The layered rock mass consists of kinds of stratifications whose mechanical properties are not wholly identical with each other. In order to figure out its strength failure criterion, the variable bond strength failure criterion is proposed depending on Mohr-Coulomb yield criterion and the change law of the strength parameters varying with the dip angle of stratification plane (that is the angle between the maximum principal stress and the stratification plane). What’s more, the criterion is verified by physical model test and numerical simulation adopting assembly language VC++6.0. Compared with the results of physical model tests and numerical simulation, it is shown that the stress distributions and failure regions are elliptic in shape and that the maximum failure regions are vertical to the stratification planes. That the results obtained in the physical model test are compatible with those numerically obtained verifies the correctness of variable bond strength failure criterion.