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Bohnanza – 002

Bohnanza: become the richest farmer by trading beans!

Episode Overview

In this episode of “Board Gaming with English” Dustin and Rich introduce a card-trading game called “Bohnanza.” In this game, you are a bean farmer trying to plant, harvest, and sell your beans.  This is a great game for practicing English conversation skills like negotiation and refusing. Let us know what you think of the game in the comments below!
Thank you to Rio Grande Games for their wonderful contribution to the board game and tabletop community by making an enjoyable and educational game.
Thank you to Joshua Empyre for the “Victory Music” in our “Keywords” segment.

You can listen to us on (or any other platform you get your podcasts):

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Sound Cloud

Where Can you Play Bohnanza?

You can purchase “Bohnanza” by Rio Grande Games through our Amazon affiliate link:

Purchasing through, our affiliate link not only supports the board game developers but provides us with a small compensation to keep bringing you more board games to help with improving your English.

Listener Objective (Learner + Lecture)

If you are a student studying English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…

  • …negotiate a deal for trading beans (or other negotiations).

  • …use basic grammar structures to negotiate a deal, refuse a deal, or accept a deal.

  • … use some key phrases and vocabulary needed to play the game.

To start, take a look at a dialogue you might hear in the game:

Dustin: Hey Rich, you should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean and you will get a coin.

Rich: No way! I don’t think that’s a good idea. How about you give me two coffee beans for my one red bean.

Dustin: No, I don’t think I can accept that offer either. Let’s make a deal. I’ll give you a green bean for a red bean.

Rich: No way! That’s not a good deal either.

Dustin:  Alright no deal, I’ll trade with someone else.

Now, let’s look at the grammar structures of negotiating:

[Address the person] + you [could] + give me your + [type of bean] + for my [type of bean] + because + [reason].

Hey Dustin, you could give me your coffee bean for my red bean because we will both get a coin.

Let’s look at another grammar strucure:

[Address the person] + you [should] + [level of persuasion/certainity ] + take my + [type of bean] + and give me your [type of bean] + because + [reason].

Hey Rich, you should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean, because then you will get a coin.

First, you can make the offer and tell Rich what we should do. You should take my coffee bean and give me your red bean. Then I tell Rich why, because then you will get a coin. This is a good deal for both of us.

Some other ways you can persuade people:

It will be in your best interests to trade me your red bean for my coffee bean because you will get a coin.

It will be a good idea to trade with me because we can both get a coin.

Some simple expressions using the verb give and take:

You can say I will give you my coffee bean for your red bean.

I will take your red bean if you take my coffee bean.

Now, what if you don’t like the deal? Here is how to refuse a deal:

No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Or

Let’s make a different deal. Or

No that’s not a fair deal.

I don’t think I can accept that offer.
I can’t make that deal.

I don’t like that deal.

Take a look at 12 different common phrases to know for the game:

1. You should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean because then you will get a coin.

2. You should take my coffee bean and give me your red bean.

3. It will be in your best interests to trade me your red bean for my coffee bean.

4. It will be a good idea to trade with me because we will both get a coin.

5. I will give you my coffee bean, if you give me your red bean.

6. I will take your red bean, if you take my coffee bean.

7. No, I don’t think that’s a good idea.  How about we …

8. Let’s make a deal.

9. No that’s not a fair deal.

10. I don’t think I can accept that offer.

11. I can’t make that deal.

12. I don’t like that deal.

Finally, you can use these expressions and grammar structures in other situations:

[Address the person] + you + could + [the offer] and + I + would + [the other offer].

Robert, you could buy two and I would give you a discount.

[Adress the person] + [subject/person to make the offer] + could/should + [the offer] + and [subject/other person to make the offer] + could/would + give you [the other offer].

Dear Rich, your company could offer us a discount on your services and we could give you a lot more business. This would be a good deal for both of us.

 


Listener Objective (Teacher + Resources)

If you are a teacher teaching English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…

  • …teach and use a fun, bean trading game to engage your students in the classroom.

  • …help your students develop the language skills needed to negotiate.

  • …download and learn to use the resources provided below.

This game requires the Bohnanza card game by Rio Grande Games. We recommend reviewing some negotiation skills, tactics, and grammar structures with your students before playing the game. You can check out the learner listener objectives to see some grammar structures from the episode. This is a great game to incentivize speaking because students are required to talk to others if they want to win the game. The best negotiator is more likely to win. It is also great to encourage students to interact with less talkative students because you must talk to others to make a deal to become the richest bean farmer.

