How To Play Mafia Game: An In-Depth Guide

How To Play Mafia Game: An In-Depth Guide

If you are amazed by the card games but have grown tired of the same old and traditional games, then we have something for you. It’s called “The Mafia.” Yes, you read that right. The mafia party game is one of the most entertaining card games you can play with your group of friends. 


The mafia party game is a card game that presents a conflict between the three groups – the innocents, the uninformed majority, and the informed minority. The mafia card game originated in the USSR in 1986 and was created by Dmitry Davidoff.


There are many variations of this entertaining card game, which are all fun to play. Its popularity is so much that there are various mafia games online as well as mafia video game versions available out there. In the article, we will tell you all about this game, including its all aspects. 


History Of Mafia Game

When we talk about this game, there is always a person who tells that they have played the mafia card game or mafia video game. The mafia game was first created by Dmitry as a psychology project for research purposes at Moscow University. 


Later, due to the fun and entertainment involved, this game spread among the students and the others. It gradually became popular not only in the USSR but also in the United States and Europe. 


The Objective of the Mafia Party Game

Like any other fun game which involves a large group of friends or small(according to preference), this card game also has an objective. The mafia card game is simple, and its objective is to kill.


In it, the two teams need to kill each other. It’s like the mafia needs to ‘kill off’ civilians to become the majority or the civilians have to kill the entire cult of the mafia. When any of these two things happen, and one team becomes n=majority or gets killed entirely, the game is over. 


For example, let us say there is a group of 13 people in a room, and roles are assigned to each person. The roles in this game are assigned in a secret way. In the game, there will be three mafias, one doctor, eight civilians, one detective, and one narrator. 


Once everyone has the roles to play, the game starts. Although everyone has to keep their identity a secret and under wraps. However, the game itself is divided into two parts, day and night. 


Now when the game starts, during the first phase, which is night, every player keeps their eyes closed. Later in this mafia game, the narrator awakens each role; all others keep their eyes closed. The series of awakening starts with the mafia. After that, the doctor is awakened, and then the detective. 


How To Play Mafia Game

There are various variations of this game, here we tell you about one of the popular. 


Start the Game

For the start of the game, you have to follow the below steps:


Choose the Narrator

For starting off the game, the first thing you have to do is select a moderator or narrator. This should be someone who knows the mafia game rules. 


Choose The Players

Now the narrator has to divide the deck of cards in the following way:


  • King – The Detective
  • Queen – The Doctor
  • Cards with one suit like the hearts are for the mafia. Each single suit card is for three innocents.
  • Miscellaneous cards that don’t have hearts are for innocents.
  • The narrator could also assign any additional roles to the players or make them draw cards. The cards can already be having a designation. For example, a jack of spades may be designated for the magician. 


Shuffling And Dealing Of cards

Now when the roles have been assigned in the mafia party game, the moderator or narrator has to deal with the cards. Before dealing, the narrator has to shuffle the cards well. The cards which every player gets are kept secret and not to be shown to anyone else. 


The Day Cycle

The first phase of the mafia party game is the day cycle, and it has various phases. These are:


Time To Awaken 

The narrator in these card games awakens the players, and they open their eyes. After that, the narrator announces who in the game ‘died’ last night. 


Hold Discussions

Now the players hold a discussion on the recent events. Each player tries to convince others that they have a certain role in the game, although they keep their cards hidden. If the game reaches a point where anyone has a suspicion, then the game moves on to accusation. 



If a player has a suspicion, they can accuse another player of being a member of the mafia. The accusation must also be backed by one more player in this mafia card game. In addition to this, the accuser must also explain the reasons behind their accusations. Later the other players tell if they agree to the accusation or not. 


Defense of the Accused

Once the accusations are levied in this mafia party game, any player who thinks that the accused is innocent can defend them. If the players want, this can be done in the way of a trial where the accused presents a fictional alibi while even involving the other player in accusations. 


In some versions of the mafia game, defense conduction is done by the lawyers. The variations of this game, like mafia video games and other mafia games online, have different strategies for this defense. 



After the trial and defense, the narrator calls for voting, and the player of this card game has to vote. The voting can be done openly or anonymously. 



If the decision is not made if the player is guilty, then the accusations round starts again. Now again, the voting and defense round is done. This process is repeated until any player leaves the game when proven guilty.


In this mafia game, if the majority of players vote in favor of the initial accused being guilty, then the night round starts again. 


Night Cycle

Before the day cycle, there is a night cycle, and after that also there is a night cycle. The process of the night cycle is:


Time To Sleep

The narrator starts the night cycle by instructing the players to go to sleep. Once the instructions, the players go to sleep by closing their eyes and putting down their heads. Then the mafia is woken up, and the victim is chosen. At this time, all mafia members see their other gang members. 


Now, when the mafia chooses a victim and is done, they go back to sleep. 


Detective is Awaken

Now the narrator awakens the detective while everyone else sleeps and points at a player they suspect to be a mafia member. If the detective is correct, the player is eliminated, but if they are wrong, they know the identity of an innocent. 


Doctor is Awaken

After this, the doctor is awakened by the narrator. The doctor then points at a person they want to save. This is done silently by the doctor. The doctor can even choose himself to be on the safe side for the night. 


If the doctor in the mafia card game chooses the player which the mafia chose to be killed, then nothing happens to the player. However, if the mafia chooses the doctor to be killed, then the doctor is eliminated, and townspeople can not be saved. 


Mafia Game Rules

  • Avoid any accusations in the initial round. Use the first round to analyze the other players’ behavior. 
  • Watch Out for players who know each other. This is because mafia members know each other. 
  • You can increase the players count if you want due to more players.
  • The narrator should maintain a written record to help track activity and characters. 
  • Mafia members can use different strategies to avoid suspicion.
  • Players can be given time for discussion in the mafia party game before the discussion on accusations. 


Final Words

Mafia party games are energetic and fun card games that you can play with your friends. It involves many interesting aspects like various teams. 


There is also a narrator to watch the rules and commence the game in the mafia game. You can enjoy this game easily as it is also a flexible game. 


Jatin Choudhary

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