Wife Beater - card game rules

Wife Beater

Contributed (but not invented) by David M

Warning: the theme of this game is unpleasant, and some readers will probably find the whole game offensive. In that case, do not read on.

The goal is to beat another player's wife three times. After being beaten three times, that player is out of the game.

A standard 52-card deck with two jokers is used. At the beginning of the game, the Kings and Queens are separated from the deck and each player is given the King and Queen of one suit. These cards are then displayed face up in front of each player, with the queen on the player's left, the king to the right of the queen. Any remaining kings and queens are not used in the game. 2 to 4 people can play with one deck; extra decks can easily be added for an unlimited number of extra players.

Five cards are dealt to each player as their hand, and the remaining cards are stacked face down in the center of the table to form a draw pile. Two piles of cards are kept in the center of the table thoughout the game: a draw-pile and a discard-pile, which is empty at the start. The draw pile remains face-down, and the discard pile remains face-up. When the draw pile becomes low or depleted, the discard pile is then shuffled and returned to the bottom of the draw pile.

The player to dealer's left begins and play passes clockwise aroung the table. At your turn, you attack another player of your choice by playing a card from your hand on their layout. Depending on the card played, you may be able to play further cards and the player you attcked may be able to defend by playing cards of their own. Then it is the next player's turn to attack.

Players always retain five cards in their hand. Immediately after playing a card - whether in attack or defense - you draw a new card from the draw pile to replace it. If two cards are played at once (e.g. combining drunk with a beat card to beat a wife with kids; playing two beat cards at once due to depression) then those cards must be played simultaneously. Two cards must then be drawn to fill the gap.

Here is a summary of the cards and their effects - these are described in detail below.

2, 3, 4Beat cards
5Beat card, or police bribe
6Pissed (angry)
7Bowling Night
JackChild (Jack of same suit as parents = 'Mama's boy')
King, Queen   Husband, wife (not to be played)
  • Playing one beat card counts as a turn. A beat is placed face-down over the beaten queen. This represents a bruise mark.
  • A child is placed right-side-up beneath the queen.
  • Depression, bowling night, and cops are placed right-side-up above the king.
  • A 5 is generally used as a beat card, unless the cops are called on the player, in which case it can be used as a police bribe. This invalidates the cops-play, and both cards are discarded.
  • Pissed removes bowling night from a player. This does not count as a turn. Both the 6 and the 7 will be discarded. Pissed also counteracts mace. When mace is used on a plasyer, that player can retaliate with pissed, and his beat is then still valid. 6 and 8 are discarded, the beat remains.
  • Bowling night, when used on a player, causes the recipient to be unable to beat any other player. Lasts three turns. Counts as one turn to use. Recipient player can play any other cards on his turn, other than beating, and can remove it with pissed at any time.
  • Mace deflects a normal beat card. If a player is beaten, that player can use mace to defend him or herself. The beat is then invalid and both cards are discarded. If the attacker uses piss to retain his beating's effectiveness, 6 and 8 are discarded, the beat remains.
  • Depression can be played on another player, and counts as one turn. The player who receives depression must then use two beat cards in order to count as one beat. One of the two beat cards will be discarded upon beating. Lasts three turns.
  • Drunk has a great number of uses. First, it can be used to get rid of depression. By discarding a 10, the player may then discard the 9 that has been played on them, thus removing their depression. This does not count as a turn and can be done at any time. Secondly, drunk can be used to rape an ugly wife. Third, drunk can be used to beat a wife with a child. When using drunk in combination with rape or mother-beating, the 10 is discarded.
  • When a jack is drawn at any point during the game, it is immediately to be placed right-side up below the queen. No player can beat a wife as long as she has a child (unless the attacker is drunk). Depression and Bowling night and so forth can still be applied. Rape is still a valid option as well. A child lasts five turns, unless it is the same suit as the parents (a 'Mama's boy'). A Mama's boy lasts for seven turns.
  • Cops can be called in the same way that mace is used. If a player is beaten, they can then call the cops. The beat still counts, though. Even if it is the final beat and the player is now out of the game, that player can still play the cops card as their final move. A player who has been arrested by the cops who does not managed to bribe them away (with a 5) must then go to trial/jail. Every turn, the arrested player cannot make any move. He must discard one beat-card and draw a new card to replace the spot in his hand. (If, and only if no beat-card is available to discard, any card of choice may then be discarded) This must be done until the drawn card is of the hearts-suit. The player keeps the drawn heart, and then must wait for his next turn before resuming normal play. A player in trial/jail may still be attacked.
  • Rape can be used in the same way as a beat card. Although it is not vulnerable to depression. A player may rape a wife who has a child. On the other hand, a player may not rape a wife who is "ugly". An ugly wife is one who has been beaten (or raped) once or more. A player may still rape an ugly wife if the rapist player is drunk, though. The rape card, joker, may still be played if the player is on bowling night. A rape counts toward the beat total.

It sometimes happens that you are unable to play any card in your hand at your turn. If this happens, you may discard one card and draw one replacement, just as when drawing while on trial. JUst as when on trial, if you have any beat cards youi must discard one of those; if you have no beat cards you may discard any card. Discarding and drawing a replacement card counts as a turn, and this option is only available if you have no playable card.

Last updated: 5th December 2006