Gunslingin’ Ramblers

A card game for 2-4 players

It’s the Wild West and you’re a whiskey drinkin’, poker playin’, gun fightin’ cowboy.  You’re trying to outwit all your opponents at cards and in gun duels all well knocking back more shots that you can count.  Do you have what it takes to become the king of the cowboys?

Game Play

At the beginning of the game players draw 2 Rambler cards and 5 poker cards.  They must then decide which Rambler to put into play and which poker hand they want to play first.  A poker card (Which contains a full poker hand) is choosen and placed face down in front of them.  Betting then commences poker style around the table until everyone has settled up.  Now it’s time to reveal the hands.  Each player reveals their poker card and the winner is determined.

Here’s where the real strategy comes in… Each Rambler has a score in “Cheatin'” and at this point they can choose to cheat and make their hand better.  After players decide whether or not they will cheat, the actual winner of the hand is determined.

Any Ramblers who didn’t cheat now have the chance to call out those who did.  This results in quick gunfights in the street where one Rambler dies and the other collects their bounty.

At the end of the round all players have a chance to bank their poker winnings so that they don’t lose their money when they die.

Finally, all Ramblers left alive take a celebratory shot of Whiskey.  If any players lost their Rambler, they draw a new one and place it on the table at the beginning of the next turn.

During the game there are three ways that Ramblers can be removed from play, they can be killed in a gunfight, pass out from drinking too many shots of whiskey or they can run out of money.


Card Types

Poker Cards:

These cards each contain a full poker hand and also a special one time use ability that you may use when you reveal this card.


There are 36 rambler cards in the game.  Each one has the following:

Drinkin’: This is how many whiskey shots they can take before they die.

Cheatin’: This is how good they are at cheating at poker.

Shootin’: This is how adept at duels they are.

Bounty: How much another player earns for killing them.

Money: How much money the rambler starts with.

Special Ability: A power the can use that no one else can.



The game ends when either the Whiskey runs out or the Ramblers deck is empty.  The winner of the game is the person who has the highest total score based on:

Amount of money you have in your bank

The sum of all bounties you collected

$50 for ever Whiskey shot you took



36 Rambler Cards

50 Poker Hand Cards

50 Poker Chips

100 Whiskey Shot Counters

4 Wooden Dice

8 Bank Cards

4 Order of play cards

4 Hand Rank Cards


– Jason

All ideas presented on this site are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.



Gunslingin’ Ramblers — 2 Comments

  1. You’re right. I don’t think there’s a game like this out there yet. Seems like this sort of game would blow up on kickstarter

  2. I’d like to see a mechanic, on one specific character, or perhaps all characters:

    Once per game, if a player is out all his chips, he can chance a shootout against someone’s bank to get more money and continue playing. Perhaps a minimum amount of shots must be imbibed to gather the courage for such a desperate act…