Cheating moth

Number of players
Recommended age
Competition type
all vs. all
Playing time
-25 min
Cost or investment

Brief description of the game

The cheating moth is an active card game in which players interact constantly by passing cards to each other and performing certain actions. The key to the game is that you can cheat to get rid of the cards that penalize the most: the cheating moths.
Detail of the cards of the game The Cheating Moth
Table of contents
Cards of the game Cheating moth


Things you need to know before starting to play

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Number of players

The cheating moth is a game for 3 to 5 players, from 7 years old.

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What do you need to play

Cheating Moth is a commercial card game, so you’ll have to buy it or borrow it from your sister, neighbor, friend, cousin… And then return it in perfect condition 😉

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Discover the deck of CHEATING MOTH

The cards in the Cheating Moth deck are special cards designed specifically for this game. We briefly introduce them below and then explain in more detail the role played by each one of them.

Detalle de la carta del chinche guardián del juego La polilla tramposa


In each round one of the players will have this card and will become the “Guard Bug”.

You will play the same as the others but you will have to be alert to possible cheating by the rest of the players.

The “Guard Bug” cannot cheat.

Detalle de la carta de la polilla del juego La polilla tramposa


The “cheating moth” cards cannot be left in the discard pile nor can they be passed on to other players.

The only way to get rid of them is to cheat: to throw them under the table, or throw them wildly, or hide them under the sleeve, under the tablecloth, in a pocket…

Just don’t let the “Guard bug” see you!

There are 8 cards of cheating moths.

Detalle de la carta de la araña del juego La polilla tramposa


It is an action card that offers an advantage: if we play a spider next we can give one of our cards -except a cheating moth- to any of the other players.

There are 5 spiders.

Detalle de la carta de la hormiga de La polilla tramposa


Another annoying action card for the other players: if we play an ant then the other players must each draw a card from the pile.

There are 5 ants.

Detalle de la carta de la cucaracha del juego La polilla tramposa


A real action card: if a player throws a cockroach then ALL players will try to quickly place a card of the same number on it (all cards have a number in their corners).

The fastest player may leave his card. The others will have to collect theirs.

If no one has the same number the game continues as normal.

There are 5 cockroaches.

Detalle de la carta del mosquito del juego La polilla tramposa


The most fun action card: if a player throws a mosquito, the other players must quickly place their hand flat on the mosquito card.

The slowest player, the one who has the hand on top of all the others, will receive one card from each of the other players, including the player whose turn it is.

There are 5 mosquitoes.

Cartas de la Polilla Tramposa


The Cheating Moth deck is completed with 43 number cards that have no action associated with them.

Rules of CHEATING MOTH: Gameplay

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Rounds and turns

In a game of The Cheating Moth, as many rounds are played as the number of players. In each one, a different player will play the role of the “Guard Bug”.

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Who’s first?

The first turn of each round will be for the player who has the “Guard Bug”. In the first round it will be ” Guard bug” the player with the most years.

The turn passes to the player on the left.

Goal of the game

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What do you need to do to win?

The goal of The Cheating Moth is to be the first player to get rid of all his cards.

In a game of Cheating Moth as many rounds are played as the number of players.

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Dealing and preparing the deck.

A game of The Cheating Moth begins with the player who has the “Guardian Bug” performing these actions:

  1. Place the “Guard Bug” card face up in front of him.
  2. Shuffle and deal 8 cards face down to each player.
  3. Place the rest of the cards in the center of the table in a pile.
  4. Turn over the top card of the pile and place it next to the pile starting the discard pile.

If it is an action card, that action will not be carried out but its number will be relevant.

All players take their hand of cards and look at them secretly. Surely, someone will put on a poker face when they discover they have one or more cheating moths.

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That’s how a turn goes

The player whose turn it is – the first one will be for the “Guardian Bug” – can perform two actions:


You can place one of your cards on the discard pile.

The card played must have a number immediately above or below the card on top of it in the discard pile.

