A kingmaker is a player in a multiplayer game who cannot win, but can choose which of two or more other players wins.

This situation sometimes arises near the end of war simulation board games like Risk. It is an anticlimax, since the outcome of the game doesn't depend on the winner's skill, or indeed on any in-game factor, but on the whim of a third party. The tendency to give rise to a kingmaker is therefore considered a hallmark of bad game design.


Kingmaker is also a game published by Avalon Hill.