Jaipur Review

Jaipur card game in play

"I know that gold would be helpful, but think of all the things I can do with FOUR camels!!" If you find yourself saying this a lot, then Jaipur might just be the perfect game for you!

Jaipur is a two-player trading (with the bank) game. On your turn you can either do two things - take cards or sell cards. When taking cards, you can either take a single card (if you're not at your hand limit), you can trade any number of cards from your hand (and camel herd) for any number of cards in the available pool, or you can take all of the camels (though there might be a smell involved) and place them in your herd. When selling cards, you can sell any number of matching goods (you have to sell at least two when selling the three best goods). When selling, you collect a victory point chip per good traded - and the chips decrease in value as players collect them. However, if you trade 3-5 matching goods at a time, then you get a bonus scoring chip (worth a lot of points). Once three goods piles run out, each player counts how many points they have. Best two out of three determines the best camel trader on the planet! (Which, I think, may be similar to best port-a-potty cleaner when it comes to smell, but fortunately I wouldn't know first-hand.)

Jaipur chips
You definitely want to collect chips first
The thing that makes Jaipur amazing is that it gives you tough decisions. The most obvious tough decision is when to sell your goods. Selling early can make each of your goods worth more victory points - yet, if you can collect enough to gain a 5-good bonus, then this can be worth 10 points! To add to the challenge, your opponent may also be trying to collect the same goods, and you are incentivized to trade before he does (you'll take the valuable chips). Since it is a strictly two player game, any points you keep from your opponent are just as good as points scored - so if you see that he's collecting leather, and you can swoop in and take the top two leather chips, then instead of getting chips worth 4 and 3 victory points, his highest valued chip will be worth 2!

The next tough decision that Jaipur gives you is which goods to collect. Do you always collect the most valuable goods? If so, then it will be much harder to actually gain very many of them since there is a smaller number of them available in the deck (I think), and your opponent will also be trying to take them. Yet, if you choose not to collect the more valuable goods, then you are leaving your opponent uninhibited when collecting the most valuable goods! Plus, what happens when you have two copies of three different goods in your hand (the hand limit is seven), and there are two copies of the goods you need in front of you? You have to decide which ones to take, and what to put back, which then may give your opponent a collection of matching goods!

camel from Jaipur card game
Aren't the camels pretty?
Finally, I really like the camels in Jaipur. I think that it is brilliant that you have a "camel herd" that doesn't count towards your hand limit. In all honesty, whoever is best at managing the camels is probably the player that will win. After all, whenever you trade in a large number of goods, it leaves your hand depleted. Remember, the only way to get more than one good at a time is to trade for them. So, if you have a large herd, then you can quickly replenish your hand by trading camels. But, if you sell a large number of goods and have no camels, then you will have to replenish your hand with a single card each round (until you decide to take all of the camels to build a herd). Really, the camels make the game unique and amazing - I cannot say enough good things about them... and they're pretty... for camels.

I didn't really find any "cons" with Jaipur. However, it does have a very limited gaming appeal. By this, I don't mean that only certain people would like Jaipur - I really think that most anybody could enjoy it. However, it is only two player, and takes about 15-30 minutes. So, because of it's length, you probably wouldn't get together just to play Jaipur, and you also probably wouldn't play it 5 times in a row. Plus, with only two players, it's not especially amazing as a filler, because I normally have more than two people waiting around on game nights. However, with all that said, when you do need a short game for two players, it is amazing. And, obviously, the most common situation that requires two-player games is playing games with your spouse. I think that Jaipur works wonderfully for this, and in fact, I have played it with my own wife.

Overall, I give Jaipur an 8.5/10. Again, if I don't see myself getting together just to play a game, then I don't like to give it a 9 or higher, but that is really the only criteria that keeps this score so low. However, it is in the upper echelon of filler games, in my opinion. I believe that everybody (not just gamers) should try Jaipur, and I plan to keep it in my collection for a long, long time.

If you have a love affair with camels, you might also want to check out Through the Desert. Otherwise, some other nice little two-player games are Babel and Atlanteon. Or, if you want some more thoughts on Jaipur, check out I Slay the Dragon's Jaipur Review, or this other review of Jaipur by Games With Two.


  1. I've been wondering about Jaipur for a while. Thanks for your excellent review.

  2. I bought this for my wife based on your review. Really great game, just played our first one tonight. We both liked the pace and enjoyed those tough decisions you mentioned. Thanks for the review!