How to Play?

Monkey Butt Welcome to Monkey Butt rules page! Here you will find information on how to play Monkey Butt as well as an FAQ section and some optional little changes to the rules to help tweak the game exactly how you like it.

We're currently adding to the FAQs section so if there is something you feel should be included, please let us know by getting in touch via the contact form on the Monkey Butt homepage. Also, if you have any cool ways to play Monkey Butt that aren't already in our set of rule amendments, please let us know and we might just add it in :)

In the meantime, have fun playing Monkey Butt!

Number of players: 2-8
Cards: 85 (plus 1 optional Monkey Devil card for extended games).

For 2 player quick games, remove all 15 orange cards & all 15 black cards to form a reduced deck.

For 3-5 player games, remove all 15 orange cards.

Most cards are numbered, whilst some have special functions which are explained on the cards themselves!


Monkey Butt Not to be the Monkey Butt! There is no winner, only a Monkey Butt! The last person with cards remaining is the Monkey Butt & should be ridiculed ;)

Getting Started

Monkey Butt Shuffle the deck & deal 6 cards face down to each player, these form the players hand which they can view. Then deal a further face down card in front of each player which they must not view. The remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the table & form the draw pile.

Each player chooses a card from their hand to place face up on top of their face down card (position A) & a further card to place face up in position B (generally strong cards).

They then show their remaining 4 cards to the player on their right who, aiming to hinder them, selects a card for them to put in position C.
These cards remain on the table until near the end of the game & do not form part of your hand.


Monkey Butt Play starts with the 1st player to the left of the dealer with a 1 in their hand, who should play it to start a discard pile. If no player has a 1 then progress to 2 & so on. Play proceeds in a clockwise direction with each player playing a card from their hand onto the discard pile which is higher than or equal to the card showing. Alternatively, they may be able to play a special card (see below).

If they cannot (or choose not) to play a card, they must pick up the discard pile & play continues with the next player, who can play any card. After playing, if the player has fewer than 3 cards in their hand they must draw a card(s) from the draw pile to make their hand up to 3 cards. If no cards remain in the draw pile they need not draw a card.

If a player has 2 or more of the same card they may choose to play them together. Further, if 4 (3 if playing with only 3 colours) of any particular card (eg 4 sevens or 4 King Kongs) are played consecutively by 1 or more players then the discard pile is burned (ie placed aside in a separate burn pile). The player who burns the discard pile then plays again, starting a new discard pile.

Once a player has played all the cards in their hand & there are no cards remaining in the draw pile, on their next turn they must play card B or C. If they are unable to play they must pick up the discard pile & may also add 1 of the cards B or C to their hand.

They must then eliminate all the cards in their hand before playing the remaining of cards B & C. Once cards B & C have been played, on their next turn, they must play card A again if they are unable to play they must pick up the discard pile & add card A to their hand. Once a player has no cards in their hand & cards, A, B & C have been used, they will flip & show the face down card on their turn. Nobody knows what it is until now! If the card is playable they are out & safe, if not they have to pick it up along with the discard pile.

Play continues until only 1 player has cards remaining. They are the Monkey Butt - haha!

Special Cards

Monkey Butt There is 1 of each special card for all 5 colours, along with 3 multi-colour Pyro Monkeys. Special cards can used as follows.

Zen Monkey: Can be played on any card. The following player may play any card on top of this.

Pyro Monkey: Can be played on any card except an 8. Burn the discard pile and start a new discard pile with any of your cards.

King Kong: Can be played on any card except an 8. No number card can be played on King Kong.

8: Can be played on any card except a King Kong. The next player must must a card lower than or equal to an 8. Pyro Monkeys and King Kongs cannot be played on an 8.

1: Can be played on 1's, 8's or Zen Monkeys (and of course an empty discard pile :P). This card blocks the use of any other card of it's colour until the discard pile is picked up or burned. If played when other 1's are active, all relevant colours are blocked. For example, if one player lays a Yellow 1 and the following player lays a Blue 1 then all yellow and blue cards (including yellow and blue special cards) cannot be used until the discard pile is picked up or burned.

Multi-colour Pyro Monkey: Exactly the same as Pyro Monkey except that the multi-colour version is unaffected by the colour blocking 1 cards, meaning that you can use them even when a '1' card is showing (see above).

Super Special Cards

Monkey Butt Instead of being played on top of the discard pile, these cards are shown & then removed from the game (NOT PLACED ON THE DISCARD OR BURN PILES). These cards are indicated by their green border & can be used on anything (even when colours are blocked)! Using 1 of these cards counts as your go.

Monkey Thief: View the hand of an opponent of your choice. Steal 1 of their cards and play it immediately. If it is not playable you must take it and pick up the discard pile.

Monkey Butt: Choose any player (you can choose yourself if you like) to pick up the discard pile. Play resumes with the person who picks up the pile.

Cheeky Monkey: Pick 1 face up card from any 2 players and swap them. You can choose one of the players to be yourself.

Monkey Devil (optional): This is a card for an extended game! Deal the burn pile back to the other players, starting with the player to the left of yourself.

Ⓒ Monkey Butt 2016.