This is a documentation for Board Game Arena: play board games online !


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The Deck

  • There are 5 suits: yellow, blue, white, green, and red.
  • Each suit has 12 cards: numbered cards from 2 to 10, plus three "investment" cards marked with a handshake symbol.
  • The entire deck is shuffled and used in each round.

The Board

  • On the board is a separate discard pile for each suit.
  • Cards you play go to your side of the board, below that color's discard pile. A group of one or more played cards in a suit is called an "expedition".
  • To the side of the board is a shared draw pile.


  • You hold 8 cards in your hand.
  • Each turn has two steps: first, either play or discard a card. Then take a card, either from the draw pile or from the top of any discard pile.
  • For each expedition of a separate color (suit): If you have an investment/handshake card, it can be played first, but is not required. Numbered cards are played in increasing order, but do not have to be in perfect sequence. Once you've played a numbered card, you may no longer play any lower-numbered card or investment card. Cards must match the expedition color.
  • When the draw pile is empty, the round ends instantly.


Each of the (up to five) expeditions in front of you is scored separately and the results totaled. (Skip scoring a suit where you played no cards.) For each one:

  1. Add up the values of all numbered cards played.
  2. Subtract 20. (You might get a negative number.)
  3. If there were N investment cards played, now multiply that result by (N+1).
  4. If the expedition has eight or more total cards, add 20 points.

The basic idea is: if you start an expedition then you need to reach 20 just to break even. Investment cards magnify your winnings OR losses relative to that target.

Since BGA displays a running total as you play, this alternative (equivalent) scoring explanation might seem more fitting:

  • When you begin an expedition (play your first card of a suit), lose 20 points.
  • When you play an investment card, lose 20 points.
  • When you play a numbered card, gain that many points, plus that many points again for each investment card present (total: number x (investmentcards + 1)).
  • If that was the eighth card of the expedition, gain another 20 points.


A game may last either one or three rounds. If three, the round scores are all added. In rounds two and three, the player with the higher score plays first.