Do I have to show how many coins I have, or can I keep this information private?

When I play with Cities or Armada expansion, Debts and Taxes have to be paid, and in some cases I would like to know if it makes sense to play a card, so that others need to pay. Because if they do not have enough coins, they have to take a -1 point token for each coin the cannot pay.

If a player hides the number of coins, this strategy is irrelevant.

  • As answered below coins are public info. I think its good practice in all games to assume everything is public information unless the rules explicitly state otherwise. Jul 3, 2020 at 21:21
  • @StartPlayer, Except hands, face-down items (cards, decks, etc). Even then, though, the count of such things is usually public.
    – ikegami
    Jul 4, 2020 at 5:13
  • 2
    @ikegami if I saw the words 'face down', 'in a players hand' etc then I would assume that was explicitly hidden. If a rule is 'take a resource' then then this is clearly public unless rules state otherwise, perhaps with the use of a screen. Jul 4, 2020 at 8:35
  • lol, if you have to assume something was meant, it wasn't explicitly stated!
    – ikegami
    Jul 4, 2020 at 9:33
  • @ikegamin There is more than one phrasing of a rule than can be said to be explicitly stating something. To me, “face-down” is essentially synonymous with “hidden” in game contexts; so either can be considered “explicit”.
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 4, 2020 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


Your coins are kept on your board. The number of coins you have can therefore easily be seen or checked by the other players.


Each player begins the game with 3 value “1” coins which they place on their board.

  • 1
    While that does say it starts on the board, I would argue that does not mean it would prevent players from stacking coins or using other methods to prevent other players from knowing exactly how much they had.
    – Joe W
    Jul 4, 2020 at 2:20
  • And stacking wouldn't prevent other players from inspecting those stacks. Jul 4, 2020 at 2:21
  • 7
    The letter of that rule can be followed in a way that makes it completely meaningless - place the coins on your board at start of game, then immediately remove them from the board and hide them, or leave them but hide any future coins. But especially because the letter can be so abused, the real question is what the intent/spirit of the rule is, and the only one I can think of is that the number of coins you have is supposed to always be public info. Jul 4, 2020 at 14:58
  • Yeah, that gets much beyond this question and into the "what is the purpose of a rulebook?" and "what is a game?" and social contracts and things. The rules don't say you can't hide your coins. Or hide your board. Or grab coins willy nilly from the bank. Or build locations from the discard pile for free. The rules are there to tell you how to play the game rather than to be an encyclopedia of all the ways you can't play the game. Jul 4, 2020 at 17:30
  • 1
    Exactly. They state you start with three and tell you where the coins are placed. They never tell you to put your coins anywhere else. So that's where your coins are. Jul 4, 2020 at 19:41

The only secret information in 7 wonders are the cards currently in your hand and cards that have been discarded* (either for gold, wonder stage or end of age discard), everything else is public information. A player is not allowed to hide the number of coins that they have and must inform you of how many they have if you ask.

*Discarded cards for gold or end of age can be searched under certain conditions such as a wonder stage that lets you build a discarded card for free.

  • 5
    I think you're mostly right, but do you have a rules reference? Also, one place you're wrong: cards used to build wonder stages remain hidden information. Jul 3, 2020 at 14:40
  • @BenjaminCosman I looked through the rules but I did not see anything specifically calling out public versus secret information. Also I have updated my answer to include cards used to build the wonder stages.
    – Joe W
    Jul 3, 2020 at 15:30
  • 1
    Aren’t discarded cards (for coins or at the end of an age) also secret information?
    – KRyan
    Jul 4, 2020 at 14:41
  • @KRyan Not fully as there is a wonder that lets a player search through those and build them for free when building a stage.
    – Joe W
    Jul 4, 2020 at 17:27
  • That’s still secret information. Anything you need special permission to see (by them being “yours,” or by you having a special effect, or whatever else) is by definition not public, and thus secret.
    – KRyan
    Jul 4, 2020 at 17:51

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