OBJECTIVE OF COUP: The objective of Coup



  • 6 characters in 4 copies each (from 3 to 6 players, only 3 copies of each character are used)
  • 8 game aids (1 per player)
  • 24 silver coins, 6 gold coins (1in = 5 silver coins)

TYPE OF GAME: secret roles guessing game

AUDIENCE: teen, adult


Coup (also called ‘Complots’ in French) is a hidden role-playing game where each player tries to guess the characters of his opponents in order to eliminate them, while bluffing to avoid revealing his own characters.


In each game, only 5 characters are used: you have to choose between the Ambassador and the Inquisitor.

The Ambassador is advised for the first games.

Deal the 15 cards (3 copies of each character): 2 cards per player placed face down in front of them.

Players can look at their own cards at any time, without showing them to others.

The remaining cards are placed face down in the center and constitute the Court.

Give 2 coins to each player. The players’ money should always be visible.

Example of 4 player setup



Actions (one per turn)

A player during his turn must choose ONE of the following 4 actions:

A) Income: take 1 treasure coin (the action cannot be countered)

B) Foreign aid: take 2 coins (can be countered by the Duchess)

C) Coup: Pay 7 coins and kill an opposing character (the action cannot be countered)
If a character starts his turn with 10 coins, he must make a Coup (action C).

D) Using a character power: Here is the list of powers associated with each character.

  • Duchess: takes 3 coins (cannot be opposed except with a challenge)
  • Assassin: pays 3 coins and assassinates an opposing character (countered by the Countess)
  • Captain: takes 2 coins from an opponent. (Countered by a Captain, Ambassador or Inquisitor)
  • Ambassador: draws 2 cards in the Court and puts 2 of his choice back in the Court. The deck is then shuffled.
  • The inquisitor: can be used in only 1 of the following 2 ways:
    • a) draw a card in the Court, then discard a card in the Court, face down. The cards in the Court are shuffled.
    • b) allows to look at an opponent’s character card. The targeted opponent chooses which card to show, then the Inquisitor chooses either to return it or to have it discarded (in which case the card is shuffled in the Court and the targeted player draws a new card).

Questioning a character

When a player uses a character’s power, an opponent may question it, i.e. question the fact that the player actually owns the character’s card. If more than one player wants to question it, the fastest player who has spoken will be able to do so.

The challenge is then solved:
a) If there was a bluff, the character chooses one of his characters and turns him face up, the latter is dead. The power effect is also cancelled.

b) If there was no bluff, the player owns the character, shows it, then mixes it with the Court and takes a new one. The power of the character is applied, and the player who had doubted loses the challenge: he chooses one of his characters and reveals it – this character is dead.

Example of a turn: the left player announces he activates the Duchess power. As he has already lost one character, and that character was a Duchess too, the right player questions his character. The left player reveals a second Duchess, thus taking the 3 coins of the Duchess power and forcing the right player to reveal one of his characters (Assassin). Then the left player has to shuffle his Duchess in the Court and draw another character.

Countering a character (with another character)

To counter a character, all you have to do is announce that you have the right character. This can be true or bluff, and it is possible to question a character who counters. Any player can question a character who counters another (not just the player whose character is being countered). If the counter succeeds, the action automatically fails.

Characters who can counter:

  • Duchess: counters the action Foreign Aid
  • Countess: counters the Assassin. The action fails, but the coins are lost anyway.
  • Captain/Ambassador/Inquisitor: they all counter the Captain, thus preventing him from stealing 2 coins.


When there is only one player left with unrevealed character(s) in front of him/her, that player wins the game.

Last turn: only the top right and bottom right players remain, but the bottom right player has eight coins, he wins by performing the Coup action.

Enjoy! 😊


Rules for 7 or 8 players 

The rules are the same except that 4 copies of each of the 5 chosen characters are used (instead of 3 copies).

Rules for 2 players

The rules are the same with the following setup changes, after selection of the 5 characters:

  • Separate the cards into 3 piles containing one copy of each character.
  • After shuffling one of these piles, deal a character card from that pile to each player, face down, and place the other three cards in the middle to make up the Court
  • Once players have looked at their cards, they each take a remaining pile and can then choose another character. The remaining 4 cards from each pile are not used.
  • Players now have two starting characters and can start playing
Amber Crook
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