How To: Play The Game "Killer" With Playing Cards

Play The Game "Killer" With Playing Cards


Playing cards are used to play Killer but Killer is not exactly a card game.  You cannot play this game if you do not know how to wink.  I do not recommend that you go about winking at men and women to practice for this game.

A minimum of 4 players are required to play this game.  In a 4 player game, one will be a thief/killer and one will be a policeman or a cop. For an 8 player game, two policemen can be there and two killers. Similarly for a 12-player game, 3 cops and 3 killers and so on.


The main aim of the game, is for the policeman or the cop to find out who the thief or the killer is and for the killer to kill all regular players or civilians before the cop catches him.

In this game, a killer is one who gets a jack and a cop is one who gets an ace.  The killer(s) has/have the role of winking with one eye and killing the civilians or the regular players and the cop(s) has/have the role of catching the killer either winking or at least figuring out who the killer is through calculated guess work.

In our example, we'll consider a 10 player game with 2 cops/policemen and 2 killers.

How To Play

From the pack of cards, separate out ten cards. 2 of them should be aces (so there will be 2 cops) and 2 of them should be jacks (so there will be 2 killers).  The remaining six cards can be of any denomination.  For example, in our case these six cards are three of spades, clubs and hearts each and four of Diamonds, Hearts and clubs each.  The 2 Aces are the ace of spades and the ace of hearts and the 2 jacks are the jack of Diamonds and the jack of clubs. The person who gets the ace will be a cop and the person who gets the jack will be the killer.  So when the 10 cards are distributed, the two persons who get the two aces viz. ace of spades and the ace of hearts are the 2 cops and the two persons who get the two jacks viz. the jack of diamonds and the jack of clubs are the 2 killers and they have the role of winking.

Once the ten cards are distributed amongst the 10 players, the game begins.  The players will start looking at each other.  The two killers i.e. those who got the jacks will try and wink at each player individually looking at them and the cops i.e. those with the aces will try to catch the killers who are winking.  There are six other players in the fray other than the 2 cops and the 2 killers.  To each player who is neither a cop, nor a killer (i.e. a regular player) whenever he is winked at for the first time by one of the killers, he has to say "I am dead" and is out of the game.  That is to say, he can no longer participate in the current game.  Let's say the player who gets the four of Clubs is winked (with one eye, of course) at by the player (killer) who gets the jack of Diamonds.  Then the player who gets who got the four of clubs will say, "I am dead" and he will be out of the game i.e. he has no further role in the game.  Now 9 players are remaining, the 2 cops, the 2 killers and 5 civilians or regular players.

If while winking, the cop catches the killer who is winking then that killer is out of the game.  In a 4-player game, the game is over when the killer is caught.  In our game of 10-players, there are 2 killers that have to be caught.  So if the 2nd killer is also caught winking by a cop before he kills all the regular players or civilians, the game is over and the cops win and some of the civilians are saved.

When in our game, it has reached the point where 9 players are remaining, one killer with the jack of clubs winks at the player (civilian) with the four of diamonds.  The player with the four of diamonds says, "I am dead".  Now, while this was going on, one the cops, the player with the ace of spades sees this and says loudly in presence of the entire group, "You're the one, you are the killer, pointing to or taking the name of the person with the Jack of diamonds."  Then, whoever that player is, has to show his card face up to the entire group of ten players, or at least those players who are playing the game.  If this player actually has the Jack of Diamonds, then he has been caught by the cop and is out of the game.

If he does not have the jack of diamonds and has another card say a three of spades, that means that he is a civilian.  In that case, (i.e. if he is a civilian), he may decide to show the card only to the cop and not to anyone else, in which case the cop has to show his card as well to the civilian so that the civilian knows that the cop is not faking.  If the civilian shows the card to all the players, then he becomes a known civilian.  Then, all the players know that he is a civilian including the killers.  The game continues.

In a third scenario (say the player does not have the Jack of Diamonds and nor the three of spades and neither any of the other civilian cards), if he has the ace of hearts say, that means that the cop with the ace of spades doubts the cop with the ace of hearts to be the killer, then this doubt of the cop with the ace of spades can be cleared by both the cops showing their cards to each other and not to anyone else.  The game continues.


  • A rule can be made that a cop can make only 2 wrong guesses.  If he judges the civilians wrongly twice, then the cop is out of the game.  In our example, if both the cops are out the game would end and neither the civilians nor the killers and certainly not the cops win.  In this case there would be no clear winners.


Let us assume that the person i.e. the killer has been caught.  So now in the game, seven players are remaining viz. the 2 cops with the 2 aces (ace of Spades and the ace of Hearts), the killer with the jack of clubs and four civilians with the three of spades, three of clubs, three of hearts and the four of hearts each.

If a killer winks at the cop and the cop sees the obvious and catches him winking, the killer is out.  Now say, that the killer with the jack of clubs winks at the cop with the ace of hearts without suspecting that he is the cop.  Then the cop, the one with the ace of hearts catches him and says, "You are the one, you are the killer pointing to the person or naming him".  So the second killer has also been caught and the game is over.  Four civilians are saved from the killers.

If the 2 killers manage to kill all the civilians by winking, before the cops catch them, then the killers win the game.

So this is a very simple game that will leave many people smiling and laughing.

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