In Lords of Vegas, you are a Las Vegas developer and casino boss. You build casinos, trade properties, gamble in other players' casinos, and improve the casinos you manage. You are paid points and money for controlling the best casinos and in the end, the player with the most points wins.
Object of the Game
You win the game by accumulating the most points. You are paid points when your casinos' colors are drawn-larger casinos are worth more points. Casinos also pay money, which you can spend to manage your properties. Your basic strategy is to build and control the largest and best casinos.
The Board: The board represents a abstract section of Las Vegas Boulevard ("The Strip"). Each square on the board begins as an unowned space called a "lot". You own each lot that contains 1 of your markers (your owned property).
You also own each lot that contains a tile with 1 of your dice. The board also has a scoring track, a wager space, and discard spaces for played cards.
Casino Tiles: These square pieces represent individual casinos, or sections of larger casinos. There are 9 tiles in each of 5 colors (aqua, brown, gold, purple, and silver). The casino colors do NOT correspond to player colors.
When 2 or more tiles of the same color make up a contiguous group, they are treated as a single large casino that cannot be subdivided. Each tile holds only 1 player die.
Player Dice: Each player has 12 dice, representing influence in casinos. The four player colors are blue, green, red, and yellow. When you own a tile, you mark it with a die. The value on the die indicates how much influence you have in that space. The single die with the largest value in a given casino designates the boss of that casino.
Player Markers: Each player has 10 markers. These are used to mark owned spaces. When you own a space on the board, place a marker on it until you build a casino tile there, or until you trade or sell that space to another player.
Scoring Chips: Your scoring chip begins on space "0" on the scoring track, and records your point total as you are paid points. Note that the scoring track has numeric jumps that make it harder to acquire points at higher levels.
Money: All values in this game are described in dollars ($1, $5, $10) but represent millions of dollars ($1M, $5M, $10M).
Property Cards: There are 49 property cards in the deck. Each card corresponds to a single space on the board. One of these cards is the End of Game card, which is a property card that also determines when the game ends.
Player Card: You pass this card around to designate whose turn it is.
House Card: This card is given to the house when a player gambles, and shows the winning rolls.
Action Cards: Each of these 4 cards summarize the actions you may take during your turn.
You and the other players each take an action card and the chip, markers, and dice of 1 color. Choose a player to be the Banker. Put the scoring chip for each player on the "0" space of the scoring track.
Remove the End of Game card from the property cards and shuffle the remaining cards. Deal 2 cards to each player. Put one of your markers on each of the lots (spaces) specified by your 2 cards.
Draw out money from the bank equal to the sum of the 2 values shown on your cards. For example, if your 2 cards have values of $4 and $7, you start with $11. These values are only used during setup.
Discard your 2 cards by placing them on the colored discard spaces on the edge of the board. It is important to see how many of each color have been drawn, so these discard piles should be arranged so they can be easily counted. There are 9 cards in each color, plus 3 cards that pay The Strip.
Insert the End of Game card into the shuffled deck as follows. Divide the deck into 4 roughly equal stacks, and place the End of Game card on top of the 4th stack. Then place the other 3 stacks on top, place the draw pile beside the board, and you're ready to begin.
Who owns what?
A lot is a space that does not contain a tile. When you draw the card that corresponds to a lot, you place 1 of your markers on that lot-you own that lot.
When you pay the build cost for a lot you own, you place a tile and 1 of your dice on it-the lot becomes a casino, or part of an existing casino. You own that die, which represents part of your influence in that casino.
A casino is a group of 1 or more contiguous tiles of the same color-each tile must have at least 1 edge adjacent to the edge of another tile. These tiles must be treated as 1 large casino that cannot be subdivided.
The boss of a casino is the player that owns the largest valued die in that casino.
At the start of the game, each player rolls 2 dice. The highest roller takes the player card and begins the first turn. Each turn represents roughly a year of activity, during which certain players and development companies prosper.
When a player's turn ends, the next player to the left takes the player card and starts a turn. This continues until the End of Game card is drawn.
Your turn has 2 steps: "Draw" and "Play".
Step 1: Draw
To start your turn, draw a new card. Next, take over the lot specified on your card. Then all owned lots pay money, and the casinos specified by the card pay points and money.
