Gambit’s Origin Story

As the Inventor of The Gambit Board, I’m often asked how I came up with the idea for such a universally-accessible game – after all, the most difficult thing in the world is to invent something simple that has never been done before.

And the truth is – the idea came to me while soaking in the tub!

Christmas Eve after a family visit, just relaxing and half-asleep, the concept unfolded in my mind, so I called out to my wife to bring me some paper and a pen. I didn’t even get out of the tub, just started drawing what I had been thinking about and scribbling down the rules. By the time I got out of the tub the water was cold but the concept of the game was on paper, almost exactly as Gambit is now.

I had to wait until Boxing Day to go to a hardware store and pick up what I needed to make a prototype board and work out some of the kinks in the rules I had envisioned. As my wife Jewel and I played game after game, jotting down notes and finalizing the design parameters of width and length, we discovered only two small rules needed to be added before the game worked every time – those were the Stranding and Suicide rules that players encounter perhaps one time in a hundred.

As soon as I had the finished rules and play variations sorted out, and the design drawings completed, I drilled my first six-wide Gambit Board out of a piece of oak so I could submit pictures of the game concept to InventHelp for their assessment. That was the day after New Year’s. Eight days from concept to submission. The following week, trademark and patent forms were sent in.

The best part of the creation process was being able to present it to my kids and my six-year-old grand-daughter who absolutely loves the game – mainly because of the tackling component between players. Watching her take on her dad (my son) and win against him was a particularly proud Grandpa moment.

Now she and I play every time she visits, she has her own board, and she teaches her friends how to play a game I created. How cool is that?!

When the InventHelp report came back in February, it confirmed everything we already believed about Gambit, and had discovered by playing with three generations of family and friends – that the game is great fun for players of all ages!

For those players who have discovered our game, I hope your family enjoys playing Gambit as much as we do!