The Game


1. General Provisions.

1.1. Ten players participate in the game. The game is conducted at a table large enough to comfortably sit all participants. Seats are numbered 1 through 10. The table also has a seat for the moderator or the host who monitors the course of the game and regulates its stages. The moderator may have assistants to help conduct and direct the game.

1.2. Prior to being seated at a table, each player pulls a card or another allowed attribute containing the seat number. That defines player's seat number at the table. Players are not allowed to exchange their seats. In some tournaments seats may be pre-assigned for all participants in order to make them play in different positions throughout the tournament. There are no advantages or disadvantages associated with the number of the seat.

1.3. The players are called by the number of their seat. For example, the player in seat 2 is called "player number 2."

1.4. The game is conducted using a language understood by all participants. Using words or expressions in other languages is not welcomed and may be punished by warning from the moderator or the host.

1.5. Every player is provided with a mask. In certain tournaments, personal masks are allowed by the special permission from the moderator or the host. 

1.6. When all players are seated at the table and greeted by the moderator, the game begins.

2. The Game.

2.1. Distribution of Roles.

2.1.1. The game is divided into two phases: "day" and "night." The moderator announces phases of the game.

2.1.2. The game starts with a phase of "night." When the moderator announced "night," all players immediately (wihtin 3 seconds) put on their masks. All players must keep their hands in front of them on the playing table and keep their heads down. This is called the "night position" of a player.

2.1.3. Any deliberate attempt to cheat by looking from underneath the mask during the "night" phase of the game is penalized by the moderator and by administration of a club or a tournament up to expelling from the club or the tournament. If the look from underneath the mask during the "night" phase happens accidentally, then a player is only elimiated from that game.

2.1.4. Touching masks with their hands during the "night" is forbidden. Also forbidden to speak, sing, dance, tapping on the table, moving closer to other players, and doing anything that will disturb the "night." The moderator may give a warning for such behavior or even eliminate the player from the game.

2.1.5. Then, one by one, each player is allowed to remove the mask and choose a card from a deck of 10 cards. The player seated under number 1, chooses first. When a card is chosen by a player, it is eliminated from the deck. Thus, when it is 2nd player's turn to choose, there are only 9 cards left in the deck, only 8 cards left for the 3rd player, 7 for the 4th player, and so on. After choosing the card, each player puts the mask back on, thus no player can see cards chosen by other players.

2.1.6. It is strictly forbidden to deliberately look at more than one card from a deck. For such a violation, the player automatically receives a "Yellow" card, penalty points in the final rating, and a redistribution of roles occurs.

2.1.7. There are 7 red ("CITIZEN") and 3 black ("MAFIA") cards in the deck. One of the 7 red cards differ from the others - it is the card "SHERIFF" - the leader of "CITIZENS." "MAFIA" also have their leader, the player who pulls the card of "DON." Thus, the players are divided into two groups: CITIZENS and MAFIA. The object of the game is the elimination of the opposite team members.

2.2. Acquaintance.

2.2.1. During the same "night," when all the cards are chosen, the moderator announces, "The Mafia awakens." Then, the players who picked black cards, including the Don, take off their masks and become acquainted with one another. This is the first and the only night that the mafia members open their eyes all at the same time. During this "introduction," the black players can set up their plot for the elimination of red players. The "discussion" should be made quietly, so that the "red" players do not hear or feel anything. The black players have only 1 minute for their "communication." The moderator announces: "The Mafia sleeps." After these words the "black" players put their masks back on.

2.2.2. The moderator announces, "The Don awakens." Then, the Don takes off the mask and becomes acquainted with the moderator. On subsequent "nights," the Don will wake up and look for the Sheriff. There is 15 seconds for this procedure. The moderator announces, "The Don sleeps," and the Don puts the mask back on.

