You're Bogus Home Page

a dice and cards game for 2 or more players
Equipment: Ordinary playing cards, including 2 Jokers; two six-sided dice; pen and paper for scorekeeping; a table; and a copy of the Pink Floyd album Atom Heart Mother.

Primary Object: Have fun.

Secondary Object: Have the most points at the end of the game.

The beginning You're Bogus player is often distressed by the large number of rules. Rest assured that as you gain experience you will begin to see that the rules form a logical and harmonious whole. In order to have fun as soon as possible we begin by describing the mechanics of the game. After the method of play is clear it will be easier to explain the various rules.

The players sit around a table. In the center of the table is a pile of playing cards (face down) and a stack of playing cards (face up). The dice are somewhere on the table. The scorekeeper is making a reasonable effort to keep the scorepad away from the rest of the equipment. Each player has from 0 to 7 cards. Play proceeds clockwise. A player's turn consists of the following actions, in the given order:

**0) Pick up the dice
  1) Make a declaration
**2) Roll the dice
 *3) Pick up cards
  4) Call an exchange
  5) Declare a win
 *6) Place cards on the stack
  7) Specify a parity
**8) Pass the dice

The steps marked ** always occur, and the steps with * usually occur. If you are a beginner then you should only worry about these steps. The game is begun by shuffling the cards and placing them face down in the middle of the table. The players use any reasonable method to determine who goes first.

Z. Atom Heart Mother Rules

These rules are always in effect, can never be violated, and are taken to have higher priority than all other rules. Violators of the Section Z rules must resign from the game and listen to the album Atom Heart Mother in its entirety.

Z1. No player may have more than seven cards.

Z2. Players may conceal their cards, but at the request of any other player they must correctly state the number of cards they have. Such requests may be made at any time.

Z3. If a dispute arises, it is settled by the uninvolved players.

Z4. If a situation arises for which there is general agreement that the rules are unclear, then no penalties are assessed, and the players must reach a consensus as to how such a situation should be handled in the future. If one of the Original Inventors of the game is present then he may dictate the clarification or interpretation of the supposedly unclear rule.

Z5. Permanent changes in the rules can only be brought about by the unanimous decision of the Original Inventors.

Z6. If there is a conflict between rules, then the first rule, in the order given in this list, is taken to have higher priority.

A. Rolling the Dice

A1. The dice are rolled from the hand onto the table in a reasonably bouncy fashion. If a player consistently rolls the dice in a timid manner then the other players may poke fun at this behavior. Suggested rejoinder: "You are rolling like a Milquetoast."

A2. If a die rolls off the table then the player loses points equal to the amount showing on that die. If both dice roll off then both are counted. If either die rolls off then both must be rerolled. If any player actively interferes with a die that is in play, then that player must drop the offending die on the floor and he or she loses double the amount shown. Both dice must then be rerolled. Note: If a player rolls a die off the table and someone else attempts to catch it then only the catcher is assessed a penalty, and both dice must be rerolled.

A3. If a player actively interferes with a die that is not in play, and that die is directly above the surface of the table, then no penalty is assessed. If the die is not directly above the surface of the table and a player actively interferes with its path then the die must be dropped on the floor and the player loses double the amount shown. Note: If a die goes off the table for any reason, a penalty is always assessed to someone, regardless of whether or not it was in play at the time.

A4. If no table is available then another suitable playing surface, such as a box of notebook, may be substituted. If the game is played on the floor then the players may use their discretion to determine the boundaries of the playing area.

B. Picking Up Cards (when no declarations have been made)

B1. If the roll is >= 7 then pick up 2 cards from the pile.

B2. If the roll is <= 6 then don't pick up any cards.

B3. If the roll is a pair then you may choose to pick up 1 more card than is indicated by rules B1 and B2.

Examples. Roll 2-2, pick up 0 or 1; roll 4-4, pick up 2 or 3.

Note: If you roll a pair then first pick up the specified number (0 or 2), then decide if you want another card.

Note: The "have no more than seven cards" rule has higher priority than all other rules, so modify the rules in this section accordingly.

Note: It is not permissible to use sleight-of-hand to pick up a different number of cards than the rules indicate.

C. Making a Declaration

The Notes following the two rules in this section should be skipped on first reading.

There are two sensible declarations which a player may make. They are: "I want to acquire the top card" and "I want to discard two." Any reasonable paraphrase is acceptable. A player is not required to make a declaration, and on most turns no declaration is made. At most one declaration can be made per turn, and it only has an effect if it is made after the dice are picked up and before they are rolled. Declarations other than the above can be made, but they are only good for humor purposes and have no effect on the game.

C1. Suppose a player declares "I want the top card." If the roll is >= 9 then the player takes the top card on the stack. If the roll is <= 8 then the player does not pick up any cards. If the roll is a pair then the player first does the action just described, and then may choose to take an additional card from the face down pile. After the player picks up the appropriate number of cards then the usual discard rules apply, subject to the modifications described in the note below.

