Wink Killer Game: Rules & How to Play with Cards

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Do you think you’re as stealth as a tiger? Prove it with the Wink Killer game! It’s a great activity for both smaller and larger groups, making it perfect for parties, friend gatherings, or family dinners.

The Wink Killer game, also known as Wink Murder, is a simple but entertaining roleplaying game similar to Werewolves or Mafia. One or several players need to eliminate other players by winking at them, without others noticing. After each kill, the ‘detectives’ will make a guess on who’s the Wink Killer.

The main objective is straightforward: Win as detectives by eliminating the Wink Killers, or win as Wink Killers by eliminating all other players.

To make it easy for you to start playing, we have summarized how to play Wink Killer with cards, as this is the most accessible way to play this game. It’s playable both as normal and drinking game, of which the specific rules are described below.

Your Game Information

Number of Players: 3+

Equipment: deck of playing cards

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Area: indoor

Tabletop: no

Drinking: both

Wink Killer Rules

To play Wink Killer, you’ll only need a number of playing cards equal to the number of players. You can play with one detective where just one player guesses the secret killer, or with all players being able to guess. Below we will describe per variant what cards must be included.

Option 1: One Detective, One Killer

With this version, the dealing cards contain one King, one Joker, and several numbered cards depending on your number of players. The player who draws the King is the detective, the player who draws the Joker is the Wink Killer. All other cards count as civilians.

Here’s how you start playing:

  • The dealer deals one card to each player. All players check their cards privately.
  • The detective reveals their role.
  • Everyone then observes each other.
  • The Wink Killer then tries to sneakily take out another player by winking at them.
  • The eliminated player then announces they are out of the game.
  • The detective can then choose to announce who they think is the Wink Killer.
    • If the detective makes a correct guess, the Wink Killer loses the game
    • At a wrong guess, the wrongly accused civilian is also eliminated.
  • This continues until:
    • there are no more civilians in the game
    • the detective guesses the Wink Killer before all civilians are eliminated.

You can also play Wink Killer as a drinking game, which can make it more entertaining dependent on the group you’re playing with.

Alternatively, you can choose to play the game with one Wink Killer and all detectives.

Option 2: One Wink Killer and All Detectives

For this version, you’ll take a number of cards equal to the number of players consisting of one Joker and random numbered cards. Again, the Joker is the Wink Killer. All other cards count as detectives.

The drinking game goes a bit different:

  • The dealer deals one card to each player, after which all players check their cards in private.
  • All players observe each other.
  • The Wink Killer tries to eliminate all other detectives by winking at them.
  • Eliminated detectives announce their elimination.
  • At any time, detectives can choose to announce who they think is the Wink Killer.
  • However, if they are wrong, they themselves plus the person who they accused are eliminated.
  • This continues until there is just one detective and one Wink Murderer left, or until the Wink Killer is revealed.

Wink Killer Drinking Game

The Wink Killer Drinking Game is very similar to the standard game, but instead eliminated players chug their drink and say nothing instead of calling out they are dead.

If the Wink Killer is revealed, they must announce that they are indeed the Wink Killer and subsequently finish their drink. This means that if you’re a good one, you can let all other players finish their drinks and be safe yourself.

Wrap Up

The Wink Killer game is perfect for when you’re looking for a game that does involve some level of stealth and deduction like the Werewolves game, but is less complicated.

Another benefit is that you can easily introduce a drinking element. If you want to switch to a similar game that’s more focused on drinking, you should definitely try Find the Queen. Here, there’s one anonymous queen that must drink a shot or beer from the center of the table when everyone has their eyes closed. The Jack must then find out who’s the Queen.

If you decide to go for the drinking version, remember to always drink with moderation. Know your own limits and make sure that everyone’s doing alright at all times.

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