ByBrandon Milby, writer at
I appreciate art and stories wherever I may find them. That's why I'm so drawn to video games, movies, and most forms of literature.
Brandon Milby

The world of card games is an ever-expanding one, with a multitude of games seeming to arise every month ranging from different takes on Cards Against Humanity to role-playing games like Coup.

It's easy to see how difficult it can be to create a card game that hasn't been done already or doesn't draw comparisons to another game that's been around longer and has its own fan base. However, John Fiorillo wants to take on that challenge with his new game: Drawing Dead.

The basic premise

The game combines poker with role-switching games such as Coup. Your goal is to manipulate the other players using your roles to wrack up your tokens and to make everyone else lose theirs.

However, it's still a game of poker, so securing the best hand will give you an advantage with the pot.

The first person to hit forty tokens wins. That sounds easy enough until you consider the specifics like the dealer gets to play or you don't have to reveal your cards at the end of the round. Then you start to see that this game plays heavily upon risk and the luck of the draw. Confused but intrigued? Here's how it all works.

How do you play?

The game has a pretty standard set up. Three to six people can play at a time, with more people being able to join using a second deck. One player is the dealer, but that player still gets to participate in the game.

Each person starts with forty tokens and five playing cards — three of which are facing up. The dealer is decided by the person with the highest-showing cards. At the start of each round, players will select a role card from a small selection and pass the remaining stack to their left; the dealer picks first. To start the actual round, each player except the dealer antes up with two tokens.

From there, each person reveals their role card and performs the action associated with it. You also can check and bet as you normally would in a game of poker. At the end of the round, players have the choice to enter what is referred to as "a showdown" which operates similarly to going "all in" in poker.

Whoever has the best hand wins all the tokens in the pot, just like a regular game of poker. Participants that do not win the pot still get a smaller amount of tokens rewarded for participating in the showdown. After that, the next round starts with the dealer being the person to the left of the previous dealer and this continues until someone gets back to forty tokens.

However, there's a second strategy that you can use to win where you do not participate in a shootout. Obviously, if only one person goes for the showdown, they win the pot, but in choosing to not to show your cards, you keep your hand for the next round and have more time to improve a potentially bad hand.

You'll lose tokens from the ante and potentially betting (you can't fold in this game) yet everyone will feel your wrath when you enter a showdown with a flush you built over the past three rounds. You also use your role card each round, so you can use that to your advantage if you've got the dealer chip and skipped the showdown.

Ultimately, the game poses a number of strategies just like the games that inspired it.

When can you play it?

The game's creator has sought to create a card game that combines poker with role switching for a more fast-paced game of cards. The nice thing about card games is that there's always room for expansion as new ideas get incorporated into the base game whether it be new role cards or even a secondary element to the game that allows for even more strategic play.

However, your support for this project will ensure that this project gets to be the best it can be when it launches this year.

Platform: Tabletop

Genre: Tabletop, Adventure

Release date: 2017

Developer: John Fiorillo

Will you test your luck with Drawing Dead?


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