Set Up: Everyone starts by sitting in the circle. If you have 10 or fewer people participating, you only need one killer. If you have more than 15, you may want two killers. Sort the playing cards into three groups: one ace for every killer and one number card for each remaining person. The total cards should add up to be the total number of people participating.
Instructions: Nominate a Sheriff for the group before playing. Shuffle and pass out the cards. Everyone must keep their card a secret, even the Sheriff. Whoever gets the aces is a killer. Everyone else is an innocent citizen.
Game play: When the game begins, the killer must wink at people in the group. When the killer winks at a person, that person is dead upon seeing the wink. That person must fall over or somehow signal death. From there, the Sheriff pauses the game and the living citizens must nominate someone as the killer. Once the group decides on a nomination by a majority vote, the nominated person flips over his or her card. If it’s an ace – the group has guessed correctly and the citizens win. If it’s a number card – the group has guessed incorrectly, killing off an innocent person, and the game goes on.
Here’s the catch: The killer does not want to be caught. He or she must be very sneaky. However, the citizens cannot speak during the round – only when the Sheriff pauses the game. This means that anyone who watches the killer kill someone cannot say who it is until the game is paused. If the Sheriff is killed, then the people must nominate a new Sheriff before the game can continue.
Ending the Game: The game ends when the killer has killed as many people as he or she can, or the citizens correctly guess the killer.