2.2.3. The moderator announces, "The Sheriff awakens." Then, the Sheriff takes off the mask and becomes acquainted with the moderator. During subsequent nights, the Sheriff will wake up and search for "MAFIA" players. There is 15 seconds for this procedure. The moderator announces, "The Sheriff sleeps" and the Sheriff puts the mask back on.

2.2.4. This concludes the first night.

2.3. Day.

2.3.1. Then the moderator announces, "Morning. All wake up," and the phase "Day" starts. All players take off their masks. During the "day" an open discussion takes place. The purpose of the discussions and the game as a whole for the "CITIZENS" is to bring to light and eliminate "MAFIA," and for the "MAFIA" - to confuse the other players and "frame" and eliminate "CITIZENS." "MAFIA" players have a considerable advantage in these discussions, since they know who is who in this game.

2.3.2. Each player has a minute to express ideas, thoughts and suspicions. The player in seat 1 begins the discussion on the first day and the rest of the players get their turn in order.

2.3.3. The player has the right to end his speech before the expiration of the time with the word “pass”, “thank you” or by other means contacting the Moderator. The use of these words in another context does not entail the end of speech. For example, the Moderator should not end the player's speech if the words “pass” or “thank you” are used in indirect speech: “I could say “pass”...” or “Thank you, Moderator for the wonderful music.”

2.3.4. Each player has a right to nominate any other player and even him/her self to be voted off the game. The number of candidates can range from 0 to 10 per "day." The nomination must be expressed in a definitive form: "I nominate the player number..." or "Accept the nomination of player number..." Examples of incorrect nomination in a non-definitive form are: "I'd nominate the player number..." or "I want to nominate the player number..." or "I'll nominate the player number..." When the nomination is expressed in a correct format, the moderator will confirm: "Accepted." If this nomination was previously accepted during the same "Day," then the moderator does not have to confirm the nomination again.

2.3.5. A player is not required to place his/her fist on the table while presenting a nomination.

2.3.6. Each player has a right to recall the nomination he or she previously expressed during the same 1 minute speech. The nomination must be recalled in a definitive form: "I recall the player number..." or "Recall the nomination of player number..." Examples of incorrect nomination in a non-definitive form are: "I'd recall the player number..." or "I want to recall the player number..." or "I'll recall the player number..." or "I think to recall the player number..." When the nomination is recalled in a correct format, the moderator will confirm: "Recalled."

2.3.7. Each player has a right to change his or her mind during the 1 minute speech and express a different nomination. In order to save time, the player does not have to recall previously expressed nomination. but simply can express a new nomination. For example, "I nominate the player number 5... I nominate the player number 6" means that first the player number 5 was nominated, then recalled, and player number 6 was nominated. In response, the moderator must confirm "Recalled 5 and accepted 6." If the last nomination was previously accepted during the same "Day," then the moderatorthe simply confirms "Recalled 5."

2.3.8. The moderator cannot help players memorize nominations. If a player asks the moderator "Who is nominated so far?", the moderator does not answer.

2.4. Voting.

2.4.1. At the end of the discussion, when all players have expressed their ideas and "nominations," the moderator announces the phase of voting. No more gestures are allowed at this phase, and a player is given a warning for breaking this rule.

2.4.2. In order for voting to take place during the first “Day”, at least two candidates must be nominated. If on the first "Day" only one candidate is nominated for voting, voting does not take place, and the player remains in the game. This rule applies only to the first "Day". If only one candidate is recommended during subsequent "days," no voting will take place, but the player is automatically voted-off.

2.4.3. Immediately after the announcement of the Vote, each player is obliged to place one elbow on the table with his hand raised to the top. Each player must vote with the hand whose elbow is on the table. The other hand must not touch the table until the end of the Voting.

2.4.5. Before the vote, the Moderator reminds the correct nominations in the order in which they were received. Voting takes place in the same order. For example, if the nomination of player number 8 was accepted before the nomination of player number 5, then first they vote for the 8th, and then for the 5th player.

