How to play Pick your Poison


Learn the rules to the board game Pick your Poison quickly and concisely – This visually rich video has no distractions, just the rules.

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The object of the game is to be the first player to reach 15 points. Setup. Set out the game mat and give someone a score pad and pencil. Give each player one: “A” and “B” pick cards and 1 “Double down” card. Shuffle the poison deck and deal 6 cards to each player. Players look at their own cards but keep them hidden from other players. The player with the most recent birthday is the first judge, the remaining players are the picking players.

Each round, the Judge picks one poison card from their hand and places it facedown on the “A” spot on the game mat. The picking players now pick one card from their hand and give it facedown to the judge. Once all the cards are handed over, the judge mixes then and reads them aloud. The judge picks one card and places it on the “B” spot on the game board—the goal being to create the most difficult “Would your rather…: scenario. The player who submitted that card immediately receives one point, which is marked on a score pad. The rest of the submitted cards are discarded.

The picking players must now pick either “A” or “B” based on which poison they would rather have. They may ask the judge any clarifying question about either poison and the judge may elaborate on each scenario however they like. Once a picking player is ready to pick one, they place their matching pick card, as indicated by the letter, face down on the table. The judge does not pick.

Once all the players have picked, all the pick cards are revealed, and points are scored. If all the picking players picked the same poison, then they each receive 1 point and the judge loses 2 points. If exactly half of the players picked each of the poisons, creating a tie, then the picking players receive no points and the judge receives 3 points. Otherwise, if the pick is uneven, then the players who picked the most popular poison, the majority, each receive 1 point.

Discard the poison cards in spots “A” and “B”. The role of judge rotates by 1. Each player draws 1 card to return their hand to 6 and the process repeats. The double down card may be repeatedly used until it is lost. During the pick phase, a player may play their double down card along with their facedown pick card. If they score zero points then the double down card is lost and they may not use it again, otherwise they score double what they otherwise would have.

The first player to 15 points wins!

Some alternate rules you can play with are:

Odds to even: When playing with an odd number of picking players, the judge picks a poison card along side the other players. The judge only receives points if the round ends in a tie.

Super judge: The judge gets 1 point for each player who voted for the minority poison.

Two-for-one: The judge picks 2 poisons for the A spot and each player submits 2 cards for the judge to pick 2 poisons for the B spot.

Lucky Draw: The judge draws the top card of the deck instead of choosing a poison card from their hand for the “A” spot.

Freshen Up: Before any round begins, at the cost of 1 point, players can return their hand to the bottom of the deck and draw 6 new cards.


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  1. I thought the instructions said that the round starts by the Judge placing the A card face UP on the board, but it could be a mistake…

  2. Cool! I just got this game about a week ago. Some friends and I were trying to do a couple practice rounds, but it was a little confusing for me. Haha! Thanks for this!

  3. Some games I suggest for future how-to videos are senet (a game from Ancient Egypt), Reverse Charades, Word Mines, Wits and Wagers, Bezzerwizzer and I Should Have Known That by Hugge Games


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