Conceived and Created by Marc Bradley Zeedar

a deck of playing cards and a supply of poker chips
to lie and get away with it
two to five (see “Large Groups” for rules for more than five players)

Liar, Liar is a fun, strategic card game that employs the skills of psychological manipulation (also known as lying) required for modern political appointment. Is your opponent telling the truth? Are you telling the truth? If you’re successful, you’ll have to run for office!

Prior to beginning, players decide on the length of the match: 250, 500, or 1000 points are suggested.

For each game in the match, cards are shuffled and distributed, seven cards per person. Each player is given five chips to start. The remaining cards are placed facedown in the center of the gaming area and become the stock. Jokers are not used.

Play proceeds in a round robin fashion until one player is completely out of cards. Turns consist of three actions: obtaining a card, playing sets and hits, and discarding.

For each turn, the player has the option of drawing a card from the stockpile or Questing another player. After obtaining a card, the player is allowed to play any sets, runs, or hits. These are placed face up in front of the player so everyone can see the cards played. No points or chips are awarded for playing sets or hits.

A set consists of any three or four cards of the same value (like three queens or three fours). A run is a sequence of three or more cards of the same suit, such as 3-4-5 or 10-J-Q. In Liar, Liar, aces can be either high or low (A-2-3 and Q-K-A are both valid runs).

A hit is the fourth card of a set played against a set already on the table (it doesn’t matter which player played the original set), or the next card in a run. For instance, if Anne has played the 6-7-8 of spades, you could play the 5 of spades as a hit during your turn. Hits can be played on hits, so the next player could play the 4 of spades during their turn.

After drawing and possibly playing, the player must discard. (The only exceptions are listed under “Questing.”) Discards are placed face down in a pile near the stock.

The first player to use all of their cards has “played out” and the hand is over. Playing out earns the player one chip from every player. (If a player has no chips to give, none are given.)

If a player choses, he or she may Quest another player instead of drawing from the stockpile. A Quest is simply asking another player for a particular card or kind of card. For instance, “Joe, do you have a seven?” or “Joe, do you have the 5 of spades?” Joe, in this case, has two possible responses: Yes or No.

Joe Answers “Yes”
If Joe answers yes, he takes a card from his hand and places it face down on the table. It is then up to the first player to decide whether to accept the card given or challenge it as a Lie (by saying “Liar, Liar”). In either case, once the player has announced their decision, the card is turned over.

There are four possible outcomes:

Accepted Challenged
Card matches requested card Truth Successful Truth
Card does not match requested card Successful Lie Unsuccessful Lie

For a successful lie or successful truth the challenged player earns a chip from the first player. The card is returned to the challenged player and the first player gets nothing. The first player’s turn is over without discarding (since he or she did not earn a card), though he or she may play any sets, runs, or hits in their hand.

For an unsuccessful lie the challenged player loses a chip to the first player. The first player also gets to keep the card.

If the card received matches the card requested and the first player accepted it (Truth), no chips exchange hands, and the first player simply gets to keep the card.

If the first player successfully takes a card from the other player, he or she discards not into the discard pile, but to the second player. The discard is passed face down to the second player. The card discarded cannot be the card the player received as part of the Quest.

Joe Answers “No”
If the Quested player says they don’t have the requested card, it is up to the first player to decide whether to accept or challenge that answer (by saying “Liar, Liar”). If the answer’s accepted, the second player may produce the card in question, proving they Lied when saying they didn’t have it. Because the Lie was successful, the first player must pay the second a chip.

If the answer’s accepted and the second player does not produce the card, nothing happens. No cards or chips exchange hands and the first player’s turn is over without discarding.

If the first player challenges the second’s negative answer, however, the second is required to show all his or her cards. If the second was telling the truth and does not have the card in question, the challenger pays a chip to the second player. The challenger’s turn is immediately over without discarding (though he or she may play any sets, runs, or hits in their hand). Because the challenged player was forced to reveal his cards for no purpose, he has the option of “refreshing” his hand: he may discard as few or as many cards as he likes and draw new cards from the stockpile.

If the second is caught lying, however, he or she must pay the first a chip and the first player gets to keep the card in question. The second player is not permitted to refresh the hand. The first player discards to the second.

Chips are only earned for successfully lying or being accused of lying while telling the truth, and for playing out. If a player owes another a chip but is out of chips, the bank pays the debt. The only exception to this is when playing out: the hand winner only receives one chip from every player that has chips left.

Chips are worth 10 points each. Each player’s score is tallied and written down. The first player to total or exceed the Match Value wins the match.

If the stockpile of cards run out, reshuffle the discard pile into a fresh stockpile.

Liar, Liar is a terrific group game. For more than five players, two decks of cards are used and the minimum number of cards for valid sets or runs is increased to four. Hits on sets are valid until all eight cards have been played. Only the first hit on a run is valid. For instance, if Jane has played 6-8-9 of hearts and Tom hits with the 10 of hearts, Anne cannot play her 10 of hearts — she must get rid of it in another fashion (discarding, or playing it as part of a run or set of its own). If the bank runs out of chips, use pennies as a substitute.

Copyright 1998-2000 by Marc Bradley Zeedar. All Rights Reserved.

You may make copies of the official rules of Liar, Liar™ for your personal use, but you may not duplicate these rules or artwork on another website, nor distribute them for commercial use without prior written consent of the .