If there’s a 3 in the discard pile, you can play a 2 or a 4

Since there are only cards numbered from 1 to 5, what happens if there is a 1 or a 5? If there is a 1 you may place a 5 or a 2. If there is a 1 you may place a 5 or a 2.

It is as if the sequence 1,2,3,4,5 is repeated and we can always throw the number we have to the left or to the right:


The card played can be a normal card or an action card.

If it is an action card, the corresponding action must be completed before passing the turn to the next player.


If you do not have any card with the right number to discard then you must draw a card from the draw pile.

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Nest turn

The turn is passed to the player on the left. And so on.

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While all this is going on, players who are not the “Guard Bug” can try to get rid of their cheating moths without being discovered.

Yes, in The Cheating Moth you can not only cheat, you must cheat. Paradoxically, however, there are rules when it comes to cheating:

Rule #1 for legal cheating

The hand of cards must always be kept on top of the table.

Rule #2 for legal cheating

It is not allowed to discard more than one card at a time. One at a time.

Rule #3 for legal cheating

If the Bug catches someone cheating, while a possible dispute is being resolved, no one can cheat.

Rule #4 for legal cheating

You cannot cheat to get rid of the last card in your hand.

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If the guardian bug thinks that someone has cheated he has to shout ” Caught! Two things can then happen:

1 – You’ve really caught a cheater

In that case, the cheating — and clumsy — player not only has to return the card to their hand but also the “Guard Bug” will place two of their cards: any one from their hand and the “Guard Bug” card. Yes, a cheating player discovered will become the new Guard Bug!

2 – You’ve made a mistake

If it’s proven that the player wasn’t cheating, then the “Guard Bug” must draw a card from the pile and they’ll continue being the Guard Bug.

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No tattling allowed

Players may not accuse each other. You can cheat but players may not accuse each other. The world turned upside down!

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The deck of cards runs out

If the pile of cards is empty, the cards from the discard pile -minus the top card- are taken, shuffled and placed face down as the new draw pile.

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End of the round

The round ends when one of the players runs out of cards. He’s the winner of the round.

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Subtracting points

The other players will add negative points to their score.

The scoring system for The Cheating Moth is as follows:

1 negative point for each NORMAL CARD

5 negative points for each ACTION CARD

10 negative points for each CHEATING MOUTH

The price for keeping a cheating moth is very high.

We hope you’re OK with cheating!

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Next rounds

In the next round of Cheating Moth, the “Guard Bug” card belongs to the player to the left of the one who had it in that round.

Game over. Who wins?

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End of game

The game of The Cheating Moth ends when as many rounds have been played as there are players.

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And the winner is…

All points are added up and the player with the fewest negative points is the winner of the game.

Tips for playing “The Cheating Moth”.

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The informal and a little hooligan character of this game must be accompanied by a little flexibility in the application of the rules.

Sometimes, there is indeed a card at the alleged cheater’s feet that is presumed to be irrefutable proof, but perhaps that card had been thrown away several turns ago, and that is what the alleged cheater argues. Who is right?

Everyone is supposed to be honest. No bloodshed in the face of a dispute. We’re having a blast!

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The cheats

You can’t even imagine how fun it is to watch someone who’s not good at cheating trying to do it.

So we will not give here a list of ways to get rid of cheating moths, so it will be more fun.

That said, we can’t help but comment that in one of our games a skillful player had managed to place a card behind an ear. Only he knows how he did it, how he managed to keep it there, and how no one noticed until the game was over.

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Where to buy CHEATING MOTH

You’ll find the game at stores specializing in board games.

The price usually hovers around $15.

Here, you can check current price and offers for Cheating Moth on Amazon

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LOODENS rating

That you can cheat not only upsets and surprises many, but it helps to discover how well or how disastrously bad some people are cheated. Is a lot of fun 100% recommended for families and groups of friends who want to laugh.


❤️ Acknowledgements: thanks Ryhr Mateu family for letting us use your Cheating Moth to test the game and photograph it.

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