Citadels game

Citadels Rules

Citadels is a card game, the objective of which is to build and develop the most complete city possible.

Contents of the Game

  • 67 district cards
  • 18 character cards
  • 7 reference cards
  • 1 crown marker
  • 30 gold coins
Content of Citadels game

A Game of 4 to 7 Players

Principle of the Game

Each player will try to develop and make the city prosper to be able to win the game. To do this, they will build districts.

End of the Game

When a player builds their 8th district, the game is over.

Winning the game

Once the game is over, the points are counted. The player with the most points wins the game.


  • Each player is given the following:
    – 4 district cards
    – 2 coins
    – 1 reference card
  • The crown marker will be given to the oldest player.

Course of the Game

  1. Choice of characters
  • 8 characters will be used.
  • At the start of the game, the player with the crown takes all the character cards and shuffles them.
  • That player will then put some of the character cards on the table and keep the rest depending on the number of players.
  • Be careful, the King can never be placed face up on the table.
Number of playersCards to lay face upCards to lay face down
  • From the remaining cards, the player with the crown will choose their own card, which they will lay face down in front of themselves.
  • In a clockwise direction, they will pass the rest of the cards to the next player who will proceed like them by choosing their cards, and so on.
  • For a game of 4 to 6 players, when the last player has chosen their character, the remaining cards will be added to the card placed face down on the table.
  • For a game of 7 players, the last player can choose their character between the last card in their hand and the card placed face down on the table.
  • By using the reference card, the player with the crown will call each character one by one, according to their number.
  • The player whose character is called reveals their card and takes their turn.
  • At the end of a round, the player with the crown will collect all the character cards, shuffle them and redistribute them.
  1. Playing your turn
  • The numbers on the cards determine the order of turns.
  • During their turn, a player can either:
    – Take 2 gold coins,
    Draw 2 district cards. One will be discarded face down under the draw pile and the other will remain in their hand.
  • They can then use their character’s special ability.
  • They can also build a district by placing the card in front of themselves.
  • To do this, they must pay the corresponding number of gold coins and ensure that a district of the same name does not already exist in their city.
  • If the player does not have enough coins to build a district, they end their turn.

The Different Types of Districts

  • The gem on each card indicates which category the district belongs and which character it is linked to.
BlueReligiousThe Bishop
YellowNobleThe King
GreenTradeThe Merchant
RedMilitaryThe Warlord
  • Each character will receive a gold coin for each district they are linked to in their city.
  • The number of coins on the district card indicates the cost of building it.
  • This is also the score that the district is worth at the end of the game.

The Different Characters

  1. The Assassin:
  • They announce which character they assassinate.
  • The assassinated character does not reveal themselves before the end of the round and must not respond when their name is called out.
  1. The Thief:
  • They can rob any character except the Assassin and the assassinated character.
  • The robbed character reveals themselves when called out and gives all of their coins to the thief.
  1. The Magician:
  • May return cards to the draw pile and draws the same number of cards.
  • Or they can exchange all the cards they have in their hand for an opponent’s cards.
  • The exchange is possible even when the magician has no cards in hand (they simply just take the other player’s cards).
  1. The King:
  • He receives the crown and must now call the characters.
  • He will be the first to choose their character in the next round.
  • If in the next round no one has chosen the King, they keep the crown.
  • If they are assassinated, they directly receive the crown in the next round
  1. The Bishop:
  • He cannot be attacked by the Warlord.
  1. The Merchant:
  • Is entitled to 1 additional coin at the start of the round.
  1. The Architect:
  • They draw 2 additional district cards during their turn.
  1. The Warlord:
  • They can destroy any district at the end of their turn, except for the bishop’s district (the religious district, colored blue).
  • Cost of destroying a district = its construction cost – 1
  • If the district is worth 1 coin, the destruction is free.
  • The warlord can attack their own city, but cannot attack a completed city.
  • Attention! Coins can only be collected once during a round. Choose the time you collect them carefully. (Before building a district or after.)

End of the Game

  • When a player places their 8th district, the round ends, and then the game.
  • The points will then be counted.
  • To the total construction cost of the districts in your city will be added:
    3 points for districts of 5 different colors.
    4 points for the first player to complete their city.
    2 points for the other players to have completed their cities.

Two-Player Games

Choice of Characters

  • In turn, each of the 2 players will:
    Place a card face down on the table.
    Keep a card.
    Pass the rest of the cards to the next player.
  • Proceed in this way until a player places the last card face down on the table.

Three-Player Games

Choice of characters

  • Only the first player places a card face down on the table.
  • They then choose their first character and pass the rest of the cards to the next player.
  • Each player will choose their character until everyone ends up with 2 characters.
  • The last card is then placed face down on the table.

Turns for Games with Two or Three Players

Everyone will play twice per turn, for each of their characters.

Rules in PDF

Explore the Citadels rules in PDF.