The critically acclaimed card game is now available on PC! Dead Man’s Draw is a simple and strategic game of luck and skill that boils down strategy gameplay into a single, tense decision: to play it safe or risk everything in pursuit of killer combos and boundless treasure.
User reviews: Very Positive (222 reviews) - 86% of the 222 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014

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Packages that include this game

Buy Stardock Bundle 2016

Includes 8 items: Galactic Civilizations® III, Sorcerer King™, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Rebellion, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Dead Man's Draw, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Demigod

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Recommended By Curators

"Decent card game with cool buffs and RPG elements via unlocks. A great filler game when you dont know what else to play. 50/50 Luck and strategy. 7/10"
Read the full review here.


“The risk/reward gameplay combined with just the right amount of strategy makes Dead Man’s Draw a fun casual game.”

“A card game that's actually done well.”
9 – Cublikefoot

“a fun and innovative card game”
8.5 – Softpedia

About This Game

The critically acclaimed card game is now available on PC! Dead Man’s Draw is a simple and strategic game of luck and skill that boils down strategy gameplay into a single, tense decision: to play it safe or risk everything in pursuit of killer combos and boundless treasure.

Key Features

  • Risk vs reward gameplay – Simple and strategic card game puts everything on the line for a single, tense decision
  • Create killer combos – Clever use of each card’s special power is key to victory
  • Dozens of tournaments – Unique rules add hours of new twists to gameplay
  • Eighteen game-changing traits – Customize your gameplay with special powers
  • Beautiful art without hardware requirements – Enjoy top-tier presentation and intricately detailed graphics without needing an expensive machine

How it Works

Players take turns drawing cards in search of the greatest number of points. The simple point values of each card are important, but their special abilities are even more critical. Swords steal cards from your opponent, Mystics reveal the next card, and combining a Chest with a Key leads to a huge bounty of bonus treasure. Clever use of each card’s special power leads to victory, but daring to draw is just as important – though any card could lead to a dramatic bust, it could also propel you to glory.

Traits and tournaments make every game of Dead Man’s Draw unique. Making your Cannon special ability discard an opponent’s entire suit instead of a single card alters the path to victory for both players. Special tournament rules like collecting the cards from your opponent’s busts force you to approach every turn differently. Dozens of tournaments each bring a unique twist, and each of the 18 traits has a profound effect on gameplay.

Upgraded for PC

The original Dead Man’s Draw on iOS was praised by users on iTunes (4.5-star average) and critics alike, getting positive reviews from,,, and more. This PC version is better than ever:

  • No microtransactions or in-app purchases – all content is available, and traits can be used without spending gold
  • New Mermaid suit ability – Mermaids now allow you to replay a card in the river, leading to even bigger combos and epic turns
  • New Sirens trait – Steal any card your opponent replays with a Mermaid
  • Rebuilt for PC – Higher-resolution graphics and a UI specifically built for mouse-driven play

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista SP2
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.5 or Higher Compatible Video Card
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1024x768 and 16-bit or higher color depth required
Helpful customer reviews
28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Warning! This game is incredibly luck based. If you can not take losing in a graceful way I would recommend skipping it.

That said, Dead Man's Draw is a very polished card game with a decent learning curve and simple gameplay you can easily get the hang of. You can make a lot of combos with a lot of cards and you will probably have a few good hours with it.
While it may seem the AI cheats, to this point I have not found it to do so. In fact, for a large part of the game the deck is stacked in your favour by giving you two traits at once while the AI has only one. The AI though is incredibly agressive, prefering to use cannons to blast your hand over potentially winning moves. This is quite annoying if you're just starting out, but often it leads to the AI impotently blasting away your 7 score card to reveal a 6 underneath, barely doing anything.

The AI does not seem to be able to really understand the game, it's functional, but feels very much like it follows a flowchart rather than that it plays the game. All opponents are the same as well, all following the same AI.
Luckily, where the AI does not change, the traits they use does, and the game has interesting ruleset changes after every 'tournament' (A string of a few matches) you play to keep things interesting.

As much as it looks like it may be enjoyable with a friend, it does not have multiplayer at this point. To continue on with its flaws, the game needs you to play a lot to unlock things. To the point where it begins to feel like grinding, and that the randomness begins to get annoying after yet another loss to an AI using a trait that you haven't even unlocked yet.

Is it polished, entertaining, and an interesting game?

Worth 10 euro?
I'd be sceptical. If you can find it on sale you're sure to get a few hours of amusement out of it, but otherwise it might be hard to get your money's worth.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Far, far too luck-based for my taste. I'm not opposed to certain types of randomness in games (especially card games) as far as the initial dealing of the cards, but once you play your cards, they should be played. Dead Man's Draw doesn't feel that way, though.

It's essentially just regular old "War" where you and your opponent draw cards and whoever draws the highest card wins, but DMD just puts off the score tally until the end and has you "test your luck" each around by drawing additional cards and trying not to bust. Essentially, it is a combination of blackjack and war.

What I don't like about it, though, is that the game is overflowing with random occurrences of upsets and reversals. Imagine blackjack or war where every number between 1 and 10 has a special effect, where if you draw that number, a certain thing will happen every time you draw that number, no matter what. This goes for both you and your opponent. Drawing a 1 reveals the next card to be dealt (note: it doesn't give you the OPTION to look at it; it just shows you). Drawing a 2 forces you to remove a high-scoring card from your opponent's discard pile, dropping their points. Drawing a 2 and a 3 on the same turn automatically doubles your score for this round. Drawing a 5 forces you to steal any card from your opponent's discard pile. As these effects are turned on, they can be chained together into combos by you or your opponent. Draw a 5 and steal a 1 from your opponent (lowering their score), which allows you to see that the next card is a 2 and won't bust you, which you draw (raising your score) and use to destroy another one of your opponent's cards (lowering their score). When you are chaining these combos, it feels like "strategy", but the only reason you got to perform this combo was luck (you happened to draw a 5), and deciding which card you are going to steal or destroy is a bit of a no-brainer. So it is a very shallow sort of strategy as far as I can tell.

