5 min read

How to Play Coup Game Rules Guide

How to play Coup game rules – simply explained to get your game started fast.

Players: 2 to 6 | Game duration from: 15 mins | Game Complexity: EASY How to play Coup rules in simple steps Coup rules pdf / rulebook

No products found.

Coup Game FAQs

How do you play a Coup Game?

Coup 1

Players possess cards depicting characters they influence in the game. Players take turns performing actions of characters they influence while others may perform their character’s counter-actions. One may choose an action of a character they do not influence, but there is the risk of losing influence if others challenge them. Be the last survivor and eliminate the influence of all other players.

How long is a game of Coup?

A game of Coup goes on for approximately 15 minutes.

How many coins do you start with in Coup?

Each player starts with 2 coins.

Who goes first in Coup?

There’s no set rule. You can select anyone to go first.

Coup Game Setup

  1. Shuffle all character cards and deal two to each player
  2. You can always look at your cards, but you must keep them face down in front of you
  3. As the Court deck, place the remaining cards in the middle of the play area
  4. Give each player 2 coins. Players must keep their money visible. The remaining coins go into a treasury in the middle of the play area.
  5. Each player gets a summary card for reference. Players should familiarise themselves with all characters and actions.
  6. Select a starting player.

Influence in Coup

  • A player’s face-down cards show the characters they influence on the court and their abilities.
  • A player must reveal a face-down card whenever they lose an influence.
  • Revealed cards remain face-up in front of the player and are visible to everyone. When an influence is lost, each player chooses which card they wish to reveal.
  • A player who loses all their influence is exiled and out of the game.

Step-by-Step How to Play Coup Game Rules Guide

How to play Coup. Turns are taken clockwise in the game, and each turn involves players taking actions, counter-actions, and challenges to cause others to lose influence. When a player loses all their influence, they are eliminated. The game ends when there is only one player left.

Total Time: 15 minutes

On your turn, choose one action

During your turn, you choose one action (see actions) and cannot pass.
Any action a player can afford may be taken. In some cases (Character Actions), characters must be influenced. When choosing a Character Action, a player must claim that the required character is one of their face-down cards. They may be telling the truth or bluffing.
Unless they are challenged, they do not have to reveal the face-down cards.
If they are not challenged, they automatically succeed.
If a player starts their turn with 10 (or more) coins they must launch a Coup during the turn as their only action.

Other players can challenge or counter-act your action

Following the selection of your action, other players can challenge or counteract it. If your action is not challenged or countered, it succeeds automatically.

Players can take counteractions to intervene or block action.
Counteractions work like character actions. Each player can claim to influence a character and counteract another’s action. Players may bluff or tell the truth.
Unless challenged, players need not show cards. When counteractions are not challenged, they succeed automatically. If an action is successfully countered, it fails, but any coins paid as the cost of the action are spent.

If challenged, resolve it first before actions and counteractions

Challenges are resolved first before any action or counteraction. The challenge can be issued by any other player, regardless of whether they are involved in the action.
You must show your face-down card with the relevant character if challenged. 
If you can’t, or do not wish to, prove it, you lose the challenge.

Losing a Challenge
If you show the relevant character, the challenger loses. The person who loses the challenge immediately loses influence.

Winning a Challenge
If you win a challenge, return the character card you revealed to the Court deck, shuffle the Court deck, and take a random replacement. Finally, the action or counteraction is resolved. If an action is successfully challenged the entire action fails, and any coins paid as the cost of the action are returned to the player.

Winning in Coup

Eliminate the influence of all other players and be the last-standing survivor.

Actions in Coup

General Actions

(always available)

  • Income
    Take 1 coin from the Treasury
  • Foreign Aid
    Take 2 coins from the Treasury. (Can be blocked by the Duke)
  • Coup
    Launch a Coup by paying 7 coins to the Treasury. That player immediately loses an influence. Coups are always successful. You are required to launch a coup if you begin your turn with 10 coins (or more)

Character Actions

(if challenged, player must show they influence the relevant character)

Duke – Tax

Coup 2

Take 3 coins from Treausry

Assassin – Assassinate

Coup - Assassin character

Assassinate another player for 3 coins in the Treasury. If successful that player immediately loses an influence. (Can be blocked by the Contessa).

Captain – Steal

Coup - Captain character

Take 2 coins from another player. If they only have one coin, take only one. (Can be blocked by the Ambassador or the Captain)

Ambassador – Exchange

Coup Ambassador

Exchange cards with the Court. Take 2 random cards from the Court deck. Choose which cards to exchange with your face up cards. Return two cards to Court deck.


Duke – Blocks Foreign Aid
If a player claims the Duke, he or she can counteract and block the player from collecting foreign aid. The player trying to gain foreign aid receives no coins that turn.

Contessa – Blocks Assassination

Coup Contessa

Counteract by claiming the Contessa to block the assassination. The assassination fails, but the fee paid by the player remains.

Ambassador/Captain – Blocks Stealing
A player who is being stolen from may counteract by claiming the Ambassador or Captain. The stealing player will not receive coins that turn.

How to Play Coup and Review Videos

Play these unique funny card games

Spice up your Party with these Uniquely Modern Fun Adult Card Games

Break the ice in your gathering of adults with these uniqely modern funny adult card games.
Ultimate Guide to Family Card Games

The Ultimate Guide to Family Card Games

Our ultimate Family Card Games guide introduces you to the different games you can play and have fun with your family.
Essential guide to different types of card games

An Essential Guide to the Different Types of Card Games

Do you want to know the different types of card games to play? Check out these informative posts that cover classic and modern card game types.
5 1 vote
Guide Rating
Notify of
1 Question and Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Allan Jeong

HOW TO PLAY COUP IN JUST 100 WORDS! Players receive two action influencer cards in hand and two coins. Eliminate and turnup all opponents’ influencers cards to win. On your turn, either take 1 coin as income, take 2 as foreign aid (can be blocked by opponent’s Duke card), take 3 as tax with Duke card, eliminate opponent’s card with 7, eliminate a card with 3 and Assassin (blocked by Contessa), exchange Ambassador to select 1 of 2 drawn cards, steal 2 with Captain (blocked by Captain or Ambassador). Eliminate one card when challenged for bluffed action/block without supporting card… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Allan Jeong
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Your Mastodon Instance
Share to...