ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to play the Russian mafia game

Updated on January 20, 2014
Michele Placido in the role of Corrado Cattani (the police-officer)
Michele Placido in the role of Corrado Cattani (the police-officer)


Mafia game was invented in Moscow in 1986 by Dima Davidov who was inspired by then popular Italian series "La Piovra" starring Michele Placido. It is a great game to play with a big number of players, starting from at least 6 players and up to 16 players. It trains strategic thinking, intuition, attention, team thinking. Can be played at a party, or during the trip.

Pre-game instructions

In order to play the game, all you need is a deck of usual cards. The cards are sorted by their color as the players are divided into peaceful citizens including the Mayor and gangsters including the chief gangster (mafia). The number of cards is the same as the number of players and there always is the king of hearts (for the Mayor) and the king of spades for the chief of gangsters. The deck is shuffled and the cards are distributed between the players. As for other cards, they are taken the following way:

  • 6-7 players = 2 black cards + others red
  • 8-10 players = 3 black cards + others red
  • 11-13 players = 4 black cards + others red
  • 14-16 players = 5 black cards + others red

All players should be informed about the number of black cards.

Game Schedule

As the cards are distributed between the players, they all secretly look at them, then put their cards aside back up. Nobody knows everybody else`s cards. Usually, the hearts signify peaceful citizens and the spades the gangsters.

The leader then declares "Nighttime" so everybody goes to sleep, all the players close their eyes. Excepted the gangsters who wake up suddenly! At the moment when the leader says "Gangsters wake up!" those players whose cards are colored black open their eyes and look for the others with the eyes open. Thus gangsters recognize each other. Then they close their eyes again and the leader announces the dawn.

At the dawn, everybody opens their eyes and the players start the discussion concerning whom they suspect as gangsters. The goal for the peaceful citizens is to find the gangsters by the way they behave. Maybe they look a little suspicious, their eyes look strange, etc. For the gangsters it is important to hide their real personality and to survive. As the suspected gangster is voted by the majority of the voices, the person is conducted to 'death' and reveals his or her card. If the Mayor is killed, the game is considered over and the gangsters win. If the chief gangster is killed, the game is over likewise and the peaceful citizens win. Everyone then can reveal their cards. If the person killed is neither the Mayor nor the chief gangster, the game continues. The 'killed' player then just watches the game.

During the next night phase the Mayor opens his eyes and kills the person he considers as a gangster. He can do so just by pointing at this person. As the "city" wakes up, the leader announces the one who was killed this night. This person can only watch the game now.

Then follows the discussion again with the final decision to kill the suspected gangster.

Next night is gangster`s night and they decide to kill the person whom they think to be the Mayor.

If the Mayor is still alive, the game continues till either gangsters or peaceful citizens win. At night time either the Mayor or the gangsters wake up. They take turns. At day time the vote takes place. The players can vote just by raising their hands. It is up to the leader then to keep an eye on how many gangster and peaceful citizens are still alive.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      TO PLAY


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)