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Watch the video tutorial on the 'How To Play' page or read the rules below.

Rules are now FREE to download from our website!

Hit the link below and log in to access a variety of free resources to aid in your investigation! 


Who needs solid evidence? There’s no time to look for reliable witnesses. You just need to uncover any evidence that will implicate one of the suspects, but which detective will be the first to make their solution stick?


All cards are in use when playing bad cop.


Shuffle the full deck of 52 cards.

Deal 9 cards from the shuffled deck in a 3 x 3 grid face down in the centre of the table, this is the Crime Scene.


Deal 7 cards to each detective, this is your ever-changing case file as your investigation progresses.


Place the remaining cards face down next to the crime scene, this is the Evidence Locker.


A Discard Pile will be created on the opposite side of the Crime Scene will be created once the game is underway.


The game is set! You’re now ready to begin your investigation, you better start collecting those clues to frame your felon!

A handy tip-off: When playing Bad Cop you must have your three pieces of evidence (A, B & C) in your hand along with the suspect card you wish to accuse when attempting to solve the crime.

Gameplay Layout.jpg



Once your crime scene is set and cards dealt, the detective who has the highest number of red-backed cards in their hand goes first, if there is a tie then the more experienced (oldest) detective goes first.


On your turn, you can either

play a card or discard a card.


Place a card from your hand face up in front of you and state your play. If no one blocks your play with the block card then you can carry out the action on the card. Once the action is complete you must discard the card you played in the discard pile and then pick up a new card from the Evidence Locker. You pick up a card from the Evidence Locker after every card played.



If you don’t wish to play a card on your turn you can immediately discard a card (without showing anyone else what that card is) and pick up a new card from the Evidence Locker. Once the evidence locker is empty the discard pile is put in its place and a new discard pile is begun.

If a detective has only one card in their hand, certain cards can’t be played and must be simply discarded. Fair Play and Crime Scene are two such cards.


If a detective has all of their cards stolen then sadly their case has gone cold and they’re out of the game!


A minimum of two detectives in play are required in order for one to solve the crime and win the game.


In order to win the game, you will need to collect three separate pieces of evidence (A, B & C) that frames a suspect for the crime. As well as holding these three evidence cards you’ll need to hold the card of the suspect you are attempting to implicate.

On your turn, place the killer’s card FACE DOWN in front of you and state (dramatically, of course)

“I’ve captured the killer!”

 If another detective blocks your crime-solving attempts with the block card, you must transfer your prime suspect into the hands of the blocker. You’ll now have to wait for your next turn to try and retrieve your suspect or take a different line of enquiry! If no one blocks you, you must reveal the three evidence cards you have collected and then finally reveal the killer. Case closed!

If you happen to have made a mistake and your evidence cards don’t match the suspect then you are out of hunches and out of the game, your cards are shuffled into the Evidence Locker and the investigation continues without you.

Case closed!

Do you have any follow up questions, Detective? Perhaps our FAQ page could help? We'll keep adding answers to your queries on there!

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