How to Play Coup Guide

Fast to learn easy to read official rules on how to play Coup.

Suitable for 2 – 6 players | 15 – 13 mins duration | Recommended age 13+ | Game complexity: EASY Genre: Bluffing, Card Game, Deduction, Party Game, Political Solo game mode: No Co-op: No Online Version: No
Click here for the official rulebook

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What is the goal? #

Be the last survivor and eliminate the influence of all other players.

Influence in Coup #

  • Face-down cards show who a player influences on the court.
  • A player\’s face-down card will show the characters they influence 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.

Game setup #

  1. All the character cards are shuffled, and two are dealt 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 visible their money. Put the remaining coins into a treasury in the middle of the play area.
  5. Each player should receive a summary card. It is only for reference. Before beginning the game, players should become familiar with all the characters and actions.
  6. Select a player to start

Gameplay #

  • Turns are taken clockwise in the game.
  • A player chooses only one action per turn. A player cannot pass.
  • Following the selection of an action, other players can challenge or counteract it.
  • If an action is not challenged or countered, it succeeds automatically.
  • Challenges are resolved first before any action or counteraction is resolved.
  • If a player loses all their influence and both of their cards are face up in front of them, they are immediately eliminated from the game. Their cards remain face up, and all their coins are returned to the Treasury.
  • The game ends when there is only one player left.

Actions in Coup #

  • 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 that turn as their only action.

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 1

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.

Counteractions #

  • Players can take counteractions to intervene or block an 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.

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.

Challenges #

  • Actions or counteractions based on character influence can be challenged.
  • The challenge can be issued by any other player, regardless of whether they are involved in the action.
  • If an action or counteraction is declared, other players must be given an opportunity to challenge. Challenges cannot be issued retroactively.

 The player must show their face-down card with the relevant character if they are challenged.  If they can’t, or do not wish to, prove it, they lose the challenge.If they can, the challenger loses.The person who loses the challenge immediately loses influence.A player who wins a challenge by showing the relevant character card returns that card to the Court deck, shuffles the Court deck, and takes a random replacement. (This way, they don\’t lose their influence and others don\’t know they have a new influence card). 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.

How do you win? #

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

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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 3 months ago by Allan Jeong
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