OBJECTIVE OF BULLSHIT: Get rid of all your cards as fast as you can before all the other players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 10 players (best with 3 to 6 players)
MATERIALS OF BULLSHIT: 52-card deck (no jokers)
TYPE OF GAME: Card game
AUDIENCE: Teens and Adults
OVERVIEW OF BULLSHIT
Bullshit is a popular card game that is known by many other names. If you haven’t heard of Bullshit before, you might have heard of Cheat, BS, Liar, or I Doubt It. A super fun card shedding game, Bullshit is the card game to play if you have anywhere between 2 and 10 players. However, with that said, this game is best played with 3 to 6 players. Unlike most traditional card games, as you might be able to infer from its name, this card game involves a bit of deception and courage in order to shed those cards.
Sounds pretty fun, right? Well, it is – as long as you don’t get caught lying! Do you want to learn how to play this game? Here are the rules for Bullshit.
SETUP FOR BULLSHIT
Before we begin play, let’s set up the game. You’ll need a single 52-card deck to play Bullshit. That’s a standard deck minus the 2 jokers. Shuffle the deck thoroughly to ensure all the cards are mixed up. Then, split and distribute the cards evenly among all players. Depending on the number of players, some players may end up with one or more cards than the other players. But don’t worry; this won’t affect the game in the long run.
You can play this card game with just 2 players, but of course, the more, the merrier!
HOW TO PLAY BULLSHIT: BULLSHIT RULES
Choose a player to go first. You can decide this however you want, but generally, the person who has the ace of spades goes first.
STARTING WITH THE ACE
The first player must always start by putting down one to four aces face-down on the table. They must announce this discarded card to the other players.
For example, the player that throws out the first card would say, “One ace”.
PLAY IN CONSECUTIVE ASCENDING ORDER
The turn then passes to the next player on the first player’s left, and they are required to discard the next card in consecutive ascending order. So, after the first player’s ace or aces, the next card or cards would be a two. The player has the option of discarding all the twos in his hand in one discard if they want. They must announce the card or cards they are discarding to the rest of the group as they place the cards face-down in the discard pile.
Play continues in this manner, with players putting down cards in consecutive ascending order. So, the next cards would be 3, then 4, then 5, etc.
But what if you don’t have the card you need? For example, if the previous player put down two 4s, and you don’t have any 5s in your hand, aren’t you screwed? Hold onto your horses. This is where things get interesting! If a player does not have a 5 in hand in this example, they may discard an alternative card(s) but still claim it as a 5 and hope the other players don’t call them out on their bullshit!
Alternatively, if you do have one 5 but you’d like to attempt to get rid of more cards in your hand, you can bullshit and say you have three 5s, and put down two random cards alongside the 5.
If a player calls bullshit, then they must flip the questioned cards over to see if they are actually the cards they are supposed to be.
If the cards do not match, then the player who discarded them must take the whole discard deck into their hand! Yikes!
On the other hand, when the cards do match what was claimed, then the player who called bullshit must take the whole discard pile into their hand. A player may not call BS on themselves.
Remember: A player can discard more than one card on their turn. For example, say you have three 10s in your hand and 10 falls on your turn, then you can discard all three 10s at once.
BULLSHIT CARD GAME STRATEGIES
Once you get the basics of the Bullshit game rules down, it’s time to employ some strategies to up your game and better your chances of winning!
One option is to play dumb when it’s your turn and you have the card. For example, if your turn comes around, and it’s time for 9, if you have one or two 9s in your hand, pretend you’ve forgotten which card is next. Say something along the lines of, “Which card was next?” Then, pretend to fumble around while you lay down your two 9s, and wait for someone to call BS on your shenanigans.
WHENEVER POSSIBLE, BE TRUTHFUL
I know the name of the game is Bullshit, but you should really be telling the truth as much as you can. After all, you want to avoid grabbing all the cards in the discard pile. So, if it’s your turn, and you have to place 7s, and you happen to have at least one 7, put it down. Don’t try to be clever!
CALL BS ON LAST CARD
Chances are, when someone is on their last card, they won’t have the exact card they need to end the game. So, call bullshit – of course, unless you know they have the right card in their hand!
ARRANGE CARDS IN ORDER
Arrange the cards in order. However, instead of organizing them from A to K, organize them in the order the value will come to you. So, for example, if you go first and there are four players total, you’ll want to organize the cards as follows: A, 5, 9, K, 4…
END OF GAME
The gameplay continues in this way until someone has gone out and is declared the winner!
VARIATIONS OF BULLSHIT
Bullshit is a fairly simple game with straightforward rules. If you want to put a twist on the rules and play a bit differently, there are a few different variations of Bullshit rules you can play.
If more than 5 or 6 players are playing Bullshit, you might want to consider adding another deck to the mix. This will help make the game last longer than it would with just a single deck.
Instead of the order of play being A, 2, 3… K, you can switch it up and go the other way. Start from 2, A, K, Q… 3, and so on.
If a player has the same card value as the one played by the previous player, they may do so with this rule variation. So, for example, if Player A discards a 7, the next player can either discard 7s or 8s.
HIGH OR LOW
If you want the game to be easier, one variation of Bullshit game rules is allowing the next player to play a card that is higher OR lower than the previous card. So, for example, if the previous player discarded an 8, the next player can discard 7s or 9s.
If you want to play a more chaotic game of Bullshit, instead of taking turns, allow any player, no matter where they are sitting, to put down cards. So, Player A can start the game by putting down an Ace, then Player C can hurry and put down 2s, and so on. This rule variation may allow for less bullshitting, however, as the game moves very fast.
DRINKING BULLSHIT CARD GAME
You can also turn Bullshit into a drinking card game. To play, simply follow the same rules as above, but anytime someone takes the entire discard pile (either because someone called them out on their bullshit or someone was wrong in calling bullshit on another player), they must also take a drink.
What Do You Do When You Do Not Have the Next Card Needed for Bullshit?
In short, you lie. For Bullshit, you’re going to have to lie at some point. After all, that’s the name of the game! Just take however many cards you want to discard and play them face down on the discard pile. Don’t panic, because as long as no one calls Bullshit on your discarded card(s), you are fine!
How Many Decks of Cards Does Bullshit Use, and How Many Cards Are Dealt to Each Player?
For Bullshit, you only need a single of deck of 52 cards, minus the jokers. However, if one deck is not enough as you have more than 5 or 6 players, you can play with a second deck.
When Should You Call Bullshit?
You may call Bullshit on a player after they have declared their discarded card(s), though when you choose to do that is a personal question. A lot of players keep count of the cards that have been claimed as discarded. This along with the knowledge of what you have in your hand should help you to determine when to call bullshit on someone.
How Do You Win the Game Bullshit?
To win, a player must discard all the cards from their hand. The first player to do so wins the game!
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