Is It A Sin To Play The Card Game "I Doubt It?


A priest said over the weekend in his homily that playing this card game was immoral since it involves challenging another to determine whether you are being honest or not regarding the cards you are holding in your hand. He said that, when he was a kid, he asked his mother why he should play a game that involves lying and she replied, “It’s only a game.” He told the congregation that it isn’t just a game, but a way of trying to rationalize lying. I could understand a fundamentalist preacher making this claim in his sermon, but a Catholic priest?


I doubt it.


Beat me to it. How many harmless card or board games involve bluffing of some kind?


What an odd thing for a priest to say. I learned to play poker from priests. Bluffing is always a suspicion.

A game almost always involves deception. Think of the “lying” involved in football. A fake handoff, a fake punt. Etc.
or baseball, a long lead for a base runner can be s lie.
In tennis one lies all the time in doubles, poaching and faking a drop shot…

His logic seems off.


:smiley: :thumbsup:

I sure hope not. Many of our favorite family games involves bluffing and misdirection. Scotland Yard, Bang the Dice Game, Coup, Revolution…


No it’s not a sin. No more than Pokemon teaches Darwinism.
It’s all just stodginess masquerading as dogmatism.


Agree with all the responses.

Yes, it’s an odd thing for a priest to say, but maybe he was having a bad day, or just dropped it into the homily without thinking it through.


Fiction and acting are not forbidden by the Church, and neither is bluffing in gameplay (when that is permitted under the rules), but the Church rejects cheating.

A lot of things are permissible in games, or as pretend play, that would not fly in regular life. Red Rover, Hide and Seek, Tag – those would be assault, for example. A lot of ballgames include theft and stealth. Does that make them bad in the Church’s eyes? No.

The hidden purpose of a lot of games is to help people control their emotions and use up their aggressions, in a safe and gentle way that is also fun and social.

There have been times and places when the Church has said some fairly harsh things about card games, but that is when an obsessive amount of gaming and gambling is going on. In those cases, it is about wasting time and money, while avoiding obligations to home and family.

It sounds like Father is feeling annoyed with either the parish kids or the entertainment at somebody’s house…


I heard that playing Uno is morally wrong, because it involves the uncharitable act of making your opponent draw four cards when they are trying to get rid of as many cards as possible. It does not reflect the mercy that we are commanded to show toward our neighbor.

Don’t even get me started on Go Fish.


One explanation I read when I asked a similar question made an interesting point. By entering into the game, you accept that not all statements will be true and so in essence each statement is an implied “Would you believe…?”


This is getting to the heart of it.

By entering into a false reality, where everyone is automatically suspect in virtue of having willfully entered into the game, the nature of our words becomes very different.

So it seems clear that the words themselves in this case do not constitute lies. The only communication happening is what is done unwillingly through “tells.”


Playing Monopoly is also sinful. It encourages a sort of unbridled capitalism that targets and penalizes poorer players in a way unbecoming of followers of Christ. :wink:


I think that was my post. The game goes by various names: Liar Liar, BS, and I Doubt It. Whenever I respond to this sort of question, I wonder if I am like the Devil’s public defender, trying to convince the jury that an untruth is not always a lie. Anyway, here I quote my previous reply:


Never mind that. What about Hungry Hungry Hippos? We force 4 animals out of their natural habitat and make them fight each other for the food they need to survive. Or Don’t Wake the Dragon? We assist penguins in the commission of burglary while they break into the dragon’s home and steal his breakfast. No wonder my generation is replete with morally bankrupt criminals…





When we were children, my siblings and I made up our own rather unusual rules for Monopoly which you can find here:

It seems to me that if you are playing a game and all agree to go by certain rules, there’s not a problem.


You are shockingly correct! Then there’s “Operation,” which encourages people to practice medicine without a license. “Chinese Checkers” - obviously racist. The list goes on and on.



Crimes and slander against follically challenged people. :eek:

Do:blush:n’t even get me started on the “cornhole” craze…

closed #19

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