MAFIA – How to Play This Easy Party Game with No Equipment Necessary

I take this week’s regularly scheduled programming and replace it with…. a gaming post? Never did I ever think that I would write about gaming on my party planning blog, but hey, this game is super useful to have in your repertoire if you frequent parties where there are adults present (and, of course, if you host them.)

Why This Game is Good to Have in Your Back Pocket

1: This game is great for any amount of adults to play. I have never met a group of people who didn’t have a great time playing this game, and I’ve played it quite a bit. Believe me, you’ll love it too!

2: It only requires 4 game cards. All you need is a deck of cards! And if you’re anything like me and my families, there’s always a deck of cards handy.

(Honestly, you don’t really need the cards. Once the game is explained to you, you’ll see what I mean. If in dire circumstances, the cards could be forgone and you could make do without them!)

3: It takes up as much time as you want it to. If you have a big chunk of time in your party that has gone unfilled and you’re worried that it might feel too boring for your guests, whip this baby out and it’ll be all taken care of.

How to Play

Since my wonderful fiance, Casey, has much more gaming experience and much more blogging about gaming experience (he has his own Star Wars Legion blog (that’s a table-top game)), I thought I’d let him take the lead on this one. Below, you can find his rendition of how to set up and play the perfect game of Mafia:

Mafia is a great party game that’s been a big hit every time I’ve played it with friends.   Some may know it has ‘werewolf, and there are variations on the game you can bring in to keep it interesting.  Today, I’ll be sharing how to play Mafia at the simplest level.

 Though the game could technically be played with three players, though its best with more.  Theorettically, there is no limit on how many players can play.  For all examples of how to play, we’ll assume we have 9 players. 

Starting out, roles have to be assigned.  One person should volunteer to sit out to fill the moderator role.  Likely for the first round, someone who has played before should moderate.   The moderator should take playing cards, and have an equal number of cards as there are players.  The moderator should have a number of aces in the cards, to correspond to how mafia players are wanted in the game. 

For our example of 9 players, one is the moderator, so there should be eight playing cards.  We’ll make sure 2 of the 8 cards are aces, to have two mafia members in the game.  The moderator shuffles the cards, and hands them out, one to each player.  Each player keeps their card secret from everyone.  If you receive an ace, you’re the mafia! If you receive anything else, you’re a town member.  No one should know who is mafia or who is a town member.

The object of the game, is for the town members to root out and kill the mafia members.  This is done over two phases, day and night.  During the day, the floor is open for discussion and accusations.  During the night, the mafia will kill of a town member.

The start of the game can be awkward, especially if no one has played before.  It usually takes only one person to sit up and say something to get the ball rolling.   Usually something like, “Well I’m not the mafia”, gets the ball rolling with someone else saying, “that’s exactly what the mafia player would say!”

The moderator should set a timer, 5 minutes or so, for a day.  During the day, a town person can call for a vote to accuse someone of being mafia.   This vote has to be seconded by another town member.  If it is seconded, both town people get the floor to state their reasons as to why the believe the accused player is mafia.  The accused player then gets the floor to defend themselves.   After everyone has said their peace, everyone puts their heads down and covers their eyes.  The moderator asks for everyone to vote by quietly raising their hand.  First in favor of killing off the accused, second for not killing, majority wins. 

If the vote goes through, the eliminated player does not reveal if they are mafia or townsperson.  You only reveal if you were the last mafia and were eliminated.   After a vote, it automatically goes to night.

Regardless of if there was a vote during the day, after the five minutes of time, it goes to the night phase.  Everyone puts their heads down and covers their eyes.  The moderator will ask the mafia players to raise their heads.  This is the first time the mafia players will realize each others’ identity.  The mafia players quietly choose a town person to kill off.  They must agree on it. 

After the mafia has chosen, they put their heads back down.  The moderator tells everyone to lift their heads, and reveals who was killed off.  Then its back to day and you do it all over again until all the mafia, or all the town people are killed off. 

Let the accusations start to fly!

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, sharing is caring!

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