# Correct/Recommended use of Masquerade in Dominion: Intrigue

According to the rulebook, when using Masquerade, the cards passed between players must remain invisible until each player chooses the card to pass and places it down. I've always assumed it means that the passing itself is also done when the cards are face-down, which makes it the only card in the game that adds uncertainty to the number of VPs each player has. It was strange, but interesting to play nonetheless.

Lately, however, I've begun playing "Androminion", and noticed that when passing cards using Masquerade in this version, the cards are passed face-up. I've checked the rulebook again, and it DOES seem like this is a gray area: the cards to pass should be selected when all the cards are face-down, but what happens later is not specified.

So - which is the 'correct' use of Masquerade? Passing cards face-up, so all the players can fully see the implications of this turn, or passing them face-down, adding a bit of uncertainty to the game?

• Androminion is pretty new, and thus probably has bugs/errors. Isotropic is really good about adhering to the rules, and they do not reveal the cards. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 19:50

From the Intrigue rulebook:

First you draw 2 cards. Next, each player (all at the same time) chooses a card from his hand and places it face down on the table between him and the player to his left. The player to the left then puts that card into his hand. Cards are passed simultaneously, so you may not look at the card you are receiving until you have chosen a card to pass. ...

I agree this is ambiguous, but I think your original interpretation is correct: the cards are not public and people only know what they passed and what they received. There are three things that support my claim:

1. The rules do state that the card is placed face down. The very next sentence says the card is put into the hand. I believe that if the intent was for the cards to be revealed that the rules would have explicitly told the players to turn the cards over, or to reveal them.

2. The simplified description on the card (see picture above), is "Each player passes a card from his hand to the left at once." The phrase "at once" implies that the passing should be done by all players simultaneously and that the only action they should be performing is the passing. That is, no looking at what you're being handed, no turning over what you're handing off so everyone else can see it--period. Pass the card at once.

3. The card is called Masquerade, which is a party where the guests wear masks to disguise their identities. I think leaving the true identities of what is passed a mystery to the party at large is exactly the spirit of the card's name. The fact that Masquerade is the only way that to disguise how many victory points people actually have I find quite charming and not at all a reason to think the passed cards should be public knowledge (lots of Dominion cards of one-of-a-kind).

Do not reveal the cards. Every time you are supposed to reveal cards, the card will explicitly direct you to do so. There are lots of cards that use the term "reveal" (e.g., Ambassador, Scout, Thief). The reason these cards specify to reveal other cards is that the default is not to reveal cards. Thus, since Masquerade does not direct otherwise, you should follow the default procedure of not revealing.

This is an old question, but I'm going to leave the answer here in case anyone else comes here looking for it.

"Pass" has a specific meaning, defined in the Intrigue rulebook like this:

“Pass” – when a player passes a card to another player, he places that card face down on the table between himself and the other player. The receiving player then takes the card from the table and puts it in his hand. A passed card is not revealed to the other players. A passed card is not considered to be trashed or discarded by the player passing it and it is not considered to be gained by the player receiving it.

Also, I logged the Androminion bug, so that should be fixed pretty soon.