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Bang! is a wild west-themed card game similar to a spaghetti western designed by Emiliano Sciarra and released by Italian publisher daVinci Editrice in 2002. In 2004, Bang! won the Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game of 2003 and Best Graphic Design of a Card Game or Expansion.[1]

The game is known worldwide as Bang!, except in France where it is known as Wanted!.


The game is played by four to seven players (two to eight players with variants and expansions). Each player takes one of the following roles:

  • Sheriff (x1)
  • Deputy Sheriff (x1 or x2)
  • Outlaw (x2 or x3)
  • Renegade (x1, x2 with expansions)

Each player also receives a unique character card with special abilities and a certain amount of 'bullets' (i.e. life-points).

The object of the game is different for every role:

  • the Outlaws must kill the Sheriff;
  • the Sheriff and his Deputies must kill the Outlaws and the Renegade(s);
  • each Renegade's objective is to be the last character in play. The Renegade(s) must kill all the characters with the sheriff being the last one dead.

Game Rules[]

Set Up[]

Each player is dealt randomly a Character card and a Role card: there is always a Sheriff and a Renegade, while the other Roles depend on the number of players (for example, with 7 players there will be 1 Sheriff, 2 Deputies, 3 Outlaws and 1 Renegade). The Role cards are given face down to each player.


The game is played in turns, in clockwise order. The Sheriff begins. Each player's turn is divided into three phases.

1. Draw two cards

  • The active player draws the top two cards from the draw pile. As soon as the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile to create a new playing deck.

2. Play any number of cards.

  • Now the player may play to help himself or hurt the other players, trying to eliminate them. He is not forced to play cards during this phase. Any number of cards may be played; there are only two limitations.
  • Only one BANG! card may be played per turn;(Unless one has a "Volcanic" or their special ability is to play more than one BANG! IE: Willy The Kid)
  • No player can ever have two identical cards face up in front of him.

Each player can only have one weapon at a time. If you want to play a new weapon card when you already have one, you must discard the one you already have. This is explicitly noted in page 3 of the rules.[2]

When a card is played just follow the symbols on it. Cards can be played only during your turn (with the exception of Beer and Missed!).

Normally a card has an effect which is immediately resolved, and then the card is discarded. However, blue bordered cards, like weapons and horses, etc., have long lasting effects, and are kept in the table face up in front of you.

The effects of these cards (in play) lasts until they are discarded or removed somehow (e.g. Cat Balou or Panic) or a special event occurs (e.g. in the case of Jail or Dynamite.)

3. Discard excess cards.

Once the second phase is over (you do not want to or cannot play any more cards), then you must discard from your hand any cards exceeding your hand size limit. The hand size limit of a player (at the end of his turn) is equal to the number of bullets currently shown on the card that lies under his character card. Then it is the next player's turn, in clockwise order

Card effects[]

To shoot at another character, a player must play a card bearing a "Bang!" icon to a player within shooting range.

  • This means that if the shooter hasn't got any weapons, he can only shoot players at distance 1; if he has a weapon that can fire to distance 3, he can target any player at distance 3 or less.

If the targeted player has a "Missed" card, he can play it to avoid getting shot; otherwise he loses one bullet (life point).

When a character loses his last bullet, he is "dead."

A Beer card can be used to restore a bullet. A player cannot use Beer cards to exceed his character's number of bullets. A player can only restore his own bullets via a Beer card, and he can only play it during his turn. A Whiskey card performs the same function as Beer cards, except that it restores two bullets (may not exceed the character's number of bullets).

  • Exception: if a player loses his last bullet, he can immediately play one or more Beer cards until he remains at 1 bullet.

A player may usually play only one "Bang!" card during his turn, but other cards can be played without restriction during the turn.

  • For example, some cards allow to steal cards from an opponent's hand, force an opponent to discard a card, jail a character, change the relative range to other players, or change the range at which the player can shoot. Most of the cards are self-explaining, bearing little symbols that describe the card's effect when combined; the rest carry a symbol that suggests that the player consult the game manual (this is not true starting from the 3rd Edition, where these cards have a written text explaining their effect).

