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Bang! Card Game: Simplified Rules & Strategy Guide

Bang Card Game Hero Image

“Bang!” is an enthralling multiplayer card game that brings the essence of the Wild West to your tabletop. Designed for 4-7 players and skillfully weaves together elements of strategy, luck, and role-play, ensuring a distinct adventure in every round. Players are drawn into a world of outlaws, sheriffs, and duels, each assuming a secret role with unique goals and abilities. From tense showdowns to strategic alliances, “Bang!” offers a dynamic and immersive experience. Easy to pick up yet rich with strategic depth, it’s an ideal match for both new enthusiasts and seasoned gamers. Its compelling gameplay and thematic design stand as a tribute to Emiliano Sciarra‘s creativity, making “Bang!” a favorite for game nights and a highlight in the world of card games.

Table of Contents
    Gunslinger

    “Bang!” is a Wild West themed card game, where strategy, luck, and quick thinking reign supreme. Players adopt roles from iconic Western figures, each with unique abilities and goals. The Sheriff aims to uphold justice, while Outlaws seek chaos, Deputies covertly support the Sheriff and Renegades plot to take it all. With a dynamic mix of card play and role-play, “Bang!” ensures a riveting experience in every session, making it a favorite for those who relish strategic depth and interactive gameplay.

    Bang Roles

    Each player is assigned a hidden role (except for the Sheriff, whose role is public). Each role has specific objectives to achieve in order to win the game. Understanding these objectives is crucial for strategizing and navigating through the game’s dynamics. Let’s go through each role and its objectives, as well as how to play each role effectively.

    Sheriff

    Sheriff Badge

    The Sheriff’s primary goal is to eliminate all the Outlaws and the Renegade, ensuring law and order.

    Sheriff’s identity is “public” from the beginning of the game. This makes the Sheriff a main target but also allows for potential support from Deputies.

    How to Play as the Sheriff?

    Deputies

    Deputy Sheriff Badge

    The main goal of a Deputy is to protect the Sheriff from threats and help identify and eliminate the Outlaws and the Renegade.

    Deputies work to support the Sheriff, both in defending against attacks and in identifying threats. They must be cautious in their actions to avoid revealing their identity too early and becoming targets themselves.

    How to Play as a Deputy?

    Outlaws

    Outlaw

    The primary goal of an Outlaw is to eliminate the Sheriff.

    Outlaws must collaborate (often silently, since roles are hidden) to attack the Sheriff while avoiding detection and elimination by the Sheriff and Deputies.

    How to Play as an Outlaw?

    Renegades

    Renagede

    The Renegade aims to eliminate all other players, ensuring they are the only survivor (The last man standing).

    The Renegade’s role is the most complex, requiring a careful balance of deceit and strategy.

    How to Play as a Renegades?

    Every role presents unique challenges and strategies. The key to winning lies in deciphering other players’ secret roles to tailor your approach and steer the game in your favor.

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    Every character has a special ability that can alter the standard rules in some way, providing strategic advantages or new options during the game. Let us take a look at each characters and their ability.

    BART CASSIDY
    BART CASSIDY
    BLACK JACK
    BLACK JACK
    CALAMITY JANET
    CALAMITY JANET
    JESSE JONES
    JESSE JONES
    EL GRINGO
    EL GRINGO
    WILLY THE KID
    WILLY THE KID
    VULTURE SAM
    VULTURE SAM
    KIT CARLSON
    KIT CARLSON
    LUCKY DUKE
    LUCK DUKE
    JOURDONNAIS
    JOURDONNAIS
    PAUL REGRET
    PAUL REGRET
    PEDRO RAMIREZ
    PEDRO RAMIREZ
    ROSE DOOLAN
    ROSE DOOLAN
    SID KETCHUM
    SID KETCHUM
    SLAB THE KILLER
    SAM THE KILLER
    SUZY LAFAYETTE
    SUZY LAFAYETTE

    Character Cards Breakdown

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    Bacng Card Game Cards

    Playing cards are at the heart of the game’s mechanics, driving actions, conflicts, and strategies. Each has specific functions and uses during gameplay. Before we can proceed on playing the game, it is crucial that we familiarize ourselves with the different cards and their uses.