2.4.6.The vote of a player is accepted only when the hand, clenched into a fist with the thumb raised, is correctly placed on the table in an upright position before the Moderator says "Thank you". With the word "Thank you" and after it, the vote is no longer accepted. Each player, having voted, is obliged to keep his hand on the table until the Moderator announces the number of accepted votes. After that, the player can remove his hand from the table. Each player is only allowed to vote for one candidate.

The voted-off player has the right to a last statement (no more than 1 minute) and must then leave the table.

If two or more players receive an equal of the greatest number of votes, further discussion takes place. In this case, the players with the most votes are allowed an additional 30-second speech in order to plead their case and ask not to be voted off. Then the second round of voting takes place with the choice to vote only for the candidates with the largest amount of votes. The voted-off player is still awarded a last statement (no more than 1 minute) and must then leave the table. In the event of a second draw in which candidates still receive the same amount of votes, the moderator requests all players to vote either to keep the candidates in the game or to vote them all off. If the majority votes for elimination, all candidates are considered voted-off and leave the table. If the majority is against it or the votes are divided, the candidates remain at the table.

When all the discussion is over, the moderator announces, "Night," and all the players put their masks back on. During this and the following nights, the "blacks" have the opportunity to eliminate players by "shooting" them. "Shooting" takes place in the following way. The moderator announces "Mafia goes hunting" and then numbers of remaining at the table players in chronological order. Each MAFIA player, with their masks on, imitates the shooting by their fingers at the time, when the moderator announces the number of a player, they want to shoot. If all members of Mafia "shoot" at the same player, that player is considered eliminated. If the Mafia members "shoot" at different players, they miss; it therefore it is imperative for the MAFIA players to plan the sequence of player elimination during the first night, when they all see each other. If only one member of the MAFIA team left at the table, he or she can also "miss" by not "shooting" at all. 

Next, the moderator announces, "The Don awakens." The Don takes off the mask and is allowed to "check" one player per night. The Don indicates the number of the player, and the moderator silently indicates "YES" (the player IS the Sheriff), or "NO" (the player is NOT the Sheriff). Then the moderator announces, "The Don sleeps," and the Don puts the mask back on.

Then the moderator announces, "The Sheriff awakens." The Sheriff takes off the mask and allowed to "check" one player per night. The Sheriff indicates the number of the player, and the moderator silently indicates "YES" (the player IS a "black" player), or "NO" (the player is NOT a "black" player). Then the moderator announces, "The Sheriff asleep," and the Sheriff puts the mask back on.

This same ritual continues during subsequent "nights," even when the Don or Sheriff are voted off or eliminated from the table, in order to avoid providing additional clues as to the remaining players.

The moderator announces, "Morning. All wake up." All players take off their masks. The moderator reveals the results of the "shooting." If the "Mafia missed," another day discussion begins. If the "shooting" was successful, then the eliminate player has the right to say last words (no more than 1 minute) and must then leave the table.

A new discussion begins. Player 2 starts discussion during the second day. If player 2 was voted off during the first day or eliminated during the first night, then player 3 starts discussion. This is done in order to avoid giving an advantage to the same player (in this case, it would be player 10) to conclude discussions two "days" in a row.

The game continues in the order of "day" and "night." The "CITIZENS" win, when all "MAFIA" players are voted off from the game. The "MAFIA" wins, when there is the same number of "CITIZENS" and "MAFIA" players left at the table. Please also WATCH THE VIDEO animation of the rules.



1. Players have no right to exchange seats with other players.

2. During the game, players have no right to pronounce the words "I swear." Players have no right to swear in any other way or appeal to any religion. For this violation, a player will be dismissed from the game without warning.

3. Players are allowed to speak only at their turn. For speaking without permission from the moderator, players receive a warning.

4. During discussions, players are allowed either 1 minute or 30 seconds for their speeches and must stop when the moderator says "Thank You." If the player continues to speak in excess of the allocated time, a warning is given.

