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Gentleman's War Quick Start Guide

Gentleman's War can be played with any standard deck of cards. For groups of 4 or more players, we suggest using more than 1 deck. 

Use this Quick Start Guide to get going or read the whole manual to ascend to new levels of devious thiefliness in your pursuit of riches and victory!

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1- Shuffle and deal the cards face down until each player has an equal number in a pile called the Roster.

2- Players can draw cards from their Roster at any time and may hold up to five in their Hand. The player to the left of the dealer goes first.

3- Each player (going clockwise) plays one card from their Hand face up on the Battlefield. High card wins, but a tie for high card triggers a Battle.

4- High cards can be assassinated by cards (2) points below them (e.g. Jack vs. King). Yell "Hit," play the card, and win the round.

Stop an assassination by yelling "Block!" and playing a two card.

Cards locked in Battle cannot be assassinated.

Multiple assassins trigger a Battle.

5- The winner of the round takes all the cards from the Battlefield and puts them in a pile called the Infirmary, then plays a card from their Hand.

6- Once your Roster is empty, swap in the cards from your Infirmary, but no shuffling!

But what about battles?

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1- If two or more players tie for highest card in play they must Battle for victory. This also applies to two simultaneously played Assassins.

Only players who have tied should:

2- Place their current Hand face down on the table.

3- Draw 3 Reinforcements from their Roster without looking and place them face down in the center of the table.

4- On the count of 3, each should flip over one of the Reinforcements. High card between these new cards WINS.

5- Assassinations and Blocks may occur after the flip but must be done from the player's facedown Hand without looking at the cards. Be sure to memorize them before setting them down, because flipping the wrong one is Cheating!!

6- Winner claims all cards that have been in play. The originally played cards, as well as the 3 new cards and any Assassins or Blocks, are remanded to the winner's Infirmary.


You should cheat. We encourage it. Cheat all the time (at cards)!

But if you get caught, you must be gracious and honest.

If you catch someone cheating, yell "CHEATER!" and they forfeit their Hand to you. If you call someone a cheater and you're mistaken, you are the cheater and you forfeit your Hand to the accused.


Last player holding cards wins.

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