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In the card game Coup, assume that player 1 states they are the Captain and takes 2 coins from player 2. Then if player 2 challenges player 1 they risk losing 1 card. But if instead they block player 1 by claiming to be the Ambassador then they still risk losing only 1 card. Is that correct? If so, what's the difference?

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If player 1 takes an action then Player 2 has 3 options.

  1. They let the action go through
  2. They can challenge the action and if they are correct then Player 1 loses a card, if they are wrong then Player 2 loses a card.
  3. They can claim a blocking action and that leaves Player 1 with the first two choices that Player 2 had.

What the big difference is that if Player 2 claims a block then the decision and risk of losing a card shifts back to Player 1. Which in the case that Player 2 is correct it would mean Player 1 could lose a card for the challenge. So it puts more risk on Player 1 then Player 2.

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    The other difference (or maybe a different way of looking at it) is knowledge. P2 might know for sure that P1 has the Captain, or knows enough about what cards are out there that it's extremely likely that they have it. On the other hand, P1 may not know how likely it is that P2 has an Ambassador - maybe they were already challenged before and won so they've got a fresh card from the deck. – ConMan Jul 8 '15 at 0:59

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