To Begin

Generally SCRUPLES is played in a livingroom setting. It's an easy game to learn. Take a pack of yellow question cards and give each player five. Put the rest face-down on the coffee table.

Shuffle the red answer cards and give each player one. The card will say YES, NO, or DEPENDS. Place the rest face-down beside the yellow deck.

Look at your cards but don't show anyone your answer.

Ignore the ballot cards (those with pitchfork and halo) for the moment.

How to Win

The winner is the first player to get rid of his five yellow question cards.

Moving clockwise from the dealer, take turns posing a question to any other player.

If that player's answer matches your answer card, you get rid of the question you asked. You have only four yellow cards left and are closer to winning.

If the player's answer does not match your answer card, you discard the question you asked, but must take another one from the pack. You are no closer to winning.

ALWAYS discard your red answer card after your turn and take a new one. This way no one knows the answer you want next time.

Put USED answer and question cards face-up in a pile beside each unused deck. Shuffle and reuse the answers when you run out.

For Example

Suppose one of your questions is: "You accidentally damage a car in a parking lot. Do you leave a note with your name and phone number?" You have a YES answer card.

Decide which player might answer YES to that question. A player can answer YES, NO or DEPENDS. He does not have to tell the truth. He may bluff to stop you from getting rid of your card.

Suppose you direct the above question to Julia. If she answers YES, you get rid of the question. Nice going. Take a new answer only.

But let's say Julia replies, "Depends if there were any witnesses."

Since she didn't answer YES, get rid of your question as well as your answer and take new ones. You are no further ahead. Too bad.

Players who answer DEPENDS, like Julia, must ALWAYS say ON WHAT their answer depends.

Play a few rounds to get the hang of it. Then keep reading.


If you think a player is bluffing you, you may challenge her. If you win the challenge, you give her a question card. But watch out. If you lose, she'll give you one.

To challenge, you have 20 seconds to convince the others she is bluffing. You might cite evidence from her character, her appearance or her past. Then, she has 20 seconds to convince everyone she is telling the truth. The winner is decided by a vote.

For example, suppose you challenge Julia: "Julia is someone who scolds people for littering. She wouldn't damage someone's property and then, if there were no witnesses, sneak away."

Julia counters: "If no one saw me, I wouldn't leave a note because the damage would be covered by insurance. But if there were witnesses, I'd leave a note to avoid worse trouble."

You have a final 10 seconds to prove she's bluffing after which other players can give their opinion if they like. Keep the process brief.

The Vote

The vote is to determine if the player who was challenged (i.e. Julia) is sincere or bluffing. Sincerity is determined by the jury system. All players (including challenger and challengee) vote simultaneously ("1-2-3 vote!").

They vote by holding up the ballot cards: halo up if they think the player is sincere, pitchfork up if they think it's a bluff.

The winner of the vote gets rid of any question card by giving it to the loser. In a tie vote, no card is given.

Final Notes

For a game of one-and-a-half hours, deal five question cards to 4-6 players. Deal four cards to more players.

After someone wins, you may wish to play for second or third place.

To get rid of cards that say "Invent a Question of Scruples," you must either make up a question, or trade the card in a challenge.

People are at first reluctant to bluff. Don't be. It makes the game more fun.

Have Fun!

Send us your personal moral dilemmas. You will receive a free game for every question used in a future edition.

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