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How to Play Bohnanza Card Game: Rules and Instructions

How to Play Bohnanza Card Game: Rules and Instructions

Objective of Bohnanza

The objective of Bohnanza is to plant and harvest beans in order to earn more coins than the other players.


  • Place the 3rd bean field cards in the box. Outside of certain player counts, players will have to purchase a 3rd bean field card later in the game.
  • The oldest players shuffles all of the bean cards together.
  • Each player is dealt five bean cards that will form their hand. Players can look at their own hand, but they may not change the order of the cards. Once a card is in your hand, you cannot change its position.
Starting hand
One of the players was dealt these five cards at the start of the game. The player has to keep their hand in this order. They cannot rearrange any of the cards.
  • Place the remaining bean cards face down (coin side up) in the middle of the table. This pile is the draw pile. You should leave room next to the draw pile for a discard pile.
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts the game.

Bohnanza Cards

Bohnanza has eleven different types of beans. Each type of bean has a different quantity in the game and a value when you sell them.

Printed next to the picture on each card is a number. The number indicates how many of that type of bean that there are in the game.

Along the bottom of the card is the “beanometer”. This shows you how much the bean type is worth when you sell them. The number is how many of the bean type you have to sell at one time. The number of coins pictured is how many coins you will sell the cards for.

Card from Bohnanza
This is one of the Cocoa Bean cards. They yellow number inside the picture shows that there are four Cocoa Bean cards in the deck. Along the bottom is the beanometer. If you harvest two Cocoa Beans you will receive two coins. If you sell three you will receive three coins. Finally four cards are worth four coins.

The back of each card features a gold coin. When you earn coins you will flip a card over to the back side for it to represent a coin you have earned.

Playing Bohnanza

On your turn you will take the following steps:

  1. Plant bean cards
  2. Draw, trade and donate bean cards
  3. Plant traded and donated bean cards
  4. Draw new bean cards

After you have completed all four steps, play passes to the next player to the left/clockwise.

Planting Bohnanza Bean Cards

To begin your turn you must plant the first card in your hand. As you can’t reorganize the cards in your hand, this is the top card in your hand. You must plant the card in one of your fields.

If the first card in your hand matches the bean type already in one of your fields, you can add it to the same field.

Adding a Green Bean to a field that already has a Green Bean
This player already has a Green Bean field. The first card in their hand is a Green Bean. Therefore they will add it to the same field as the other Green Bean card.

Should the card not match any of your current fields, check to see if there is an empty bean field. If there is an empty bean field, you can play the first card to the empty field. To start the game you can only have two fields planted at a time. Later in the game you can acquire a third bean field to plant bean cards in.

Starting a new bean field in Bohnanza
The first card in this player’s hand was a Garden Bean. As they didn’t have a Garden Bean field, they will play it to an empty field. This player can plant one other field.

If the first card does not match any or your fields and you don’t have any empty fields, you will be forced to harvest a field in order to make room for the first card in your hand. See the Harvesting Bohnanza Bean Cards section below for more details. Once the field has been harvested, place the first card in the field that is now empty.

Forced to harvest field
The first card in this player’s hand is the Chili Bean. This player is currently using their two fields for Red Beans and Green Beans. Since there is no where to plant the Chili Bean, they will have to harvest either the Red Bean or the Green Bean field.

Planting Your Second Bean Card

After you have planted the first bean card, you have the option of planting the second card in your hand. If you want to plant the second card, you can plant it like the first card. If you don’t want to plant the second card from your hand, you can choose not to plant it.

Playing the second card from your hand
After playing the Garden Bean as their first card, the Coffee Bean card was their second card. This player decided to play the Coffee Bean card to their second field.

Whether you choose to plant the second card or not, you may not plant the third card in your hand this turn.

Should you have no cards in your hand, you will skip this step in its entirety.

Draw, Trade and Donate Bean Cards

After you have planted one or two cards, you will draw the top two cards from the draw deck. Place both cards face up on the table so everyone can see the bean on each card.

Drawing new bean cards in Bohnanza
To start the second step of their turn, this player drew the Green Bean and Coffee Bean card from the draw pile. As they already have a Coffee Bean planted, they decide to keep that card. As they have no use for the Green Bean, they will try to give the card to another player.

The current player then decides what they want to do with these two cards.

You may choose to keep neither, one, or both of the cards. If you choose to keep a card(s), you will set them aside to plant later on your turn.

Otherwise you can try to get rid of the bean cards by either trading or donating them to another player.

