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Splendor board game – Collect those jewels

by on April 25, 2016

- Easy to get into and start playing (few and easy to understand rules).
- Relatively quick game play.


- Can result in analysis paralysis and turns can take some time (for a game with few moving parts).
- Depending on number of players, game time can be a bit short.

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Bottom Line

at first glance Splendor might not look that exciting or very elaborate, but on the contrary – Splendor has a great deal of depth and replay value.


In Splendor you try to collect better and better jewels and if you are really successful you might just get some notice from one of the nobles and that can win you the game.

The board is built up with three rows of cards and each of the rows represents different tiers. Next to the board there are poker chips representing the different jewels in the game. Above the cards there are a number of noblemen (that you can visit you if you match the right number of jewel cards you have in play).

Splendor board game with cards

In order to pick a card (unless you want to spend your turn by reserving a card) you have to “buy” it. And in order to do that you have to match the jewels represented on that card. In the beginning you don’t have access to any jewels that you can use to buy cards, therefore you can spend a turn picking up poker chips (three of three different colours or two of the same).

Some of the jewel cards have a value on them as well and that number is a victory point that could help you win the game. The first player to reach 15 victory points is the winner.

One way to get to 15 victory points is to try to win the favour of the noblemen that in return grants you several victory points, but at the same time takes a lot of energy to match the right amount of cards.

Splendor with poker chips

Beginner advice – Better to get started

In Splendor you have to get going right away if you want to keep even steps with everybody else. Sure there are several strategies you can apply, but it’s better to get some lower value cards in play to help you on your way than to wait for that perfect card by stacking up on the jewel poker chips too much.

Final thoughts – Splendor

First time I played it I was a bit sceptical about the abstract concept of just cards and poker chips that makes up the board. But after playing it a few times you can clearly see the charm of the simplicity and how versatile the game play can be. I think this is a great board game if you want something with a good strategy diversity, but not too heavy with lots of different mechanics you have to take into consideration.

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