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Board Game Arena
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Game materials

Machiavelli is played with 2 or more french decks without using jokers.

Goal of the game

The game ends when a player plays all his cards or when the deck is depleted.

Game setup

Every player get 15 cards. Cards are secret and visible by its owner only. Put the rest of the deck on the table.

How to play

Each turn players can do a sequence of action, until the turn ends.


  • Draw a card

The player can draw a card from the deck and his turn ends.

  • Play cards

Player can play cards from his hand, laying them on the table and respecting the following rules: 1) Cards on the table must always form groups that contain at least 3 cards. 2) Groups on the table must be sets or runs. - Sets are groups of 3 or 4 cards of the same value (e.g. Q♥, Q♦, Q♣). - Runs are groups of cards of the same suit whose values are in sequence (e.g. 8♥,9♥,10♥,J♥,Q♥). The card rank start from ace to king: A, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K.

Cards can be played also melding them to an existing group on the table as long as the previous rules are respected (e.g. player decides to meld 3♣, 7♣, 8♣ to an existing run on the table, made by 4♣, 5♣, 6♣ of clubs. He can meld the cards in the right sequence).

  • Take cards

Player can take one or more groups of cards from the table adding them to his hand. Before his turn ends, he must play all cards he took from the table. Player may play these cards creating new groups, different from the previous ones, and using cards he already had in hand too. Example:

Groups on the table: 3♣, 4♣, 5♣, 6♣ / Q♥, Q♦, Q♠

Player's hand: 5♣, 7♣, 8♣, Q♣, J♥, K♥

Player takes the 2 groups on the table, then he plays cards creating these new groups: 3♣, 4♣, 5♣ / 5♣, 6♣, 7♣, 8♣ / J♥, Q♥, K♥ / Q♦, Q♠, Q♣

  • Restore

If a player took cards from the table and he is no more able to play all token cards, he may force his turn ends by restoring the original game situation on the table and of his hand. He must put back the token cards on the table, restoring the original groups and collecting cards he had in his hand that he may have played. Once restored, player must draw 1 cards from the deck and pass. In case player is not able to restore, the other players will help him to do it and then he must draw 3 cards as penalty.

NOTE WELL: In the BGA version cards token from the table are tagged with a red sign as reminder to play it before passing. The Restore action can be automatically performed clicking on a specific button and player receive 1 card from the deck. 3 cards penalty is not considered.

  • Pass

Player can pass only if he played cards and if he has no cards taken from the table in his hand.

End of the game

Game ends as soon as a player has no more cards in his hand or the deck is depleted. In the second case, the winner is the player with less cards in his hand.