Sinful GibbonA card game of merciless cheating for 3 - 7 players.
- 2010 - 2021
- Updated on
- 6 Jun 2021
- Version history
- Sinful Gibbon(2021)
- Heartless Gibbon(2016 - 2017)
- Passion of the Gibbon(2013 - 2014)
- Mel Gibbon(2010)
STARTUP & FLOW
3 - 7 players. (Preferably 4-5 players.)
A normal deck of 52 playing cards + 1 joker.
1 hat. (Preferably a very obtrusive / demeaning hat.)
Optionally 1 mask. (Typically a warrior's mask or such.)
Simple bookkeeping equipment.
The game is played one player at a time in clockwise order. On his/her turn, the player must either:
- PICK, PLAY & PROMISE: Pick up and play a new card face down on the table - presumably of the same or higher number.
- DOUBT: Doubt the previous card.
After a doubt, the loser takes the pile into his/her shame stack (in front of the player), while the winner gets rid of a hand card by starting a new pile.
The round ends either when the deck runs out or someone becomes a Braveheart (= gets rid of all hand cards).
DECK & STARTUP
SUITS: There are only two ‘suits’ in the game: hearts (♥) / non-hearts (♤, ♧, ♦).
NUMBERS: The face cards are their number equivalents (J = 11, Q = 12, K = 13) and the ace is always the highest number (A = 14).
JOKER: Joker is whatever it was promised to be: any number and heart / non-heart.
HAND CARDS: In the beginning, the dealer is chosen randomly and the deck is shuffled and each player dealt 4 hand cards.
- On later rounds, the Braveheart of the last round starts the next one. If none, the player on the dealer's left starts.
- When playing with 6 or 7 players, it's recommended to deal only 3 hand cards.
PLAYING & DOUBTING
PICK, PLAY & PROMISE
The player picks up a new card from the deck and plays one hand card face down on top of the pile in the center of the table.
The player must also promise that the card is either:
- NUMBER PROMISE: The same or higher number than the previous card and not a heart - the number is said out loud.
- HEARTFUL PROMISE (♥): The heart of the same number as the previous card. (Not allowed when starting a new pile.)
HEARTFUL PROMISES (♥)
When making a heartful promise, the card is held over the pile and offered to everyone for doubting in clockwise order (nothing needs to be said).
- If no one doubts the card, the player collects it as a black heart: face down next to the shame stack (it will cost others after the round). The next player must then pick, play & promise (doubting is not allowed as the previous card on the pile (if any) has already been accepted.)
When someone makes a doubt, the doubted card is turned face up on the pile and the judgements follow:
- LOSER: The loser of the doubt takes the pile into his/her shame stack (in front of the player).
- + CHEATING: If the accused cheated (= doubter was right), the pile is put sideways into the shame stack as a reminder of the cheat.
- + HEART-CHEATING: In addition, if the player cheated about hearts, he/she also gets the Heartless Monkey Hat.
- WINNER: The winner of the doubt then starts a new pile by playing a card and promising it to be any number the player wants - but not a heart.
- + Exceptionally, the winner plays a card without picking up a new card first - so by doing this, he/she gets rid of one hand card.
HEARTLESS MONKEY HAT
The player who wears the hat is not allowed to make heartful promises - thus, he/she is not allowed to play hearts legally at all. There are two ways to get the hat:
- By getting caught not promising a heart, when the card played actually was a heart.
- By getting caught cheating while promising a heart - not having played the heart of that number.
The only way to get rid of the hat is if someone else does the same mistake, or after the round has ended and the sins been counted.
END OF THE ROUND
BECOMING A BRAVEHEART
If a player gets rid of all hand cards, he/she becomes the Braveheart (of the round) and the round ends immediately.
- As a sign of this glorious feat, the Braveheart throws his/her last hand card face up into the shame stack of the loser of the last doubt.
- The player is also allowed to wear a (custom made) Braveheart mask for the next round to mask his/her bluffs (whenever the player chooses to).