Some cards require a "draw!": this means that you have to reveal the first card of the deck and check the card suit and value shown on the lower left corner. For example, you may escape from the Jail only if you successfully "draw!" a Heart card.

Penalties and Rewards[]

If the Sheriff eliminates a Deputy, the Sheriff must discard all the cards he has in hand and in play.

Any player eliminating an Outlaw (even if the eliminating player is himself an Outlaw!) must draw a reward of 3 cards from the deck.

Determining the winner[]

Once the Sheriff is killed, the game is over. If the only player left is a Renegade and is alive at this point, the Renegade wins. However, if two or more players are still alive or the only remaining player is an Outlaw, all the Outlaws win, dead or alive.

On the other hand, if all Outlaws and Renegades are dead before the Sheriff dies, the Sheriff and all the Deputies win, dead or alive.


Template:Original research The game is an interesting application of Game theory. As only the Sheriff is known, it is hard to know who has what role. Generally, a person's role is implied if he tries to shoot, or otherwise harm, the sheriff. Others' role can be implied if they try to harm those who harmed the Sheriff. The advantage of keeping one's role hidden from enemies must be weighted against the need to accomplish one's goal.

Since the Renegade loses if the Sheriff dies when there are still others in the game he must defend the Sheriff to some extent. On the other hand his ultimate goal is killing the Sheriff. This leads to a "two faced" nature of the renegade, trying to weaken each side (outlaws and deputies) while keeping the Sheriff alive until the end. This also makes it harder to ascertain who is an outlaw, who is a deputy, and who is a renegade, as their actions may be similar. [3]

Official tournament score[]

An official scoring system can be found on daVinci web site, the official web site of the Italian editors of Bang!. The scoring rules are as follows:

  • If the Sheriff wins:
the Sheriff wins $1500 for every Outlaw;
the Deputies win $1000 for every Outlaw if they survived, and $700 if they died;
the Renegade wins $400 for every player if he died last, leaving the Sheriff alive alone.
  • If the Outlaws win:
the Renegade, if he is still alive at the end of the game, wins $300 for each player in the game;
the Outlaws, if they are alive, win $1000 for each Outlaw in the game, dead or alive; otherwise they win $800 for each Outlaw in the game.
  • If the Renegade wins:
the Sheriff wins $100 for each player in the game
the Renegade wins $1500 for each player in the game
  • Extra Penalty:
if a deputy kills a Sheriff, he loses $5000

Character Descriptions[]

As the game constantly maintains an ironic point of view on the western clichés, some of the characters of Bang! are named after famous people. There are 16 different characters in the basic set:

  • Bart Cassidy = Butch Cassidy - Each time he loses a life point, he immediately draws a card from the deck. (4 life points)
  • Black Jack = During phase 1 of his turn, he must show the second card he draws: if it's a Heart or Diamond, he draws one additional card that turn (without revealing it). (4 life points)
  • Calamity Janet = Calamity Jane - She can use "Bang!" cards as "Missed!" cards and vice versa. If she plays a Missed! card as a "Bang!", she cannot play another "Bang!" card that turn (unless she has a Volcanic in play). (4 life points)
  • El Gringo = Each time he loses a life point due to a card played by another player, he draws a random card from the hands of that player (one card for each life). If the player has no more cards, too bad!, he does not draw. (3 life points)
  • Jesse Jones = Jesse James - During phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the deck, or randomly from the hand of any other player. Then he draws the second card from the deck. (4 life points)
  • Jourdonnais = "Frenchy" Jourdonnais, the riverboat captain in The Big Sky novel and movie (Fictional person) - He is considered to have Barrel in play at all times; he can "draw! when he is the target of a BANG!, and on a Heart he is missed. If he has another real Barrel card in play he can count both of them, giving him two chances to cancel the BANG! before playing a Missed! (4 life points)
  • Kit Carlson = Kit Carson - During the phase 1 of his turn, he looks at the top three cards of the deck: he chooses 2 to draw, and puts the other one back on the top of the deck, face down.( 4 life points)
  • Lucky Duke = Lucky Luke (Fictional person) - Each time he is required to "Draw!", he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterward. (4 life points)
  • Paul Regret = Paul Revere - He is considered to have a Mustang in play at all times; all other players must add 1 to the distance to him. If he has another real Mustang in play, he can count both of them, increasing all distance to him by a total of 2. (3 life points)
  • Pedro Ramirez = During phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. Then he draws the second card from the deck. (4 life points)
  • Rose Doolan = She is considered to have an Appaloosa in play at all times; she sees the other players at a distance decreased by 1. If she has another real Appaloosa in play, she can count both of them, reducing her distance to all other players by a total of 2. (4 life points)
  • Sid Ketchum = Tom Ketchum - At any time, he may discard 2 cards from his hand to regain one life point. If he is willing and able, he can use this ability more than once at a time. (4 life points)
  • Slab the Killer = Angel Eyes, one of the main characters of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Fictional person) - Players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!. The Barrel effect, if successfully used, only counts as one Missed! (4 life points)
  • Suzy Lafayette = As soon as she has no cards in her hand, she draws a card from the draw pile. (4 life points)
  • Vulture Sam = Whenever a character is eliminated from the game, Sam takes all the cards that player had in his hand and in play, and adds them to his hand. (4 life points)
  • Willy the Kid = Billy the Kid - He can play any number of "Bang!" cards. (4 life points)


