Bang! Rules

A game for 4-7 players, aged 8 and up

BANG! is a shootout game, in Spaghetti Western style, between a group of Outlaws and the Sheriff, who is their primary target. The Deputies incognitos help the Sheriff, but there is also a Renegade pursuing his own goal! In BANG! each player plays one of these roles, and represents a famous Wild West inspired character.


• 7 Roles: 1 Sheriff, 2 Deputies, 3 Outlaws, 1 Renegade;
• 16 Characters;
• 80 Playing cards;
• 7 Summary cards;
• 7 Playing boards;
• 30 Bullets;
• These rules.


Each player has his own goal:
Sheriff: must eliminate all the Outlaws and the Renegade, to protect law and order.
Outlaws: they would like to kill the Sheriff, but they have no scruples about eliminating each other to gain rewards!
Deputies: they help and protect the Sheriff, and share his same goal, at all costs!
Renegade: he wants to be the new Sheriff; his goal is to be the last character in play.


(Before the first game remove carefully the bullet tokens from their frames.)
Each player takes a playing board (place it in front of you to hold your role, your character, your weapon and your bullets).
Take as many role cards as the number of players, divided as follows:

4 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 2 Outlaws
5 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 2 Outlaws, 1 Deputy
6 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, 1 Deputy
7 players: 1 Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws, 2 Deputy

Shuffle the cards and give one, face down, to each player. The Sheriff reveals himself by turning his card face up. All other players look at their role but keep it secret.

Shuffle the characters and give one face up to each player. Each player now announces the name of his character and reads his ability. Each player takes as many bullets as shown on his character.

The Sheriff plays the game with one additional bullet: if his character card shows three bullets, he is considered for all effects to have four; if he has four bullets, then the Sheriff plays with five.

Put the remaining roles, boards and character cards back in the box.
Shuffle the playing cards, and give each player as many cards, face down, as the bullets he has. Put the remaining playing cards face down in the middle of the table, as a draw pile. Leave room for the discard pile. Note: for your first few games, you can try a simplified version of the game by removing all cards with the symbol of a book before getting started.


Each Western character has some special abilities, which make you unique.
The bullets you have show how many life points you begin the game with, i.e. how many times you can be hit before being eliminated from play. Moreover, the bullets indicate how many cards the player can hold in his hand at the end of his turn (hand size limit).
Example. Jesse Jones has 4 life points: he can be hit four times before being eliminated from the game. Moreover, he can hold up to four cards in his hands at the end of his turn.
If during game Jesse loses one life point and he is down at 3, he can only hold up to three cards in his hand at the end of his turn. But fear not! Life points can be recovered!


The Sheriff begins. The game is played in turns, in clockwise order. Each player’s turn is divided into three phases:
1. Draw two cards;
2. Play any number of cards;
3. Discard excess cards.

1. Draw two cards
Draw the top two cards from the draw pile. As soon as the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile to create a new playing deck.

2. Play any number of cards
Now you may play cards to help yourself or hurt the other players, trying to eliminate them. You can only play cards during your turn (exception: Missed! and Beer, see below). You are not forced to play cards during this phase. You can play any number of cards; there are only three limitations:
• you can play only 1 BANG! card per turn; (this applies only to BANG! cards, not to cards with the damage symbol )
• you can have only 1 copy of any one card in play; (one card is a copy of another if they have the same name)
• you can have only 1 weapon in play.
(when you play a new weapon, discard the one you have in play)

Example. If you put a Barrel in play, you cannot play another one, since you would end up having two copies of the same card in front of you. There are two types of cards: brown-bordered cards (= play and discard) and blue-bordered cards (= weapons and other objects).
Brown-bordered cards are played by putting them directly into the discard pile and applying the effect described with text or with symbols on the cards (illustrated in the next paragraphs).
Blue-bordered cards are played face up in front of you (exception: Jail). Blue cards in front of you are hence defined to be “in play”. The effect of these cards lasts until they are discarded or removed somehow (e.g. through the play of a Cat Balou), or a special event occurs (e.g. in the case of Dynamite).
There is no limit on the cards you can have in front of you provided that they do not share the same name.

3. Discard excess cards
Once the second phase is over (you do not want to or cannot play any more cards), then you must discard from your hand any cards exceeding your hand-size limit. Remember that your hand size limit, at the end of your turn, is equal to the number of bullets (i.e. life points) you currently have.