    Here’s a breakdown of the types of playing cards, their roles, and some common question regarding each one of them.

    BANG!

    Central to the game’s dynamics, Bang! cards are used to whittle down opponent’s life points and eliminate threats.

    Used to “shoot” at other players within your character’s distance range.

    How do you counter a Bang! attact?

    Missed!

    Crucial for defense, these cards help players survive by dodging incoming attacks.

    Played in response to a Bang! card to negate its effect, preventing the loss of a life point.

    How do you play a Missed! card?

    Beer

    Beer cards are vital for recovery, especially after a series of attacks.

    Restores one life point to the player who uses it, up to their maximum starting life points.

    They can’t be used to aid other player.

    When are you NOT allowed to use a Beer Card?

    Saloon

    When played, the Saloon card allows the person who played it to heal one life point, and every other player also gains one life point. It’s like a round of drinks for the whole group, providing a momentary truce in the midst of the gunfighting chaos.

    Can I use Saloon if I’m at my last life point?

    Weapons

    Upgrades a player’s current weapon, altering their shooting range and offensive capabilities.

    Weapon cards are a type of blue-bordered card that enhance a player’s ability to attack others. Each weapon card has a range, which determines the distance you can target other players for an attack.

    How to measure distance? ( Range )

    Barrel

    The “Barrel” card provides a form of defense. When you have this card in play, it gives you a chance to “draw!” each time you are the target of a “Bang!” card. If you draw a Heart suit card from the deck, the “Bang!” is dodged as if you played a “Missed!” card, meaning the “Barrel” effectively grants you an extra opportunity to avoid getting hit.

    Here’s an example of a Barrel card at play.

    Can I use another Barrel cards if the the first one was unsuccessful?

    Dynamite

    Introduces an element of risk and unpredictability, potentially changing the game’s course if it detonates.

    A hazard card that passes from player to player at the start of their turn. The player holding Dynamite must “draw!” from the deck, and if they draw a card within a specific range, the Dynamite explodes, causing 3 life points loss, and is then discarded.

    Here’s an example of a Dynamite card at play.

    Jail

    Useful for temporarily neutralizing key threats or strategic players without causing direct harm.

    Played on another player (except the Sheriff) to “imprison” them, forcing them to skip their next turn unless they draw a Heart card at the start of their turn.

    How do you get out of Jail?

    General store

    When played, a number of cards equal to the number of players are revealed from the deck. Starting with the player who played the “General Store” card and proceeding clockwise, each player chooses one of these cards and adds it to their hand. This process continues until all the revealed cards are taken.

    Here’s an example of a General Store card at play.

    Panic!

    The “Panic!” card is a play-and-discard card that allows you to take one card from the hand of a player who is within a distance of 1 from you. This means you can essentially ‘steal’ a random card from hand or card that has been played on the table. Used during your turn to immediately affect the game. It’s a strategic card that can be used both offensively, to weaken another player’s options, or defensively, to gain a card that could be crucial for your survival.

    What’s the difference of Panic! card from Cat Balou?

    Cat Balou

    The “Cat Balou” card allows a player to force any other player, including themselves, to discard a card of their choice. This action can disrupt other players’ strategies by removing key cards from their setup or reducing their hand, making “Cat Balou” a powerful card for altering the state of the game.

    If I played a Cat Balou, do I get to pick which card to discard?

    Gatling

    The “Gatling” card represents a powerful attack that affects all other players in the game. When a player uses the “Gatling,” they effectively launch an attack that requires every other player to discard a “Missed!” card or lose one life point. It’s like a “BANG!” card that targets all opponents simultaneously, making it a formidable card that can swiftly change the game’s landscape, especially when multiple players are low on life points or “Missed!” cards.

    Can I play a BANG! if I have already played a Gatling in the same turn?

    Indians!

