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How To Play - Splendor

by Mithu Mondal on May 17, 2024

How To Play - Splendor


Splendor is a captivating and elegant card-based strategy game that has gained widespread acclaim for its simplicity and depth. Designed for 2 to 4 players and typically taking about 30 minutes to play, Splendor invites you to become a Renaissance merchant, acquiring gem mines, transportation methods, and shops to build your commercial empire. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential rules and strategies to help you master Splendor and enjoy this gem of a game.


The goal of Splendor is to be the first player to reach 15 prestige points. Points are earned by purchasing development cards and attracting noble patrons.


  1. Arrange Gem Tokens: Place the gem tokens in separate stacks within reach of all players.
  2. Lay Out Development Cards: Shuffle each level of development cards separately and place them in three face-down decks. Reveal four cards from each deck and lay them face-up in rows.
  3. Distribute Noble Tiles: Shuffle the noble tiles and randomly place a number of them equal to the number of players plus one.
  4. Determine Starting Player: Choose a starting player randomly.


Splendor is played in turns, with each turn consisting of the following possible actions:

1. Take Gem Tokens

On your turn, you can take gem tokens from the supply in one of two ways:

  • Take Three Different Gems: Choose three different colored gem tokens.
  • Take Two of the Same Gem: Choose two gem tokens of the same color, but this action is only allowed if there are at least four tokens of that color available.

You can never have more than 10 gem tokens at the end of your turn. If you exceed this limit, you must return excess tokens to the supply.

2. Reserve a Development Card

To secure a development card for future purchase, you can reserve it. This also helps to block opponents from taking it. When you reserve a card:

  • Take the card and place it in front of you face down. You can have up to three reserved cards.
  • Take a gold token (wild) from the supply if available.

3. Purchase a Development Card

To purchase a development card, pay its cost in gem tokens and place it in front of you. Each card may provide:

  • Prestige Points: Contribute to your total score.
  • Permanent Gem Bonuses: Reduce the cost of future cards.

You can purchase a face-up card from the table or a card you have reserved.

Attracting Nobles

Nobles are attracted to your growing gem empire if you meet their specific requirements of permanent gem bonuses. When you meet a noble’s requirements at the end of your turn, you automatically gain their tile and the prestige points they provide.

End of the Game

The game continues until a player reaches at least 15 prestige points. Complete the current round so each player has had an equal number of turns. The player with the most prestige points at the end of the final round wins. In case of a tie, the player with the fewest purchased cards wins.


Splendor is a game of strategic planning, resource management, and tactical reserving that offers a rich and rewarding experience. By understanding the rules and developing a strategy, you can become a master merchant and build an impressive gem empire. So gather your friends, set up the game, and immerse yourself in the opulent world of Renaissance trade. Enjoy the splendor of Splendor.

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