The Unabriged Rules of Deck Around
Party games are supposed to be simple so that's how I've kept Deck Around on the box -- the rules are basic. Some people think that there should be some serious, real rules to every game... and I can imagine scenarios where this is could be really important (like professional Deck Around tournaments!)... so for completeness, here are the unabridged rules of Deck Around.
- Ages: 17+
- Time: 20-90 minutes
- Players: 3-20 (see variation below for large groups)
To be the first person who reaches 15 points. Points are earned by guessing definitions correctly and writing sly fake definitions which lure opponents into believing that they are the real definition. Table talk is permitted throughout the game, which can also be used to bluff players into picking fake definitions.
Before You Start
Everyone should get a writing utensil and some paper. Paper should be somewhat uniform to prevent players from detecting who wrote what. Pads included in the game box can be split at the binding to include any number of players.
How to Play
- Draw straws or spin the bottle to figure out who will be the first "Mod," who moderates the current round of play.
- The mod starts by selecting a random card from the deck without showing it to any of the players.
- Each card has two words on it and depending on the orientation of the card, one will be up side down. The right side up word, relative to the mod, will be the word played in this round.
- The mod reads the word aloud and spells it.
- The players write the word on their answer sheets. If any player has played this word before, he should let the group know and the mod will return to step 2. There's no real consequence of lying about what words you've played before but it's cheating and it makes the game a lot less fun if you replay a word.
- Each player writes a made-up definition for the word. Keep in mind that the object will be to convince other players that this is the real definition. (Don't let that fact limit your creativity.) Meanwhile, the mod copies the real definition from the card to a blank answer sheet.
- Everyone initials their answer sheet and anonymously turns them in to the mod. As players hand in definitions, the mod should review each one to ensure that he/she can read them clearly and without hesitation or ass-hattery. (Try not to laugh or give off which definitions are fake.)
- The mod reads the definitions aloud, including the real one, in a random order. If there are a lot of definitions, the mod may number them so players can keep track of their favorites.
- The players may request a second or third reading of the words, if necessary. The mod may paraphrase these subsequent readings.
- Each player votes for one definition that he or she believes is the legitimate definition according to the Deck Around deck. Players must commit to their definition moving clockwise from the mod.
- The mod reveals the true definition. The group sorts out the score which one person tallies: Picking the right definition earns 2 points. For each person who picks a fabricated definition in a round, the author gets 1 point. The mod gets zero points. A player may vote for his own definition but will not receive a point for doing so.
- The role of the mod rotates clockwise and the next mod starts at step 2 here.
- The first person to reach 15 points (or some other pre-determined point goal) wins the game. There are no ties in Deck Around. If the point goal is reached by two players simultaneously, the group should keep playing rounds until the tie is broken or another player beats the tied players.
- With more than 10 players, it's very fun to play with teams of two people who co-author definitions.
- In step 3, the mod could be permitted to pick either word on the card. Understand that this can quickly reduce the replayability of the game.
- Players who know the definition of the word or who have played it before could be permitted to submit a bluffing definition anyway. This can be a fun way to allow the mod or someone who knows many of the words to participate. These players should not be allowed to earn points by guessing the correct definition -- only by writing convincing definitions that other players select.