Then it is the next player’s turn, in clockwise order.

Distance between players The distance between two players is the minimum number of places between them, counting clockwise or counterclockwise. The distance is very important, because all cards with a sight take it into account. Normally you can reach only targets (players or cards) within a distance of 1 (note the of your Colt .45 on your playing board).
When a character is eliminated, he is no longer counted when evaluating the distance: some players will get “closer” when someone is eliminated.

Eliminating a character
When you lose your last life point, you are eliminated and your game is over, unless you immediately play a Beer (see below). When you are eliminated from the game, show your role card and discard all the cards you have in hand and in play.
Penalties and Rewards • If the Sheriff eliminates a Deputy, the Sheriff must discard all the cards he has in hand and in play.


The game ends when one of the following conditions is met:
a) the Sheriff is killed. If the Renegade is the only one alive, then he wins.
Otherwise, the Outlaws win;
b) all the Outlaws and the Renegade are killed. The Sheriff and his Deputies win.
Example 1. All the Outlaws are eliminated, but the Renegade is still in play. In this case, the game continues. The Renegade must now face the Sheriff and his Deputies alone.
Example 2. The Sheriff is killed, but all Outlaws are eliminated, and one Deputy and the Renegade are still in play. The game ends with the Outlaws winning! They achieved their goal at the cost of their own lives!
• Any player eliminating an Outlaw (even if the eliminating player is himself an Outlaw!) must draw a reward of 3 cards from the deck.

New game
If you play more than one game in a row, players still “alive” at the end of the game may choose to keep their character (but not the cards in hand or in play!) for the following game; players which have been eliminated must draw a new character randomly.
If you want to give each player the opportunity of playing the Sheriff, you may decide, before starting the game, to pass this role among players from game to game, randomly assigning the other roles.

Now that you are familiar with the rules, let’s see the cards of BANG! in detail!

You start the game with a Colt .45 revolver. This is not represented by any card, but it is drawn on your playing board.
Using the Colt .45 you can only hit targets at a distance of 1, i.e. only players sitting to your right or your left.
In order to hit targets farther than distance 1, you need to play a bigger weapon: place it over the Colt .45. Weapons can be recognized from their blue border with no bullet holes, black-and-white illustration and the number into the sight (see picture) that represents the maximum reachable distance. The weapon in play substitutes the Colt .45, until the card is removed somehow. Even if weapons are played on the board, they can still be stolen (e.g. through the play of a Panic!) or discarded (e.g. through Cat Balou). The only weapon you can never lose is the ol’ Colt .45!
You can only have one weapon in play at a time: if you want to play a new weapon when you already have one, you must discard the one you already have.

Important: weapons do not change the distance between players. They represent your maximum reachable distance when shooting.
Volcanic: with this card in play you may play any number of BANG! cards during your turn. These BANG! cards can be aimed at the same or different targets, but are limited to a distance of 1.

BANG! and Missed!

BANG! cards are the main method to reduce other players’ life points. If you want to play a BANG! card to hit one of the players, determine:
a) what the distance to that player is; and
b) if your weapon is capable of reaching that distance.
Example 1. With reference to the distance figure, let us suppose that Ann (A) wants to shoot Carl (C), i.e. Ann wants to play a BANG! card against Carl. Usually Carl would be at a distance of 2, therefore Ann would need a weapon to shoot at this distance: a Schofield, a Remington, a Rev. Carabine or a Winchester, but not a Volcanic or the ol’ Colt .45. If Ann has a Scope in play, she would see Carl at a distance of 1, and therefore she could use any weapon to shoot at him. But if Carl has a Mustang in play, then the two cards would combine and Ann would still see Carl at a distance of 2. Example 2. If Dan (D) has a Mustang in play, Ann would see him at a distance of 4: in order to shoot Dan, Ann would need a weapon capable of reaching distance 4.

If you are hit by a BANG! you may immediately play a Missed! - even though it is not your turn! - to cancel the shot. If you do not, you lose one life point (discard a bullet). Discarded bullet go into a pile in the middle of the table. If you have no more bullets left, i.e. you lose your last life point, you are out of the game, unless you play immediately a Beer (see next paragraph). You can only cancel shots aimed at you. The BANG! card is discarded, even when cancelled.

