Secret Hitler is a social deduction game where you are either on the winning team or on the losing team. The goal of the game is to figure out who is on your team and make sure that they win, while at the same time figuring out who’s not on your team before it’s too late! This blog post will go over how to play Secret Hitler with instructions for setup and rules.
Winning (or Losing) the Game
To win the game, you must have a certain number of powers and be on the winning side when it ends. The exact requirements are different based on what type of team each player is on.
If you are on the neutral team, you win if at least six of the nine powers are in play. If not all players can agree who’s on their side, then America wins! No matter what happens when Secret Hitler ends, it is very important for everyone to keep playing nice and avoid direct confrontation with anyone else. That way no matter who wins, you’re still in the clear!
- Beautiful wooden components
- Solid game boards with foil inlay
There are a few ways to end Secret Hitler. If America is on the losing team when it ends, then everyone else loses and America wins! In that case, all cards go back into their decks and play resumes from where they left off. But if there’s ever a situation where one side is guaranteed victory, then it is time to be nice no matter what!
There are two different types of investigators in Secret Hitler: liberals and conservatives. Each type has a different goal, and each side will have different abilities depending on what team they’re on.
As an investigator, you can use your ability by giving another player a “search”. That player then has five seconds to provide evidence that their person is not Adolf Hitler (by showing you cards with different titles). If they show you at least one card of any title other than Adolf Hitler, you must give them the “search” power and then end your turn. If they are unable to provide any evidence, then you can accuse them of being Adolf Hitler and they lose the game.
The Three Game Phases
Laying the Groundwork Phase
During this phase, players are laying out their cards and discuss how they want to approach the game. The president will be chosen during this time as well! Discussions need to stay open-minded until everyone has had a chance to speak. Try not to reveal too many cards to everyone else, and don’t be afraid to let other players take the lead.
During this phase, every player takes three actions in order:
“Draw Two Cards.” You must draw two cards from either your own party or Hitler’s party. Keep them hidden during all game phases until you use them!
“Pass.” If you don’t want to do anything, just pass and take no action. Keep in mind that whatever you say during this phase will stay between the players until either America wins, or Hitler is killed.
“Investigate.” If you want to use your investigator ability on another player, then select their person and give them a search! That way if they are Adolf Hitler, evidence can be provided that they are not him.
The Action Phase
This is the main phase of play for Secret Hitler, and where most of the action takes place! During this phase you can take one-three actions:
“Draw a Card.” If your party has more than three cards in front of them (in any combination) then you must draw one card from their deck and add it to your party. You can then draw another card from either the Hitler or Neutral deck if you have fewer than three cards in front of you!
“Advance Power.” For an action point, players on America’s team can advance a power-up one level (e.g., President becomes Fascist). Players on Hitler’s team can also advance a power-up one level, but only if they have the most advanced version of that power.
“Play Cards.” You may play cards from your hand to either support yourself or hurt other players! The more powerful cards cost two action points instead of just one.
“Trade Cards.” If you want to get rid of cards in your party, trade with other players at the table. Just make sure they’re not Adolf Hitler before you do so (or else it’s game over)!
End Game Phase
This is where the game ends! The President must yell out “America wins!” or else Hitler is the victor. If America does win, then everyone on her team gets three points. For conservatives, this means protecting Adolf Hitler leads to a victory!
If at any time a player has more than three cards in their hand, they must immediately end their turn and draw two additional cards from the deck. If they are unable to do so, then they automatically lose the game.
Setting Up the Game
Step One: Shuffle the Decks
The first step is to shuffle both Hitler and America’s deck, as well as the Neutral deck. Make sure that there is an equal number of cards in each pile! After that, place both decks face-down in the middle of the table.
Step Two: Create a Starting Deck
Starting with America’s deck, pick one card and add it to your hand. Take another from her deck and put it into the Neutral pile. Continue this process until you have seven cards total! From Hitler’s deck, do the same thing, but this time create a deck of seven Fascist cards.
Step Three: Deal Out the Cards
Now it’s time to deal out the cards! The President starts by flipping over the top card from their deck-this is their first card. From there, every player will take turns clockwise drawing one card at a time from the deck. When you draw a card, put it into your hand and then draw again. If at any time you have more than three cards in your hand, you must immediately end your turn and draw two additional cards from the deck. If you are unable to do so, then you automatically lose the game!
Step Four: Place the Investigation Tokens
Now it’s time to place the investigation tokens. These are used to keep track of who is being investigated, as well as which players have already been searched.
The President starts by placing one token in front of them and then gives one to each player on their team. From there, Hitler places two tokens (one in front of each Fascist), and the Neutral player gets three tokens.
Step Five: Start the Game
Now that everything is set up, it’s time to start playing! The President goes first by flipping over their top card. From there, play proceeds clockwise around the table. On a player’s turn they can take one of four actions:
- They can draw a card from their deck.
