Basari is a card game for three or four players where your aim is to score the most points over a set number of rounds. The theme of the game is that you are merchants, haggling for the best deals.
As well as cards the game comes with gems – red, yellow, green and blue. At the start of the game each player receives three of each colour and three action cards. The playing of the action cards is key to the game: during each round the players are dealt a card from the deck which shows three things – a number of workers (between 1 and 4) a number of points, and a number of gems. The players action cards dictate which of these options they’re after – having the most gems in any colour will score you points at the end of the round (although red is most valuable; blue the least), scoring points will obviously score you points, and workers will potentially win you 12 points at the end of the round.
Everyone decides secretly which action they are going for and play the appropriate card face-down before simultaneously revealing them. If you’re the only player to choose a certain action, you get to do it. If one other player has chosen the same option, the pair of you haggle, making offers and counter-offers of gems until someone is happy to take them and let the other player pick up the new gems. If more than two players have chosen the same option, they all cancel each other out!
A round ends when any one or more players reach fifteen workers on their accumulated cards. Points are then awarded to players with the most gems (and they also lose some gems if they are in the lead) and 12 points go to any players with at least 15 workers.
We’ve pretty much explained all the rules here so in terms of learning them you’re almost there. But in terms of mastering the game – that’s tricky! Each turn you need to not only judge what your best move is, but what the other players are thinking of doing too…
The second-guessing angle in Basari I really enjoy – it’s possible to be your own worst enemy at times, and working out what the other players are going after is only half the battle. It feels like a halfway point between Poker and… something rather less serious!
There are no ways to target anybody per se, but if a player is streaking into a healthy lead opponents may try and second-guess their choices to make things difficult.
Your choices are minimal - there's only three each round - but it's really about second-guessing others; or trying to!
Simple rules and fast play make Basari rather moreish.