Cheat (game)

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Hand of cards.jpg
Alternative namesBS, I Doubt It, Bluff, B.S.
Skills requiredlying, card skills
Age rangeany
Cardsdepends on number of players
DeckStandard deck without Jokers
Related games
Valepaska, Verish' Ne Verish', Poker Bull

Cheat (also known as B.S., bluff, and I-doubt-it[1]) is a card game where the players aim to get rid of all of their cards.[2][3] It is a game of deception, with cards being played face-down and players being permitted to lie about the cards they have played. A challenge is usually made by players calling out the name of the game, and the loser of a challenge has to pick up every card played so far. Cheat is classed as a party game.[2] As with many card games, cheat has an oral tradition and so people are taught the game under different names. The game is called "I Doubt It" by Edmond Hoyle[4] and is sometimes known as "Bullshit" or "Bologna" in the United States.[5][6]


Deal a pack of 52 cards to all the players, no card should be left. sometimes people have 1 card more or less, but that makes grabbing a competition in itself. The one who sits left of the dealer (clockwise) lays his/her first card on the table, face down. He/she says which card it is. The suit is irrelevant, only the rank. The 2nd player has to place a card of the same rank on top of it or one higher or lower (also face down). If the 2nd player doesn't have any of these cards, he/she has to lie/cheat. If any of the other players thinks someone is cheating he/she has to say it before the 3rd player lays his/her card. If the person is right, the 2nd player has to take the whole pile of cards. If the person is wrong, he/she has to take the whole pile. You win by getting rid of all the cards you have.

Additional rules[edit]

  • You can't say "lie" if the next person already laid his/her cards down.
  • You win if you lose all your cards.
  • Cheating is by the rules.
  • You can't win if you didn't say "lie" at least 3 times.
  • The joker can be used for every card. So if someone says "lie" when the other player uses a joker, all the cards go to the person who said "lie".
  • After the king comes the ace again.
  • Don't look at someone else's cards.
  • Go clockwise. Ace doesn't turn the order of playing.
  • The person next to the dealer has the first turn.
  • No picking cards with 2. Don't go again with king or seven. No skipping with eight. Or other rules with cards in a normal card game.
  • When someone says "lie" the person not getting the cards of the gets to lay his/her first cards down.


  • A common British variant allows a player to “skip” a turn and pass their go if they don’t wish to lie or if all the cards of that rank have clearly been previously played.
  • Some variants allow a rank above or below the previous rank to be called.[5] Others allow the current rank to be repeated, or progress down through ranks instead of up.[5]
  • In some variations a player may also lie about the number of cards they are playing, if they feel confident that other players will not notice the discrepancy. This is challenged and revealed in the usual manner.[5]
  • It also can be played with the colloquially used name 'Bolivian Rules' where the players must continue placing down cards claiming them to be the same number as the original card until someone calls "Cheat" or everyone decides to pass a turn.

International Variants[edit]

Verish' Ne Verish'[edit]

The Russian game Verish' Ne Verish' ("Trust, don't trust") is similar to Cheat, and is known as Russian Bluff, Chinese Bluff or simply as Cheat.

The dealer deals out all the cards to all players, as evenly as possible. The first player to go chooses any face-down, and calling out what they claim to have played. A player's claim need not be truthful.[7]

The next player may either call the previous player's bluff by saying "ne veryu" ("I don't trust") or simply turning over the played cards, or accept their play, either by saying "veryu" ("I trust") or taking their own turn without comment.[7]

If a bluff is called, the played cards are revealed to see whether they match the previous player's claim – if the challenger is right, the previous person picks up all the cards and the challenger starts a new round. If the challenge is wrong, the challenger picks up all the cards and the next person (in some variants, the previous person gets the right to start a new round) starts a new round with the rank of his choice. Whenever players pick up cards in this way, they may – if they wish – reveal four of the same rank from their hand, and discard them.[7]

If a player accepts the previous player's call, they themselves must then play (or pretend to play) between one and three of cards of the same rank as the previous player.[7] In some variants, if the player does not have any of the rank in their hand, they may call "skip" or "pass" and the next player takes their turn. If every player passes, the cards on the table are removed from the game, and the last player begins the next round.

Canadian/Spanish Bluff[edit]

Similar to Russian Bluff, it is a version used by at least some in Canada and known in Spain. The rules are rather strict and, while a variation, is not open to much variation. It is also known in English as Fourshit (single deck) and Eightshit (double deck), the game involves a few important changes to the standard rules. Usually two decks are used[5] instead of one so that there are 8 of every card as well as four jokers (Jokers are optional), though one deck may be used if desired. Not all ranks are used; the players can arbitrarily choose which ranks to use in the deck and, if using two decks, should use one card for each player plus two or three more. Four players may choose to use 6,8,10,J,Q,K,A or may just as easily choose 2,4,5,6,7,9,J,K, or any other cards. This can be a useful way to make use of decks with missing cards as those ranks can be removed. The four jokers are considered wild and may represent any card in the game.

The first player can be chosen by any means.[8] The Spanish variation calls for a bidding war to see who has the most of the highest card. The winner of the challenge is the first player. In Canada, a version is the first player to be dealt a Jack face up, and then the cards are re dealt face down.

The first player will make a "claim" of any rank of cards and an amount of their choice. In this version each player in turn must play as many cards as they wish of the same rank.[5] The rank played never goes up, down nor changes in any way. If the first player plays kings, all subsequent players must also play kings for that round (it is non incremental). Jokers represent the card of the rank being played in each round, and allow a legal claim of up to 11 of one card (seven naturals and four jokers).[9] A player may play more cards than they claim to play though hiding cards under the table or up the sleeve is not allowed. After any challenge, the winner begins a new round by making a claim of any amount of any card rank.

If at any point a player picks up cards and has all eight natural cards of a certain rank, he declares this out loud and removes them from the game. If a player fails to do this and later leads a round with this rank, he or she automatically loses the game.

Once a player has played all his or her cards, he or she is out of that particular hand. Play continues until there are only two players (at which point some cards have probably been removed from the game). The players continue playing until there is a loser. The object of the game is not so much to win, but not be the loser. The loser is usually penalised by the winners either in having the dishonour of losing, or having to perform a forfeit.


In the Fujian province, a version of the game known as 吹牛 ("bragging") or 说谎 ("lying") is played with no restriction on the rank that may be called each turn, and simply requiring that each set is claimed to be of the same number. This makes it possible for a player to play out their entire hand without lying.[5]

This version is usually played with several decks shuffled together, allowing players to play (or claim to play) large numbers of cards of the same rank.[5]


  1. ^ Guide to games: Discarding games: How to play cheat, The Guardian, 22 November 2008, [1] retrieved 28 March 2011
  2. ^ a b The Pan Book of Card Games, p288, PAN, 1960 (second edition), Hubert Phillips
  3. ^ The Oxford A-Z of Card Games, David Parlett, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-860870-5
  4. ^ Hoyle's Rules of Games, Albert Morehead
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rules of Card Games: Bullshit / Cheat / I Doubt It". 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  6. ^ "How to Play Bullshit". 2012. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  7. ^ a b c d "Rules of Card Games: Verish' ne verish'". 1996-11-17. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  8. ^ "". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Bullshit, the Card Game". Retrieved 2013-06-24.

Further reading[edit]