Chin Music Rules

Chin Music rulebook title

Chin Music has had a significant revision between its first and second version. If you own the original printing of Chin Music (sold in a plastic box), please see the first edition rulebook instead.


Why, there’s a scrap gathering outside the speakeasy.

but there’s always a scrap gathering outside the speakeasy!

You and your fellow rowdies are trying to enjoy a drink in peace, but it seems that a hustle of ruffians out there wants a bit of the old Chin Music. But who’s going to go out there and deal with this problem?

Well, let’s see who boasts best!


Chin Music is a game where players need to access a shared pile of cards, and put them into a stack.

This game is a memory game: players have to remember what they said, or what the other players have said. If you have a hard time hearing one another, or your ability to speak clearly is impaired, this game may not work well for you.

And always: Remember to respect the players and their needs.


In your copy of Chin Music, you should have the following:

36 Interjection Cards showing a word! With an exclamation! Point!

8 Special cards, showing a special rule

How To Play

The game goes as long as the decks are big; so if you want a shorter game, you might want to cut the deck in half, or just include a fair few fewer cards.


Shuffle the deck. Then, deal the entire deck of cards out to each player face-down, forming a deck for each player, until all the cards are used up.

Determine who’s going to be the first player, by a roll of a die or a coin flip or who has the longest middle name, or some other method that strikes your fancy.

Once players have their decks, each player draws four cards and play begins.


Play is divided into bouts, and involves building a single pile of cards that represent your prowess at boasting, called the stack.

Each turn, you must:

  1. Play a card face-up on top of the stack, if you can.
  2. Recite aloud, starting with the bottom card, all the cards in the stack, including the card you added to it

If another player thinks you made a mistake, they can call you out

If you’re called out…

Check the stack and see if you made a mistake.

  • If you made a mistake, you take that entire stack, shuffle it, and put it on the bottom of your deck.
  • If you didn’t make a mistake, that player takes the entire stack, shuffles it, and puts it on the bottom of their deck.
  • If you can’t agree or tell (and you’d best be honest, or what’s the point of the game?), shuffle the stack and set it aside face-down.

Either Way…

At the end of your turn:

  • Draw a card from your deck, if there are any cards left in it
  • The turn passes to the next player

The Special Cards

There are two Special cards, GLUG and HOLD UP. When you play them, they are your whole turn, and they don’t count as part of the stack. You don’t have to recite any of the cards in the stack when you play one of these two cards.


The game ends when a player has played the last card from their hand and they have no cards left in their deck. Clearly, that person is the fittest one to go on out and serve those rowdies the Chin Music they’re here for!


Game, Rulebook, Art: Talen Lee

Special Thanks:
To Casey, who inspired me at a bus stop
To Fox and Elli, who helped with math
To Æryn, who talked punchin’ with me

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