Take Over Your Lot
If the lot specified on your card is empty, place 1 of your player markers on the lot-you now own it.
If the lot already has a tile on it, replace the die on the tile with 1 of your dice-keeping the same value. If the tile has no die, place your die with the value printed on the board.
Owned Lots Pay
Each lot with a player marker (i.e., owned lot) pays that player $1, no matter what card is drawn.
Each turn, the development company specified by the card drawn pays money and points.
Most cards specify payment by all casinos matching a single color, but 4 cards (including the End of Game card) "Pay The Strip".
Pay Based on Color: When a card with a single color is drawn, casinos of that color pay points and money-everywhere on the board.
Pay The Strip: When 1 of the 4 cards that Pay The Strip is drawn, each casino with at least 1 edge adjacent to The Strip pays points and money-rather than paying based upon a single color.
When a casino pays money, you are paid $1 for each pip on each of your dice in the casino. For example, a red 5 die pays $5 to the red player.
When a casino pays points, the casino's boss is paid 1 point for each tile in that casino. Record your points by moving your chip along the scoring track.
It is the Yellow player's turn. He draws a gold card, D8, and marks D8 with one of his markers. The two owned properties shown pay money: $1 for Green and $1 for Yellow. Because a gold card was drawn, the gold casinos pay (everywhere on the board).
The Yellow player is paid $6 and 1 point for his 1-tile gold casino in the lower right. The brown and purple casinos pay no money or points. Green is the boss of the 3-tile gold casino, so Green is paid 3 points. The dice in that casino pay $2 to Blue, and $6 to Green.
The 1-tile brown casino and the 3-tile gold casino both touch The Strip, but the 1-tile purple casino and the 1-tile gold casino do not.
You record the points you receive from each casino that you are the boss of-advance your scoring chip from space to space on the scoring track. Some of the spaces require more than 1 point to advance into. This is called a "break".
To move your scoring chip past a break, you must record enough points to satisfy the points required for the space past the break. If you do not have enough points, your chip stops on the space preceding the break and you lose the excess points.
If your scoring chip is on the 8-space on the scoring track and a casino pays you only 1 point, your chip does not advance to the 10-space. If you are paid 2 or 3 points, your chip advances to the 10-space. If you are paid 4 or 5 points, your chip advances to the 12-space.
When you are paid points for multiple casinos on the same turn, you must record each casino's points individually, starting with the smallest and proceeding to the largest (your choice on ties). So, even if several casinos of 1 tile each pay you on the same turn, your scoing chip still cannot move from the 8-space to the 10-space.
Ending Step 1
When Step 1 is over, discard your card into the appropriate discard pile, and move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Play
During Step 2 of your turn, you may perform these actions in order to manage your holdings. These actions are: build, sprawl, remodel, reorganize, and gamble. You may perform any of these actions in any order, and all of the actions other than gamble may be performed multiple times. The actions are detailed below, and they are summarized on your action card.
Note: You may also trade with other players at any time.
Available Tiles: If all of the tiles of a given color are already on the board, you may not place a tile of that color when you build, sprawl, or remodel.
Available Dice: If all of your dice are already on the board and you place a new tile (build or sprawl), you must remove one of your dice and place it in the new tile. The resulting tile without a die remains on the board. No one owns a tile without a die. Note that you can trade to free up a die.
Action - Build
When you take the build action, you place a new tile on any lot that you own:
- Remove your player marker.
- Choose a casino tile.
- Pay the amount specified on that lot.
- Place the tile. In that tile, place one of your dice turned so that the lot's die value is face up.
Red has a marker on space A2 and can build a casino there for $6. He chooses to build a gold tile, and he places a die in that tile with a value of 2 facing up (as specified on space A2).
Action - Sprawl
When you take the sprawl action, you expand a casino where you are the boss:
- Pay twice the amount specified on that lot.
- Place a tile of the same color as the sprawling casino on any empty, unowned lot with an edge adjacent to the sprawling casino. If a tile of that color isn't available, you cannot sprawl.
- In that tile, place one of your dice turned so that the lot's die value is face up.
Red is sprawling from A2 into A5. He can sprawl here because no one owns A5, but he can't expand into A3 because that space is owned by Yellow. The new tile must be gold because the original casino is gold, and the cost is $18, twice the normal build cost of A5.