This step ends when the active player does not want to or cannot make anymore trades or donations.

Trading and Donating Rules

When trading or donating cards you must follow these rules:

  • Trades can only be conducted between two players. One of the players involved in the trade must be the active player.
  • The active player can trade/donate cards from their hand and/or the cards that they just drew from the draw pile. You can create a combination of cards from your hand and the ones that you just drew.
  • Non-active players may only trade/donate cards from their hands. They may only trade/donate with the active player.
  • Both players involved in a trade/donation must agree to the transaction. If a player doesn’t agree to the trade/donation, it is not completed. You should not remove cards from your hand until the trade/donation has been accepted by both players.
  • When trading cards, one player can end up trading more cards than the other player.
Making a trade in Bohnanza
As this player didn’t want the Green Bean card they either have to try to trade or donate it to another player. They offer the Green Bean card plus the Wax Bean card from the top of their hand for a Garden Bean card. Another player accepts the trade. Both players set aside the cards they acquired in the trade.
  • Once a card has been traded/donated in a turn, it cannot be traded or donated again in the same turn. Once a player receives a card through a trade/donation, they should keep it on the table and set it off to the side.
  • When you donate a card, you can offer it to another player without getting a card in return. The player you offer it to has to accept the card before you give it to them. If they decline, you can offer it to another player, or you will have to keep it.

Plant Traded and Donated Beans

After all of the trades and donations have been completed, all of the beans that players received through trades and donations need to be planted. The active player must also plant any of the cards that they drew that they chose to keep and/or couldn’t trade/donate.

Planting bean cards recently acquired
In the previous step this player decided to keep the Coffee Bean card they drew, and traded for the Garden Bean card. They will plant each card to the corresponding field.

The players may plant the cards in any order that they want. Each player has to plant all of the cards they acquired in the previous step though. When planting bean cards follow the rules in the Planting Bohnanza Bean Cards section.

If you do not have room to plant a bean card, you must harvest one of your bean fields. See the Harvesting Bohnanza Bean Field Cards section below for more details.

Draw New Bean Cards

The last step of your turn involves drawing new bean cards for your hand. You will draw three cards and add them to your hand.

When you draw cards you should draw them one at a time. Each time you draw a card you will add it to the back of your hand.

Adding new cards to your hand
To end their turn this player drew three new cards. As they drew each card they added it to the back of their hand.

If the draw pile should run out of cards, you will shuffle the discard pile to form a new draw pile.

After you draw the three cards and add them to your hand, your turn ends. Play passes to the player on your left.

Harvesting Bohnanza Bean Cards

While playing Bohnanza you will have to harvest your bean fields in order to acquire coins and open up fields to plant new bean types.

At any time during the game you may choose to harvest a field. You can harvest a field even when you aren’t the active player.

When you choose to harvest a bean field, you must sell all of the cards in that field. You will count up the number of cards that you have planted in the field. Compare the number of cards in the field to the beanometer on the bottom of the cards to determine how many coins that you will earn. You will receive a number of coins equal to the highest level you reach. You may end up selling bean cards for zero coins.

Harvesting a bean field in Bohnanza
This player has created a field with three Garden Beans. When they harvest the three cards, they will sell them for three coins.

Flip over one card that you just sold to the coin side for each coin you earned. Add these cards to any coin cards you already acquired. The rest of the cards you sold are added face up to the discard pile.

Harvesting a Blue Bean field
This player has decided to harvest their Blue Bean field. They have seven Blue Beans so they will sell the cards for two coins. They needed one more Blue Bean card to sell the cards for eight coins.
Receiving coins for harvesting a field
This player sold their Blue Bean field for two coins. They will turn two of the cards to the coin side and add them to their coin pile. They will then discard the rest of the Blue Bean cards.

You may only harvest a field if it has at least two or more cards in it. The one exception is if all of your fields only have one card each. In this case you can choose which one card field you want to sell.

Buying a Third Bean Field

Eventually you will want to acquire a third bean field so you can grow three different types of beans at a time. At any time in the game you may choose to purchase a third field. You can never acquire a fourth field.

To acquire a third bean field, you must pay three coins. Discard the top three cards from your pile of coins to the discard pile (place the cards so the bean type is visible). Then take one of the 3rd bean field cards and place it in front of you. For the rest of the game you may plant three different types of beans at the same time.

Buying a 3rd Bean Field card in Bohnanza
This player has decided to purchase a 3rd bean field card. They will pay three coins for the card. After purchasing the card, the player can plant three different types of beans at the same time.

