My First Bohnanza Rules
My First Bohnanza
I Think I've Got It!
by Heike Kiefer, Hayo Siemsen & Uwe Rosenberg
Players: 3–5 Ages: 4 and up Duration: about 30 minutes
115 bean cards
5 bean field boards
Once upon a time…
… there was a beautiful princess. Many princes were courting her
and wanted to marry her, but Princess Natalie turned down one
after the other. Her father, the king, was very sad that his daughter
was not falling in love with any of her suitors.
Then he had an idea. Beans of any and all kinds were Natalie’s
favorite food. So he sent his heralds into the neighboring kingdoms
and had them announce that only a prince who was also planting,
harvesting, and trading beans—and who liked eating them—could
ask for his daughter’s hand.
It was not long before princes arrived from all the kingdoms around,
showing the beans they had brought with them to convince the
princess to marry them. Unfortunately, there were so many great
bean princes, Princess Natalie decided to challenge the princes to a
bean competition. They all planted the bean seeds they had brought
and harvested them. Each prince negotiated with the others as
best he could, in order to earn as many coins as possible. Luckily,
the prince who could show the most coins in the end happened to
be just the one that Princess Natalie had fallen in love with. As a
wedding gift, the prince consort baked a big, yummy bean cake for
And so they lived happily ever after and had at least one meal with
beans in it every day of their lives.
The Bean Cards
There are ten different types of beans.
The number of beans in the game is different for each type. The number of
beans there are of each type is printed on the bean cards.
There are four types of beans that have a beanometer with only one coin/number at the bottom of the card.
20 Mean Beans
16 Sour Beans
12 Broad Beans
8 Stink Beans
There are six types of beans that have a beanometer with two coin/numbers at the bottom of the card.
14 Sword Beans
12 Giant Beans
10 Dwarf Beans
9 Magic Beans
8 Dragon Beans
6 Princess Beans
The beanometer shows how many coins a player can get for harvesting this kind of bean. The numbers tell you how many bean cards of the same type need to be harvested in order to get one or two coins.
You cannot harvest one to three Sour Beans. Only if you have four Sour Beans to harvest will you get a coin
Harvesting your beans will earn you coins, which are shown on the back of the cards. Each card is worth one coin.
The Bean Fields
Each player has his or her own board, which shows his or her bean
fields. If you only need two bean fields, you can fold the third one to the back.
Each field has enough space for one row of cards, which, if possible, should
all be the same type of bean. Each row can be as long as you want.
Getting Ready to Play
You play with the following four bean types: 20 Mean Beans, 16 Sour Beans, 12 Broad Beans and 8 Stink Beans. Put all other cards aside in a pile, with the coin side up. You will need these coin cards later, when you harvest your beans.
Shuffle the cards with the four bean types and deal five cards to each player The players put these cards in front of themselves, face up, in a line.
The Bohnanza Rule:
Players may never change the order of the cards in front of them during the game. Sorting your cards, as you usually do in other card games, is not allowed.
This means that your first card goes all the way to the left of the line and new cards are always added to the right of the ones you already have. Put all cards that have not been dealt in the middle of the table as a draw pile, with the coin side up. Finally, give one bean field board to each player, and fold over the third field so that only two are visible.
How to Play
The youngest player begins. On your turn, you take the following three actions in the order listed below:
1. Plant bean cards
2. Trade bean cards
3. Draw bean cards
1. Plant Bean Cards
Your bean field board shows two bean fields. On your turn, you
must plant the first card from your line (the one at the very left)
in one of your bean fields. This will begin or expand a row of
bean cards of one type.
Then, you may plant a second card in one of your fields (again,
the one that is now at the very left of your line). You may not
plant more than two cards from your row in one turn.
2. Trade Bean Cards
Next, you turn over two cards from the top of the draw pile, put them next to
the pile, and begin trading with the other players. The other players may
not trade with each other, only with the player whose turn it is.
• On your turn, you may offer cards from your line and/or the cards you have turned over from the pile for trade. You may offer or request several cards in exchange for one card.
• The other players may only offer cards from their own lines for trade. It does not matter where in the line the offered cards are, but the order of the other cards may not be changed.
• You may give away cards from your line or cards you turned over as a gift, without demanding cards in return. However, no one is forced to accept such a gift.
Do not put bean cards you receive from a trade into your line, and you may not use them for further trades. You have to immediately plant them in your own bean fields. The same goes for the two cards you turned over from the pile, if you want to keep them or if none of the other players want to take them
You can choose the order in which you plant the cards you receive in trades. Also, you are allowed to harvest beans before planting the next card (see “Harvesting Beans”, below).
When you do not want to trade any more beans, or if none of the other players makes any more offers, the trading phase of your turn ends.
3. Draw Bean Cards
As the last part of your turn, you must draw three cards from the draw pile, one after the other and add them to your line—always to the right! Then, the turn to play passes clockwise, to your left hand neighbor.
