OBJECTIVE OF CHEATING MOTH: The player with the fewest penalty points wins the game 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 5 Players 

CONTENTS: 72 cards, Instruction Booklet 

TYPE OF GAME: Hand Shedding Card Game  

AUDIENCE: Ages 7+ 


Cheating Moth is a hand shedding card game for 3 – 5 players.  In this game, players are trying to get rid of all the cards from their hands.  There are action cards that keep the game very exciting, and players are allowed to cheat.  In fact, the Cheating Moth card is not allowed to be played according to the rules.  Players must cheat in order to get rid of that card.  Watch out for the Guard Bug though.  Their job is to catch cheaters in the act and accuse them of their misdeeds.  


Cheating Moth comes with a 72 card deck.  Within the deck there are 20 action cards (spiders, mosquitos, cockroaches, and ants), 43 number cards, 8 Cheatin Moths, and 1 Guard Bug. 


The oldest player is given the Guard Bug card.  That player is also the dealer for the round.  They shuffle the cards and deal eight to each player.  The rest of the cards are placed face down in the center of the table.  The top card is turned over to begin the discard pile.  If the first card that is turned over is an action card, the action does not happen.  The card is only recognized for its number. 


The player with the Guard Bug also gets to go first.  In Cheating Moth, players are trying to get rid of all the cards in their hand.  They do this by playing cards to the discard pile.  Cards can only be played if they are one number higher or lower than the top card of the discard pile.  The card type does not matter in this regard.  If a player is unable to play a card, they must draw one and end their turn.  They cannot play the card they drew.   

Once a pile reaches 5, the next player may play a 1 or a 4.  If the card is a 1, the next player may play a 2 or a 5.   


Players are allowed to cheat in this game.  In fact, the Cheating Moth card requires players to cheat in order to get rid of it.  There are a few rules governing how cheating can be carried out. 

Players must always hold their cards above the table.  Only one card can be cheated away at a time.  If a player gets caught cheating by the Guard Bug player, no one else is allowed to cheat until the matter is settled.  The last card in a player’s hand cannot be cheated away. 


The player who has the Guard Bug card is not allowed to cheat.  They are responsible for catching cheaters during the game.  When they think a player is cheating, they point at that player and say, “Caught!” 

If the accused player was cheating, they put the card back in their hand, and they are given one card by the Guard Bug player.  The caught cheater is also given the Guard Bug card.  Now they are in charge of catching cheaters and must play by the rules. 

If the player accused of cheating was not cheating at all, the Guard Bug player must draw a card from the draw pile.  They continue being the Guard Bug player. 


The Cheating Moth cards cannot be played onto the discard pile by anyone except the Guard Bug player.  They must be cheated away by anyone who is not the Guard Bug player.  They also cannot be given to other players. 


The round ends once a player has placed their last card on the discard pile.      



Whoever plays a spider may immediately give one of their cards to any other player.  They may not give away the Cheating Moth. 


When a mosquito is played, all other players must slap their hand down upon the card.  Whoever slaps the card last is given one card from all of the other players. 


When a cockroach is played, all other players race to play a card of the same number onto the pile.  Whoever plays their card first keeps it on the pile.  Everyone else must keep their card.  Play continues from the player who played their card.  If no one is able to play a card, play continues as normal.   


When an ant is played, all the other players must draw one card from the draw pile. 


Scores are tallied at the end of the round.  Each player adds 1 penalty point from their score for each normal card left in their hand.  They add 5 penalty points for each action card left in their hand.  10 penalty points are added for each Cheating Moth left in their hand. 


Play one round for each player in the game.  Each player will start the round a the Guard Bug one time.  The role passes left each round. 


The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins. 

Mark Ball
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