Bohnanza is a fast-moving card game where players are trying to make the most money from growing beans.
The deck is made up of a bunch of different bean cards, which come in varied amounts. The rarer a bean is, the money it’s worth: there’s plenty of chili beans, for instance, whereas there are very few garden beans. Each player begins the game with five cards in their hand and two “fields” where they may plant things. On your turn, three things happen: first, you plant a bean from your hand in one of your fields – you can plant a second bean as well if you like, either in the same field as the first bean (assuming it’s the same type) or in a second field. What you cannot do is mix up beans in the same field.
Then you flip over the top two bean cards from the deck, and a round of haggling breaks out. You may want at least one of the bean cards yourself, and if so nobody can stop you taking them. But it’s quite possible that you don’t, and someone else does, so people will be offering trades: the crucial thing to remember here that all traded beans must be planted on this turn, so if you or anybody else ends up with a bean to plant and no empty field, you have to harvest in order to free up space to plant.
Harvesting is what gives you money: cards are flipped over to represent money and any surplus cards are discarded. You aren’t always forced to harvest: you may choose to. But note that when harvesting you cannot harvest a field with a single bean (unless both fields only have one bean in) . During trading players may also donate cards to each other, if the recipient is happy to receive them. Why you would do this will become clear below…
After the trading and planting, you add three cards to your hand from the deck. An important note here: cards must always be added to the back of your card hand. When your turn comes around again you must plant the card (or cards) from the front of your hand; you can’t cherry-pick from anywhere else. So a crucial factor in Bohnanza is the order your cards are in – that’s why successful trading is so essential, and why donating cards to other players occurs: not only is trading about maximizing the amount of beans in your field (more beans = more money when harvesting) it’s also about getting rid of cards you don’t want to plant.
Finally, you can choose on your turn to spend three money to build a third field.
Play continues until the deck has been exhausted three times, and then players add up their money. The richest player wins.
A classic trading game where the mechanics are really simple, and the play progresses through discussion. Very neat.
There's no Take That, although people may refuse to trade and force you to harvest beans you really wanted to keep.
Non-existant. You're always involved in the trading rounds, and those are the main thrust of the game.
Low. You're trying to get a whole load of the same beans in your field, and avoid tearing them up too soon.
Although it's longer than quite a few card games, Bohnanza will fly by. The bean cards are always shuffled and the trading keeps it lively.