Smoke And Mirrors

Chip Beauvais

Smoke and Mirrors

As the greatest magicians in the word, players will compete against each other by performing bigger and better tricks. The magicians need to be careful, because once their secrets are revealed, they are out!

For a 2-player game, remove the spiral 5 from the decks.

Players will take turns playing cards, or combinations of cards, equal to one greater than the previous player. This represents the increasingly spectacular magic tricks of each magician. These cards are played face-down, though, so it is possible, and probable, for some players to bluff.

Players are removed from the game if they are challenged and caught bluffing about their cards, or if they challenge another player and they are wrong. A round ends when only one palyer remains. The first player to win 4 rounds is declared the greatest magician.


Separate the cards so you have one pile for each type of card (Stars, swirls, skulls - see quick reference for a breakdown of the card values included in each type).

Shuffle each pile separately, and deal one card of each type to each player. Each player now has a hand of three cards (one card of each type). Set aside any remaining cards.

For the first round, randomly select a starting player. For subsequent rounds, play starts with the player to the left of the previous starting player.

Starting turn:
The player will choose one card from their hand and place it face down on the table and claim that the card has a value of 1.

Play plasses to the left and the game begins.


1) You may challenge the previous magician's act.

If you feel that the previous magician was bluffing, you may challenge their act. That player must reveal the cards that they played to only you.

-If the total value matches their claim - You are eliminated from the round.

-If the total value does not match their claim - They are eliminated from the round.

As a reward, the player that remains may take one card from the other player's hand and swap it with one from their own hand. The eliminated player's remaining cards are removed from the game and not revealed.

2) You must either perform your act or take a break.

Perform your act:
First, pick up the face-down cards from your previous act. Then play one or more cards face down and announce that the cards have a combined value of one greater than the magic trick played by the previous player.

Note: Remeber you can bluff, as the cards are face-down.

Once per round, you may skip your act and take a break. This does not affect the number the next player needs to claim for their act.

(example: if you skip on a 3, the next player still needs to claim a total of 4)

End of round:
When only one player remains, that player has won the round. Shuffle and distribute cards according to the setup section to start a new round.

End of game:
As soon as one player has won four rounds, that player is declared the greatest magician of all.

Mirror card:
A mirror is a mysterious card that has no value on its own, but when mixed with other magic tricks, it can be quite helpful.

Mirrors can copy any other non-mirror cards played. If you play three cards and one is a mirror, the mirror card can copy either of the other cards, or both. If you play two mirror cards along with a third card, the resulting total is triple the non-mirror card value. If you play only mirrors, the total value is 0.

A hand of 1 star, 2 swirl and mirror skull can perform the following magic tricks.

Value - cards used

1 - 1
2 - 2
2 - 1, mirror
3 - 1, 2
4 - 2, mirror
4 - 1, 2, mirror(mirror is 1)
5 - 1, 2, mirror(mirror is 2)
6 - 1, 2, mirror(mirror is 3)

This is a strong hand at first, but requires bluffing as the round goes on.

Design: Chip Beauvais
Card Illustrations: Fabrice Weiss
Cover Illustrations: Sara Beauvais
Graphic Design: Jason Tagmire
Rules Technical Writing: Ilan Mitchell-Smith

2015 Button Shy Games

Quick Reference

Stars- 1,1,1,1,1,M
Swirls- 1,2,3,4,5,M
Skulls- 5,5,5,5,5,M