Secret Hitler

Number of players
5-10
Recommended age
17+
Competition type
Two teams
Playing time
40
-50 min
Difficulty
Normal
Cost or investment
-  

Brief description of the game

Secret Hitler is a hidden role and deduction game. The players are divided in two teams but do not know their identities, not even who their own teammates are! Well the fascists do know each other, but they don’t know who Hitler is. And Hitler, and the liberals, have no idea who anyone is. A game of intrigue and hidden roles with nearly perfect mechanics. For us, the best on market.
Secret Hitler hidden roles
Table of contents
Secet Hitler game

How to play "Secret Hitler"

Set up before start playing

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REQUIRED OBJECTS

Secret Hitler is a commercial game although there is a free print-and-play version distributed from the game’s official website under Creative Commons license. Below you will find links to the printable version and the best purchase option.

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PLAYERS

Secret Hitler is a game for 5 to 10 players, from 17 years old.

Game elements

The following are the key players in Secret Hitler.

We then explain step by step in detail how a game is played.

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HIDDEN ROLE CARDS

Secret Hitler is a hidden role game. This means that each player secretly assumes a character or role within the game and the other players do not know who is who.

At the beginning of the game each player will secretly receive a card that assigns him his role.

The game is situated in 1932 Germany, a time in which a group of liberal politicians are trying to govern and enact progressive laws. Several fascists who have infiltrated among them try to boycott these laws while doing their best to get Hitler —also infiltrated— to become Chancellor.

The secret roles are therefore three: liberals, fascists and Hitler.

"LIBERALS" cards

Whoever receives such a card at the beginning of the game becomes a LIBERAL. Illustrations may change from one card to another.

Juego Secret Hitler, carta de LIBERAL

"FASCISTS" cards

Whoever receives a card like this at the beginning of the game will have as a hidden role FASCIST. Illustrations may change from one card to another.

Juego Secret Hitler, carta de FASCISTA

"HITLER" card

Whoever receives this card at the beginning of the game will be HITLER, the SECRET HITLER. What a role!

Juego Secret Hitler, carta de HITLER
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LIBERALS VS. FASCISTS

Players are then divided into two teams: the liberals and the fascists, including Hitler.

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MEMBERSHIP CARD

In addition to the hidden role card, each player will also receive a party membership card: the Liberal role will have a Liberal party membership card and the Fascist and Hitler roles will have a Fascist party membership card.

Why the party membership card if the role already identifies each one? Hitler is the culprit. During the course of the game someone may be asked to identify himself as a liberal or fascist and to do so he will show his party membership card. If instead he shows his role card then Hitler would reveal his identity and the game would lose much of its fun.

Juego Secret Hitler, afiliación al partido liberal
Juego Secret Hitler, afiliación al partido fascista
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TURNOS y PRESIDENTE DEL PARLAMENTO

Secret Hitler is played in rounds. In each round one player will be the President of the German Parliament, and will then play a very important role in helping his team to win.

The person who holds the position of PRESIDENT in each round must place a placard identifying him/her in front of him/her on the table. In the original game, it is a large piece of wood printed like this:

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Presidente del Parlamento
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CANCILLER'S TITLE

There is a second placard in the game for the Chancellor of Germany. In each round there will be a vote —conducted by the President of Parliament— to try to elect a Chancellor.

Player acting as Chancellor will also have the opportunity to help his team in that round.

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Canciller
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ENVELOPES AND BALLOTS

Ballots are required to vote. The game includes 10 cards to vote YES and 10 cards to vote NO that look something like this:

Secret Hitler, voto NO
Juego Secret Hitler, voto SI
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POLICY CARDS

Secret Hitler also includes LAW CARDS —liberal and progressive— which are used as “points” on each team’s scoreboard, and look something like this:

Juego Secret Hitler, ley liberal
Juego Secret Hitler, ley fascista

Successfully approving laws brings the team that achieves it closer to victory. We will see how later.

The POLICY CARDS deck has more fascist law cards than liberal law cards. It is not that cards are missing, nor is it a bug or flaw in the game. Secret Hitler is a very well designed game and both teams have an equal chance of winning the game.

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BOARDS / SCOREBOARD

The game also includes three reversible boards. On one side they are blue —liberal side— and on the other side red —fascist side—. Why three? Because the board to be used by the fascists depends on the total number of players.

On the board itself —red side— the number of players for which that board is to be used is indicated.

The three blue sides are identical on all three boards.

So depending on the number of players the fascists will use the red board that corresponds to them and the liberals any of the other two on the blue side.

