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The one-sentence "definition" that should be in italics.

This pattern is a still a stub.

Players have a possibility to convey false information to other players in order to benefit from the situation. Usually the basic information for Bluffing is something about the current game state, as is the case in Poker. It is possible, however, that Bluffing concerns other game components such as past events and actions, players' goals, and even players' strategies and intentions. One of the simplest games of this kind of Bluffing is an iterated version of Paper-Rock-Scissors, where the players try to outguess the other player's action based on previous plays and social clues.


Example: Poker uses Bluffing as one of the basic characteristics of the game. The players do not have direct information about the other players' hands but try to guess the relative values based on the play of previous rounds, social clues, and how the players are playing the current round. Bluffing in Poker thus means that the player is trying to give a false impression to other players about the actual value of his hand.

Example: The classic board game Diplomacy has all the information about positions of the players' armies and fleets available to all players. Bluffing in this game is based on giving the other players false information about the current strategies, goals, and agreements between the players. The game even has a specific diplomacy phase for giving the players the ability to scheme against other players.



Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects



Alarms Pattern Suggestion List Betrayal Tension Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game PvP Social Skills Social Roles Sanctioned Cheating End State Scoring Player Unpredictability Performance Uncertainty Beat the Leader Secret Goals Uncertainty of Information TvT Gameplay Mastery

Potentially conflicting with: Luck

Can Instantiate


Can Modulate

Alarms, Bidding, Social Interaction, Trading, Emotional Engrossment,

Can Be Instantiated By

Asymmetric Information, Betting, Indirect Information, Negotiation, Social Interaction,

Can Be Modulated By

Direct Information, Symmetric Information

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Symmetric Information,


An updated version of the pattern Bluffing that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design[1].


  1. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.