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Secret Hitler Rules & Strategies to Know While Playing

If you want to learn the Secret Hitler rules then this guide will help. Released in 2016, Secret Hitler is quite a new game when compared to card games like Uno. It also doesn’t follow the traditional card game movements you might be used to. 

This can make understanding the game a little confusing for new players. But in this informative guide, we’ll be looking at the rules and strategies you need to know. Let’s start by taking a look at what Secret Hitler is. 

What is Secret Hitler? 

Designed for 5 to 10 players Secret Hitler is a party game but unlike games like Cards Against Humanity, there is a bit more strategy to how you can play. It’s a social deduction game similar to Clue and other murder mystery boardgames, in some respects. 

Under the standard Secret Hitler rules, players are divided into two teams, liberals, and fascists. Both teams have to enact their parties’ policies to win, however, the twist in the game comes from the secondary objective involving Hitler. 

Both teams can still win even if they don’t enact all their policies. The liberal team can win by assassinating Hitler. While the fascist team can win, they succeeded in getting Hitler elected to Chancellor. 

It’s easy to simply write Secret Hitler off as another quirky party game. But there is actually quite a bit of in-depth strategy involved. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the gameplay and what you’ll need to play. 

How to Play Secret Hitler

secret hitler rules

What You’ll Need 

To play Secret Hitler you’ll need a Secret Hitler game set. This will come with all the cards you’ll need. Unlike games like Monopoly with its many different themes, Secret Hitler at present only has one set available. Check out the product below to see an example of what you need. 

Secret Hitler

Now once you open your Secret Hitler set you might be a little surprised by the number of cards and other materials in the set. Secret Hitler does feature a lot of different cards and understanding what they all do right away can be a little tricky. Let’s take a brief look at what’s included. 

Policy Cards 

secret hitler  policy cards

Following the standard Secret Hitler rules both the liberal and fascist teams will want to enact their policies. This is done using cards from the policy deck, three of these cards are chosen from the top of the deck and handed to the President at the beginning of each round. 

They discard one card and random and then give the remaining two cards to the Chancellor. The Chancellor then chooses which card to enact. The policy deck features 11 fascist cards and 6 liberal cards. 

Liberal/ Fascist Boards 

secret hitler Liberal/ Fascist Boards

These boards are used so both parties can see their progress. The liberal board features space for 5 policies, while the fascist board has room for 6. Following the standard Secret Hitler rules liberal players will need to enact one less policy to win. 

The boards also feature the Election Tracker which we’ll talk about in more detail in the gameplay section below. The boards also detail the election-powers parties can obtain if they have enough successful policies enacted. 

These are only activated once enough fascist policy cards have been enacted. They are given to the President player and can vary depending on the number of players.   

Voting Cards 

Secret Hitler Voting Cards

At the beginning of Secret Hitler, a Presidential candidate is chosen. They then choose another player to be their Chancellor. Once this is done the remaining players use their voting cards ( Ja! or Nein) to choose whether to elect them or not. 

If more than half the players vote Ja then they are elected. If they aren’t voted in the next Presidential candidate is chosen and the round starts again. If players fall to vote for a President and Chancellor for three rounds then the policy card at the top of the deck is enacted without oversight.

Party Membership Cards 

Secret Hitler party membership cards

When Secret Hitler play begins all players will receive an envelope detailing what part they are in. This is marked with a party membership card which reveals whether they are a liberal or a facist. 

Secret Envelopes 

Secret Hitler envelope

Secret envelopes are given to each player at the start of the game. They contain your party membership cards, voting cards, and one card will say whether you are Hitler or not. Other fascist players will know who Hitler is. But if the game has more than 7 players Hitler won’t know who the other fascist players are. 

Secret Hitler Rules and Gameplay 

The Aim of The Game 

Well like any game the aim is to win! However, there are a number of ways this can be approached in Secret Hitler and it will all depend on what team you are on. Do you try to enact your required number of policies or go for one of the secondary objectives? 

After all, once three fascist policies have been enacted both teams will have a way to speed up their victory. For the liberals, this will mean getting Hitler assassinated. But the fascist team will achieve victory if Hitler is elected Chancellor.

Now in order to win Secret Hitler, every player should be trying to deduce who is who throughout the game. The fascist team may have an advantage at first because they will know who Hitler is. 

However, the fascist team will be out numbered which means they may struggle to reach their objectives. Below, we’ve outlined how to set up a game of Secret Hitler as well as shared some strategic advice for both teams. 

Setting Up 

Before the game begins you need to ensure it is set up correctly. The number of liberals and fascists changes depending on the number of players. Follow our handy chart below to help ensure you are setting up the game correctly. 

Number of Players Number of Liberals Number of Fascists 
531 and Hitler 
641 and Hitler 
742 and Hitler 
852 and Hitler 
953 and Hitler 
1063 and Hitler 

One player should prepare the Secret Envelopes with the necessary cards and then give them out to each player. This player will generally be the first President and they will choose another player to be their Chancellor. 

All players (include the proposed President and Chancellor) will then vote. This is when things will get interesting. If the election is unsuccessful the round essentially resets. The player to the left of the proposed President becomes the new candidate. 

They then choose another player to be their Chancellor and the vote begins again. However, after every failed election the election tracker (which is under the Liberal board) will move up one notch. 

After three failed elections the policy card at the top of the deck is enacted automatically. But once a President and Chancellor are voted in the next stage of the game begins. Let’s see how that works. 

Enacting Policies 

The President will take three cards from the top of the policy deck and discard one at random. They then give the remaining two cards to their Chancellor. The Chancellor then chooses one to enact. This gives the Chancellor a big advantage because they may be able to enact a policy of their party. 

Liberal policies have no direct impact on the game apart from moving the Liberal team closer to victory. However, after three Fascist policies have been enacted the player who is President will be able to utilize more skills. 

The skills the President can use will be marked on the Fascist board. Numerous Fascist boards are included with Secret Hitler and they will offer different perks for the President. These perks can include looking at policy cards, seeing a player’s party membership, or even assassinating another player from the game. 

Winning The Game 

Winning the Secret Hitler can be achieved in a number of ways. The safest way is to enact the required number of policies. However, once three fascist policies have been enacted both the Liberal and Fascist party players can utilize perks to help give themselves an advantage, 

For example, if the President thought they knew who Hitler was they can attempt to assassinate him. To do this they simply need to declare what they are doing and then ask the player if they are Hitler. If they are the game ends and the Liberal team wins but if they’re wrong the game continues with one less player.

However, the Fascist team only needs to get Hitler chosen as Chancellor. Since the President changes each round and the other fascist player/s know who Hitler is they can win the game simply by choosing him and getting it passed through the vote. 

Secret Hitler – Deduction Is The Key To Success 

Under the standard Secret Hitler rules deduction really is the key to success. All players need to constantly try to deduce who is who. Otherwise, things could easily go wrong, a Liberal President could end up killing another Liberal player for example. 

There is a lot of strategy involved in Secret Hitler and players need to be smart and plan ahead. If you’re looking for fun party games with plenty of room for strategic play then Secret Hitler would make a fine choice. 

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