Move forward or don’t if you are looking for the best bluffing board games, because that is what we are going to give you. In the simplest terms, bluffing is convincingly lying. Bluffing games encourage players to use deception to achieve their goals. All Bluffing games have an element of hidden information in them. This can span across many different genres, and it does so well. This is our list of the 10 Best Bluffing Board Games.
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#10 | Letters from Whitechapel
Letters from Whitechapel makes the list of the best bluffing board games because there are two sides of this conflict and both need to be deceptive about what they are doing. The city is big and this game of cat and mouse is sprawling. Will you take down Jack or will he get away?
One player plays Jack the Ripper with the goal to take five victims before being caught. The other players are police detectives who must cooperate to catch him. The board is the Whitechapel area in the late 19th century and is marked with 199 numbered circles linked together by dotted lines. During play, Jack the Ripper, the Policemen, and the Wretched are moved along the dotted lines that represent Whitechapel’s streets. For 2 – 6 players, games run about 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Letters from Whitechapel
#09 | Shadows over Camelot
Like some of the other titles at the tail end of this list of the best bluffing games, the bluffing is not the central focus of the game, but the part it plays is key. Another idea you will see a lot of in this list is the idea that there is a traitor in your midst. Both things are true with the medieval Shadows over Camelot. It is plenty of fun and always keeps you on your toes.
You represent a knight of the Round Table and must collaborate to overcome a number of quests, ranging from defeating the Black Knight to the search for the Holy Grail. Completed quests place white swords on the Round Table; failed quests add black swords and/or siege engines around Camelot. The knights are trying to build a majority of white swords on the Table before Camelot falls.
FOR MORE: Buy Shadows over Camelot
#08 | Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
The bluffing here is weaker though still key, an the game is fantastic. That is enough to put Dead of Winter at the #8 spot on the list of the best bluffing board games. You are all collectively working together to stop the flow of evil from the game, but you also have your own stuff going on. Being able to hide your true motivations is the true mastery of this game. There can be only one winner, make sure it is you.
You are dropped with other players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased from flesh-craving monsters. You lead a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game to defeat the zombie enemies. Each game you have a new team objective to complete, but each player also has a secret mission that benefits just them. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 1 – 2 hours.
#07 | Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Putting board games aside, when you think about great examples of traitors blending in, the great bluff of all, you might think of the Cylons blending in as humans in Battlestar Galactica. The makers of all that were able to channel that into a great game that throws you in the middle of that and lets you experience it for yourself. Maybe not a traditional choice, but an easy one for the list of the best bluffing board games.
You are one of ten favorite characters from the iconic show, each with their own special traits. All the characters must work together in order for humanity to have any hope of survival. Problem is, one of you is a Cylon. Players must attempt to expose the traitor while fuel shortages, food contaminations, and political unrest threaten to tear the fleet apart. For 3 – 6 players, games last about 2 – 3 hours.
FOR MORE: Games Like Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game | Buy Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
#06 | Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
When everyone is working together, it hurts when one of you is secretly the enemy. It is also hard to do, bluffing your way through that, sabotaging things without people knowing is one of the greatest cons you can achieve. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong makes the list of the best bluffing board games because it brings this into a great detective setting, and it does it well.
In the game, players take on the roles of investigators attempting to solve a murder case – but there’s a twist. The killer is one of the investigators! Your role and team are randomly assigned at the start of play and include the unique roles of Forensic Scientist, Witness, Investigator, Murderer, and Accomplice. While the Investigators attempt to deduce the truth, the murderer’s team must deceive and mislead. For 4 – 12 players, games run a quick 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
#05 | The Resistance
The Resistance makes the list of the best bluffing board games because this falls in the party meets strategy category of deduction. Those games require you to get clues from others while not giving clues yourself, and this is one of the best titles out there in that genre. So many here are very quick, this one has some more meat on its bones, making the long bluff even more key.
The Empire must fall. Your mission must succeed. By destroying their key bases, you will shatter Imperial strength and liberate your people. Yet spies have infiltrated your ranks, ready for sabotage. You must unmask them. In five nights you will reshape destiny or die trying. For 5 – 10 players, games run about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like The Resistance | Buy The Resistance
#04 | Maria
Maria makes the list of the best bluffing board games because it is the most bluffing you are going to get out of a solid war strategy game. There are many different roles to play in this giant war and you need to keep your eyes open in order to survive. This is a fun game that moves at a solid pace.
One player is Austria, the second is France plus Bavaria, while the third player plays as Prussia (Austria’s enemy) and the Pragmatic Army (Austria’s ally) at the same time. Subtle maneuvers, seizure of fortresses, prudent retreats, and Machiavellian politics are the keys to victory. However, players must be careful: whoever uses his Tactical Cards unwisely in battle can suddenly find himself not on the highway to glory but on the road to ruin. For 2 – 3 players, games run around 210 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Maria
#03 | Skull
Skull is an easy choice for the list of the best bluffing board games. This is the quintessence of bluffing, a game in which everything is played in the players’ heads. It is kind of like poker without the distinction of who has the better hand. This is a great party game that is light enough for any situation. A few successful showdowns wins the game.
Each player plays a face-down card, then each player in turn adds one more card – until someone feels safe enough to state that they can turn a number of cards face up and get only roses. Other players can then overbid, saying they can turn even more cards face up. The highest bidder must then turn that number of cards face up, starting with his own. If they shows only roses, they win; if they reveal a skull, they lose, placing one of their cards out of play. For 3 – 6 players, games last 15 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Skull
#02 | Secret Hitler
Secret Hitler makes the list of the best bluffing board games because it is a fantastic game of deduction that comes down to you throwing others under the bus and making yourself look great. Being able to bluff through that is a powerful and invigorating experience. If you are not good at it, you will not excel here. A fantastic party game for a larger group if nothing else.
This party title is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930s Germany. Each player is randomly and secretly assigned to be a liberal or a fascist, and one player is Secret Hitler. The fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader; the liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 45 minutes.
#01 | Sheriff of Nottingham
Sheriff of Nottingham takes the top spot on the list of the best bluffing board games because it is a fantastic good time that is based on that very principle; and bribery and smuggling. The makers of this game found the perfect character in literary history to bluff against and then they built an opportunity for you to do so.
In Sheriff of Nottingham, you are mainly a merchant of Nottingham city, but you also take turns playing the Sheriff himself. Merchants declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack. The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated! You sneak stuff in you benefit, you get caught you are punished. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 45 minutes each.