clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Coup is a game for backstabbing your friends

New, 3 comments

Or their face.

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Playing board games can sometimes feel like a huge commitment: You need a couple of hours to play, plus however long it takes to get through the rule book. For the latest episode of Overboard, Polygon’s card and board game show, we decided to play something short that take only a couple minutes to learn. Ironically, we couldn’t fit them all in one episode, so part one is all about Coup.

This is a game of vicious cunning and outrageous bluffing. Players are given two characters at the beginning of the game, but are allowed to ‘claim’ they have any character and use their special power. The trick is that anyone else can challenge whether you actually have the card. They just have to be willing to risk losing one of their own cards if it turns out you were telling the truth.

While bluffing is critical, the Machiavellian ability to play your friends off one-another is truly the best skill you can have in Coup. Grudges will grow while alliance rise and fall, but only one player can win this game. If you can carefully cast aspersions and fan the flames of revenge, you can avoid being a target until it’s too late.

Despite it’s complexity, Coup is game you can learn in about five minutes. In fact, almost everyone in the video literally learned how to play the game on the spot. You might even notice that they enjoyed playing it too! If you enjoy this episode, make sure you subscribe to Polygon’s channel for more great videos. You can watch previous episodes of Overboard here, including the second part of our small games episode with special guest Brennan Lee Mulligan.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.