bluff rules title

OBJECTIVE OF BLUFF: Get rid of all your cards as fast as you can and before all the other players.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 10 players

MATERIALS OF BLUFF: 52-card deck + jokers

TYPE OF GAME: Card game

AUDIENCE: Kids, Teens, and Adults


Probably one of the most entertaining and hilarious card games out there, Bluff is a variant of I Doubt It played in West Bengal. This variant of I Doubt It is similar to another bluff game known as Bullshit in the United States and Cheat in the United Kingdom. But no matter what type of I Doubt It variant you play, including Bluff, these are all shedding games that require elements of deceit in order to win the game – as you might be able to guess from the game’s name. This game is also similar to a Russian game called “Verish’ ne Verish’” or “Trust – Don’t Trust.”

These games are so popular that you can even play the bluff card game online! Bluff and other bluff card games make wonderful party games for a large group. To play a bluff card game successfully, you have to be good at fibbing and quick-witted. Just make sure you don’t get caught in a lie!

So, do you want to join in on the fun? We don’t blame you! Here are the rules for Bluff!


Before we dive into the official Bluff rules, let’s set up the game. Shuffle all the cards and disperse them evenly to each player. Once you’ve distributed the cards, you’re ready to play the game!


Nominate a single player as the lead. This player starts each round by announcing which rank will be played. The lead does so by placing one card face-down in the center of the table while declaring the rank. This may or may not be true. Play then moves left. On their turn, other players may:

bluff player's turn
  • Pass: Players may choose to not play a card. If you pass, you may not play again during that round. However, you still can challenge other players.
  • Play: Players may choose to play one card that matches the same rank announced by the lead. For example, if the lead declares they played a Queen, each player should play Queens. However, since cards are placed face-down, it gives everyone the opportunity to lie about what cards they are shedding and, thereby, possibly getting rid of their cards faster!

Note: Jokers are a wild card and are always true.

A round continues around the table until all players pass or there is a challenge.

  • If all players pass, remove the center discard stack from play without examining the cards. Whichever player was the last to add to the stack becomes the new lead. The lead then announces the rank for the next round.
  • If there is a challenge, things are a bit different. After a player plays a card, before the next player plays, anyone in the game may challenge the integrity of the other player’s card. Players who wish to initiate a challenge do so by placing their hand on the stack and calling, “Bluff!” If the cards are not the rank declared by the player, they must grab the stack of the discard cards and add it to their hand. If the cards are the rank declared, the player who called Bluff takes the center stack into their hand. So, be careful!

Note: A useful tactic in the card game Bluff is to lie about your cards the first time you play and then tell the truth the next couple of times. Catch the other players off guard!


To win the Bluff card game, you must be the first player to run out of cards. Typically, the Bluff card game continues even after the first player goes out to determine a second-place winner, third, and so on.

Love this game? You should check out our full list of the 20 best card games you can play with kids.


As we’ve mentioned already, Bluff is a variation of a popular card-shedding game called I Doubt It. There are many games just like Bluff that you can play with similar rules. Here are some variations you should check out:

  • Bullshit: Gameplay is similar but instead of laying down any card to start, the lead must start with Ace, the next round is 2, and so on. This means the lead may also be bluffing!
  • I Doubt It: In this variation, players can discard up to 4 cards in the same rank at once.
  • Verish’ Ne Verish’: In this variation, players can discard up to 4 cards in the same rank at once.
  • Chinese Bluff: Players can discard as many cards as they please in the same rank and do not need to follow the lead’s card rank.
  • Swedish Bluff: Players start with the higher ranks and slowly move down one by one to the lower ranks.
  • Canadian Bluff: This variation uses two decks.
Mia Kim

4 thoughts on “BLUFF CARD GAME RULES”

  1. I used to play this as a kid and we called it BS. I’m so excited to start playing it again! This sit eexplains everything! well done!

    • Hi Sophie, so glad we could help reunite you with a childhood favorite. Thank you for your kind words! Happy gaming.

    • Hi Jaskirat, once a challenge has been concluded the play continues with the next player to the left of the last player who played.

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