    The “Indians!” card is a powerful offensive card that involves all players. When played, it forces every other player to discard a “Bang!” card or lose a life point. This card simulates an attack by Indians on all players, representing a moment in the game where everyone must quickly defend themselves or suffer the consequences(lifepoint loss). It can dramatically affect the game by depleting other players’ hands of valuable “Bang!” cards.

    Duel

    The “Duel” card initiates a one-on-one showdown between the player who plays the card and a target of their choice. Once the Duel is initiated, the targeted player must immediately play a “Bang!” card to counterattack, or they lose one life point. If they do counter with a “Bang!” card, the initiator of the Duel must then play a “Bang!” card or lose a life point themselves. This back-and-forth exchange continues until one player cannot respond with a “Bang!” card, resulting in the loss of a life point.

    Duel Using Bang Cards

    The Duel card forces players into a direct confrontation, potentially depleting valuable “Bang!” cards from their hands and inflicting life point damage, making it a strategic tool for weakening or eliminating specific threats.

    Mustang

    When you play this card in front of you, it makes you harder to be hit. It does this by increasing the distance between you and all other players by 1. So, if someone wants to target you with a Bang! card, they have to be closer or have a better weapon with more range. This card stays in play, giving you ongoing protection.

    Here’s a simple illustration how the Mustang card works.

    Can you have multiple Mustang?

    Scope

    “Scope” card improves your shooting accuracy. When you play this card in front of you, it lets you shoot players who are further away. It does this by reducing the distance to all other players by 1. So, with a Scope, you can target players who would normally be out of range of your current weapon. Like other blue cards, the Scope stays in play and continues to help you until it’s removed or the game ends.

    Here’s a simple illustration how the Scope card works.

    Can I use multiple Scope card to target players with farder distance?

    Stagecoach and Wells Fargo

    Stagecoach

    Stagecoach

    When you play this card, you draw two extra cards from the draw pile.

    Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo

    When you play this card, you draw three extra cards from the draw pile.

    Now that we are familiar with the different cards and their uses, let’s proceed on how to play the game.

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    Preparation

    First, determine how many players are gonna be playing. The number of players determines the mix of roles, here’s how the roles are distributed based on the number of players.

    Take as many role cards as the number of players and divided as follows below

    Number Of Player Equals The Number Of Roles

    4 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 2 Outlaws
    5 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 2 Outlaws, 1 Deputy
    6 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, 1 Deputy
    7 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, 2 Deputy

    Let’s first

    1. Distribute The Role Cards

    Shuffle the role cards and deal one to each player, face down. The player who gets the Sheriff role turns their card face up to reveal themselves, while all other players secretly check their roles without revealing them to the others.

    Then let’s

    2. Distribute The Character Cards

    Shuffle the character cards and deal one to each player, placing it face up in front of them. Players then introduce their characters by name and explain their special abilities.

    Bullet Tokens
    Bullet Tokens

    Following this, each player collects bullet tokens equal to the number indicated on their character card. Bullet tokens are a way to track life points.

    Playing Board
    Playing Boards

    Each players gets a playing board as well.

    Bullet tokens and Playboard are optional, there’s a simple way to play the game without using them and still track your life points.

    What’s another way to easily track your life points?

    Now let’s

    3. Shuffle the playing cards

    Shuffle the playing cards and deal out a number of cards, face down, to each player equal to their bullet tokens. Place the leftover playing cards face down in the center of the table to form the draw pile, making sure there’s space nearby for a discard pile.

    Assuming there are 7 players, below would be your table setup.

    If you decide to use the slider method, not using the bullet tokens and play board, below would be your table setup.

    Now that the stage is set, everyone’s picked their characters, and the roles are dealt. With cards in hand and the draw pile ready, you’re ready to Play.

    Starting The Game

    Sheriff Badge

    The Sheriff always starts the first turn.

    Turn Structure

    A player’s turn is divided into three main phases, the draw phase, actions phase, and discard phase. Here’s how a turn typically unfolds:

    Draw Phase

    Start of Turn

    Drawing 2 Cards From The Deck

    At the start of your turn, draw two cards from the top of the draw pile.

