How to Play Jaipur

How to Play Jaipur

You are a great merchant in the great city of Jaipur. The Maharaja will invite only the richest merchant to be selected as the best trader in all the land. You must compete with your rival to be the first to achieve two seals of excellence. Buy, exchange, and sell goods at the best price on the market while all the while keeping an eye on your camel herd. Make the most money to gain a seal of excellence.

Jaipur is a two-player set collection and card game designed by Sebastien Pauchon. Players trade goods cards to create sets, then sell those sets to make money. There is an element of push your luck and trying to guess what your opponent might do next that keeps you on your toes. Jaipur is fast-paced and has a nice balance of luck and skill that makes it a good choice for passing time and for couples.

How to Win

During a round, on your turn, you take new cards into your hand from the market or trade them in for goods you want to discard. You can also sell goods to make money. Selling higher value goods makes more money, as does selling sets of three or more. You can also collect camels. Camels have no value but can be used to trade for goods you want from the market. The player with the most camels at the end of a round gets five bonus rupees.

Whoever had the most rupees at the end of the round wins. Best of three rounds wins the game.

Set-Up

  1. Sort the goods tokens by type with the highest value on top and the lowest value on the bottom.
  2. Spread each pile out so players can see the values.
  3. Sort the bonus tokens by type then shuffle and stack each of the three piles.
  4. Put the camel token and three seals of excellence next to the bonus tile stacks.
  5. Place three camel cards face-up between the two players and shuffle all the remaining cards together.
  6. Shuffle all the remaining cards and deal five to each player. Place the rest face-down in easy reach of both players to form a draw deck.
  7. Take the first two cards from the deck and place them face-up next to the three Camels. This forms the Market.
  8. Players remove any Camels from their hand and place them in a stack next to them. This forms the player's herd.

You are ready to play!

Jaipur Second Edition Components (Credit: Space Cowboys)

How to Play Jaipur

On your turn, you may take one of two actions; Take cards, or Sell cards.

Taking Cards

If you choose to take cards you can do one of the following:

  1. Take the goods you want from the market into your hand and exchange them with goods from your hand and/or your camel herd. You many never finish with more than seven cards in your hand.
  2. Take one single goods card, as long as it doesn't take you over seven cards in your hand. Replace it with the top card from the draw deck.
  3. Take all the camels and add them to your herd.

Selling Cards

Choose a type of card you are going to sell. Discard as many of those cards as you want from your hand to the discard pile. Take as many tokens as cards you sold from the corresponding stack. If you sold three or more goods, take a corresponding face-down bonus token from the bonus stack. NOTE: You are restricted to selling a minimum of two rubies, gold or silver at a time.

Round End

The round ends when either three goods token stacks are depleted. Or if there are no cards left in the draw pile while trying to fill the market.

Scoring

  1. At the end of the round, the player with the most camels in their herd receives the camel token, worth five rupees.
  2. Players turn over their tokens and add the numbers showing to determine who had the most rupees.
  3. The richer player gets a Seal of Excellence.
  4. Best of three rounds wins the game.
Jaipur Second Edition Artwork (Credit: Space Cowboys)

Top Tips for Jaipur

Push your luck – The bonus points for selling more goods can be huge. 10 bonus points can be a massive swing so don't write off. Simply collecting five low value but common cloth to get a big bonus. It's my favourite strategy.

Snipe the high-value goods – It's not my strategy of choice but in a recent tournament I played, lots of my opponents sold the first good of everything they could get. The first token in the stack is often more valuable than the rest. Selling the first one or two can win you the highest value goods and slow down your opponent, but you miss out on the bonuses.

Camel Up! – The player with the most camels gets five points, plus camels are useful. Camels give you the option for big plays, you can switch in new goods without it costing you any goods from your hand. You can do a big sale, then on your next turn brings in a whole new set of cards ready for another sale. If your opponent doesn't take them on their turn, then rinse and repeat.

If you have lots of camels and your opponent has none, you are in control of the game. More often than not, the person who wins the camel token wins the round.

Cut your losses – If you are holding out for a bonus but your opponent also starts taking an interest in the same good as you, consider selling early, especially if high value, rare cards are as stake. It's a risk worth considering, and games can be won and lost on it.

Kill the round early – If you suspect you are in the lead, consider forcing the end of the round by depleting three stacks or emptying the market deck. Don't get greedy. Don't give your opponent time to take the lead back.

Poker Face - No matter how much your opponent's last turn messed you up, don't let it show!

I hope you enjoy playing Jaipur. I do! Learn more about the game by reading our review. Also, the second edition has just arrived and is available now!