End of Bohnanza

Players will keep taking turns until the draw deck runs out of cards for the third time. If this happens during the second step (Draw, Trade and Donate Bean Cards), you will continue playing the current turn until you complete the third step (Plant Traded and Donated Beans). Should there not be enough cards for the active player to draw both cards at the start of the third step, they will draw whatever cards remain. If the draw deck runs out for the third time during step four (Draw New Bean Cards), the game ends immediately.

All of the players set the cards in their hand to the side. Each player sells all of the beans currently planted in their fields following the harvesting rules above.

Once all fields have been harvested, the players count up how many coins they currently have. The player with the most coins wins the game.

Winning Bohnanza
At the end of the game the players have acquired the following number of coins: 12, 10, 9, and 8. The top player acquired the most coins so they have won the game.

If two or more players are tied with the most coins, the tied player with more cards in their hand at the end of the game wins.

Variations for Different Number of Players

The rules for Bohnanza remain mostly the same with different player counts. Listed below are changes you should apply to the rules depending on the number of players.

Three Players

If there are only three players in the game, remove all of the Cocoa Bean cards from the game before you shuffle the cards.

Each player also starts the game with the 3rd bean field card meaning they can plant three different fields from the start of the game.

Finally the game ends when the draw deck runs out the second time.

Four or Five Players

Remove the Coffee Bean cards from the game.

Six or Seven Players

Remove the Cocoa Beans and Garden Beans from the game.

To start the game the dealer deals the following number of cards to players:

  • First player – 3 cards
  • Second player  – 4 cards
  • Third player – 5 cards
  • Rest of players – 6 cards

During the fourth step of your turn (Draw New Bean Cards), you will draw four cards instead of three.

Finally you only have to pay two coins to purchase the 3rd field card.

Bean Duel (Two Players)

The two player game of Bohnanza actually differs a decent amount from the main game. You will make the following changes to the gameplay.

  • Remove the Garden Beans and Cocoa Beans from the game.
  • You may only sell beans from your fields on your own turn.
  • When you purchase the 3rd bean field card, return the three cards you used to purchase the card to the box. They are removed from the game.
  • The game ends when the draw pile runs out of cards.

The four steps in the game are also a little different.

Plant or Discard Offered Beans

To begin your turn you can choose whether you want to plant the bean cards offered to you by the other player. The other player chooses to offer you bean cards in the third step of their turn. If you don’t want to plant a bean card, you can discard it.

Plant Bean Cards and Discard

In this step you will plant the first card from your hand. You can also choose to plant the second card from your hand.

After you have planted one or two cards, you can choose one card from your hand to discard. The card can be anywhere in your hand. The card you discard is added to the discard pile.

Draw, Plant and Offer Beans

To start this step you will draw the three top cards from the draw pile. Place them face up on the table so both players can see them. If the top card on the discard pile matches any of the cards that you drew, you will add the card from the discard pile to the matching card you just drew. You will keep comparing the top card on the discard pile to the cards you drew. Keep adding the cards from the discard pile to the cards you drew until the top card on the discard pile doesn’t match any of the cards that you just drew. 

You then have the option of planting any of the cards you just drew/took from the discard pile. In the process you may have to harvest some of your bean fields to make room for these new cards.

Any cards you drew/took from the discard pile that you don’t want, you will offer to the other player. During the first step of their next turn they will choose which of these cards they want to plant.

Draw New Bean Cards

You will end your turn by drawing two cards from the draw pile. You will draw one card at a time adding them to the back of you hand.

Bohnanza FAQs

If you have any questions about how to play Bohnanza, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

Components for Bohnanza

Bohnanza Components

  • 24 Coffee Bean Cards
  • 22 Wax Bean Cards
  • 20 Blue Bean Cards
  • 18 Chili Bean Cards
  • 16 Stink Bean Cards
  • 14 Green Bean Cards
  • 12 Soy Bean Cards
  • 10 Black-eyed Bean Cards
  • 8 Red Bean Cards
  • 6 Garden Bean Cards
  • 4 Cocoa Bean Cards
  • 7 3rd Bean Field Cards
  • Instructions

Year: 1997 | Publisher: Amigo, Rio Grande Games | Designer: Uwe Rosenberg

Genres: Card, Family, Set Collection

Ages: 12+ | Number of Players: 2-7 | Length of Game: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Light-Moderate | Strategy: Moderate | Luck: Light-Moderate

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