Double Blind – A game about information exchange

Double Blind is a simple card game that can be played with 4-8 players. The number of players should be even, but that’s not a hard-and-fast requirement.

Supplies

  • 1× Standard deck of playing cards with any “weird” cards like Jokers removed.
  • 8-16× Coins. (Quarters work well)

Setup

  1. Pull out a number of red and black cards from the deck equal to the number of players.
  2. Mix up these cards, and then deal 1 card to each player. The color of the card is the team that the player is on. Players may keep these cards somewhere handy so that they can remember their identity.
  3. Mix up the remainder of the deck and deal these cards out evenly among the players.
  4. Give each player 1 coin.

How to Play

Double Blind is a turn-based game. Turn order runs clockwise around the play surface. The goal of the game is to knock out all players on the opposing team. On his or her turn a player may take one of two actions:

  • Exchange cards with another player
  • Knock out another player by using up his or her coin

Card Exchange

  1. Player 1 tells Player 2 that he or she would like to exchange cards with Player 2.
  2. Player 1 and Player 2 each pick out one card from their hand and slide these cards face down to the other player.
  3. The players examine their cards, and the next player’s turn commences.

Knock-Out

  1. Player 1 tells Player 2 that he or she is KO’ing them and and hands them a coin.
  2. Player 2 puts that coin down in some central pile, usually near where any spare cards are stacked.
  3. Player 2 puts their cards in the discard pile, usually next to the coin pile.
  4. Player 2 hands Player 1 their coin, if they haven’t played it yet.
  5. The next player’s turn commences. Player 2 can now go grab a snack since they’re out of the game.

Notes

Card exchange works in a “go-fish” manner. On his or her turn, a player simply asks another player to trade cards with them. Players can use card exchange as a way of suggesting their identity, or as a way of confusing other players. Interpretation of a red or black card is totally up to the player receiving it. This means that ad-hoc strategies can develop over the course of a game. One player might be totally honest about their identity, signalling to all suspected friendlies that they are on the same team. Other players may lie about their identity by only exchanging cards of the opposite team’s color with other players.

The KO mechanic adds weight to all this information exchange. On his or her turn, a player may KO any other player, even a suspected ally, by picking up their coin and handing it to the player they want to take out. The KO’d player then puts their cards back into the main deck and hands their coin to the attacking player, if they haven’t already played it.

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