- If they have fewer than three cards in front of them, then they must take the top Neutral card and add it to their hand. After that, place another face-down on the table (effectively discarding one).
- For an action point, you can advance your power of choice to one level. You cannot do this multiple times in a turn.
- You may play cards from your hand to either support yourself or hurt other players! The more powerful cards cost two action points instead of just one. Be careful when playing these cards though; some will help America, while others will help Hitler.
- If you have three or more cards in your hand, you can investigate any player by discarding two of them and flipping over the top card from their deck. This tells you who that player is currently investigating (if they are).
After taking one of these actions, the player then draws a card from the deck. If at any time they have more than three cards in their hand, then they must immediately end their turn and draw two additional cards from the deck!
Step Six: End your Turn!
After taking one of these actions, a player draws a card from the top of his or her own deck. This is called “ending your turn.” When you end your turn, put the card that you drew into your hand. If at any time a player’s deck runs out of cards or they are unable to draw from it, then their turn immediately ends!
After taking one of these actions, a player draws a card from their own deck and adds it to their hand. If they have more than three cards in front of them this way, then they must immediately end their turn by discarding two current cards (if there are fewer than three). After that, they draw two cards from the deck and the turn goes to the next player clockwise.
Step Seven: Win or Lose
The game is over when either one of two conditions is met. The first is that America is eliminated, which happens if the President is assassinated three times! When this occurs, each player flips their top card face-up to show who they really are, and then play continues as normal with no further changes.
The second way to win is that the Communists are able to kill Hitler three times. If this happens, then the fascists lose and America wins!
Step Eight: Cleanup
When you have finished playing, put all your cards in front of you face-down on the table. Make sure everyone has done so before ending your game. If you have any cards in your hand at the end of a turn, then immediately discard them!
After each player has finished their cleanup, flip over all investigation tokens and return to regular gameplay. Flip it back when play is done for the day!
Step Nine: Endgame Scoring
Once everyone’s secret identity has been revealed (or the game ends), it’s time to score! In the endgame, players will lose points for each fascist or communist they control. They also get a point of a reputation for every group that is controlled by them at the end of the game (so if you’re part of three groups and one vote liberal all around, then you’ll still have two groups that will score for you).
The fascist players all lose one reputation point, while the communist loses two points. If everyone has less than five reputation points at this time, then each player loses one instead of gaining any.
Step Ten: Winning!
The player with the most reputation points at the end of the game wins, while everyone else loses. In case of a tie (which can happen if no one has played their cards correctly), then each tied player flips over their top card and compares leftist agendas. The highest agenda total wins in this scenario!
Tips for Playing Secret Hitler
Watch your back!
The most common way to die in Secret Hitler is by being assassinated. This happens when a player’s investigation token lands on you three times, or if they are able to guess who you really are with the help of other players. If someone does this, then make sure that one of them has died too! It can be frustrating to lose because of something that happened earlier in the game.
Spread your votes!
If you’re a fascist, it’s important to try and get other players to vote with you. This will make it look like you have more support than you really do, and might help prevent someone from assassinating you. If you’re a liberal, then try to spread votes around in order to trick the fascists into wasting their time.
Avoid using your role cards if possible!
Roles are powerful because they allow you access to information or abilities that other players don’t have. However, it’s generally unwise for someone who has one of these cards to use it. If they do, then the fascists will know that you have a role and might try to kill you based on this!
Watch your back even harder!
This is generally good advice for anyone who isn’t Hitler or another player with an important card in their hand. Even if someone doesn’t have any cards besides their role, they can still be dangerous! Every player has the potential to assassinate someone, so always be on your guard.
Pay attention to who is winning!
If you’re paying attention, it’s easy to tell who the fascists and communists are. The fascists will usually have more cards than everyone else (since they get two each round). If they’re trying to kill you, then it’s usually a good idea to try and get someone else elected.
Having more cards is better!
As long as fascists control at least one group (meaning that there are three or fewer card-carrying communists), every one with two or more groups gains reputation points for every group that they control at the end of each day. This means that if you’re a liberal and control, two groups, then you’ll gain four reputation points for this!
Watch out for special abilities!
Each role card has its own ability which can be used to help players in different ways. For example, if someone plays the investigator card, then they can look at another player’s role card. Make sure to pay attention to what these cards do, as they can help you win the game!
Use your abilities wisely!
Just like with special cards, each ability has its own uses that players should take advantage of. For example, if someone is using the grand inquisitor card, then they can look at any two other player’s role cards. If someone is using their ability as a liberal and needs to investigate another player, but has already used it this round, then you might be able to help them out!
This game is based on the idea that liberals are trying to stop fascists from taking over. It’s a lot of fun, and it can be pretty intense when people start using their role cards! If you’re looking for a game that will keep you on your toes, then Secret Hitler is definitely worth checking out.