    Action Phase
    Hand Holding A Bang! Card

    After you’ve drawn your cards, you enter the Action Phase. This is when you get to play the cards in your hand. You can attack other players with Bang! cards, defend with Missed! cards, or use any other cards that help your strategy.

    Remember, you can only play one Bang! card per turn unless you have a special ability.

    Discard Phase

    End of Turn

    Jesse Jones Discarding A Barrel Card

    The Discard Phase is the last part of your turn. If you have more cards in your hand than the number of bullets (life points) you have, you must choose and discard cards until the number of cards in your hand matches your life points.

    Playing “Bang!” is straightforward as taking turns and eliminating other players.

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    Whenever a player gets eliminated, that player then reveals his/her ROLE. Players responsible eliminating the other player gets rewards or penalties.

    When the Sheriff accidentally takes out a Deputy, they must discard all their cards, both from their hand and any in play as penalty.

    Sheriff Shot A Deputy
    Outlaw Got Shot

    Whenever a player takes down an Outlaw, regardless of whether they are also an Outlaw, they get to draw a reward of three cards from the deck.

    Dynamite Card And Dynamite Explosion Resulting Of 3 Life Points Loss

     If a player is eliminated by a Dynamite, this damage is not considered to be caused by any player, no one gets the reward or penalties.

    Indians! And Gatling Cards

    Unlike the Dynamite, the player who played the Indians! or the Gatling is considered to be responsible of the elimination of a player. Thus, gets the reward or the penalties.

    Now, how do you win the game?

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    The game concludes immediately when the Sheriff is killed. If the Renegade is the sole survivor at this point, the Renegade wins. But, if there’s more than one player still standing or an Outlaw remains, Outlaw team wins dead or alive..

    Deputies, Outlaws and Renegade Eliminated. Sheriff Wins

    Outlaws and Renegade Eliminated. Sheriff & Deputies Wins.

    Deputies, Outlaws, and the Sheriff last to be Eliminated. Renegade Wins.

    Sheriff got Eliminated even if the Deputies and Renegades ar not. Outlaw Wins

    Deputies, Renegade and Sheriff last Eliminated. Outlaws Wins.

    Deputies and the Sheriff got Eliminated even if the Renegade is not. Outlaws Wins.

    Here’s a special cenario

    If Dynamite explodes and kills a Sheriff when both a Renegade and Deputy are alone left in play(remaining alive), the eliminated Outlaw team wins!

    This also applies if the Sheriff got killed by Indians and Gatling attacks. The outlaws win, dead or alive.

    Outlaws Wins

    And that’s how you play Bang! Simple right?

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    Now let’s look at Bang! Expansions and Stand alones.

    Expansion Pack

    Bang! Card Game Expansion Pack

    The BANG! Expansion Pack unites three expansions to escalate the action in your BANG! games. This pack includes “Wild West Show,” “The Valley of Shadows” Lastly, “High Noon and A Fistful of Cards”.

    What are the decks of cards included in the Expansion Pack?

    Dodge City

    Bang! Card Game Dodge City Expansion

    This expansion allows for up to 8 players, increasing the game’s complexity and interaction. Additionally, “Dodge City” introduces 15 new characters, each with unique abilities. Also, it includes new features like dual-wielding, where players can equip two weapons, and green-bordered cards that have ongoing effects.

    Gold Rush

    Bang! Card Game Gold Rush Expansion

    “Gold Rush” elevates the base game by incorporating the thrilling dynamics of a gold rush, introduces gold nuggets as a novel element to the classic “BANG!” card game. The pursuit of gold introduces a resource management aspect, offering fresh challenges and deepening player engagement.

