How to Play I Doubt It

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Lay successive discard packets crosswise to avoid disputes. Here, a player has announced 3 kings but has been caught playing two 5s and a jack!

I Doubt It is a hilarious card game that's fun for children as well as adults. If you're good at bluffing and have a suspicious mind, then this game is for you! Here's how to play:

Number of players: Two or more, but it's a greater challenge with at least three players.


Object: To be the first player to get rid of all your cards.

The cards: A regular 52-card deck is used for two to five players. Two packs of 52 cards are used for six or more players.

To play: Deal all the cards out as evenly as possible. To save time, deal in twos or threes. In turn, players discard one or more cards, announcing them by rank. Start with aces. The player at dealer's left begins by saying, for example, "Two aces," placing two cards face down in the center of the table to begin a discard stack.

The following player announces "Deuces," or perhaps "One deuce," and puts a single card face down on the stack. The next player announces "3s" and so on, each player stating a rank just above the previous one played. After you reach kings, start play again at aces.

At your turn you must discard, but the cards you discard don't have to be the rank called for. You might announce "Three queens" and put down two jacks and a 6 or any other three cards. Be convincing. Anyone who is skeptical can challenge you by being first to shout, "I doubt it!"

The challenge: If challenged, turn over your discards. If they're not what you claimed, pick up the entire discard pack. But if your cards are as announced, your challenger picks up the stack!

Note that when you use a single pack, you can discard up to four cards. With a double deck, the discard can go as high as eight cards.

Tips: Often you'll need to make a phony discard. This may be easier to do when the discard stack is low. You may get away with a one-card lie. As the pile grows, so do the risks of discarding and challenging. Also, you're sure to be challenged on your final discard. So plan ahead to have at least one card of the rank you'll need. It can be helpful to expand your hand by losing an occasional challenge.

Variation: In some games, there may be too many challenges, and you may want to bring order to them. One way to do this is to permit only the next player to say, "I doubt it." Play may also go from Ace down, such as Ace, King, Queen, and so on.

©Publications International, Ltd.