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How to Play Sea Salt and Paper

extra salt


Sea Salt and Paper is a fast-paced, easy-to-setup game that is simple to learn, teach, and carry. It’s the perfect pocket game to play with friends, accommodating up to four players. Each round takes about five minutes, and the game requires several rounds to finish, depending on how you set the end conditions.

Setting up the Game

The Deck
Shuffle all the cards and place them face down in front of you. This forms the deck.

Deck Piles
Create two card piles. Take two cards from the deck and place them face up in two separate columns.
Players do not start with any cards in their hands.

Game Flow

A randomly chosen player starts the game. After their turn, play continues clockwise. When a round ends, scores are added to the scoreboard. If no player has reached the winning points threshold, the next round begins. If all cards in the deck are used and no one has ended the game, no scores are counted, and a new round begins. The recommended winning points are 40, 35, and 30 points for 2,3 and 4-player games. But you can agree on any number before starting the game.

Game Turn

Drawing Cards

During your turn, you must draw cards. You have two options:
1. Take the top card from one of the piles. You can not browse through the pile to choose a card.
2. Draw two cards from the deck. After looking at them, select one to keep and discard the other into one of the piles. If a pile is empty, place the discarded card on that pile.

Playing Your Due Cards

Some cards, known as Due cards (marked with two symbols in the top left corner), can be played to perform specific actions, such as:
● Picking one card from a pile
● Taking another turn

Place the played Due cards face up in front of you, as you will need them later to count your score. You can play as many Due cards as you have and wish to play. You are not required to play any or all of your Due cards in one turn. Chains of Due card actions can occur and are part of the game's combo strategy.

Ending the Game

If you have at least seven points, you can declare the end of the game in one of two ways:
1. Say "Stop": All players stop immediately, and points are counted and added to previous scores.
2. Say "Last Chance": When you are confident you have more points than everyone else, you can bet on your points. Everyone else gets one last turn, and then points are counted. If the player who declared "Last Chance" has the most points (or is tied for the most), they win the bet and add a color bonus (the count of the color they have the most of) to their score. Other players get their color bonuses but not their normal points. If another player has more points, the caller only gets their color bonus, and everyone else scores normally.


Due Cards

These are action cards that you can play in pairs to perform their actions. Each pair you play is worth one point. The types of Due cards are:
● Pair of Crab
○ Choose a discard pile. And choose a card from it. You can browse and pick any you like but you can not shuffle.
● Pair of Boat
○ Take another turn immediately.
● Pair of Fish
○ Take one card from the deck.
● Pair of Swimmer and Shark
○ Steal a card from another player’s hand of your choice.


These cards increase in points the more you collect. The types and their respective points are:
● Shells: 6 cards (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 points)
● Octopus: 5 cards (0, 3, 6, 9, 12 points)
● Penguins: 3 cards (1, 3, 5 points)
● Sailors: 2 cards (0, 5 points)

Points Multipliers

There are four different multiplier cards, one for each type. These multipliers provide additional points for each corresponding card you have. For example, if you have 4 boat cards and the boat multiplier, you gain an extra 4 points. The multiplier cards are:
● Boat
● Fish
● Penguin
● Sailor (The Captain)

Mermaid Cards

Mermaid cards are crucial, and there are four in total. Each mermaid doesn't have points on its own but allows you to assign yourself a color bonus. Group your cards by color and count the number in the most frequent color group. This count is added as a color bonus. With two mermaids, your second most frequent color group is also counted. If a player collects all four mermaid cards at any point, the game ends immediately, and that player wins. Mermaid cars are considered white, so you can count them too.

Points Calculation Example:

In the example cards below, the player scores 19 points. it is how points are calculated:
● Due Cards: (+2)
○ Pair of Fish = +1
○ Pair of Swimmer and Shark = +1
● Collectors: (+5)
○ Shell = +2
○ Penguin = +3
● Multiplier: (+6)
○ Fish = +2
○ Penguine = +4
● Mermaids: (+6)
○ Green color bonus = +4
○ Pink color bonus = +2