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Home > Traditional Games (Parlor Games) > Card Games > Bullshit / Cheat / Bluff/ BS / I-Doubt-It!

Card Game Bullshit/ BS/
Cheat/ Bluff/

Card Game Rules and Strategy

Bullshit or Bluff (also known as BS, Cheat, “I Doubt It”) is a ‘shedding’-type card game that can be enjoyed by casual and advanced players, young and old alike. Played by 2 or more players, it requires some skill – mainly memory and the ability to tell a brazen lie, or detect someone else making the attempt.

Playing Cards Spades Family

A Fun game for big groups! Play it Loud!

To play, a deck of playing cards and a flat surface is all that is required. Of special note is the requirement that players are expected to play dishonestly: Bullshit/Bluff simply won’t be as much fun if nobody bluffs!

For this reason, becoming a good Bullshit/Bluff player can be a challenge for younger players. However, a few successful bluffs and a few successful bluff detections will allow said players to gain confidence over the course of a few games.


Card Game Bullshit: What You Need to Play a Game of Cheat/BS/Bluff:

* a deck of cards
* a flat surface big enough to accommodate the play area
* dis-honest players

Objective of a Game of Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff:

* to be among the first players to successfully remove all cards from your hand. Or, stated simply: to be among the first players to ‘shed’ all of your cards. The last player with any cards in hand is the absolute loser

How to Set Up a Game of Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff:

* the dealer thoroughly shuffles a deck of 52 playing cards (Jokers can be included or excluded as desired)
* an equal number of cards are dealt face-down to each player in the game. Excess cards are placed face-down on the table and become part of the discard pile
* the players decide on who among them should take the first turn, and how the order of play should proceed whether clockwise or anti-clockwise
* the game is now set up and ready to play

Playing a Game of Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff:

* The player starts his turn by laying down a set of cards facedown on the discard pile, and announces to the table the value of said cards. Sets of cards can be 2-, 3- or even 4-of-a-kind. For example, Alyssa says, “Three Jacks” and lays down 3 cards.

* Any player can raise an objection to the cards laid down by crying out ‘Bluff!” or “Bullshit!”, and turns the cards over in order to reveal their values. Two things can happen then:

..1.. The cards are indeed a bluff, and the player who is caught lying (Alyssa in the example) takes back all the cards on the discard pile. The player who objected then takes his turn, and he is allowed to play any card value. Or,
..2.. The cards are proven true, and the player who objected is punished by taking all the cards on the discard pile. The original player (Alyssa in the example) keeps control of the game and starts a new turn wherein she is allowed to play any card value.


Playing a Game of Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff: (continued)

* Assuming that no player objects to the cards that were laid down, the turn passes on to the next player in sequence (whether clockwise or anti-clockwise). In his turn, the next player is allowed to play only 3 card values – 1 step lower, equal value, or 1 step higher – than the card value that was just played. Continuing our example: nobody challenges Alyssa’s claim to drop 3 Jacks. The turn then passes on to Ben. Ben can play any of three values of cards: Tens (1 step lower), Jacks (equal value), or Queens (1 step higher).
* The game continues until 1 or more players successfully discard all their cards. A game can be played to choose the grand winner, or top 2 or 3 winners. Alternatively, a game can be played to choose the loser, or the bottom 2 or 3 players.

Card Game Bullshit: The Role of Jokers in Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff:

Jokers introduce a special element into the conduct of a game. Players can choose to treat Jokers in 1 of 2 ways, either:
..1.. Jokers can be treated as Wildcards whose values can be anything the player chooses them to be, or,
..2.. Jokers can be treated as outcasts on the deck, having no place in the hierarchy, and must therefore always be laid down as a Bluff As Wildcards, Jokers can become quite valuable commodities. They can also affect the conduct of the game in some unexpected ways, such as allowing players to lay down ‘Five Aces’.
As Outcasts, Jokers present a unique challenge to the players who hold them as to how to discard them without being caught in a lie.

Joker Card

Rules Variations for Bullshit/Cheat/Bluff:

Bullshit / Bluff with a Poker Twist (Poker Bluff):
..in addition to the value Sets of Cards being defined as 2-, 3- or 4-of-a-kind, 5-card Poker-style arrangements such as Straights, Flushes, or Full-Houses are allowed. The announcing player simply has to define the following:
….for a Straight, the player should define the 5-card-sequence. Note: a Straight is a sequential hierarchical arrangement of 5 cards (e.g., 2-to-6 Straight is described as Straight-to-Six, or 8-9-10-J-Q Straight is described as Straight-to-Queen).
….for a Flush, the player should define the suit and which value of card is the highest. Notes: a Flush is any 5-card-arrangement all having the same suit (e.g., Flush with 8-Diamonds High, or Flush with Jack-Clubs High)
….for a Full House, the player should define the value of the Trio / 3-of-a-kind. Note: a Full-House is a 5-card-arrangement composed of a Trio (3-of-a-kind) and a pair (2-of-a-kind). (e.g., Full House of Tens describes a 5-card-arrangement of 3 Tens and 2 Kings)
..the next player may challenge or he must lay down a similar card-arrangement that matches or beats the previous play. For example, player 1 lays down a Trio of 6s. Player 2 can either challenge, or lay down a Trio of 7s or higher. Player 3 should then challenge, or lay down a Trio that beats Player 2s hand.

