You may have heard of this card game called by any number of different names. Cheat is another, as is BS (or the actual words), Challenge, No Way, Bluff, Liar, Bull, and so on. "I Doubt It" is the name given the game by Hoyle.
Any number of players can participate in the game, but generally it takes place with two to four participants. The object of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand first. Every player knows at the start that all players will lie sometimes about the cards they lay into the stack. They just do not know when they are lying or telling the truth.
How to Play "I Doubt It"
After shuffling, the deal moves to the left and around until all the cards are gone. The player to the left of the dealer starts the game, or the player who is the recipient of a predetermined card.
The beginning player can lay down up to four cards as long as they are all the same type (face cards or numbered). The cards are played face down in the middle of the table. The player calls out the cards they are laying down. What is actually put down and what the player calls do not have to be the same.
Before the next player plays, anyone playing can call out "I Doubt It," (or Bull, or No Way, or Liar and so forth) and the cards that were laid out on the last hand can be turned to see if the player told the truth. If the player who called the bluff is right, the player who played the cards must pick up all of the cards in the pile, and if the reverse is true, the one who made the challenge erroneously must take all the cards.
If no challenge is made, the next player has the option of playing the same card in number or face card as what the previous player claimed to have played or one card up or down in sequence. Again, the number of cards played is only limited to the number of like cards in the player's hand, or what the player wants to lie and pretend to have while discarding something entirely different.
Each time there is a challenge, the table will be cleaned of cards, so the next player in sequence is allowed to lay down anything they choose.
Typical Play in "I Doubt It"
The first player lays down what they claim to be three fives. No challenge is made to the claim, so the next player can lay down any of the following:
- 1 five
- 1 to 4 sixes
- 1 to 4 fours
- Pass because they have no cards to lie down
Of course, they can lie about it and lay down something else, and claim it is one of the card combinations listed.
It is difficult to play "I Doubt It" without getting stuck picking up cards at some point. Attempting to be honest and play the game straight and not challenge anyone does not usually lead to success.
The game ends when the first person plays the last card, as long as they are not challenged and required to pick up the discard pile. Under other versions, the game can be played all the way out to see in what order each player finishes.