Matching Bluff - a card game I came up with to keep the covid blues away (published 2020-04-20)

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I love playing cards and using them for card games. I love to play Blackjack by myself, even though it's not as fun when you're the dealer and the player. Obviously, I got bored and decided to come up with a game of my own.

One game I miss being able to play with friends is Bluff (also known as Cheat, I Doubt It, or Bulls***). For the uninitiated, you sit in a circle (or around a table) and try to play cards from the ace to the jack through the suits. If you don't have the card in question, you place another card there and lie about it. If somebody calls you out (usually by saying "Bulls***", "Bluff", etc.), you have to take the whole pile. If they call you out when you told the truth, they have to take the whole pile.

I ended up creating a variation. Here's how it works:

All players are dealt 5 cards from a shuffled deck. The order in which they go doesn't matter, but each player will attempt to make a match. A match is 2 cards that share a number or suit. The player making the match will place the 2 cards face down in a pile next to them and declare the match (i.e; "Two eights!" or "Two diamonds!"). The player making the match is free to lie.

If another player thinks the player making the match is lying, they call them out (again, via "Bluff" or "Bulls***" or "BS", etc.). If they are right (and the player was lying), the player picks up the 2 cards from the match and draws 5 cards from the top of the deck. Otherwise, the player making the challenge is forced to draw 5 cards off of the deck. Every turn after the first, each player will draw a card. The goal of the game is to get rid of all of your cards by matching them.

One caveat occurs when each player has a chance to win the game (i.e; each player is down to their last card). The whole round will be played before the winner is determined. If more than one player runs out of cards in the same round, those players will play another game to see who is the true winner.

Another caveat occurs when the deck is emptied. When there are no surplus cards left (that is, every card is either in a player's hand or in their pile of matches), the match piles will be gathered up and reshuffled, replenishing the surplus card supply.