Note on discarding after a card has been acquired: If the card acquired was a non-Seven non-Joker then the status of the stack is determined by the non-Seven non-Joker which is now highest in the stack. If no such card exists, then the stack is treated as empty. If the card acquired was a Seven or a Joker, then the stack is played as if the top card had not been removed, except that the non-Seven non-Joker which is now highest in the stack is treated as the card immediately beneath the (invisible) Seven or Joker.

Note: If the player successfully acquires the top card and wishes to discard it immediately, then it is not necessary to actually pick up the top card. The discard rules are applied as if the card was picked up and then discarded. It is possible that this discard is Bogus, even it the original discard of that card was not Bogus.

C2. Suppose a player declares "I want to discard two." If the roll is <= 5 then the player puts two cards on the top of the stack. The top card should conform to the discard rules, and the bottom card may be hidden. No cards are picked up, and no more cards are discarded, even if the player still has >= 5 cards. If the roll is >= 6 then no cards are picked up and the usual discard rules are followed. If the roll is a pair then the player may choose to take the top card from the face down pile. Then the player either discards two (if the roll was <= 5), or follows the usual discard rules (if the roll was >= 6).

Note: A common use of the "discard two" is to hide an Ace under the top card. It is not permissible to use sleight-of-hand to discard two when no declaration has been made.

Note: If a player discards two then only the top card is used to determine the legality of a discard or to assess a penalty. A player with 0 to 2 cards who discards two can be declared Bogus under Section D rules.

Note: A player can be declared Bogus if a declaration is made, the roll is sufficient to permit the declared action to occur, but the declared action does not occur.

D. When to Discard

D1. If you have <= 2 cards then you should not discard.

D2. If you have 3 or 4 cards then you have free choice whether or not to discard.

D3. If you have >= 5 cards then you should discard.

E. How to Discard

E1. If there are no cards on the stack then any card may be discarded.

E2. Jokers and Sevens can always be discarded. See the next section.

E3. An Ace should only be discarded on an odd non-Ace of the same suit.

E4. A non-Ace, non-Joker, non-Seven, should only be discarded on a card of the same parity, but with different rank and suit.

Note: If the stack lacks a property, then that property is ignored when determining the legality of a discard. See the notes following rule F2 for examples of when this can happen.

Note: The rules in Sections C and F can affect what cards may be legally discarded.

Note: There are two parities: even and odd. The even cards are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, Q. Jokers have no parity. The other cards are odd.

Note: As the player discards, the top card must be placed so as to conceal the other cards on the stack. Players failing to do this should be chastised.

F. Discarding Sevens and Jokers.

F1. Sevens have special properties. They may always be discarded, and the discarder may use it to change the parity of the stack. If, after discarding a Seven but before the next player picks up the dice, a player specifies "odd" or "even", then the stack is played as if the top card had the parity specified, and all other characteristics are inherited from the previous condition of the stack. Any other specifications the player makes will have no effect on the status of the stack. The next player uses the discarding rules of the previous section, except that the parity may have been changed if the top card is a Seven.

Note: If no declaration is made then the stack behaves exactly as if the Seven was invisible. The phrase `previous condition' was used because several Sevens can be played in succession. Specifying "odd" or "even" after the next player picks up the dice has no effect on the stack.

F2. Jokers can be used to completely alter the status of the stack. If, after discarding a Joker but before the next player picks up the dice, a player specifies a parity, rank, or suit, or any combination of these properties, then the specified properties determine the status of the stack. If no specifications are made then the stack is considered to have no properties, and any card may be legally discarded. If a rank and a parity are both specified then the specified parity overrides the implied parity from the rank. If a rank is specified, but a parity is not, then that rank is used to determine the parity.

Alternatively, a player may precede their specification with the word `transparent.' Then all unspecified properties are inherited from the previous condition of the stack.

Note: If a Joker is discarded and the player specifies a rank of "Seven", then the status of the stack is "Seven"; the rules concerning discarding Sevens are not applied. The principle is that the specification being made imparts qualities to the stack, not to the Joker.

Note: If no suit was specified, then the stack is considered to have no suit, and cards of any suit may be discarded. The corresponding situation holds if no rank or parity was specified. Parity has higher priority than rank, so a specified parity or an inherited parity overrides the implied parity given by the rank.

Examples: Suppose a Joker is discarded. If the player specifies "Five", then any odd non-Five, including any Ace, can be legally discarded. If the player specifies "Five of Hearts", then the legal discards are determined exactly as if the top card was the Five of Hearts. If the player specifies "Even Five of Hearts" then any even non-Heart can be legally discarded. If the player specifies "transparent Five" then the parity and suit of the stack are determined by the previous top card.

G. Declaring Someone Bogus

G1. A person can be declared Bogus if they discard or bid improperly, or otherwise commit a non Atom Heart Mother infraction. This includes failure to discard with >= 5 cards, discarding with <= 2 cards, and disobeying the How to Discard rules.

