How to Play Bohnanza

How to Play Bohnanza


Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and
this is Bohnanza, a set-collecting, trading card game with a twist, for 2-7 players. Let me show you how to play! You and your friends play bean farmers. “Bohne” is the German word for “bean.” Why they didn’t call the English version of
the game “Beananza” is beyond me. But anyway, you plant your bean cards in front
of you and periodically harvest them to make money. When the deck is exhausted at the end of the
third year, whoever has the most money wins. But here’s the twist: you’re not allowed to
rearrange the cards in your hand. All players have to decide on an “in” side
and an “out” side. On your turn, you HAVE to plant the first
card from your “out” side. And then optionally, you MAY plant the second
card on your “out” side. You have two invisible fields in front of
you. A field can only grow one type of bean. So on your first turn, it’s no problem – plant
your first and second beans, one in each field, or in the same field if you have two of the
sam bean. But when play comes back around to you, maybe
the next two beans in sequence are completely different types? A field can only grow one type of bean, and
because you HAVE to plant this chili bean, you’re forced to scrap either the soy bean
or the stink bean for no money. Now, look: the card says you need to harvest
TWO soy beans to earn one coin, or THREE stink beans to earn one coin. If you keep harvesting your beans before they’re
worth anything, you’ll never earn any money and you’ll lose the game. That’s where trading comes in! On your turn, after you plant your first,
and optionally your second, bean, you draw two cards from the deck and put them face-up
on the table. You’re on the hook to plant those beans on
this turn, too, unless you can arrange some trades with your opponents. You can trade cards from within your hand,
and/or the two cards on the table. Tradees can only trade with you from their
hands. And trades can only happen if the active player
is involved. Because the order of your hand is so important,
both players have to agree to a trade before you start removing cards from your hand. If Mindy agrees to give you her soy bean for
the green bean in your hand, you each pull out those cards and hand them over. The cards get put aside for the moment. Perhaps Naveen really wants your red bean,
and will give you two stink beans for it? That sounds pretty good. So you execute the trade. You’re definitely hanging onto this soy bean
that you turned up from the deck, because you have a soy bean field. But this black-eyed bean. Hmm. Beth wants it, but she doesn’t have anything
to give you for it. You decide to just donate the black-eyed bean
to Beth, which she’s totally cool with. Now, if you could just get rid of this blue
bean from your hand, then on your next turn, you could plant two soy beans in a row. That’s the optimal move that you’re always
striving for: arranging trades before your next turn so that you can plant the first
two beans in your hand. Nobody at the table wants your blue bean,
though, so you decide to donate it to Naveen. But Naveen is hip to your nonsense and doesn’t
want your blue bean. You can’t just donate beans willy-nilly – they
have to go to willing recipients. So it looks like you’re stuck with that blue
bean for now, unless you can trade it away before play comes back around to you. So with trading finished, everyone (including
you) has to plant the beans on the table. None of those traded beans go back into anyone’s
hands. At any point, even when it’s not your turn,
you can harvest your beans. Check the beanometer at the bottom of the
card to see how many coins you’ll get. Two soy beans for one coin, four soy beans
for two coins, and so on. When you harvest a field, you flip the cards
over to their “coin” side and keep them next to you. Any beans you didn’t convert into coins go
into the discard pile. The one hitch with harvesting your fields
is that you can only harvest a field with two or more beans in it. The only time you’re allowed to scrap a single-bean
field is if all of your fields have just one bean in them. So in this situation, you need to plant the
stink bean, and you’d really prefer to harvest that red bean field to do it, since you’ve
got these blue beans coming up next, but because there’s only one red bean in this field, you
have to cash in all of your blue beans insteadů which really hurts, because you’re one bean
short of the next coin payout. The number near the top of the card indicates
how many beans of that type are in the deck. The more rare a bean is, the better the bean-to-coin
ratio becomes. But it also means you need to play a bit of
a memory game. If Beth cashes in 3 red beans for two coins,
she keeps two of those cards a flipped-over coins and the third goes in the discard pile. You know there are only 5 red beans remaining. Naveen has two of them in his field, and maybe
you have two in your hand. So there’s only 1 red bean left somewhere,
and it might not even be in the draw deck. Mindy might be hanging onto it so she can
pull off a sweet trade with either you or Naveen. That’s so Mindy. At the end of your turn, after all the beans
on the table have been planted and the fields have been harvested to make room, if necessary,
you draw three cards from the deck, one by one, and add them to the “in” side of your
hand. Play continues clockwise. If you go to draw cards and there aren’t enough
left in the draw deck, shuffle the discard pile and draw however many cards the deck
owes you. If the cards run out and you’re on your third
pass through the deck, the game ends. If the cards run out while you’re drawing
two face-up cards on your turn, you finish out your current turn before the game ends. If you can only draw one of those two cards,
you finish your turn with just the one card. There’s one more thing to learn about the
game. At any point in the game, even when it’s not
your turn, you can cash in 3 of your gold cards to buy a 3rd bean field. You can do this exactly once. The coin cards go face-up in the discard pile,
potentially re-introducing those rare red beans back into the ecosystem. When the game is over, count up the coin cards
to see who’s won. SETUP To set up the game, the oldest player shuffles
the deck and deals 5 cards to each player. In a 3 player game, get rid of the cocoa beans
first. You only have to exhaust the deck twice in
a 3-player game. With 4 or 5 players, get rid of the coffee
beans. In a 6 or 7 player game, toss out the cocoa
and garden beans. The oldest player deals out 3 cards to the
first player, then 4 cards, then 5 cards, and 6 cards to everyone else. When your turn ends in a 6 or 7 player game,
you draw 4 cards instead of 3, and a third bean field only costs 2 coins. In a 2-player bean duel, remove the garden
and cocoa beans from the deck. You can only harvest your beans on your turn,
instead of whenever you want, and the money you pay for a 3rd bean field goes into the
box instead of into the discard pile. The 2-player bean duel has some slightly different
rules. After you plant one or two beans on your turn,
you can discard 1 card from anywhere in your hand. Then, you draw three cards from the deck. If the top card on the discard pile matches
any of these cards, you combine them to form sets. Keep going until the top card in the discard
pile doesn’t match any of the cards you just drew. Now, you can plant any of these beans you
like, harvesting your own fields to earn coins and make room. You can even leave them on the table if you
like. The first decision your opponent makes at
the beginning of his or her turn, before planting the first and/or second bean in his or her
hand, is to plant or discard the beans that you left on the table. At the end of a turn, you draw two cards. The game ends when you exhaust the deck for
the first time. And now, you’re ready to play Bohnanza!

3 thoughts on “How to Play Bohnanza

  • Great video! When reminding players of the "take 3 cards and put them at the end of your hand" I often shorthand it to "take 3 to the rear", which usually results in raised eyebrows. I shan't explain why…

  • Also, the 3rd bean field rule seems to have been removed from the more recent printings of the game. I read on BGG that it's because it's not often a beneficial play to pay for a third field and, to avoid misleading players, it was removed.

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