Citadels Game Rules and How to Play Guide

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In this article, you can read about the basic rules of the game Citadels and learn how to play. The object of the game is to get the most points when the game ends.

The game ends at the end of the round when a player has at least eight districts, thus completing their city. District cards come in five colors, red, green, yellow, blue and purple. The cost to build a district is from top to bottom on the left side of the card. You must pay one gold for each cost to build a district.

You score one point for the combined value of all the district cards you have in play. Add up all the district costs and receive one point for each. You also receive three bonus points if you built at least one district of every color. If you were the first person to build at least eight districts, thus completing your city, you receive a bonus of four points. If you completed your city but weren’t the first player then you receive two bonus points. All this information can be referred to on the reference card.

On your turn, the first thing you do is choose an action. You may either take two gold from the bank or draw two district cards and choose one of them to keep. Then, you may build one district from your hand. You may not build more than one district with the same name. At any point during your turn, you may activate your character’s ability. All this can be referenced throughout the game on the back of the reference card.


Shuffle the district cars and deal four cards to each player. Give each player two gold. Give the oldest player of the crown. Each round, you shuffle the character cards. Set one facedown on the table. The player with the crown goes first. and receives the character cards. Picks one of them then passes the rest clockwise to the next player. The process continues until the last player picks one of the two remaining cards to keep and places the last one face down on the table. Beginning an ascending value, turns are taken in character order, not player order.

Beginning with the assassin and ending with the warlord, players take their turn, skipping any unplayed characters. At the end of the round, gather up all the character cards, shuffle them and repeat the process. Sometimes the crown might not change players from round to round. If no one picks the king and around then the crown stays where it is. The game ends at the end of the round when a player has completed a city of at least eight districts. Add up all the points and the player with the most points wins. If there is a tie then only compare the points of each tied player’s district cards. Still a tie? Then the tied player with the most gold wins.


In order, the characters are as follows

Assassin – Choose one character, not a player to lose their turn. The player with that chosen character may not say anything or reveal anything until it is that players turn to reveal that they lost their turn.

Thief – Choose one character, not a player to steal all their gold. When that character is revealed at the start of their turn you take all the gold they have. You cannot steal from the assassin or the assassin’s target.

Magician – You may either choose a player, not character and exchange your hand with them. Or, you may discard any number of district cards from your hand placing them under the draw deck and draw that many cards.

King – Immediately you receive the crown, which is the yellow marker that determines who picks characters first. Receive one gold fore very yellow district you have in play. You may choose to activate this part of the ability before or after you build something, thus capitalizing most effectively to have the best turn. If the King loses his turn via the assassin, the crown still moves to that player at the end of the round.

Bishop. – Receive one gold for every blue district you have in play. Also, your districts may not be destroyed by the warlord.

Merchants. – Receive one gold for every green district you have in play. After you take an action, that is after you draw cards or take two gold, receive an extra gold from the bank.

Architect. – After you take action, you draw two extra cards and keep them. Additionally, you may build up to three districts this turn instead of the usual one.

Warlord – receive one gold for every red district you have in play. Also, you may pay one less than its cost to destroy anyone district in play. You may choose your own. Destroyed districts are placed under the draw deck. You may not destroy a district that is part of a completed city nor a district from the bishop’s character.

Multi-player game

If you are playing with two players each player plays two characters per round. Selecting characters for a two-player game is as follows. Deal one card face down. The player with the crown picks one card then passes the deck. The other player picks a card to keep and discards another facedown. Then passes the deck back. The crown player picks a second character, discards one facedown, then passes the deck. The other player now picks one card and puts the final one facedown. Play then resumes as normal.

A three-player game selects characters the same as normal, you just pass the deck around twice instead of once, and each player plays with two characters. If you are playing with five players, during the character selection, before giving the deck to the player with the crown, flip one card face-up on the table.

If you are playing with four players flip over to. The facedown cards and any face-up ones won’t be used this round. If you flip over the king card face-up, immediately replace it with another character card then shuffle the King back into the deck.

If you are playing with two, three, six or seven players don’t flip any over. When choosing characters with seven players, the last player to get a character card picks up the first facedown character card and chooses between it and the card handed them. The unchosen character goes facedown on the table.

Citadels Game on the Market

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