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Sowing the beans of dissent...
Bohnanza, aka TheBeanGame, is an UnCCG (CardGame) which is played by trading and planting beans. It polarises opinions, as may be seen below. See Rules for the rules in detail.


Apparently I'm supposed to write something about the Bean Game here.
It's fun.

I've added the rules for different numbers of players below--Ranthrock

Why does everyone think this? It's hideously boring. It's the most boring game ever. Play Apples to Apples instead. --PlasmonPerson
NoNoNoNoNo, it's fun.  But you don't have to play it if you don't want to.  It's been ages since I played it, though... Angoel, can you bring it with you next time you're up? --M-A
It's a game of real-time trading and politics. How you act in early trades will determine how people trade with you for the rest of the game. It keeps most players involved even when it's not their turn. It works out as a better game than a whole lot of others. However, I can see that it would depend a lot on your group of players. --AlexChurchill

Haven't played it for a while though.

AlexChurchill used to play it quite a bit, and really enjoyed it.  ISTR we had a couple of house rules, BICBW.  Could SunKitten (or anyone else who owns it) bring it along to GamesEvening sometime, so we could have a game?  For old times' sake if nothing else, although I suspect a number of GE attendees who haven't played it before might find it quite fun.
The one house rule we have relaxes the trading restrictions - in particular, beans received in trade go into the trading area, not the field, and may thus be traded on or even handed back to the person you just got them from; all beans in people's trading areas must be placed in their fields at the end of each turn. Multiway trading and the resultant politics are great fun ^^ - MoonShadow
I'm not a great fan of this variant - I find that the trading's a lot sharper if you don't have the option to wait until just before your go to trade away the cards that mess up your planting next turn.  (You've got a wax bean that you don't want to plant.  Two other people are planting wax beans.  You've got to trade it away to one of them - do you try to give it away to a substandard offer when trading with the first player, or do you wait for the second player?  If you mess up with the second player, can you presuade the person on your right to take the wax bean by giving them another card that they want, or will you have to dig up and plant, etc.).  --Angoel

AR: That's ridiculous... how is anyone supposed to find the wonderful Bean Game when it's hidden under the name Bohnanza?  Nobody actually calls it that!
AC: OK, I've created a page called TheBeanGame which points here.  Is that better?

It'd help a lot MORE if something on this page said which game this is.  Is it the one where players take it in turns to move the contents of a hollow along, or is it the one where you hide beans in a cup and have to guess how many were hidden or...

Get beans, trade beans, sow fields, cash in fields, get coins, person with x coins wins (for given value of x)... - Kazuhiko
Where x is most  --Angoel


The official rules can be viewed via the Rio Grande site at http://www.riograndegames.com/uploads/Game/Game_36_gameRules.pdf.  The following rules are a summary and may not exactly correspond with the wording in the rules that ship with the game.

Deal a hand to each player to start (exact hand size varies with expansion set and number of players; typically, 5 cards). Cards in hand must be kept in the order in which they are dealt at all times.

Players take turns in order. When deck runs out, discards are reshuffled into it; this happens twice. The game ends the third time the deck runs out. The game ends instantly, as soon as a player needs to take a card from the deck and can't.

Each player starts with two fields. A third field may be bought by any player at any point during the game for three coins. No player may have more than three fields. Each field may contain any number of bean cards, of any one bean type. If a bean of a type different to those already growing in a field is planted into that field, the beans previously in it get cashed in. A field containing just one bean may *not* be cashed in by a player who also owns a field containing more than one bean.

Each player also has a trading area.

Cards in the hand are kept hidden. Cards in the trading areas and fields are visible to all players. The number of cards in each treasury is secret, although its presence need not be. The discard pile is face up, but only the top card is visible (the rest being underneath it) and players may not examine the pile.

There is a special set of rules for different numbers of players:
With 3 players, remove the Cocoa Beans from the game. Each player starts the game with a 3rd bean field card and may not buy another. The game ends when the draw deck is exhausted for the second time.
With 4 or 5 players, remove the Coffee Beans from the game.
With 6 or 7 players , remove the Cocoa Beans and the Garden Beans fr om the game. To start the game, the dealer deals 3 cards to the starting player, 4 to the next clockwise play er, and 5 to the next clockwise player. He deals 6 to all other players. In step 4, the active player draws four cards instead of three. A 3rd bean field costs two gold coins instead of three.