This card lets you regain one life point – take a bullet from the pile. You cannot gain more life points than your starting amount!
The Beer cannot be used to help other players.
The Beer can be played in two ways:
• as usual, during your turn;
• out of turn, but only if you have just received a hit that is lethal (i.e. a hit that takes away your last life point),
and not if you are simply hit.
Beer has no effect if there are only 2 players left in the game; in other words, if you play a Beer you do not gain any life point.

Example. You have 2 life points left, and suffer 3 damages from a Dynamite.
If you play 2 Beers you will stay alive with 1 life point left (2-3+2), while you would be eliminated playing only one Beer that would allow you to regain just 1 life point. You would still be at zero!

Cards with symbols on two lines have two simultaneous effects, one for each line.
Here symbols say: “Regain one life point”, and this applies to “All the other players”, and on the next line: “[You] regain one life point”.
The overall effect is that all players in play regain one life point.
You cannot play a Saloon out of turn when you are losing your last life point: the Saloon is not a Beer!

and Wells Fargo
Symbols state:
“Draw two cards” (three with Wells Fargo) from the top of the deck.

General store
When you play this card, turn as many cards from the deck face up as the players still playing. Starting with you and proceeding clockwise, each player chooses one of those cards and puts it in his hands.


The symbols state: “Draw a card” from “a player at distance 1”. Remember that this distance is not modified by weapons, but only by cards such as Mustang and/or Scope.

Cat Balou
Force “any one player” to “discard a card”, regardless of the distance.

The Gatling shoots “a BANG!” to “all the other players”, regardless of the distance. Even though the Gatling shoots a BANG! to all the other players, it is not considered a BANG! card. During your turn you can play any number of Gatling, but only one BANG! card.

Each player, excluding the one who played this card, may discard a BANG! card, or lose one life point. Neither Missed! nor Barrel have effect in this case.

With this card you can challenge any other player (staring him in the eyes!), regardless of the distance. The challenged player may discard a BANG! card (even though it is not his turn!). If he does, you may discard a BANG! card, and so on: the first player failing to discard a BANG! card loses one life point, and the duel is over. You cannot play Missed! or use the Barrel during a duel. The Duel is not a BANG! card. BANG! cards discarded during a Duel are not accounted towards the “one BANG! card” limitation.

When you have a Mustang horse in play the distance between other players and you is increased by 1. However, you still see the other players at the normal distance.
Example. In the figure of the distance, if Ann (A) has a Mustang in play, Ben (B) and Flo (F) would see her at a distance of 2, Carl (C) and Emma (E) at a distance of 3, and Dan (D) at a distance of 4, while Ann would continue seeing all the other players at the normal distance.

When you have a Scope in play, you see all the other players at a distance decreased by 1. However, other players still see you at the normal distance. Distances less than 1 are considered to be 1.
Example. In the figure of the distance, if Ann (A) has a Scope in play, she would see Ben (B) and Flo (F) at a distance of 1, Carl (C) and Emma (E) at a distance of 1, Dan (D) at a distance of 2, while Ann would be seen by other players at a normal distance.

Some cards (Barrel, Jail, Dynamite) show little poker suits and values, then an equal sign and then their effects. The player using such a card must “draw!”, i.e. he has to flip over the top card of the deck, discard it, and look at the poker symbol in the lower left corner. If this flipped card shows a symbol (and value!) that matches, then the “draw!” was successful, and the effect of the card is resolved (the “draw!” card is always discarded without effect).
Otherwise, nothing happens: bad luck! If a specific card value or range is specified on the card, then the “draw!” card must show a value within that range (including the pictured symbols), and the suit shown. The value sequence is: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A.

The Barrel allows you to “draw!” when you are the target of a BANG!: - if you draw a Heart card, you are Missed! (just like if you played a Missed! card);
- otherwise nothing happens.
Example. You are the target of another player’s BANG! You have a Barrel in play: this card lets you “draw!” to cancel a BANG! and it is successful on a Heart. So, you flip the top card of the deck and put it on the discard pile:
it’s a 4 of Hearts. The use of the Barrel is successful and cancels the BANG!
If the flipped card were of a different suit, then the Barrel would have had no effect, but you could have still tried to cancel the BANG! with a Missed!.

