In search of shiny pearls, you dive into the clear blue water. You can't hold your breath endlessly, though, but have to resurface from time to time and sell the treasures you have collected.
If you have accumulated a particular number of pearls, you can make them into nice necklaces and thus increase their value even more.
- 16x wild card value 0
- 24x yellow value 1
- 16x green value 2
- 12x blue value 2
- 8x turquoise value 3
- 4x purple value 5
- 10 necklace cards
Object of the Game
On each turn in Pearls, you collect or score pearl cards of one color. Cards with higher values generate many points but are more rare. But even the considerably more common low-value pearls can be lucrative:
If you score a lot of pearls at once, you can gain valuable bonus points for necklace cards. If only there were not a hand card limit and, of course, the other players who like to thwart your plans...
At the end of the game, the player who has the most points overall wins.
Depending on the number of players, you might have to sort out the following pearl cards and put them back into the box:
Number Of players Pearl Cards To Be Removed Pearl Cards In Play 2 the 24 yellow pearl cards (value 1) and
the 16 green pearl cards (value 2)
60 3 the 20 red pearl cards (value 1) 80 4-6 none 100
Shuffle all pearl cards in play face down and deal 6 hand cards to each player.
Put the remaining pearl cards as a face-down draw pile in the middle of the table.
Take the 6 top cards from the draw pile and place them in one row as a face-up display next to the draw pile.
Put the necklace cards, sorted by ascending values, in the middle of the table, some distance to the face-up display.
The youngest player becomes the starting player and begins the game.
Example of a set-up for 4 players:
Play proceeds clockwise. On your turn, you have to carry out exactly one of the two following actions:
A. Take Cards
Choose exactly one color of the 6 pearl cards on display and take all cards in this color from the display into your hand.
The following rules apply:
You must take all pearl cards in this color from the display into your hand. In the example to the left, you could take the three yellow cards with a value of 1 or the red 1 or both of the green 2's.
When you pick cards, wild cards always count as a color of their own and are never taken together with cards of a different color. If you choose to take wild cards, you take all wild cards lying in the display.
You may have a maximum of 10 hand cards at any time. If you exceeded this limit by taking all cards of a specific color, you would not be allowed to choose this color; in this case, you have to choose one of the other colors available or carry out action B) Place hand cards instead.
After that, you refill the face-up display to 6 pearl cards by drawing and placing the appropriate number of cards from the draw pile.
B. Place Hand Cards
Instead of taking cards, you can decide to place hand cards on your scoring pile. To do so, choose any number of pearl cards of exactly one color from your hand and reveal them to the other players. Then place them face down on the pile in front of you.
The following rules apply:
You must place at least one card.
When you place cards, wild cards may be played as a color of their own or as an addition to another color. In the latter case, you may place any number of wild cards together with at least one card of one color, thus increasing the number of cards placed in this color.
If the number of cards you place on this turn - including wild cards - matches the value of a necklace card in the middle of the table, you may take this necklace card as well and place it on your scoring pile.
After you have carried out the action, your turn ends and the next player has his turn.
End of the Game
The end of the game can be triggered in two ways:
- The draw pile has been depleted or
- There are no necklace cards left in the middle of the table
After that, all players - including the one who has triggered the game end - have one more turn. However, players may carry out only action B) Place hand cards. If somebody has no hand cards left for his final turn, he must pass and is skipped.
Each player adds up the values of the pearl cards and necklace cards in his scoring pile.
Then he subtracts the values of his remaining hand cards. This means hands cards are minus points at the end of the game! The result is the total score for the player.
Remember: Wild cards have a value of 0.
The player with the highest total wins. In case of a tie, the player involved who has the most hand cards left wins; if there is still a tie, the players involved share the victory.
Variant For 2 & 3 Players
If you play with 2 or 3 players, you can decide to skip sorting out cards and play with all pearl cards.
The game may take a bit longer, depending on how fast the necklace cards are taken.