Learn How to Play Bang! Rules Guide If You Hate Reading Rulebooks

I wrote this Learn how to play Bang! Rules guide for gamers like me who hate reading rulebooks and want to get started quickly.
If you are still new to Colt Express and are wondering if this game is suitable, click here for our quick overview of the gameplay, what makes it fun and videos of the game.

Players: 4 to 7 | Game duration from: 20 mins | Game Complexity: MEDIUM

Click here for official BANG! rules pdf / rulebook

What is the goal?

Every player has his own goal:

  • The Sheriff must eliminate all the Outlaws and the Renegades.
  • The Outlaws would like to kill the Sheriff, but are not hesitant to kill one another in order to gain rewards.
  • Deputies support the Sheriff’s goals, and make sure he is protected!
  • The Renegade wants to be the new Sheriff. His goal is to be the last character to appear


Bang Game Board

Each player places their Bang game board in front of them to hold their:

  • role,
  • character,
  • weapons, and
  • bullets

Number of Bang Role Cards to use

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

Distribute roles. characters and bullets

  • Shuffle the cards and deal one face down to each player.
  • Turn the Sheriff’s card face up to reveal his identity.
  • The other players check their roles and keep them hidden.
  • Shuffle the characters and reveal one face to each player. Each player now announces the name and ability of his character.
  • Players take the number of bullets shown on their character.
  • Sheriffs play the game with an additional bullet: if his character card shows three bullets, he is considered to have four, if he has four bullets, then he plays with five.
  • Place the remaining roles, boards, and character cards in the box. Shuffle the cards and give each player the same number of cards, face down, as bullets he has.
  • As a draw pile, place the remaining playing cards face down in the middle of the table. Leave space for the discard pile.

Each Western character has some special abilities that make them unique.
The bullets show how many life points you start with and indicate how many cards a player can hold at the end of his turn (also the hand size limit).


The Sheriff takes the first move.
Turns are taken clockwise with each player’s turn consisting of three phases:

  1. Draw two cards
  2. Play any number of cards
  3. Discard excess cards

1. Draw two cards

Take the top two cards from the draw pile. Once the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile to create a new playing deck

2. Play any number of cards

Play cards to help yourself or hurt the other players, trying to eliminate them. You can only play cards during your turn (exceptions include the Missed! and Beer). Playing of cards is optional. You can play as many cards as you want; however, there are three limitations:

  • You can only play one BANG! (this only applies to BANG! cards, not to cards with thee symbol)
  • You can only have 1 copy of any one card in play (a card with the same name is a copy of another).
  • You can only play one weapon at a time. (When you play a new weapon, discard the one you already have)

Two types of cards are used: brown-bordered cards (for play and discard) and blue-bordered cards (for weapons and other objects).

Brown-bordered Cards

Put them directly into the discard pile and apply the effect described with text or symbols on the cards (illustrated in the following paragraphs).

Blue-bordered Cards

Played face up in front of you (except Jail). Blue cards in front of you are thus defined as “in play”. The effect of these cards lasts until they are discarded or removed somehow. If the cards do not share the same name, there is no limit to how many you can have in front of you.

3. Discard excess cards

If you do not want to or cannot play any more cards after the second phase, then you must discard any cards that exceed your hand-size limit from your hand. The maximum size of your hand at the end of your turn is equal to the number of bullets you currently have. It is then the turn of the next player, clockwise.

Distance between players

A distance between two players is the minimum number of places between them, counted clockwise or counterclockwise (see image). Every card with a sight factors in the distance. Normally you can only reach targets (players or cards) within a distance of 1. In the event that a character is eliminated, he is no longer considered when measuring distance: some players will get “closer” to each other when someone is eliminated.

Eliminating a player

If you lose your last life point, you are eliminated and your game is over, unless you immediately play a Beer (see below).

When eliminated from the game, show your role card and discard all the cards you have in hand and in play.

Penalties and rewards

ll the cards he has in hand and in play when he eliminates a Deputy.
• Any player who eliminates an Outlaw (even if that player is an Outlaw himself) must draw three cards from the deck.

How to Win

In order for the game to end, either one of the following conditions must be met:

  • a) The Sheriff must be killed. If the Renegade is the only one alive, then he wins. Otherwise, the Outlaws win.
  • b) All the Outlaws and Renegades are killed. The Sheriff and his Deputies win.

How to Play BANG! and Review Videos

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