Betrayal At House On The Hill: How To Play – Simplified


Our Rating:

You and your friends find yourself inside a haunted house with the front door locked behind you. You must explore the house in search of a way out! Beware, as there are evils lying around every corner. Explore rooms, find secret passage ways, look for items. Careful though, find too many Omens and you could trigger the Haunt,  where on of your beloved friend may turn evil and try to come after to! Defeat evil and find a way out before it is too late!

Want to see our thoughts on this game? Check out
Our full review of Betrayal at House on the Hill

Note: These simplified rules for Betrayal at House on the Hill are to help you decide if the game is right for you and your group, or to help you get started quickly…not to be all encompassing. Please refer to your rule book before starting play for full rules.

Rules Overview

As stated in the overview above, you are a bunch of friends... at least to start....that are exploring a haunted house, ultimately trying to survive and looking for a way out. Your actual objectives and the actions you must take to complete them will vary from game to game (as you will see below). You will work together in this semi cooperative game.

You do this by flipping room tiles and placing them as you go. You will encounter things, find stuff, trip over junk while you go. At some point you will trigger one of fifty Haunts and then your objectives (and possibly friends) change.

The Set Up

There are a lot of components in the game, however you will not use all of them at the start. Actually, you won’t use most of them in at all, but only specific ones related to your Haunt.

Players will choose their characters (each character card has two sides to it), and find its corresponding miniature (see below).

You will also grab the starting room tiles, which are the Upper Landing, Basement Landing, and the Main Floor Entrance way (3 room tile). You also need to pull out the other cards (event, omen, item), shuffle them, and place them pace down. Also, take out all the die.

You’ll now want to place the little black markers on your character card (shown below). However, we find that they don’t stay in place very well so you might want to write them down on a piece of paper, or use the very handy app: Betrayal Character Stats… Android Link and Apple Link.

Starting the Game and Game Play

The player with the next birthday coming up (on their character card that is), starts the game.

Players will take turns moving through the house to explore new rooms. You can move as many rooms as your ‘speed’ characteristic allows (i.e. if it says 3, you can move 3 rooms). As you go through a doorway into an unexplored area you then must draw a room tile.

The room tiles (as seen above) are labelled with their appropriate floor (Upper, Middle, Basement), some having more than one floor which they can go on. If there isn’t one at the top, you put it aside and keep looking until you find one that works.

You may keep moving and exploring through rooms until you flip a tile with a symbol on it (or says you have to stop). Once a player hits a symbol in a room for the first time, you must stop and draw a card from the deck with the matching symbol (see pictures below).

These cards could be things that help or hurt you along your journey. They could be items that make you stronger, or events that you have to fight off, or maybe a mysterious omen that could help or hurt you! This is just a few examples of what the cards could contain.

You will read the card aloud to your fellow players and follow the actions it says on the card. These will usually be a dice roll of some sort associated with one of your four characteristics.

After you are done your interaction with this card, if it has affected any of your stats (see examples above), you must move your indicator marker on your player card. This will continue to fluctuate throughout the game, but don't let it get to the skull and crossbones or you die and are out of the game.

As noted on the Omen cards, you must make a haunt roll after the action on the card is done. Yes, this is the ‘event’ that could trigger the start of the mysterious haunt! Though you get to roll 6 die (these only have values 0-2 on them). You must roll higher than the number of Omen cards already drawn or else the haunt starts.

If you roll equal or less than the number of Omen cards, you must now open up the Traitors Tomb Handbook and refer to the chart.

As you will see below, the person who triggers the haunt is not necessarily the traitor. The book will tell you who the traitor is (sometime no one). It might be the person with the highest Might or Highest Sanity, you never know until you cross reference the room the haunt started in with the Omen.

 Betrayal at House on the Hill - Haunt Chart

The Haunt

Once you figure out who the person is that is the detested traitor is, that person must leave the room and go read their part of the haunt (in the Traitors Tomb book). The rest will remain and read their part together (in the Secrets of Survival book).

There may be some information that is shared between the two parties, but most of it, including your objectives, will be kept secret. These objectives are usually inverse among the groups. The traitor may be trying to kill the others with monsters, while the others are trying to find a window to escape out of.

Once everyone has read their part, everyone reconvenes and the game continues on. This is the part of the game when you might need some of those monster tokens (shown below).

The game continues until either the traitor or the survivors reach their goals.

How To Play Video

If you are looking for a quick video tutorial see below:​

About the author


We are the HexaGamers. Six good friends that love all things game related that gets us together to enjoy each other's company.

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