High Noon[]

Released in 2003. A set of thirteen scenario cards that are given to the Sheriff, and revealed at the start of each of his turns - the card's scenario is effective until the next scenario card has been revealed. The name is inspired by the Western, High Noon. The Scenario cards have these effects:

  • Blessing: the suit of all cards is Hearts.
  • Curse: the suit of all cards is Spades.
  • Ghost Town: during their turn, killed characters return in play as ghosts, with 3 cards. They cannot be killed but they leave the game immediately after their turn.
  • Gold Rush: the game proceeds counterclockwise even if card effects proceed clockwise as usual.
  • Hangover: all characters lose their special abilities.
  • Shootout: each player can play a second Bang! card.
  • The Daltons: when this card enters play, each player with at least one blue card discards one blue card at his choice.
  • The Doctor: when this card enters play, the player(s) with the fewest current life points regain 1 life point.
  • The Reverend: players cannot play any Beer card.
  • The Sermon: players cannot use Bang! cards.
  • The Train: each player draws an additional card at the beginning of his turn.
  • Thirst: each player draws one card less than normal at the beginning of his turn.
  • High Noon: each player loses 1 life point at the start of his turn. This must be always the last card, and stays in play until the game ends.

Dodge City[]

Released in 2004. A set of fifteen new characters and 40 new play cards. There is also a set of 8 "role" cards (7 duplicates) allowing up to 8 people to play. The name is inspired by the Western, Dodge City. The new characters are:

  • Apache Kid = Cards of Diamond played by other players do not affect him. (3 life points)
  • Belle Star = Belle Starr - During her turn, cards in play in front of other players have no effect. (4 life points)
  • Bill Noface = He draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each wound he has. (4 life points)
  • Chuck Wengam = During his turn, he may choose to lose 1 life point to draw 2 cards. (4 life points)
  • Doc Holyday = Doc Holliday - During his turn, he may discard once 2 cards from the hand to shoot a Bang!. (4 life points)
  • Elena Fuente = She may use any card as Missed!. (3 life points)
  • Greg Digger = Each time another player is eliminated, he regains 2 life points. (4 life points)
  • Herb Hunter = Each time another player is eliminated, he draws 2 extra cards. (4 life points)
  • Jose Delgado = Twice in his turn, he may discard a blue card from the hand to draw 2 cards. In the first edition of the expansion, he could use his ability as long as he had blue cards in hand. (4 life points)
  • Molly Stark = Each time she uses a card from her hand out of turn, she draws a card. (4 life points)
  • Pat Brennan = Instead of drawing normally, he may draw only one card in play in front of any one player. (4 life points)
  • Pixie Pete = He draws 3 cards instead of 2 (3 life points). In the first edition of the expansion, Pixie Pete draws 4 cards.
  • Sean Mallory = He may hold in his hand up to 10 cards. In the first edition of the expansion, he had no limit at all to the cards in his hand. (3 life points)
  • Tequila Joe = Each time he plays a Beer, he regains 2 life points instead of 1 (4 life points).
  • Vera Custer = For a whole round, she gains the same ability of another character in play of her choice. (3 life points)

Dodge City features also a new symbol, meaning "discard another card from your hand in order to play this card", and a new card type, the green-bordered cards: they are played like blue cards, cannot be used until the next turn and are discarded immediately after they are used.

