How To Play Hanabi

Hanabi is a 30 minute game for 2-5 players, in which you work together to recover a disorganized fireworks show. Race the clock to set up the best display you can muster. Take explosive risks in this game of confusion and cooperation. In Hanabi, there are 5 sets of cards from 1 to 5, players are dealt a hand of cards that they must not look at. Hold your cards so that everyone can see them except for you. When you are playing a card, you build one stack for each colour of card.

Each stack must be built from 1 to 5. If you played a card that is already on the table or is not the next in the sequence for its colour, your play is invalid and you lose a fuse token. On their turn, each player must choose to take one of three actions. They can – share a piece of information with another player, discard a card, or play a card.

At the end of the game, your score is determined by adding up the highest card of each colour. The more cards you were able to play, the better your fireworks display will be! When you use your action to share information on your turn, you must take one of the blue clock tokens from the table and return it to the box lid.

You may share information about one other player. You can share about either one specific colour or one specific number. When you do so, you must point to _every_ example in that player’s hand. For example, you can say “You have 2 green cards” or “You have 3 ones”. If there are no blue tokens available you cannot share information this turn.

When you use your action to discard a card, you must announce that you are discarding a card permanently. You can then try to pick a card from your hand that you don’t think will be useful, discard it, and then return a blue clock token from the box lid to the center of the table. Be careful though, because there is only one of each 5 card.

When you use your action to play a card, you must announce that you are playing a card. You can then pick a card from your hand and attempt to add it to the fireworks display. If the card can be added to a display, congratulations! More about hanabi and other games here:

You picked a good card. If the card cannot be added to a display, you must return a fuse token to the box. If the removed the third fuse icon, game over!

If you successfully played a card of value 5, you get a bonus for completing that firework. Return one blue clock token to the table for free! If you played or discarded a card, draw a new card from the draw pile to complete your turn.

Be sure to draw cards so you can’t see what you drew. Once the draw pile runs out, everyone gets one more turn until the game is over. The game can also end if, you lose the third fuse token, thus revealing the explosion, Or if you finish all 5 fireworks displays. At the end of the game, add up the highest value card played for each colour of firework. Were you able to build a legendary display of 25 points? Or were you booed by the crowd with less than 5 points.

Compare your score to the chart in the rule book to see how you fared. To begin the game, shuffle all of the red, green, blue, yellow, and white cards and deal 5 to each player in a 2 or 3 player game, or 4 each in a 4 or 5 player game. Stack the fuse tokens with the explosion at the bottom and the longest fuse token at the top. Place all of the blue clock tokens in the center of the table next to the lid of the box. Once you have mastered the basic rules of Hanabi, check out the alternate variants in the rule book.

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