G2. To declare someone Bogus, shout "You're Bogus" as the next player rolls the dice. If nobody shouts "You're Bogus", then the play is considered correct and no penalty is assessed. "You're Bogus" must be shouted as the dice are being rolled or are rolling or bouncing along the table in order for the declaration to have an official effect. Shouting "You're Bogus" at any other time, including immediately before the dice are rolled, has no effect on the game.

Note: You can only declare someone Bogus when the next player rolls the dice.

H. Scoring Bogosity

H1. Points are assessed whenever someone is declared Bogus.

H2. If the offender admits to being Bogus and the infraction involves an Ace, then the offender loses 10 points.

H3. If the offender admits to being Bogus and the infraction does not involve an Ace, then the offender loses 5 points.

H4. If the offender denies being Bogus then an inquiry is held. The players use whatever methods necessary to determine if the offender was actually Bogus. If the offender was not Bogus then all players who shouted "You're Bogus" lose 5 points. If the inquiry finds that the offender was Bogus, then 5 additional points are lost.

I. Calling an Exchange

I1. If a player draws from the pile a card of the same rank as the one currently on the top of the stack then the player is permitted to call an exchange. One exchange may be called for each card of the same rank which is picked up.

Note: A Joker is only the same rank as a Joker.

I2. If the card picked up is of the same rank then it should be shown to the other players immediately. This preserves the option of calling an exchange, but does not require that an exchange be called.

I3. An exchange is officially called after all cards have been picked up, but before a discard has been made.

I4. There are two legal exchanges: Pass Right and Pass Left. If the exchange Pass Right is called then all players give one card to the person on their immediate right. The player who called the pass chooses which card to give, but all other exchanges are done randomly. The usual method is for the person receiving the card to do the choosing, but any reasonable method may be used to ensure that the exchange is random. If the call is Pass Left then the above process is reversed.

I5. Players with no cards are skipped during an exchange.

I6. The card which a player receives is not made available for the next player to choose.

I7. If more than one exchange is called, then the first exchange must be completed, and exchanged cards must be incorporated into the players hands, before the next exchange begins.

J. Bidding

J1. Bidding may be done at any time.

J2. All bids should be prime numbers.

K. Declaring a Win

K1. In order to declare a win a player must have seven cards, all of which have the same color, and none of which are Aces. Jokers can be specified to be any card.

K2. A win must be declared during the player's turn. To declare a win put your cards on the table, six of them face up and one face down, and state "I declare a win of n points", where n is determined as in the next section.

K3. All non-winning players lose 5 points for each Ace in their hand.

K4. After a win is declared, accepted, and scored, the player who declared the win reshuffles the cards and places them in the middle of the table. Play begins again with the player to the winning player's left.

L. Scoring a win

L1. The six face up cards are used to compute the score.

L2. A three card straight-flush counts for 10 points. All such straight-flushes are counted. For example, a six card straight-flush is worth 40 points because it contains 4 three card straight-flushes.

L3. Let (a,b), with a<= b, denote the number of cards of each suit the winning player has. The possibilities are (0,6), (1,5), (2,4), and (3,3). The winning player receives 30a/b distribution points for the hand.

L4. The score for the hand is the sum of L2 and L3, with a maximum of 50 points. The winning player is responsible for determining the value of the hand. If the winner claims a smaller value than is actually possible then the amount claimed is credited. If a win is claimed and a win is not possible then 5 or 10 points are deducted, depending on whether the offending player has an Ace, and play continues.

M. Miscellaneous

M1. If a player must take a card from the pile, and there are no cards on the pile, then the top card on the stack is placed on the table and the player who needs a card shuffles the cards from the stack. Those cards become the new pile. The stack now consists of only of the previous top card, and the stack is played as if that card was the first one discarded.

M2. If there are 5 or more players then it is permissible to mix together two decks of cards. Every possible straight-flush is counted when computing the value of a win.

M3. The only time when it is permissible to look through the stack is when someone has been declared Bogus, the Bogosity is challenged, and the stack must be examined to determine if Bogosity has occurred. Only that portion of the stack which is relevant to determining Bogosity should be examined.

M4. The players use any mutually agreed upon method to determine when the game ends.

M5. If a player consistently plays in a manner which is legal, but significantly decreases the fun of the game, then the other players may make a temporary rule outlawing the unacceptable behavior. Reasonable effort should be made to persuade the player to stop the unacceptable behavior before making the new rule. The new rule is only in force for the current playing session and does not set a precedent for future play.

Example: If an experienced player reads through the discard rules after every discard, then the other players may outlaw this behavior.

You're Bogus was originally invented in 1983 by David Farmer and Randy Hall. The Original Inventors are interested in all experiences of You're Bogus players, and are especially interested in recording the first time it was played in a particular state, province, or country.