Show the Maharaja you’ve got the goods in this 2-player-only gem.
Jaipur is a great gateway game. My girlfriend is new to modern board games, so I’m always on the lookout for easy-to-play games that work well for two players. It doesn’t hurt if the game has some elements of more complex board games, but not enough to be intimidating to someone new to this insanely beautiful hobby of mine. If you’re in a similar situation, then I recommend finding a copy of Jaipur.
A two-player-only game, Jaipur tasks you both as merchants trying to prove yourselves to the Maharaja. Over the course of three short rounds, you’ll compete to earn the most rupees. The first player to win two rounds (have the most rupees) wins the Maharaja’s favor. Good on you!
The marketplace is made up of five cards, which represent a half-dozen different goods as well as camels. On your turn, you can either acquire goods by taking a single good from the market and replacing it with the top card of the draw deck or by taking as many goods as you want and replacing them with cards from your hand. Here’s where the camels come into play. You can trade in camels from your herd instead of goods from your hand. Want more camels? Instead of taking goods, take all the camels in the marketplace instead.
Your other option is to sell goods. You do this by turning in sets of goods from your hand. You then collect the tokens representing the sale of these goods. The tokens have different amounts, with higher values at the top. This means the faster you trade in goods, the higher your rupee count. However, you want to turn in larger sets. That’s because there are bonus tokens, collected for turning in sets of three, four, or five cards. These can turn into big bonuses and turn the tide when it’s time to count up rupees at the end of a round.
That’s really all there is to Jaipur. The winner of a round earns a Maharaja token. Win two of these and you win the game.
I’m really smitten with Jaipur. The game flow is so easy and fast – with little chance for analysis paralysis – that a few rounds of Jaipur fly by. It’s both a great filler game and a great intro to the possibilities of board games to a new gamer. It isn’t intimidating, the art is appealing, and it has just enough strategy to satisfy the hardcore gamer in me. Sure, I’ve praised Jaipur as a good gateway game, but it’s also a solid game in general. Don’t be turned off if you’re a seasoned gamer. If you need a filler or you happen to often play with only one other person, Jaipur should be on your gaming shelf.
Three Best Things about Jaipur
- Easy to learn.
- Quick to play.
- Perfect for beginning gamers and pros alike.
Three Worst Things about Jaipur
- It’s possible to get stuck with no moves for several turns.
- Could have easily been a four-player game, offering more versatility.
- I lost.
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Get Jaipur If
- You often only game with a single other person.
- You or someone you know is new to board games and wants a good intro game.
- You want to discover the camel card with a hidden panda on it.