Shay Gray: party game of trading and deduction

4+, 10-20 min, 8+

Reclusive millionaire Shay Gray safeguards her enormous fortune in a Swiss bank account. You and your fellow con artists will attempt to break into her safe by impersonating her. The first one to ‘become’ Shay Gray wins!

swiss bank


4-6 players: form a name deck containing unique names, making sure to include ‘Shay’. Then form a colour deck containing unique colours, making sure to include ‘Gray’.

7-12 players: Use 2 ‘Shay’ and 2 ‘Gray’ cards along with a complete set of unique names and colours. Include any extra non-Shay and Gray cards as needed.

13+ players: More than 1 Shay Gray set will be needed for groups larger than 12. For each extra group of 6, include another set of names and colours.

Each player is randomly given a name card and a colour card. If any one player is given both ‘Shay’ and ‘Gray’, shuffle and redistribute the cards. Each player is also given 3 blackmail tokens which they keep hidden in a blackmail bag. Players keep their card identities secret at all times.


Blackmail Phase

Each round players pair up with a new opponent. Opponents then simultaneously reveal any amount of blackmail tokens to each other. If neither opponent reveals any blackmail tokens or they both reveal the same number of blackmail tokens they switch card identities. If one opponent reveals more blackmail tokens than the other these tokens are given to the other player. The player that gave blackmail tokens then decides which type of card, if any, is exchanged between the players. A colour card may only ever be exchanged with another colour card, and vice versa. Players that begin the game with ‘Shay’ or ‘Gray’ cards may not reveal more than 1 blackmail token during the first round.

Optional: Unmasking Phase

Each round, prior to the blackmail phase, any players may attempt to guess the current identity of their opponent. If the guess is partially or entirely incorrect, the other player gets to decide which type of card or cards, if any, is exchanged between the players. If the guess is entirely correct, the other player must attempt to guess the identity of their opponent. If the other player is partially or entirely wrong, the player that guessed correctly controls which cards, if any, will be exchanged. If the other player is also entirely correct, players carry out the blackmail phase.

The first player to unite the ‘Shay’ and ‘Gray’ cards wins!

Odd Number of Players

Each round one player will sit out, starting with the oldest player and working down. The sitting player can often glean crucial information by observing the activity around her!