The “Mixed Patch Rule”
If you have to plant a third type of bean when there are already two other types on your fields, you may put the third type of bean in either one of your fields.
This will cover up the beans that were planted in the field before, for the time being. That first type can only be planted again or harvested after the new type has been harvested. This means that there may be several different types of bean in the same field.
You always harvest a bean field as soon as it has the necessary number of beans of the same type in an unbroken row, even if it is not your turn! The beanometer on the card shows how many cards you need of that bean type in order to get a coin. Take a card off the coin card pile and put it in front of you, separate from your other cards. Put the harvested beans next to the draw
pile with the bean side up, forming a discard pile.
Winning the Game
If there are three players, the game ends when the last card from
the draw pile is turned over. The player who turned the last card
can still finish his or her turn as usual.
With four players, the game ends when the draw pile has been
emptied for the second time, and with five players when it has
been emptied for the third time. In these cases, when the draw pile
runs out, shuffle the discard pile and make a new draw pile.
When the game ends, the bean cards in players’ lines and the
beans not harvested from their fields are not worth anything. The
player with the most coins wins—if several players are tied for the
highest number of coins, they are all winners!
Playing With the Other Bean Cards
After several rounds of play, everyone should be familiar with the basic rules, and you are ready to use some new types of beans. You play with the following six bean types: 14 Sword Beans, 12 Giant Beans, 10 Dwarf Beans, 9 Magic Beans, 8 Dragon Beans, and 6 Princess Beans. The other types now serve
as coin cards.
The new element is the beanometer with two coins. Players can now choose when they want to harvest a bean type in one of their fields. You can harvest once you have enough beans of the same type for one coin in an uninterrupted row, but you may want to wait and try to plant more of them, until you
have enough for two coins in your field.
At the end of the game, this means that players who have enough beans for one coin in their field can still harvest those beans. The player takes a card off the coin card pile and adds it to his or her earnings. Once all players who are able to harvest have done so, the player with the most coins wins.
The following advanced rules will familiarize children with the whole set of rules for the classic Bohnanza game, one step at a time. You should decide together with the children when to progress from one step to the next, but we suggest you play each step at least three times before explaining the rules to the
Step 1: All Cards Are In Play
In this step, you play the game with all the bean cards. This introduces two rule changes:
First, you now play with three bean fields instead of two. This is necessary because all ten different types of bean are in play. Players should
unfold their bean field boards so that all three fields are visible.
Second: So far, all harvested beans were put on the discard pile, while
the coins came from a separate coin card pile. Now, a player who harvests beans turns one (or two) of them over to the coin side, and adds them to his or her collected coins. Then, she or he puts all the remaining bean cards on the discard pile.
Step 2: A Harvest That Does not Earn Coins
From this step on, the “Mixed Patch Rule” does not apply anymore. Instead, you play with Bohnanza’s “normal” harvesting rule, meaning there will be harvests that do not earn a player any coins. Under this rule, a player may be forced to harvest a row of beans to plant another (fourth) type. If there are not enough beans in the row to earn any coins, the player must discard all of those beans.
Step 3: Buying the Third Bean Field
From this step on, players can decide if they want to play with two or three bean fields. All players start the game with two fields, with the third one folded over. During the game, players can buy their third field for three coins. A player who wants to do so takes three of his or her collected coins and puts them on
the discard pile with the bean side up. Players can do this at any point during the game. To show that the player now owns three fields, he or she folds open the bean field board so that all three fields are visible.
Step 4: Taking the Cards In Hand
In this step, players hold their cards in their hands rather than putting them down in front of themselves in a line. But, even in their hands, players may not change the order of their cards. For dealing out and drawing new cards, this means that a new card is always put behind the last card drawn. When the active player has to plant a card from his or her hand, this must always be the first card—in other words, the one at the front, which is completely visible.
Young children often have difficulties holding a large number of cards in hand at the same time. In this case, you can skip Step 4 and go straight to Step 5. If you do, however, we suggest that you start playing the “full-scale” Bohnanza with revealed hands as well. If and when the children are ready, you can still move to
playing with cards in hand at a later point.
Step 5: The “Protection Rule”
As the final step, you should introduce the “protection rule” for single bean cards in a bean field. This means that a bean field with only one card on it may only be harvested if the player in question has one or no cards in all of his or her fields.
With this last step, the children have gradually been introduced to all the rules of classic Bohnanza. It may well be that they now want to play with the “real” Bohnanza cards as well. You can swap bean types from this edition with types from the Bohnanza base game, but if you do, you should swap types of the same frequency for each other. For example, you could swap the Princess Beans for the Garden Beans, the Stink Beans for the Red Beans, the Dwarf Beans for the Black-eyed Beans, and so on.
It should be up to the children how many bean types they want to swap. The beans from the normal game do not change the rules any further, but the more complex beanometers will be more challenging for the children, who now need to consider much more carefully when and with whom to trade their beans.
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