    The Great Train Robbery

    Bang Card Game The Great Train Robbery

    “The Great Train Robbery” expansion adds a dynamic train heist theme to the original card game, featuring outlaws trying to seize valuable cargo and law enforcers aiming to protect it. This expansion introduces a set of Railroad and Locomotive cards that move with the Sheriff’s turn, along with 16 Railcar cards, 14 Stop tiles, 8 new characters, and 16 additional playing cards. It brings fresh mechanics and strategies to the table, enhancing the gameplay experience with its engaging Wild West train robbery scenario​.

    Armed & Dangerous

    Bang! Card Game Armed & Dangerous

    “Armed & Dangerous” enriches the BANG! game experience by introducing an arsenal of new elements that include Dangerous cards, featuring powerful weapons, gear, and ammo. Players must navigate the use of limited, powerful new goods to gain an upper hand, making each match more thrilling and unpredictable.

    The Duel

    Bang! Card Game The Duel

    “The Duel” is a two-player spin-off of the original Bang! card game, tailored for intense one-on-one matchups. A Wild West showdown between a Sheriff and an Outlaw, each equipped with unique characters and decks aimed at depleting the opponent’s life points. The game successfully condenses the essence of Bang! into a fast-paced, engaging duel format.

    The Duel: Renegades

    Bang! The Duel Renagades

    “The Duel: Renegades” is an expansion for “BANG! The Duel. This expansion introduces a thrilling twist with four exciting modes, including dual-player battles and a tense three-player “Mexican Standoff”.

    The Walking Dead

    Bang! The Walking Dead

    “Bang! The Walking Dead” is an adaption of “The Walking Dead” setting. This edition captures the essence of the original game’s Wild West showdowns, integrating characters, scenarios, and tensions from the popular zombie apocalypse series. Players assume the roles of iconic characters, each with unique abilities, navigating through alliances and conflicts in a struggle for survival against the undead and each other, embodying the suspense and survivalist spirit of “The Walking Dead.”

    The Dice Game

    Bang! The Dice Game

    “BANG! The Dice Game” takes the essence of the original “BANG!” card game and translates it into a fast-paced dice game. The game introduces a push-your-luck mechanic with five dice, offering a fresh twist on the classic gameplay. Actions include shooting other players, healing, and more, making it a quick, engaging, and accessible version of the beloved Wild West-themed game.

    The Dice Game: Old Saloon

    Bang! The Dice Game Old Saloon

    “The Dice Game: Old Saloon” introduces new characters, dice, and saloon cards, adding variety and depth. The expansion offers five modules, including loudmouth and coward dice, for customizable gameplay. Players can mix and match modules for a fresh experience every time, making the game even more dynamic and exciting.

    The Dice Game: Undead or Alive

    Bang! The Dice Game Undead

    “The Dice Game: Undead or Alive” expansion introduces five modular components, enhancing the game with new dynamics like duel dice, Rage cards, and a zombie outbreak scenario for eliminated players. Options for re-entry as zombies, add a novel twist to player elimination.

    Samurai Sword

    Bang! Samurai Sword

    “Samurai Sword” is a standalone game in the “BANG!” series, set in feudal Japan. It retains the essence of the original game, including hidden roles, but introduces new elements like swords, characters, and equipment. The game replaces the Sheriff, Outlaws, and Deputies with the Shogun, Ninjas, Samurai, and Ronin. Points are tracked with Honor instead of life points, and the game ends when one player reaches a specific Honor level, making it a fresh twist on the classic “BANG!” gameplay.

    Samurai Sword: Rising Sun

    Bang! Samurai Sword Rising Sun

    “The “Samurai Sword: Rising Sun” expansion brings new depth to the “Samurai Sword”. This expansion intensifies the struggle between the Shogun and Ninjas, questioning if the noble Samurai will continue to protect the Empire.

    If you’re feeling that Samurai theme, Check this out..

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    Just in case you still have a few more questions, here’s a list of Rulebooks to help you by.

    Click on the book image.

    Bang! Base Game

    Bang Rulebook

    Bang! Expansion Pack

    Expansion Pack Rulebook

    Bang! Dodge City

    Dodge City Rulebook

    Bang! Gold Rush

    Gold Rush Rulebook