5. Players have no right to sing, whistle, dance, bang on the table, talk or create other distractions to disrupt the course of the "night." For this violation, the player receives a warning from the moderator.

6. The moderator has the right to give warning to a player for:

a. unethical conduct;

b. excessive gesticulation, hindering the course of the game and diverting players' attention from the game;

c. other violations determined by the moderator.

7. After 3 warnings, the player loses the right to speak during one round of discussion (the player is still allowed to nominate a candidate to be voted-off, however).

8. After 4 warnings the player is dismissed from the game.

9. The dismissed player should immediately leave the table and has no right to a last statement.

10. Players have no right to curse or insult other players. For this violation, they are dismissed from the game.

11. Players may not cheat or deliberately peak from under their mask during the "night." If this violation is detected, they are suspended from the game and deprived of their Club membership. If this violation occurs involuntarily, they are only dismissed from the game.

12. While voting, players should keep their hands on the game table till the end of voting, when the moderator announces "Thank You." For violation of this rule, a player is dismissed from the game. The player is dismissed from the game for voting for more than one player during the "day." If a player doesn't physically vote, then that player’s vote is automatically counted for the last candidate.

13. A warning is given to a player showing the number of a candidate to be voted off after Voting is announced by the Moderator.

14. As soon as the moderator announces "Night," players should immediately put on their masks. In case of a delay, a player receives a warning.

15. A player is dismissed from the game for shouting "who to shoot at night" after the announcement of "Night." If the player only shows the number of to be shut player, then that player receives the warning.

16. A player is dismissed from the game for showing/hinting the number of to be checked player during the sheriff's round of cheching.

17. Players, individually or as a team, have the right to protest the outcome of a game if they believe that the rules were violated. In this case, moderator, along with the assistants and the president of the club may review the video recording of the game and make a decision for or against annulment of the game. In the case of annulment, the game is played again.

18. If a player protests before the end of the game, that player is dismissed from the game.



The ranking is determined as follows: 4 points for the win and 1 point for the loss.

Additonal points:

  • Maximum 4 players may be awarded with additonal points in one game.
  • Sum of all additional points cannot exceed 5 points total.
  • The moderator may use 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 points to indicate their individual contribution to the game.
  • Best Play: only one player from the winnign team may be awarded with 1.5 or 2 points.
  • Best Moves: a few players may receive 0.5 or 1 point if the total amount of points doesn't exceed 5 and the number of awarded players doesn't exceed 4.

Additional points art also added for Prima Nota:

  • Citizens: 1 point if correctly guessed 3 Mafia players or 0.5 points, if correctly guessed only 2.
  • Sheriff: 0.5 points if correctly guessed 2 or 3 Mafia players.
  • Mafia or Don: no additional points for Prima Nota.

A point is deducted from a player who receives The Worst Move. A point is deducted from a player who receives 4 warnings and gets eliminated from the game. Two points are deducted from a player for getting a Yellow card for unethical conduct.



The Sheriff has information about true identity of "checked" players. If the Sheriff finds a MAFIA player, then an effort must be made during the "day" to vote-off that particular player. Yet, the Sheriff should try to keep his/her identity closed, for otherwise the "MAFIA" would try to vote him/her off or eliminate at "night" in order to exclude the possibility of further checks. Sheriff's elimination makes the game more difficult for the "CITIZENS" since their team loses the only source of true information. Yet, if the game becomes too complicated or situation becomes critical, the Sheriff should open up and identify "checked" players in order to rescue the team from a defeat.

A "MAFIA" player can also bluff - open up and pretend to be Sheriff in order to mislead the "red" team. In this case, the true Sheriff, as a rule, should also open up in order to clarify the game for the "red" players and avoid their complete confusion.

The "MAFIA" team can also eliminate one of their own during the night. This bluff allows one of the MAFIA players to open up as a Sheriff during the last statement and confuse the "CITIZEN" players by falsely framing "checked" players.