DECK RUNNING OUT
After the deck has run out, the round continues until no one is willing to doubt anymore.
- The player who picks up the last card, plays a card normally (by making a number promise or heartful promise).
- If the card is doubted, the winner of the doubt plays a new card normally, and so on.
- If no one doubts the card, the round ends. (The pile is left there on the table - no shame.)
AFTER THE ROUND
After the round has ended, the players put their remaining hand cards face up next to their shame stack, and the sins are counted.
- Note. For the sin of Wrath (see below), it makes a difference where the face up cards came from (= leftovers vs. lost doubts). So alternatively, the bookkeeper can first check who is guilty of Wrath, and the players then put their leftover cards right into their shame stacks (not next to the stack).
SCORING & THE END
THE 7 DEADLY SINS
After each round, each player gets penalty points from the sins collected into the shame stack of the player.
TINY SINS (counted from face up cards & black hearts)
- 1. Pridefor each low card face up (2 - 10)
for each high card face up (J, Q, K, A or joker)10 p.
- 2. Slothfor each cheat (pile turned sideways)20 p.
- 3. Lustfor each heart face up (♥ or joker) *20 p.
- 4. Envyfor each black heart (♥) less than the player with the most *
(face down cards next to the shame stack)20 p.
GREAT SINS (counted relatively or by a special token)
- 5. Wrathhaving the most doubts (= piles with cards NOT turned sideways - not including leftover cards) **50 p.
- 6. Gluttonyhaving the fattest pile (= most face down cards in one pile) **50 p.
- 7. Jealousywearing the Heartless Monkey Hat50 p.
- * The Braveheart of the round (if any) is immune to heart related sins: Lust (hearts) and Envy (black hearts).
- ** If more than one player share the Gluttony or Wrath sin, each sharer get 50 penalty points.
- (In the very rare case that there are no face down cards underneath any pile, there's no sin for Gluttony.)
BEFORE NEXT ROUND
Before the next round is started, there's a bit of shuffling places:
- If there's a Braveheart, he/she chooses with whom to swap places with. If not, then the player who played the last card (that no one doubted) chooses whom to swap places with.
- Note. The dealer and bookkeeper's jobs are passed clockwise regardless of the player swapping: whoever sits where the job is, does the job.
When a player gets at least 1000 penalty points, the game ends.
- The winner is the one with the least points (if many, winning is shared). Anyone with 1000 or more points is a loser (and goes to Hell).
- 1. Pridefor each low card face up (2 - 10)
COUNTING TABLE EXAMPLE
Typically the sins are calculated layer by layer (each a row of its own in bookkeeping) and added up to the cumulative penalty score.
- Player #1 Player #2 Player #3 Player #4
- round totals2209023030
TO REMEMBER ABOUT SINNING
- Your Pride takes a hit every time you're wrong. In addition for all the cards you left unplayed.
- When you cheat to make ends meet, it's evident that you're guilty of Sloth. (Of course, the world is what it is.)
- Uncareful play of hearts (♥) causes problems with Lust (which in turn often leads to Jealousy).
- Black Hearts (♥) are precious, so naturally you Envy players who posses more of them than you.
- Wrath comes from wrongfully blaming (= doubting) others.
- Gluttony comes from not paying attention to what (or when) you are eating.
- Mess with hearts (♥) and you just might end up being Jealous. (It makes your life harder and costs you in the end.)
FOR IDEAS, HELP WITH DEVELOPMENT & PLAYING
Tomi Laine, Johannes Aho, Piia Tamminen, Emmi Viitala, Ville Viitala, Mika Mathlin, Emil Virack, Matias Saresvuo, Rodrigo, Janne Sutinen, Antti Kallio, Ville Matveinen, Martti Paavilainen, Suski Salminen, Emmi Erkkilä, Lauri Taskinen, Ella Salminen and Nikolai Rautio among others.
Special thanks to Piia Tamminen, Emmi Viitala, Johannes Aho, Ville Viitala and Tomi Laine for an extensive amount of playing.