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Bohnanza Card Game Rules: How do you Play Bohnanza?

Bonanza is a German card game about politics and trading. The game was created by Uwe Rosenberg and was released by Rio Grande Games in English during the 1990s.

Bohnanza rules and overview of the game

The game is played with a deck of cards. Each card has a funny illustration. The illustrations are of eight sorts of beans. Each species of bean has a different scarcity. The object for each player is to attempt to plant, grow and sell its crop in order to raise cash.

The main restriction for each player is they may only plant, farm and harvest two or three different types of bean at the same time. However, players can obtain all the different sorts of beans according to the random selection of the deck of cards and therefore are obliged to begin trading with the other players to be successful farmers.

The original Bohnanza rules stipulate the game should be played by a minimum of three players and a maximum of six players. The duration of the game is approximately one hour. The Rio Grande version of the same game has slightly different rules and can be played by just two people or up to seven players in total.

Bohnanza Rules Step One

Shuffle and deal the entire deck of cards. The number of cards dealt to each player is determined by the number of players. (In the original version of the game, players would have five cards each) The cards must be kept in the order in which they were dealt at all times.

Bohnanza Rules Step Two

Each player takes a turn in order. Every player begins with two fields (invisible) to start planting and growing beans. A third invisible field can be bought at any time during the game for three tokens. Three fields is the maximum any player can own at a time. There is no limit to the number of beans a player can plant in his fields, providing they are of a single type of bean.

Should a bean of a different sort be planted from those already planted into that field the beans previously planted must be harvested for tokens (money). A field that contains just a single bean is not allowed to be harvested by a player who, in addition, owns fields containing more than one bean.

Bohnanza Rules Step Three

Every player also has a trading area. Cards held in the hand are kept hidden from other players. However, the cards in the fields or trading areas are visible to all. In the treasury the number of cards is secret although their presence need not be. All discarded playing cards are kept face up, only revealing the top card as the rest are beneath and cannot be seen by players.

Bohnanza Rules Step Four

When the deck of cards runs out, the discard pile is then reshuffled into it; this may only happen twice. The game is over if the deck runs out of cards for a third time.

During each player’s turn, they do the following:

One. The Bohnanza Rules state players must play the first card in their hand into the field. That is the card at the front, the card dealt to them earliest. This might result in them having to harvest beans.

Two. Players must play the next card in their hand into a field.

Three. Players are obliged to take the top two cards from the deck and put them face up into their trading area.

Four. When trading begins. Players can trade cards and make offers only from their hands, but players may trade or offer any card they have in their hand in any order they choose from cards in the current player’s trading spot.

Traded cards must go into the beneficiary’s trading area. Trade is dependent on the current player and may only continue as they direct on their turn. Cards may not be traded from any of the fields. No cards get placed into a player’s hand by trading. Cards can only be traded once – once a bean has been traded it must be planted in the field of the purchaser.

Bohnanza Rules Step Five

The trading ends whenever the player whose turn it is decides it should. When the trading is over every player has to plant all cards in their trading area into their fields. This might involve harvesting beans many several times. Players should take note of the order in which beans are planted into fields to ensure there are not more types of beans planted than fields they are being planted into.

Bohnanza Rules Step Six

Every player ends their turn by drawing cards from the deck and placing them at the back of their hand. This so these cards are played last. The exact number of cards drawn here varies depending on your starting hand. Draw back up to the number of cards in your starting hand.


This is quite an exciting game and can be enjoyed by players over the age of ten years. It’s fast paced yet involved, with most games taking less than an hour to complete.

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