Both boards have positions where the approved laws will be placed, from left to right. Blue board also includes a “track” to keep track of the number of times an attempt has been made to form a government —to elect a Chancellor— and failed.

Track de gobiernos fallidos en Secret Hitler

And now that you know the key elements of the game you are probably wondering…. but how do you win a game of Secret Hitler? We will tell you more about it below, although of course we will explain it in more detail later.

Goal of the game

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HOW TO WIN A SECRET HITLER GAME?

  • LIBERALS win if they succeed in passing 5 liberal laws or assassinating Hitler.
  • FASCISTS win if they succeed in passing 6 fascist laws or get Hitler as Chancellor.

"Secret Hitler" rules: playing a game

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ENVELOPES PREPARATION

The number of envelopes prepared is equal to the number of players, including in them:

  1. Role card (Fascist, liberal or Hitler)
  2. Membership card (liberal party for liberals or fascist party for fascists and Hitler)

How many envelopes for liberals and how many for fascists? Depends on the total number of players.

For 5 players = 3 liberals + 1 fascist + Hitler
For 6 players = 4 liberals + 1 fascist + Hitler
For 7 players = 4 liberals + 2 fascists + Hitler
For 8 players = 5 liberals + 2 fascists + Hitler
For 9 players = 5 liberals + 3 fascists + Hitler
For 10 players = 6 liberals + 3 fascists + Hitler

The fascists are infiltrated among the liberals, that’s why they are fewer, but that doesn’t take away their chances of winning the game, we’ll see why later.

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DELIVERY OF VOTING CARDS

Each player receives one card to vote YES and one card to vote NO.

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BOARDS / SCOREBOARDS

The fascist board appropriate to the number of players and a liberal board are placed on the table.

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TRACK OF FAILED ELECTIONS

On Liberals’ board, the failed Chancellor voting track chip is placed in the first position.

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PREPARATION OF THE LAW DECK

The law cards are shuffled and placed in a deck.

Preparación partida Secret Hitler
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ROLE ASSIGNMENT

The envelopes are shuffled and each player chooses one at random. Each player opens his envelope, looks at his role and puts the role card back in the envelope. All secretly and with a “poker face”, without giving any clues to the others!

Fascists know each other

Next, a protocol is followed that allows the fascists to get to know each other and who Hitler is, although Hitler will not know who the liberals or his fascist colleagues are.

One of the players will give the following instructions to the whole group:

  1. CLOSE YOUR EYES: All players close their eyes.
  2. STRAIN YOUR ARM WITH CLOSED FIST: all players stretch their arm on the table and keep their fist closed.
  3. FASCISTS, EXCEPT HITLER, OPEN YOUR EYES. Important. Hitler remains with his eyes closed, and so do all liberals. Everyone is still with their arm outstretched.
  4. HITLER, THUMB UP: Hitler raises his thumb. This is maintained for 10 seconds so that all fascists have time to identify Hitler. Hitler remains with his eyes closed.
  5. HITLER, CLOSE YOUR FIST: Hitler puts his thumb down.
  6. FASCISTS, CLOSE YOUR EYES: all players remain with their eyes closed. They hold this status for a few seconds.
  7. TAKE BACK YOUR ARM: players bring their arm back to its normal position.
  8. OPEN YOUR EYES: all players open their eyes.
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Throughout this process, no noise or movement should be made that could identify anyone. Enjoy this moment of the game because it is very exciting.

For 5 or 6 players the protocol changes a bit. Hitler will open his eyes with the fascists but will not be able to indicate with his thumb that it is him.

All ready! How to play a round

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Presidente del Parlamento

PRESIDENT AND CHANCELLOR PLACARDS

The player who is PRESIDENT in the first round places the PRESIDENT placard in front of him, and also takes the CANCILLER placard.

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Canciller

THE PRESIDENT NOMINATES A CHANCELLOR

The President attempts to have a player designated as Chancellor in order to form a government. Nominates a candidate and gives him the placard of CANCILLER to be submitted to a vote.

At the beginning of the game the proposal is totally blind for a president who is liberal, because he has no idea who is who. A fascist president could propose a fascist as Chancellor and then take advantage of it. Or not. Maybe he won’t do it at the beginning so as not to be giving away clues. That is one of the keys to this game, a well executed bluff can make the difference between winning and losing.

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VOTING

A vote is then taken to see if that player is accepted as Chancellor. Each player secretly proposes his voting card face down and places it in the center of the table.

