Stealth Variant for Family Business

Designed by Walter Lai Chi-Wei (

The aim of this variant rule is to add depth and strategy into the original game without introducing additional cards or changing the basic rules. Concealment of identity is the central mechanism of the variant rule. Bluffing becomes an important part of the play.


Pick one gangster from all six families. This should be done even if there are less than six players. Shuffle the six cards and put them face down in a pile.

Each player should pick one card from the pile of six, look at it, and place it beside him/herself. This is called "the Boss". The family whose Boss you picked belongs to you, protect it well.

Any unpicked gangsters are put away from the game and out of sight.

The Play

The game follows the normal rules, with the following exceptions:

1. Put all six families (including those without an owner) in a row. No one is to know which opponent owns what family.

2. Change all "each opponent" on the cards to read as "any three families". This includes the player's own family! There are people who will do that just to confuse the opponents.

3. Change all "your gangster" on the cards to read as "any gangster". So with a "Hit" card, you can send a gangster to the graveyard and put a gangster from any family (excluding the family which had lost the previous gangster) against the wall. "Framed", I call it.

4. You may put your own gangsters against the wall or hit them. This is a strategy to misled the opponents. Try crying out loud when somebody else's gangster got wacked, and only the two of you will know who's bluffing (but he won't admit it!).

The Boss

After all gangsters of a family is killed there is a chance that the Boss may be hit or put against the wall. To do this a you must (in order):

1. Place a successful contract (free from counteractions from any opponent) on that family. Skip this if it is to be a hit.

2. Announce the name of the player whom you believe to be controlling that family. The Boss of that family is placed against the wall or hit only if you got it right. (Note: you don't get to guess if your contract is countered.)

Winning the Game

The Boss of a family not controlled by a player will never be hit or put against the wall, but eliminating such families is not neccessary in winning the game. Player wins by eliminating all player-controlled families.

Send opinions to Walter Lai Chi-Wei (

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell