There are 6 different colors and 6 different shapes, so Qwirkle has 36 different tiles. There are 3 copies of each tile for a total of 108 tiles.
Draw 6 tiles into your hand from the bag. If it’s your first time playing, toss all of the tiles into the drawstring bag and shake it up to give them a good mix. All players pull 6 tiles out of the bag for your starting hand, but keep them hidden from other players so they can’t see what you have. Every tile will have a colored shape on it.
Deciding who goes first:
Determine the first player. Look at your hand of tiles and count how many tiles share one characteristic, either a single color or a single shape. Tell the other players how many tiles are in your largest group, and whoever says the biggest number takes the first turn. Example: If your hand has a red square, red circle, blue circle, green circle, orange diamond, and purple star, your largest group would be the 3 circles. If there’s a tie for who has the largest group, then whoever’s older goes first.
How to Play
Play 1 or more tiles to start the grid. If you’re the first player, you get to start building the play area, which is also called the grid. You can choose to play 1 tile, or any number of tiles of a single color or a single shape.
Two tiles that touch each other form a line and need to be either the same shape or the same color.
Try to play 2 or more tiles when you’re starting the game since you’ll earn more points.
Add 1 or more tiles to the grid when it’s your turn. You can play 1 tile, or multiple tiles that either share the same color or the same shape. The catch is, the tile you play has to connect to another tile that’s already been played. There are a few restrictions on where you can place the tiles as well. The placement restrictions are:
A line of the same color can only have one tile in each shape.
Example: You can only have one yellow square in a line.
A line of the same shape can only have one tile of each color.
Example: You can only have one blue star in a line of stars.
When you add the tiles to the grid, they all have to go into the same line. However, you can place your tiles on either end of the line.
As you build out the grid, you’ll restrict where other players can put their tiles and some spots might get blocked off.
Draw tiles from the bag until you have six in your hand. If you played multiple tiles on your turn, take as many tiles from the bag as you played.
Exchange tiles in your hand instead of playing if you want new ones. If you don’t like the tiles in your hand or if you aren’t able to play anything from your hand, set any number of tiles from your hand aside. Draw that many new tiles from the bag and put them in your hand so you have 6 tiles. Then, put the tiles you set aside back in the bag. Note: You’ll have to wait until your next turn to play any tiles you just exchanged.
Play until the draw bag is empty and a player places all their tiles. Continue taking turns even after the bag is empty (you will no longer be able to draw new tiles at the end of your turn). When a player puts down their last tile, the game ends.
You score 1 point for each tile in the same line as the one you played. When you put your tile in the grid, count all of the tiles in the same line including the one you just placed. If the tile you played connected to more than 1 line, be sure to count the tiles in them as well.
Earn 6 points when you finish a line of 6 tiles. The lines have to be either 6 tiles with the same shape and different colors, or 6 tiles of the same color but different shapes. If you place the last tile in a line, score 1 point for each tile like you normally would, but give yourself an extra 6 points for completing a Qwirkle! Note: You can never make a line that’s longer than 6 tiles.
The person the plays their last tile and ends the game is awarded +6 bonus points!