How to Play Splendor Rules

Learn how to play Splendor with our fast and easy to reference Splendor Rules

Players: 2 to 4 | Game duration from: 20 mins | Game Complexity:

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What is the goal of Splendor?

Use your resources to acquire mines, transportation methods and artisans who will allow you to turn raw gems into beautiful jewels

Game Setup

  • Shuffle each development card deck separately, then arrange them in increasing order from bottom to top in a column
  • Reveal 4 cards from each level
  • Shuffle noble tiles, revealing as many of them as there are players plus one
  • Remove remaining tiles from the game (they will not be used)
  • Place tokens in 6 distinct piles (sort them by colour) within reach of the players

2 player game

  • Remove 3 tokens of each gem colour (only 4 should remain of each)
  • Don’t touch gold
  • Reveal 3 noble tiles

3 player game

  • Remove 2 tokens of each gem colour
  • Don’t touch gold
  • Reveal 4 noble tiles

The Development Cards

  • Purchasing development cards allows players to win prestige points
  • They are visible in the middle of the table and can be purchased by everyone during the game
  • Players reserve development cards during the game in their hands
  • Developments in hand can only be purchased by players holding them

The Noble Tiles

  • These tiles are visible in the middle of the table.
  • Players automatically receive a visit from a noble at the end of their turn if they have the amount of bonuses required. They also receive a corresponding tile
  • You cannot refuse a visit from a noble
  • Receiving a noble is not considered as an action
  • Each noble tile is worth 3 prestige points however, you can only get a single one per turn


Youngest player begins, with play proceeding clockwise

On your turn: You must choose to perform only one of the following actions:

  1. Take 3 gem tokens of different colours
  2. Take 2 gem tokens of the same colour (Only possible if there are 4 or more tokens available of that colour left when the player takes them)
  3. Reserve 1 development card and take 1 gold token (Joker)
  4. Purchase 1 face-up development card from the middle of the table or a previously reserved one

Selecting Tokens

  • You can never have more than 10 tokens at the end of your turn (including jokers). You must return any excess tokens until you have 10 left
  • A player can return all or some of the tokens they just drew
  • Tokens owned by a player must be visible to everyone at all times

Reserve a development card

  • Reserve a card by taking a face-up development or drawing the first card from one of the three decks without showing it to other players
  • Reserved cards are kept in hand and may not be discarded
  • You cannot have more than three reserved cards in hand and you can only get rid of a card by buying it
  • You can only get a gold token (joker) by reserving a card
  • If there is no gold left you can still reserve the card however, you won’t receive any gold

Buying a development card

  • Purchase the card by spending the indicated amount of tokens on the card
  • A joker token replaces any colour
  • These tokens (including joker) are returned to the middle of the table
  • You may purchase one of the face-up development cards or a reserved card in your hand
  • Each player makes distinct rows with their acquired development cards. These are sorted by colour and stagger vertically to allow bonuses and prestige point values to be visible
  • Bonuses and prestige points granted by each card must remain risible at all times
  • Development cards acquired or reserved from the middle of the table must be immediately replaced by cards of the same level. All levels must have 4 face-up cards at all times (unless the deck is empty, in which case the empty spaces remain empty too).

The Bonuses

  • Bonuses acquired from development cards provide discounts when purchasing new cards
  • Each bonus of a given colour is equivalent to the token of that colour
  • Is a player has 2 blue bonuses and wants to purchase a card which costs 2 blue tokens and 1 green token, the player only needs to spend 1 green token
  • You can purchase a card without spending any tokens if you have enough development cards

The Nobles

  • Each player checks the noble tiles at the end of their turn to see if one is visiting them
  • A player can be visited if they have the quantity and bonuses indicated on the noble tile
  • You cannot refuse a visit from a noble
  • If you have enough bonuses to be visited by more than one noble, you can choose with one to be received
  • The noble tile obtained is placed face up in front of you

How do you win in Splendor?

  • Complete the current round and end the game when a player reaches 15 prestige points 
  • The player with the highest number of prestige points wins (make sure to count your nobles)
  • If there is a tie, the player who purchased the least amount of development cards wins.
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