Cinco is a game involving placing tokens to form a straight line of at least 5 places.
Number of Players
Cinco can be played with 2, 3, 4 (2 teams of 2 players), or 6 (either 2 teams of 3, or 3 teams of 2) players. It cannot be played with 5.
Cinco game components consist of:
- a playing board with spaces numbered 1 through 90, inclusive, arranged in a hexagonal continuous path from an empty space at the center of the board.
- 90 playing cards, one of each number.
- 35 tokens in each of 3 team colors.
Players are arranged so that alternating teams will take turns. Each player is dealt a hand of 4 cards, which only they are allowed to see. Team members are not allowed to share information about which cards they hold.
On each turn, players take one of three options:
Play a card and place a token
A player will play a card face-up from their hand, and place a token of their color on that number or any higher number, as long as that space is unoccupied.
Example 1. Player A reveals the card 68. They may place a token on 68, 69, 70, 71, etc.
Example 2. Spaces 87, 88, and 89 are already occupied. Player B reveals the card 87. They may only place a token on space 90.
Example 3. Spaces 87, 88, 89, and 90 are already occupied. Player C reveals the card 88. They are unable to place a token.
See Joker Variant for a variant to this rule.
Draw a card
If the player has fewer than 4 cards in their hand, they may draw 1 new card.
Exchange a hand of 4 cards
If the player has exactly 4 cards in their hand, they may discard all 4 cards and draw 4 new ones.
Running out of cards
If the draw pile is ever exhausted before the game ends, all discarded cards are reshuffled into a new draw pile.
The game ends immediately in a win for the team that places a token that forms a straight line of 5 (or more) pieces of their color.
The game ends in a stalemate if one team places their 35th token and nobody has won.
In the Joker variant, if a card has no legal moves (all spaces of its number and higher are occupied), the card is treated as a "1". Therefore, a token may be placed on any space on the board.
Example 1. Spaces 87, 88, and 89 are already occupied. Player A reveals the card 87. They may only place a token on space 90, as it is the only unoccupied space equal to or higher than 87.
Example 2. Spaces 87, 88, 89, and 90 are already occupied. Player B reveals the card 88. They may place a token on any unoccupied space, as all space equal to or higher than 88 are occupied.
In a 6-player game, the game may either be played with 3 teams of 2 players each, or 2 teams of 3 players each.