Bohnanza is a German game of trading and politics that supports 2-7 players. This version is the original game but there are many variations and expansions that were created after it. Players trade, plant, and harvest beans in exchange for coins throughout the game. There are up to 11 types of colorful beans on the playing cards that can change depending on the number of players.
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The cards are shuffled and each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards. The deck is then placed face down in the middle of the table, next to the pile of “3rd Bean Field” cards that are facing up. The discard pile will be placed on the other side of the main deck.
The object of the game Bohnanza is to plant rows of beans that are displayed on the playing cards. Players make deals and trades in order to collect beans of the same type to plant. When the beans are harvested, they earn coins and try to get as many as they can to win the game.
After the cards are dealt to each player, they must always stay in the same order in their hand and cannot be mixed up. The first player must take the card that is first in their hand and “plant” it face up directly in front of them. They can choose to plant the second card next to it, but this is not necessary. Each player has only 2 spaces to plant their beans in front of them. Players have the option to purchase a 3rd bean field in exchange for 1 coin, but this can only be done once.
During the same player’s turn, 2 cards come off the top of the deck and are placed face up on the table for a trading phase. The active player who drew the cards decides if they would like to plant those beans in their spaces (only if they are the same type of beans that were already put down) or trade them with other players for something else.
If another player takes one of the trading cards on the table during this phase, they must plant them immediately. Surrounding players are able to give cards to the active player without taking anything in return or engage in straight forward trades with any card from their hands (not just the first), but all trades must include the player whose turn it is. For example if it’s Mandy’s turn she can make a trade with Jen and another with Phil. However Jen cannot trade with Phil during Mandy’s turn. Keep in mind that all trades made in the game must be immediately planted, regardless of whose turn it is.
If nobody trades or accepts a donation of the 2 cards in the trading phase, the active player must discard the beans they have planted in front of them and replace them with the unclaimed cards on the table.
After trading is done, the active player must draw 3 more cards from the deck and place them in order in the back of their hand. This continues clockwise until all cards have been planted or discarded, and the discard pile is shuffled to create a new deck to continue the game.
How to End the Game
The game ends when the discard pile has been shuffled and re-used a total of 3 times.
How to Score the Game
On the front of each card that displays the type of bean, it will tell you how many of them are in the entire deck. Below the photograph, there are stacks of 1, 2, 3, and 4 coins. Under each stack, it will tell you how many of those beans you will need to plant to get that amount of coins. When you collect the desired amount of beans and “harvest” them, you will discard the entire row and take a new card from the deck for each coin you earned, placing it face down next to you. The back of the cards have an image of a gold coin and will serve as points to be added at the end of the game. For example, Phil harvested a row of 4 soy beans which would earn him 2 coins. He will discard his pile of soybeans in the pile next to the deck and draw 2 new cards, placing them face down with the coin image facing up.
Although you can earn more coins by planting and harvesting longer rows of beans, it is not always worth it to put all your focus into collecting the same type of bean throughout the entire game. Sometimes, you can miss opportunities for collecting a more rare bean with a higher payout when you do this. It is also a common strategy to purchase your 3rd bean field within the first round of shuffling or choose to not purchase it at all.
Variations of the Game
Popular variations of the game Bohnanza include the Chinese, Polish, Dutch, French, and German editions, as well as the Rio Grande version in English and French.
How the Game Changes Depending on Number of Players
2 Players: All garden beans and cocoa beans are taken out of the deck before distributing.
3 Players: All cocoa bean cards are excluded from the deck and every player starts with all 3 planting spaces instead of 2. Players do not have the opportunity to purchase any additional rows for planting.
4-5 Players: All coffee bean cards are excluded from the deck.
6-7 Players: All garden beans and cocoa beans are excluded. When players purchase a 3rd bean field card, it will cost them 2 coins instead of 1. They also draw 4 cards at end of their turn instead of 3.
Time to play: 45 minutes
Alternative titles of the game: Boonanza, Fasolki, Fazole, Semenza
Manufacturer suggested player age: 13+
Community suggested player age: 8+
List of expansions: Marco Bohno, Bohnanza: Die Jokerbohnen, Bohnedikt, Bohnanza: Bean Market, Bonanza: Bohnaparte & High Bohn, Bohnanza: Princes & Pirates, Brettspiel Adventskalender, John Camillo, Fasolki: Rozsszerzenie, Bohnedikt.
Community Rating: 7/10
Popularity: Rank 390
Creator: Uwe Rosenberg
Published year: 1997
Awards: 2007 Juego del Ano Finalist, 2005 Vuoden Pelt Adult Game of the Year Nominee, 2003 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee.
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Ingenious, Lost Cities, San Juan