The net result of every drawn card having some kind of game-upsetting effect is that even when you score points, you can't count on the fact that you simply scored those points. Your opponent will randomly draw a huge combo opportunity on the next turn and drop your points from 50 to 10 while raising his points from 7 to 48. The score upheavals and reversals can be so random and large, it's enough to give you whiplash.

Ultimately what this game feels like is if the game gave you and your opponent each a bag full of random effects, and each turn you both randomly draw an effect out of the bag, which makes some random stuff happen, and then one of you ends up having more points than the other. Whoever that turns out to be is the winner. End game.

Also, the game has the most superficial and meaningless use of XP I have ever seen. I don't know why it is in there. For a feature brag, I assume.

The art is great, though. The game looks and sounds fantastic. The test-your-luck blackjack element is a great aspect of the game and probably my favorite thing about it (and the gameplay element that persuaded me to give the game a try). Unfortunately, the torrent of forced upheaval effects on the cards just turns the whole thing sour for me. It feels like a game of interesting decisions getting overruled by a steady torrent of RNG interruptions, which just turns me off.
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Do you like card games? If so, then this relatively unknown gem is one that you need to add to your collection. The game was so well-received that Mayday games (in conjunction with Stardock) made a physical version of the game that can be purchased at Amazon and other retailers.

Dead Man's Draw is a pirate-themed card game with an interesting rule-set that changes each game. Each of the 10 suits has it's own unique 'ability'. Additionally, players can choose up to two 'triats' each hand that invariably change the gameplay and adds to replay value.

There are some things that the game could have done better. The lack of multi-player is the biggest thing missing from the game. Another thing that would have made the game even better would be a 'free-play' mode; the game is very structured -- which is great for learning the game -- but that 'structure' means that the game will decide who you play, in what order you play them, and any special rules for that particular game/hand.

Dead Man's Draw is an entertaining card game that can be played for 5 minutes at a time or 5 hours at a time. If you like cards and you see this on sale ... get it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Dead Man's Draw is a pirate themed card game that you play against an AI opponent. There are 10 different card types in this card game, each card type has it's own unique abilities. The game further allows you to equip two traits before each match in order to form a strategy going in that could best counter your opponent.

Even though I gave this game a No recommendation, it doesn't mean that this game is bad. It's can actually be quite fun at times. The problem comes in when you put in more than 5 or 6 hours in the game. The first bunch of matches were really fun, you were unlocking new card powers and then new traits to augment those card powers. Each game felt really unique and it was fun to learn how each new power interacted with the ones you unlocked before it. However the tedium started to set in after about 6 or so hours of play into the game. Unlocks became very slow and instead of cool new traits now you were getting cosmetic hero potraits which further slowed getting new traits.

The game does try to combat some of that tedium by introducing a different set of table/map rules for the matches as you further progress into the game. And yes the first time you play those rules it again brings you back into the game. Instead of just having more banked points/gold than your opponent you have to beat him and have less than a certain number of points/gold, or instead of just counting the highest point value cards in your hand it counts total value of all cards currently held (which can get kind of crazy with some of the traits that you or the AI can have). But once again the tedium sets in. Once you've played through the rule sets twice, it's no longer that fun and combined the fact that you've progressed so far in the game and nothing else has really changed each match feels more like the ones before it and there doesn't feel like a really big need to keep playing

And then there is some randomness that needs mentioing. The randomness is mostly contained to only the drawing of cards. After the draw is done based on how the cards interact with each other and the traits you can equip you can control the randomness of the drawing a fair bit by comboing cards together. However that still wont' stop you from drawing a key and drawing a second key and busting your turn without being able to do anything.

Lastly since this is against the AI only, I'll mention that the AI isn't exactly the most polished. They do make some questionable moves at times while at other times pull off perfect combos and that inconsistancy can add some not needed frustration on top of game that kind of feels like it's to long.

I'll finish up with saying that I'm not giving this game the thumbs down because it's bad. It's not a bad game, it's actually quite well done and the card mechanics are quite fun. It's just that I can't recommend it to everyone, it's a very niche game and for someone looking maybe to kill 10-20 minutes here and there it can be fun but playing for longer times in one sitting shows the weaknesses the game has.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
This card game is similar to 21 (Black Jack), in that players draw cards (10 suits, 6 per suit) increasing their score until they stay and collect, or bust by drawing 2 of the same suit.
This is an unusual video game, because a player experiences 3 different phases that are completely different.
Phase 1. Honeymoon: You love it. You are winning most games. You get half the achievements in 2 hours of play.
Phase 2. Frustration: Now the games are evenly matched you each have 2 traits. Your opponent is better than you. They have a computer program that instantly calculates odds on inceasing the score risk. Now the rules change often and your AI opponet never forgets them. The AI has all the best card play sequences for every situation stored in its memory, you don't. You are still winning games, but you are losing 4 times as many.
Phase 3. Resolution: Out of your frustration to proceed you look for a guide and read the forums. You learn about a bug that gives you an unfair advantage. It is merely an undocumented key board stroke. No 3rd party. You use it to slaughter your opponents now scoring huge wins. You feel elated and take revenge on the opponents that hve been consistently beating you. You feel justified because you have convinced yourself that the deck is stacked in the AI's favor (even though it is not).
Few other games have brought out more emotions in me as I played it. Both thrill and agony.
Get it on sale for $2.49
Don't get it if you are a purist strategist, this game has too much random luck for you.
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