How to Play I Doubt It

I Doubt It is a fun and exciting game for all ages. This game is also known by various other, sometimes more colorful names.

I Doubt It can be played by 3 to 11 players. For up to 5 players it is generally played with one standard deck of 52 cards and for from 6 up to 11 players the game is played with two such decks. It is preferred, but not absolutely required, that both decks have the same back design.

The first dealer can be determined in any manner, with cutting for high card a common method. Once determined, the dealer starts distributing cards, one at a time, face down, starting with the first player to his immediate left and continuing clockwise around the table. He continues dealing this way, around and around the table until the entire deck has been passed out. As the deck may not evenly divide by the number of players in the game, some players may receive one extra card.

Possible bluffing play at I Doubt It
A player in I doubt It might declare he is playing "Three 5's" but, in an attempt to empty his hand quicker, one of the declared fives might actually be a nine.
After the deal, the players pick up and examine their cards. The object of this game is to be the first to rid themselves of all their cards. This is done by playing various numbers of cards to the center of the table face down on a player's turn as follows. The player to the immediate left of the dealer plays first. He plays one or more cards, face down, to the center of the table. A player may not pass, but must always play at least one card on their turn. He announces how many such cards he is playing and indicates their rank, which for this first play must be Aces. Although the player must state the actual number of cards he is playing to the table, the face down cards played to the table may or may not actually be the rank announced (i.e. in this first play, Aces). After his play of the cards to the table, any other player can then challenge his claim by stating "I Doubt It", which indicates he is skeptical the player is being honest about the cards he actually played (see below).

If no player chooses to challenge this player that he actually played aces, the next player in turn would then lay down a number of cards, announcing the number and rank, which would now be kings. This continues clockwise around the table from player to player, with each subsequent player required to play one or more cards of the next lowest rank. Before making his turn each player should wait a few moments to ensure no other player wants to doubt the previous play. Once a player plays deuces, the following player would begin the cycle again, starting again with aces. Thus, the order of plays would be as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and then begins again at Ace.

After any players turn, if another player believes that player may be bluffing about what cards he actually played to the center of the table, he may challenge him, by calling out "I Doubt It". When this happen, the player who first calls "I Doubt It" exposes the just played group of cards. If these cards are, in fact, actually all of the required rank that was announced, the player who called "I Doubt It" must take not only these cards but any other previously played cards that are on the table. If, however, the player WAS bluffing, and any cards of another rank than that announced are found, the player who played the cards must take these cards back into their hand, as well as any other previously played cards that might be on the table. Other than the card or cards being challenged, any other cards taken into this players hand do not need to be exposed for the other players to view.
Challenging a play in I Doubt It
If someone challenges a player, and they were honestly playing the cards they announced, the challenging player would have to take all the cards currently on the table instead.

If more than one player call "I Doubt It" simultaneously, the player who is closest, in rotation to the current dealers left is considered the doubter or challenger.

A player must play at least one card on his turn and must announce the number he is playing. The first player to play the last of his cards to the center of the table is declared the winner. The other players are entitled to challenge this last play however (and usually do) and if the played card(s) are not as advertised the player must take these cards and any on the table back into their hand, with the game continuing. Each hand is a complete game and after each game, the deal rotates clockwise around the table from player to player.


Three card packets are used in this version of I Doubt It Three card packets: This version is played similarly to the standard game. However, on his turn a player can select any ranking of cards (such as 9's). However, every player must play exactly three face down cards to the center. There is no specific ordering, so a player on his turn can declare they are playing three cards of any one rank. In all other respects the game is played identically to the basic game described above.

Jokers: This game is played exactly the same as the basic game, however two jokers (with the same back design as the rest of the deck) are added to the deck. This feature can add a little more excitement to the game. Jokers can never be declared as the card rank being played on a player's turn, thus a player who holds one or both of these jokers must attempt to rid his hand of these cards through bluffing.

Cheat: In this game each player plays exactly one card on their turn. To begin, the first player to play (at dealers immediate left) calls any card rank of his choice and then plays one card face down to the center of the table. Each subsequent player must then declare the next highest rank and so on. The order of rankings for this purpose is as follows: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King. After King is played, the next player beginning again with Ace. As in the other games of this type, the first player to play his last card is the winner. Other players, will, of course doubt this last play, and if the card is not the required rank, the player must take these cards as well as any others on the table into their hand.

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