Bullshit / Bluff with a Poker Twist (Poker Bluff): (continued...)
..another example: player 1 lays down a Straight-to-7, player 2 either challenges or lays down a better straight hand, such as Straight-to-8, or he may play any Flush or any Full-House.
..if a challenge is successful, the player caught in a lie must take back all the cards in the discard pile, and successful player takes his turn, wherein he can play any kind of card-combination that he wants.
..Note: In Poker, 5-card-combinations are ranked thus: Straights lose to Flushes, which lose to Full-Houses, which lose to Straight Flushes. Straights can not ‘wrap-around’, which means Q-K-A-2-3 is not a valid Straight.

Bullshit ala Blind Man's Bluff (Indian Bullshit):
..All standard rules apply, except each player takes the last card dealt him and sticks it on his forehead, facing out (such as how a Native American Indian might wear a feather on his headgear). All other players, save the player himself, can then see this card. At the same time, the player can see 1 card each from all other players – a card that is unknown to the players who own them.
..The game then proceeds in the same way as a standard game with 1 additional rule: A player must first run out of cards in his hand before he can play the card on his forehead. Beware: other players will likely block him from taking his turn following the normal clockwise or anti-clockwise order, since assuming his turn will immediately win him the game.


Bullshit ala Blind Man's Bluff (Indian Bullshit): (continued...)
Typically, therefore, the only way he gets to play this card is by making a successful challenge on a bluff.
..The winner can be decided in 2 ways:
..1.. a player must discard all his cards, including the card on his forehead; or,
..2.. a player must successfully guess the value (rank only, suit need not be guessed) of the card on his forehead. He can make a guess at the start of his turn even if he still holds cards in his hand. A correct guess wins him the game. On the other hand, an incorrect guess instantly loses him the game. In both cases, all cards in his hand are dealt out evenly to the remaining players and excess cards placed in the discard pile.

Other Bullshit / Bluff Variations:
..instead of allowing the next player 3 possible card values in his turn, he may only play the same value as the previous player or challenge the previous play as a bluff:
….if he decides to accept the previous play, he can play true, bluff his way through, or PASS. (note: passing is allowed under this game variation).
….if he decides to challenge the previous play, standard rules apply pending the outcome of his challenge.
….under this game variation, only the player who owns the turn can challenge the previous play.
..instead of playing a full deck, equal number of cards can be dealt to each player and the remaining cards removed from the game. This makes the game more unpredictable as the values of the cards that were removed from the game are unknown.


Play Bullshit / Bluff as an Adult Party Game:

The loud nature of the game lends itself well as a drinking game or a strip game in adult-themed parties. Check out our suggestions below on how you can incorporate a naughtly version of Bullshit / Bluff in your next adult-themed party.

Play Bullshit / Bluff as Drinking Game:

Whenever a challenge is made, someone takes a shot depending on who loses the challenge. Additionally, every time a player successfully sheds all cards, all the players who are still in the game take double shots. At the end of a game, a drunkenness test is conducted and those who fail are given a Truth or Dare challenge.
Note: a creative drunkenness test can be employed such as walking a straight line with arms outstretched to the side, and touching the tip of the nose 4 times with the pinky finger by bending at the elbows, left pinky then right pinky in alternating fashion. Try it while you’re drunk! =P

Many Different Drinks

Play Strip Bullshit / Strip Bluff :

Each player starts with identical number of clothing. For example, 6 articles of clothing can be made up of shoes, socks, pants, shirt, jacket, undies. For longer games, additional articles of clothing can be added such as fashion accessories (sunglasses, bracelets, earrings, etc.), scarves, caps / hats, etc.
Whenever a challenge is made, someone takes off an article of clothing depending on who loses the challenge. Additionally, whenever a player successfully sheds all cards, all the players left in the game take off an article of clothing. The game continues until 1 or more players are disrobed.
For a longer game of Strip Bullshit / Strip Bluff: in any challenge, the player who wins the challenge gets to redeem an article of clothing previously lost, while the player who loses said challenge removes an article of clothing. In this rule variation, players are given greater incentive to win a call of “Bluff!” or “Bullshit!”.


More Rules and Variations for Drink and Strip Bullshit / Bluff:

Follow this link to find more Rules for Drink and Strip Bluff / Drink and Strip Bullshit.

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