The bean duel with two players uses the same rules as the game for three to seven players with the following changes:
-Remove the Garden Beans and the Cocoa Beans from the game.
-A player may only sell beans from his bean fields on his turn.
-When a player buys a 3rd bean field, he places the three gold coins face down in the box (out of the game).
-The game ends when the draw deck is exhausted for the first time.
-On a player’s turn, he does the following in the order indicated:
1. Plant or discard offered bean cards
The player may plant or discard the bean cards his opponent left as an offer in step 3 of his turn. This is omitted by the starting player on his first turn.
2. Plant bean cards & discard
After planting one or two cards in his bean fields (as in the normal game), the player may discard one card from anywhere in his hand face up on the discard pile.
3. Draw, plant, and offer beans
The active player draws the three topmost cards from the draw deck and puts them face up on the table so both players can see them. I f the topmost card on the discard pile matches any of the cards just drawn, the player adds it to them. He does the same with the new topmost card from the discard pile until the topmost card on the discard pile does not match any of the drawn cards. Now the player may plant any of these drawn (fr om the draw deck or discard pile) cards he wants, selling such beans as he can and wants in the process. He leaves any drawn cards he does not want as an offer to his opponent. He need not plant any of the drawn cards. The players can earn more gold coins through this extended draw.
4. Draw new bean cards
The active player draws two car ds from the draw deck. He draws them one at a time, placing each in turn at the back of his hand.

Turn sequence

During their turn, each player does the following:

1. They *must* play the first card in their hand (the one at the front, the one dealt to them earliest) into a field. This may result in them having to cash in beans!

2. They *may* play the next card in their hand into a field.

3. They *must* take the top two cards from the deck and place them face up into their trading area.

4. Trading opens. Players may make offers and trade cards from (and only from) their hands (but they may offer/trade any card(s) in their hands in any order) and the cards in the active player's trading area. Traded cards go into the recipient's trading area. Trade may only occur with the player whose turn it is. No cards may ever be traded from fields. No cards can ever get placed *into* a player's hand by trading.  No cards which have been traded once may get traded again - once a bean has been traded it must be planted in the field of the person it has been traded with.

5. Trading ends whenever the player whose turn it is decides it should. At end of trading, each player must plant all cards in their trading area into their fields. This may involve cashing in beans, possibly several times; take note of the order in which beans are planted into fields if there are more types of beans being planted than fields they are being planted into.

6. The player ends their turn by drawing cards from the deck, one by one, and placing them at the *back* of their hand (so they get played last). Again, exact number of cards drawn here varies. If players started with a hand of 5, three cards are drawn in this stage.
Does it?  I've only ever seen the game played with people taking three cards.  --Angoel
Yep, in the six or seven person version, you draw 4 cards instead of 3.  Check the updated rules for different numbers of players above --Ranthrock?

Cashing in

Each bean card carries a list of how many cards of that type are needed in order to obtain one, two, three and four coins when cashing in a field. To cash in a field, count the beans in it and work out the largest amount of coins you can obtain from them. This may be none at all. Place that many of the cards face down in your treasury (a coin is drawn on the back of each card). The rest of the cards go on top of the discard pile, face up. This means the deck gets smaller with each reshuffle, and in practice the first time you reshuffle, you are actually halfway through the game).  Fields with more than one card must be cashed in in preference to fields with only one card.

For reference: the basic game has 20 of its most common bean, Blue Beans, and 6 of the least common, Garden Beans.  1-3 Blue beans are worth 0 coins; 4-5 are worth 1 coin; 6-7 are worth 2 coins; 8-9 are worth 3 coins; 10 or more are worth 4 coins.  1 Garden bean on its own is worth nothing; 2 Garden beans are worth 2 coins (when sold as a pair), 3 or more Garden beans are worth 3 coins (when all sold together).  For each even number between 6 and 20, there is one type of bean with exactly that many of it in the deck.


When the game ends, all players discard all cards not in their fields, and cash in all beans in their fields. The player with the most coins in their treasury wins.

In a three-player game without expansion sets, scores tend to average 22-24 coins at the end of the game, with a difference of 4-6 between winning player and last place. This tends to make buying a third beanfield rather pointless unless one is *extremely* adept at trading anyway.


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Last edited January 23, 2009 6:12 am (viewing revision 24, which is the newest) (diff)