A Fistful Of Cards[]

Released in 2005. A set of fifteen new scenario cards, designed by players around the world selected by the original author, which can be mixed with the High Noon expansion. The name is inspired by the Western, A Fistful of Dollars. The cards include:

  • Abandoned Mine: players draw from the discard pile and discard on the top of the deck.
  • Ambush: the distance between players is 1.
  • Blood Brothers: each player may choose to donate one of his life points to another player at the beginning of his turn.
  • Dead Man: the first eliminated player returns in play with 2 life points and 2 cards.
  • Hard Liquor: each player may forfeit his drawing phase to regain 1 life point.
  • Lasso: cards in play in front of all players have no effect.
  • Law of the West: players must show and play (if possible) the second card they draw in their turn.
  • Ranch: once at the end of his turn, each player may discard any number of cards from his hand to draw an equal number of cards from the deck.
  • Ricochet: players may fire Bang! against blue cards in play: those cards are discarded unless the player controlling them plays a Missed!.
  • Roussian Roulette: when this card enters in play, starting from the Sheriff each player discards a Missed! or loses 2 life points (thus ending the effect).
  • Sniper: players may discard 2 Bang! cards to target an opponent: this counts as a Bang! but 2 Missed! cards are required to cancel this effect.
  • Peyote: players try to guess the suit of the card they draw and keep drawing until they are wrong.
  • The Judge: players cannot play cards in front of themselves (i.e. Green or Blue cards).
  • Vendetta: players "draw!" at the end of their turn: on a Heart, they play an additional turn.
  • A fistful of cards: at the beginning of his turn, each player is the target of as many Bang! as the number of cards in his hand.

Face Off[]

Released in 2005 and co-produced by daVinci Games and Arima. More a spin-off than an expansion, Face Off is a board game for two players designed to be played with a deck of Bang! cards.

In addition, there are also unofficial expansions, like Eldorado available here.

Bang! The Bullet![]

In 2007, a deluxe version of Bang!, called Bang! The Bullet!, was released. [1]

This set included all three of the official expansions, High Noon, Dodge City, and A Fistful of Cards, along with several extras:

  • A Sheriff's Badge
  • Three special character cards:
    • Uncle Will - Once during his turn, he may play any card from hand as a General Store. This card is a reference to Will Niebling, former CEO of Mayfair Games (which published the game in the USA until 2008).
    • Johnny Kisch - Each time he puts a card into play, all other cards in play with the same name are discarded. This card is a reference to Jo Nikisch, CEO of Abacus Spiele, the German publisher of the game.
    • Claus "The Saint" - He draws one more card than the number of players, keeps 2 for himself, then gives 1 to each player. This card was a bonus, "unglued" card originally included in the online daVinci newsletter. The author considers this card to be quite unbalanced and not suited for serious play [4]
  • Two additional High Noon cards:
    • New Identity - At the beginning of their turn each player looks at the character he is using to keep track of his life points. He may switch to the new identity for the rest of the game, starting with 2 life points.
    • Handcuffs - After drawing his cards in phase 1, the player whose turn it is names a suit: he can only play cards of that suit during his turn.
  • Two blank cards - one for a character and one for a normal card.

The game included in the Bullet follows the 3rd edition rules of the basic game and the 2nd edition rules of Dodge City.

Bang! The Video Game[]

On October 29, 2009, daVinci Games officially announced the development of Bang! The Card Game into a video game. The game will be developed by Spin Vector.[5]

See also[]

  • Game theory
  • Mafia (game)


  1. Template:Cite web
  2. Template:Cite web
  3. Template:Cite web
  4. BANG! :: Zobrazit téma - Claus "The Saint"
  5. Template:Cite web

External links[]

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