Play this card in front of any player regardless of the distance:
you put him in jail! If you are in jail, you must “draw!” before the beginning of your turn:
- if you draw a Heart card, you escape from jail: discard the Jail, and continue your turn as normal;
- otherwise discard the Jail and skip your turn.
If you are in Jail you remain a possible target for BANG! cards and can still play response cards (e.g. Missed! and Beer) out of your turn, if necessary.
Jail cannot be played on the Sheriff.

Play this card in front of you: the Dynamite will stay there for a whole turn.
When you start your next turn (you have the Dynamite already in play), before the first phase you must “draw!”:
- if you draw a card showing Spades and a number between 2 and 9, the Dynamite explodes! Discard it and lose 3 life points;
- otherwise, pass the Dynamite to the player on your left (who will “draw!” on his turn, etc.).
Players keep passing the Dynamite around until it explodes, with the effect explained above, or it is drawn or discarded by a Panic! or a Cat Balou. If you have both the Dynamite and a Jail in play, check the Dynamite first. If you are damaged (or even eliminated!) by a Dynamite, this damage is not considered to be caused by any player.


Bart Cassidy (4 life points): each time he loses a life point, he immediately draws a card from the deck.

Black Jack (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he must show the second card he draws: if it’s Heart or Diamonds (just like a “draw!”), he draws one additional card (without revealing it).

Calamity Janet (4 life points): she can use BANG! cards as Missed! cards and vice versa. If she plays a Missed! as a BANG!, she cannot play another BANG! card that turn (unless she has a Volcanic in play).

El Gringo (3 life points): each time he loses a life point due to a card played by another player, he draws a random card from the hands of that player (one card for each life point). If that player has no more cards, too bad!, he does not draw. Note that Dynamite damages are not caused by any player.

Jesse Jones (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the deck, or randomly from the hand of any other player. Then he draws the second card from the deck.

Jourdonnais (4 life points): he is considered to have a Barrel in play at all times; he can “draw!” when he is the target of a BANG!, and on a Heart he is missed. If he has another real Barrel card in play, he can count both of them, giving him two chances to cancel the BANG! before playing a Missed!.

Kit Carlson (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he looks at the top three cards of the deck: he chooses 2 to draw, and puts the other one back on the top of the deck, face down.

Lucky Duke (4 life points): each time he is required to “draw!”, he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterwards.

Paul Regret (3 life points): he is considered to have a Mustang in play at all times; all other players must add 1 to the distance to him. If he has another real Mustang in play, he can count both of them, increasing all distances to him by a total of 2.

Pedro Ramirez (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. Then, he draws the second card from the deck.

Rose Doolan (4 life points): she is considered to have a Scope in play at all times; she sees the other players at a distance decreased by 1. If she has another real Scope in play, she can count both of them, reducing her distance to all other players by a total of 2.

Sid Ketchum (4 life points): at any time, he may discard 2 cards from his hand to regain one life point. If he is willing and able, he can use this ability more than once at a time. But remember: you cannot have more life points than your starting amount!

Slab the Killer (4 life points): players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!. The Barrel effect, if successfully used, only counts as one Missed!.

Suzy Lafayette (4 life points): as soon as she has no cards in her hand, she draws a card from the draw pile.

Vulture Sam (4 life points): whenever a character is eliminated from the game, Sam takes all the cards that player had in his hand and in play, and adds them to his hand.

Willy the Kid (4 life points): he can play any number of BANG! cards during his turn.


• Any card with a Missed! symbol can be used to cancel the effect of a card with a BANG! symbol

• you can only play one BANG! card per turn, but you can play any number of other cards which show the symbol
• you cannot have two cards with the same name in front of you
• you can only have one weapon in play, but at least you always have a Colt .45
• weapons do not change the distance between players, they represent only your shooting range
• Beer has no effect when there are only 2 players left in the game
• when you are losing your last life point, you can only play a Beer, and not a Saloon.


Note: throughout these rules “he”, “his”, etc. are used to indicate both genders.
Thanks to all the play-testers, to their gaming groups and to all the players, for all the precious suggestions. The author would personally thank all the members of the Chess Club “Luigi Valentini” in Civitavecchia, for their constant support and enthusiasm.
Game idea: Emiliano Sciarra
Development: Roberto Corbelli, Domenico Di Giorgio
Artworks: Alessandro Pierangelini
Art Director: Stefano De Fazi
Rules editing: Roberto Corbelli, Andrés J. Voicu

BANG!® - Fourth edition
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