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POINT COUNT

The PRESIDENT takes all the votes, shuffles them without showing or looking at any time at the YES or NO side of the card, and finally shows them all and counts.

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NO WINS

If the number of noes equals or exceeds the number of ayes, the approval of the CANCILLER is frustrated. The failed governments track is moved to the next position.

After three failed governments, the track chip arrives at a marker on the board that tells us what to do next: the first law of the deck of laws is taken and whatever it is, liberal or fascist, that law is automatically approved. The track is reset and returns to the first position.

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YES WINS

If YES wins, then we have CANCILLER, and with the government formed the session of passing a law begins.

Passing of a law

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Presidente del Parlamento

The PRESIDENT takes the first THREE cards from the deck of laws, looks at them secretly and discards one of them in a discard pile without the discarded card being seen at any time. He passes the other two to the CANCILLER, unseen.

Juego Secret Hitler, rótulo de Canciller

The CHANCELLOR secretly looks at the two cards passed to him by the PRESIDENT, discards one of them to the discard pile and the remaining card becomes an APPROVED LAW.

This process of discarding cards and passing a law is done in silence, there can be no verbal or non-verbal communication between the PRESIDENT and the CHANCELLOR, and the cards must not be seen at any time.

After the passing of the law there can be a debate about what has just happened, the other players can ask whatever they want -What cards have you discarded? What has the PRESIDENT passed to the CANCILLER?- but both PRESIDENT and CANCILLER are free to answer whatever they want about it, tell the truth or bluff the others always thinking about what is best for their team.

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IF A LIBERAL LAW IS PASSED...

If the PASSED LAW is liberal it is placed on the liberal board and no more action needs to be taken. The laws are placed from left to right in the following free space.

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IF A FASCIST LAW IS PASSED...

If the law passed is fascist, the card is placed on the fascist board and the board itself will tell us if any further action should be taken. What are these actions? These are explained below. They are key to the development of the game.

SPECIAL ACTION 1 - ROLE REVELATION

The president of the current round may ask any player to show him his party card. The player selected by the president secretly removes his role card from his envelope and passes it to the president with only the party card inside. The president can share that information with others, or not, or lie to others about what he or she has just seen.

SPECIAL ACTION 2 - HANDPICKED PRESIDENT

The current president handpicks the next president, skipping the natural rotation. Once this exceptional round is over, the turn goes back to the player who should have had it.

SPECIAL ACTION 3 - KILL A PLAYER

The current president must “kill” one player. It is not an optional action, you must do it. He can debate with others who to select but the final decision is taken by him. The chosen player will no longer be part of the game, must remain silent for the rest of the game, and cannot reveal his identity unless he is Hitler. If he is Hitler he must say so, the game will be over and the liberals will win.

SPECIAL ACTION 4 - VETO POWER

The CURRENT CHANCELLOR, after receiving the two letters from the PRESIDENT, has the option of proposing to veto the round and not pass any law. The veto power is only executed if both agree.

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NEXT ROUND

The PRESIDENT passes the turn to the player on his right, who must take the placards of PRESIDENT and CANCILLER.

No podrá proponer como Canciller a ninguno de los dos jugadores que han sido PRESIDENTE y CANCILLER en la ronda anterior.

Game over. Who wins?

AND THE WINNER IS...

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The Secret Hitler game can be over for different reasons:

  1. If Liberals succeed in passing 5 laws the game is over and they win.
  2. If Fascists succeed in passing 6 laws the game is over and they win.
  3. If Hitler is killed the game is over and liberals win.
  4. If Hitler is designated Chancellor the game is over and Fascists win.

Where and how to get "Secret Hitler"

Free print-and-play version

Secret Hitler is a commercial game but on the game’s official website www.secrethitler.com you will find a free printable version.

This option forces you to print and cut out all the cards. Consider whether it is really worth it, taking into account the cost -paper and ink-, the work involved in cutting all the letters and the quality of the final result, which will depend especially on the type of paper you use.

Buy "Secret Hitler"

If you are an Amazon Prime user and want to take advantage of the benefits offered by your subscription you can check price and availability of Secret Hitler on their website.

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LOODENS rating

  
We love this game. We are going to give you three reasons to try it. If you have never played a hidden role game before, Secret Hitler is the best option to discover that world. If you have already played other hidden role games and you liked the experience, you will be amazed with the game mechanics of Secret Hitler! And if you have played a hidden role game and you didn’t like it for some reason, we tell you that… of course, because it wasn’t Secret Hitler!

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