There is no shortage of great card games to play, but Bang is unique with its Wild West design and strategic gameplay. So if you’re looking for something a little different and enjoy competitive card games, you’ll be sure to enjoy playing Bang.
What is Bang?
Bang is a unique card game where people take the roles of Wild West characters. You could be on the side of law and order or an outlaw. It’s the perfect Western setting and a fun card game for friends and family to play together.
In Bang, your main objective changes depending on your team. The Sheriff and Deputies must work together to kill the Outlaws. While the Outlaws must kill the Sheriff, however like any good Western film, the Outlaws are only loyal to themselves.
So, any good Outlaw player will be happy to betray others to get rewards and further their goal! But to add to the excitement and strategy, there is also the Renegade. The Renegade seeks to become the next Sheriff, and to this, he’ll need to be the last character in the play.
If you’re bored of party games like Cards Against Humanity and enjoyed the Mafia card game, you’ll love playing Bang! The game might seem a little confusing, especially when setting up. But our in-depth game guide can help, so let’s get started by looking at what you’ll need to play.
What You’ll Need To Play Bang?
To play Bang, you’ll need a card set. Similar to the Uno games, there are many different spin-offs of Bang. Some offer only minor cosmetic differences, while others are drastically different games.
The newest version of the original game is Bang 4th Edition. While the spin-off games will be fun, we recommend playing the actual game first to learn the basic rules. When you open the box, you’ll find a variety of cards, and it can easily seem a little overwhelming.
Bang has a light roleplay element, but it’s much simpler than anything you’d see in RPG board games. We’ll explain how the different cards work in the rules section below.
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
One of the reasons Bang is so fun to play is there isn’t a singular objective in the game. The Sheriff and Deputies will be aiming to kill the Outlaws. At the same time, the Outlaws will want to kill the Sheriff and his Deputies.
To add to this, there is also the wildcard in the form of the Renegade. The Renegade wins by being the last player standing. Since players don’t know their role, they won’t know their objective until playing.
This makes Bang very unpredictable and a lot of fun. Players need to think about every move carefully and decide who they can trust. In a way, the gameplay is similar to Clue, where players will need to deduce things before deciding.
Before we talk about the set-up and rules for playing Bang, let’s outline the different cards used in the game.
These are the cards that decide your role in the game. For example, you can either be the Sheriff, a Deputy, an Outlaw, or the Renegade. There are seven role cards in total, but the cards used will vary depending on the number of players. Refer to the list below to see how this works.
- 4 Player Game: The Sheriff, 1 Renegade, and 2 Outlaws.
- 5 Player Game: The Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 2 Outlaws, and 1 Deputy.
- 6 Player Game: The Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, and 1 Deputy.
- 7 Player Game: The Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, and 2 Deputies.
These cards are the character you’ll be playing in the game. Each character card comes with a short description and sometimes a special skill. The card will also have a bullet number on it.
The bullet number is the life of that player. For example, a character with three bullets can be hit three times before dying. The bullet number is also used to mark the number of cards the character can have in their hand.
Every hit a player takes loses a bullet and carries fewer cards! The player who got the role of the Sheriff can add an extra shot to their total. Bullets are represented with the little bullet cards to see how much life they have left easily by glancing at their remaining cards.
Not to be confused with the cards you use in games like Blackjack or Canasta; these cards make up most of the deck. They come in two different types, brown and blue. Brown cards are discarded right away and allow you to play some action or effect immediately.
For example, a duel may allow you to shoot another player. Blue cards are a little different; they are played by putting them face up on the table. They will last until removed; for example, a barrel might block you from a shot.
So, the barrel card can only be discarded once another player has removed it on their turn. There are many different playing cards, and each affects the game differently. It will likely take you a few games to learn how they all work, but this is part of the fun.
Bang can be played with between 4 to 7 players. The first thing to do is select the role cards you’ll need to play. Then deal out a card to each player; it’s essential that players keep their role cards hidden.
Once they have been dealt, each player should be dealt a character card. These cards can be dealt face up. Then each player should take the number of bullets marked on their character card.
Remember, the Sheriff can add an extra bullet to their total; they shouldn’t take an additional bullet card, though, as this will uncover their identity to the other players. Once this is done, you should deal out playing cards to each player.
Remember the bullet number is also the number of cards a player can have in their hands. The leftover playing cards should be placed in the center in a draw pile. Once this is done, the game can begin.
One player should be nominated to start; the play then continues in a clockwise motion. On your turn, you must draw two cards from the draw pile. You can play as many cards as you like, although there are a few rules.
You can only have one weapon card on your hand; any additional weapons must be discarded. In addition, you can only have one Bang card per turn, and you can only have one copy of any one card in play.
Cards come in numerous forms; some damage other players while others protect you from harm. Some cards can even heal you or, in rare cases, revive you if you are killed! Think carefully about how you play and what you do. Once you’ve played your card/s, you must discard any remaining cards if your hand level is exceeded.
At some point, players will need to start attacking each other in Bang. This is done with weapons cards, and each weapon will have a maximum range. You measure range by your position to other players.
For example, if a weapon has a range of 1, you can only hit a player next to you in either direction. Every time you are hit, you lose a bullet from your total. If players lose all their shots, they are out of the game.
Once eliminated, the player must show their role card to the rest. If the Sheriff kills a Deputy, they must immediately discard all their cards. This will also unmask the Sheriff to the other players, making them an easy target.
Anyone who kills an Outlaw (even another Outlaw) will get a reward of three extra cards from the deck. So, Outlaws can aim to kill each other to strengthen their hand! The game can end in a few different ways.
The Outlaws win if the Sheriff is killed unless the Renegade is the only player left. The Sheriff and Deputies win if all the Outlaws and Renegade are killed. If the Outlaws are killed, the Renegade can face the Sheriff and Deputies alone.
Bang – A Rootin’-Tootin’ Wild West Adventure
Bang is an unpredictable and surprisingly strategic card game perfect for a night in with friends! So if you’ve always wanted to live out your Wild West fantasy, give this unique card game a try.