 


Rules

First, take a look at the different types of beans in the game:

1. Coffee Bean

2. Wax Bean

3. Blue Bean

4. Chili Bean

5. Stink Bean

6. Green Bean

7. Soy Bean

8. Red Bean

9. Garden Bean

10. Cocoa Bean

Goal:

Each player has 2 or 3 slots to plant and sell beans. The more times you sell the beans the more coins you get. Depending on how the game goes, players might have to wait a long time to harvest or waste their seeds too fast. The objective of the game is to get the most coins after the players go through the deck three times.

The Bean Cards:
There are 11 different types of bean cards and each card has a number. That number represents the amount of that type of card throughout the deck:
24 coffee beans
22 Wax Beans
20 Blue Beans
18 Chili Beans
16 Stink Beans
14 Green Beans
12 Soy Beans
10 Black-Eyed Beans
8 Red Beans
6 Garden Beans
4 Cocoa Beans

At the bottom of the card, you will see a number under the coins. This means, during your turn, if you have a certain amount of beans, you can trade it in for the amount of coins the number is under.
For example, if you have 6 Chili Beans, you can trade it in for 2 coins. However, if you collect more and have 9 Chili Beans, you can trade it in for 4 coins.

*When you decide to trade in for coins, you will flip the card to the coin side and take as many coins as you deserve. The rest of the cards will go to a discard pile which will be used when the deck is finished.

The Bean Fields:
In front of each player is where he/she places their beans. Each player starts with two places to put beans. A player may only plant bean cards of one type on each field.

Starting the game:
Place the 3rd bean field cards in the box. The oldest player shuffles the bean cards thoroughly and deals five cards face-down to each player. These are the players’ starting hands. The players pick up their hands, keeping the cards in the order they were dealt.

*Players may never change the order of the cards in their hands. Sorting cards is NOT allowed. The player must plant cards in the order they received them. When a player draws new cards, he must draw them one at a time and place them behind the last card in his or her hand.

Place the remaining bean cards face down in the middle of the table as a draw deck. Next to the draw deck will be the discard pile. The player to the left of the dealer starts the game.

There are 11 different types of beans. On the card, you will see a number (For example if you look at the green bean card you will see the number 14 if you see a red bean you will see an 8 .This number is the amount of this type of bean in the deck of cards. It is important to know to help you win.

On the bottom of the card, you will see coins with numbers under them. For example, the Green bean has the number 3 under 1 coin. It has the number 5 under two coins, it has the number 6 under 3 coins, and it has number 7 under 4 coins. This is how you sell your beans. So for example, if you have 3 green bean cards you can trade it in for 1 coin, but if you have 7 green bean cards, you can gain 4 coins!


Each player should keep track of the amount of coins they have. How do they do that, Rich? Well, the back of the card has a picture of a coin! So, you can use the cards to count your coins.

Game setup: Each player gets 5 cards and you put the rest (the big deck) in the middle. Do not change the order of your cards and do not show anyone your cards. Every player should have 5 cards in his or her hand and the rest should be in the middle deck

Play:
The player left of the dealer (person who gave everyone the cards) starts.

Step 1
To start the player will has to plant the first bean in their hand. The bean on the left, then they can choose to plant the second bean. If they are the same beans, they can plant the two same beans in the same bean field. If they are different beans, then they must be planted in the two different bean fields.

Step 2
Take two cards from the middle of the deck and show everyone. This player needs to decide to either trade, plant, or give away for free.
Trade and give: The new person you give or trade the bean to must plant the bean.
Plant yourself: You will either add it to your “farm” or discard your old bean (current bean that is planted) and now this will be the new bean. If you add onto your farm, it must be the same bean. When you get a certain amount of beans on a farm, you can trade in for coins. Remember you can only have two farms for the whole game.

If you want to keep the bean, you need to plant it. So, you will need to add it to your farm. If you add onto your farm, it must be added to the same bean, or planted in an empty field. If you do not have the same beans or do not have an empty field you need to discard your old bean (current bean that is planted) and now the bean you wanted to keep will be the new bean.

So for example, my first two cards are a red bean and a green bean. The two new cards I take from the middle area: coffee bean and a green bean. I decide to add the green bean to my other green bean. Then I need to decide what to do with the coffee bean. No one wants my coffee bean, so I have to plant it. So, I have to plant it and discard my red bean.

Step 3
After all of the planting and farming, you get to draw three new cards and add it to the right side of your hand. Remember! Do not change the order of your cards!

For a full explanation of the rules check out you can download the PDF from Rio Grande Games.

Download the transcript of our episode here.

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