Jackpot Spins

In order to get a spin at ye olde jackpot wheel, you need at least thirteen 21's. Turbo 21 features a progressive jackpot with a max pot of $4,999. I've spun this wheel many, many times, and I'll ever won were tokens. That will probably be your fate as well. ^_^


When you get ten 21's in one round, you get a power-up for the next round! Once you have a power-up active, you have to wait for the next round to earn a new one.

Power-ups last only one round, and there are three different kinds.
  • Easy spin - With this power up you only need ten 21's instead of thirteen to win a jackpot spin.
  • Extra time - 10 seconds added to the bonus timer!
  • Free Peek - You can see the next card for the entire game.
 Woot! Free Peek!
    My favorite power up is the free peek, hands down. It helps a TON with planning!

    Bonus Round

    Once you win 4 jackpot spins, it's time for the bonus round!!

    On your marks! Get set! GO!!!

    In the bonus round you have 30 seconds to find as many 21's as you can! You'll see a group of 4 cards (like in the above pic) and only one group equals 21. As soon as you pick, the 4 groups are replaced with 4 new groups of cards. Again, only one group will equal 21!

    For each correct pick you earn 20 tokens! (No penalty for boo-boos.) Every group has 2 number cards and a 10 point card, so just look to see what number cards add up to 11. That's all you need to do!

    On average I find about thirteen 21's in the bonus round, which is an extra 260 tokens! Sweet!!

    Tips & Tricks

    First off, don't try to play Turbo 21 after you've been playing something like Pyramid Solitaire for a while. It's really hard to go from looking for 13's to looking for 11's. *Shudders*

    When I play I put a 10 point card in one lane, and attempt to keep it free for an ace. The other lanes I add up to 11. But when I tried to get a screen shot of this scenario, it never worked. (The cards!! They conspired against me!!) Just imagine the last lane is a 10 point card. ^_^

    By leaving one lane open with a 10 (or two 10 point cards for a 20 total) I can quickly play an Ace, should it appear. The Ace gives you an easy 21. Try not to waste it. ^_^

    Don't get hung up on scoring special combinations. If you flip an Ace over and you have a lane at 10 and a lane at 20, use it on the 20. Getting a Blackjack bonus gives you +1 token. Busting a lane is -5 tokens. And if you don't use the Ace on the 20, you will bust that lane.

    If you have to bust a lane, I suggest one of two options:
    • Go for the lane with the highest total. Fewer cards can turn it into a 21.
    • Go for the lane that has the same total as another lane. If you have a 20, 19, 18, and an 18, take out the extra 18. It's doubtful that you'd get two 3's in a row to turn them into 21's.
    Now, let's say you're trying to make lanes equal 11, but dangit, you keep getting 10s! When you start a new round, spread the cards out so you aren't crammed into 1 or 2 lanes.

    Yay! A King!

    Now I'm looking for an 8 and a 2 to turn the first two lanes into 11's. But after several turns, I still didn't have those numbers. But I had a lot of 10 point cards!

    Hit me! *Smack* OW!

    To turn those first two lanes into 21's I still need an 8 or a 2, so I'm still looking for the same things. I just saved a step by using the extra 10 point cards before the lane reached 11. ^_^

    Lastly, DO NOT play Turbo 21 when you're tired! You'll make a ton of silly mistakes and it won't be a bit of fun. Trust me on this one.

    Turbo 21 is literally addicting. The rounds are quick, usually lasting no more than 50 seconds once you get the hang of it. Additionally, when you get to the bonus game there is no "replay" option. It automatically takes you right back to the beginning.

    When you put speed and thrills on an automatic loop, it's very hard to stop the cycle on your own. It's just so easy to keep going!

    If you have trouble pulling yourself from games and remembering to eat, playing Turbo 21 might be a bad idea. If you can't resist, then at the very least set a timer and stick to it! Take a break every hour to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, call a friend, whatever. ^_^

    Final Rating

    Pogo gets major points for hooking me onto Turbo 21. ^_^ I definitely will play again. The hard part is stopping!

    I have to confess that when I first started playing Turbo 21, I didn't like it. I earned about 7 tokens each round and it was just terrible.

    Then an amazing thing happened. I got better! ^_^ Once I figured out how to play, wow... time flew. I had one of those moments where you think 20 minutes passed, but really it's been an hour and 20 minutes. Whoops!

    Alas, I cannot give this a perfect score. The soft Aces mess with me. I would prefer having both numbers listed, like 8/18 instead of 18(Soft.) Yes I know it's picky! :P

    Anywho, because it's such a minor thing, I'm going to make a new rating: 4.9 stars out of 5. ^_^

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