Dead Man’s Finger Card Game

This is a game by Briyan Frederick currently in design. Stay tuned for further details as the mystery unfolds.

Overview: Dead Man’s Finger is a thrilling card game designed for 3-6 players, blending strategy and a touch of the macabre. Inspired by the eerie parlor trick called “Dead Man’s Finger,” this game challenges players to outwit their opponents while channeling the spooky essence of the original trick.

Objective: Be the first player to collect five “Deception Tokens” by successfully completing deceptive challenges and avoiding being caught as the “Dead Man.”


  1. Deck of 52 Cards: Standard playing cards, used for the main gameplay.
  2. Dead Man’s Card: A unique card indicating who is the “Dead Man” each round.
  3. Deception Tokens: Small tokens awarded for successful deceptions.
  4. Challenge Cards: Cards with specific tasks or challenges that players must complete.
  5. Finger Markers: Small markers representing a player’s chance to perform the “Dead Man’s Finger” trick.


  1. Shuffle the Deck of 52 Cards and deal five cards to each player.
  2. Place the rest of the deck face down in the center to form the draw pile.
  3. Shuffle the Challenge Cards and place them next to the draw pile.
  4. Each player receives three Finger Markers.
  5. The dealer shuffles all cards, including the Dead Man’s Card, and deals one card face down to each player. The player who receives the Dead Man’s Card is secretly the “Dead Man” for that round.


  1. Dead Man Reveal: At the beginning of each round, players perform a secret reveal where they look at their dealt card to see if they are the “Dead Man.”
  2. Drawing Phase: Each player draws one card from the draw pile.
  3. Action Phase: Players take turns performing one of the following actions:
    • Play a Card: Play a card from their hand to the discard pile and draw another.
    • Challenge: Draw a Challenge Card and attempt to complete the task. If successful, gain a Deception Token.
    • Attempt Deception: Select another player and attempt the “Dead Man’s Finger” trick. If the chosen player believes you are the “Dead Man,” they lose a turn, and you gain a Deception Token. If not, you lose a turn.
  4. Accusation Phase: Players can accuse someone of being the “Dead Man.” If the accused is indeed the “Dead Man,” the accuser gains a Deception Token. If wrong, the accuser loses a Finger Marker.
  5. End of Round: After all players have taken their actions, the round ends. The Dead Man’s Card is reshuffled into the deck, and new cards are dealt.
  6. Winning the Game: The first player to collect five Deception Tokens wins the game.

Special Rules:

  • Finger Marker Limit: Players can only perform the “Dead Man’s Finger” trick three times per game (one per Finger Marker).
  • Challenge Variations: Challenges can range from simple tasks like “Draw two cards without looking” to complex puzzles requiring quick thinking.
  • Dead Man’s Bluff: The “Dead Man” can bluff to avoid detection but must be cautious not to overuse this tactic.

Strategy Tips:

  • Observe Opponents: Pay close attention to other players’ behavior to detect the “Dead Man.”
  • Use Finger Markers Wisely: Since you only have three chances, choose your targets carefully.
  • Bluff and Deceive: Utilize deception to mislead others and gain the upper hand.

Dead Man’s Deception combines elements of mystery, strategy, and a bit of spookiness to create an engaging and entertaining card game. Whether you’re fooling your friends or unraveling their deceptions, every round promises suspense and excitement.




dabodab is a blog about various things DiY and the creative people and activities surrounding them. I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective read more.


I could never work in a recording studio where you have this lovely view and a beach and the waves are crashing. For me, it’s all about being in a tiny room with little windows. It’s almost like you have to be in a prison. And you can create beauty when you’re in that sort of deprived environment, which is a re-creation of your formative years.Madonna