1st day of a Citizen

Red player (day №1)

This article is a part of our training material

«Tactics and strategy of the Mafia game»

Black players (Mafia) already know each other and have come to agreement about whom to shoot and on which night. Conversely, a Red player (Citizen) has  no concrete information other than their role.

Most players – even experienced ones – assume that the most interesting game is when they have picked up the card of a regular red player. Nevertheless, we believe that THE most talented players will enjoy any role they get. At least, the veteran members of our English speaking Mafia club in Kiev think so.

So, you have opened your eyes. At the table there are nine more players, each of whom will be trying to convince you that he or she is Red. Your task is to make accurate judgements and vote accordingly (i.e to get rid of the Mafia players).

What is the regular Red player’s strategy based on? 

As a rule, inexperienced players assume that the best way to identify a Mafia member is by using “intuition” or by listening for movements during the night. And by the first round of discussions, they have determined who those players are, in their mind, and will relentlessly play against them in until the end.

I assure you that such a Red can spoil the strategy of their entire team. Intuition – as a method of analysis – can only really be used per se during the first round of discussions. It may be useful just to point out an interesting aspect of a particular player’s behaviour or body language, but in any case, it is considered too arbitrary to use mere intuition as the basis of your final judgement of a player’s colour.

Trust me, if there is an experienced player at the Mafia game, you can never tell their “role” by the way they talk or by their body language. There could be so many variants which affect their behaviour. That’s why we shouldn’t listen to the way in which people speak, but rather we should analyse and pay attention to who – and at what round – they nominated whom. Also remembering how people actually voted- rather than just what they said – is a reasonable way to draw conclusions.

Talented players will usually allow only 5% of their conclusion to be based on mere intuition. It is their analysis of the actual behaviour of the table’s players that the remaining 95% of their judgement is based on.

As a rule nobody is voted off at the first round. Why? Longstanding practice showed that nominating a player at this stage creates a big possibility in a mistake happening. So, consider the first round to be the one that only gives you food for thought, but nothing more.

Try to use your entire minute when speaking. Sometimes players 1 or 2 think that they have nothing to say, but in this way, they won’t be helping their Red team at all. Remember: only you know your color, but others need to make conclusions based on what you have said. Sometimes during the first round two candidates are nominated, usually from different sides of the table. One candidate is nominated from numbers 1 to 5, another – from 6 to 10. During the vote, players 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 vоte against the player from the other side, so players 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 vote against each other.

Each player receives five votes. It is called a “crossfire”. Both candidates to die are given 30 seconds to speak, then the vote starts again. The table is divided in the same way. Then, the players vote for either both players to leave the Mafia game or for both to stay in it.

What is the purpose of this seemingly unnecessary procedure? What’s the point in nominating players when they’re ultimately going to remain? Well, if one player’s speech wasn’t good enough, they are given a second chance tо discuss each player after everyone has finished their speeches. And, most likely, the players will be interested in hearing how player number one thinks about all of them.

Experienced рlayers can share the table only when candidates from one side are nominated. For instance players number 2 and 3 are nominated. Player number 10 shares the table, as he is the last speaking at the end of first day. For example: players number 8, 9, 10, 1 & 2 vote against player number 3; the rest vote against player number 2″.

REMEMBER! Never break the vote if you are a Red player. There is an unwritten rule that the player who brakes the vote leaves the game the next day. For a Black player there is also no advantage in breaking the vote, knowing that he would be giving his life away for a Red player, when there are double the amount of Red players. It makes sense for a Black player to break the vote only in case his speech was so suspicious that he prompted numerous requests by other members that he be checked.

If there is a player whom you consider black among those who have already spoken, show the Sheriff the number of this player you believe should be checked. Of course, this gesture can only be done before the start of the night is announced. If it hadn’t occurred to you already, this tactic can also be used to convince the table that you are red. .

For newcomers it will also be useful to read the article «Gestures for playing Mafia»

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