Strategy: Sprawling can be risky, because the card corresponding to the sprawl lot is still in the deck. Another player who draws such a card immediately replaces the die in that lot with a die of his own.
Action - Remodel
When you take the remodel action, you change the color of the tiles of a casino where you are the boss: □Choose a new color with enough available tiles to replace all of the casino's tiles.
- Pay $5 for each tile in the casino.
- Exchange each of the casino's tiles with a new tile of the chosen color.
The Red player decides to remodel his gold casino, changing to brown. The cost for this remodel is $10, $5 per tile. This merges it with the smaller brown casino where Yellow is the boss. Yellow's 5 die is larger than Red's 3 die-Yellow is the boss of the new casino.
Strategy: You can use a remodel to change the likelihood of your casino's color being drawn. You can remodel to merge several small casinos that you control into one larger one, or to join your casino with a neighbor's casino. Such a "hostile takeover" can be a handy way to become the boss of someone else's property.
Action - Reorganize
When you take the reorganize (re-org) action, you force a reroll of all of the dice (not just some of the dice) in a casino in which you have at least 1 die. You do not have to be the casino's boss to reorganize a casino. To reorganize a casino:
- Pay $1 for each pip on each die in the casino.
- Reroll all the dice in the casino. You may reorganize multiple casinos during your turn, but no die may be rerolled more than once in a turn, even if that die's tile becomes part of a larger casino.
- Put the dice back into the spaces they came from. If you have multiple dice in the casino, you decide which go in which tiles.
Note: To keep track of your tiles involved in a re-org, you can temporarily put 1 of your markers on each of them.
Strategy: A reorganization represents a shakeup among the influential people in the casino, and it can have dramatic effects on the balance of power.
Because some tiles may have been acquired by sprawling, proper replacement of dice can be critical after a re-org to protect your high rolls from a "Take Over".
One common reorganization trick is to build a 1-tile casino with a starting die value of 1 or 2. Then immediately reorganize it at a very low cost, hoping to get a higher value.
In the previous example, the Red player remodeled his casino in A2 and A5 to match Yellow's brown casino in A3. He now reorganizes the new 3-tile casino for a cost of $10 (there are 10 total pips in the casino).
As a result of this reroll, Red becomes the boss of the casino because the Red 5 is now the largest die. If the reroll had not gone Red's way, he could not have made another reorganization of the same casino on the same turn.
Action - Gamble
You can only take the gamble action once during your turn. When you take the gamble action, you make a wager at a casino where another player is the boss.
Give another player the House card. Choose 1 of his or her casinos.
Bet up to $5 for each tile in that casino. You can't bet more money than you have.
Roll 2 dice and add the results. If your roll is 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11, you win, and the casino's boss pays you an amount equal to your bet. If your roll is 2 or 12, the boss must pay you twice what you bet! (If the boss does not have enough money to fully pay off his portion of your bet, you only get the money he does have). But if your roll is 5, 6, 7, or 8, you lose and pay the boss an amount equal to your bet.
Before the roll, the boss of the casino taking the bet may "lay off" half of the bet to the bank. If the gambler wins, the boss only pays half (round down) and the bank pays the rest. Of course, if the gambler loses, the boss only receives half (round down) and the bank gets the rest.
Strategy: This wager is the field bet from craps, with a house advantage of 5.6%. You usually take this action when you need just a little more money for your turn, but you can do it for any reason.
The Red player is the boss of a 3-tile casino. On Yellow's turn, he goes to Red's casino and wagers $4 (maximum is $15). Yellow decides not to lay off half the bet. Yellow rolls a 3, and wins $4 from Red.
After each Action: Reroll if Tied
After you take each action, check each casino to see if 2 or more players have dice in that casino that are tied for largest value. In this case, that casino has multiple bosses that are tied. So, all of the dice with the largest value must be immediatelly rerolled.
These rerolls cost nothing. Only the tied largest valued dice are rerolled. If still tied for largest value after rerolling, reroll the current largest valued dice. Continue rerolling until there is only 1 die with the largest value.
If all of the tied dice belong to the same player, no reroll takes place. If the values of the tied dice are not the largest in the casino, no reroll takes place.
This power struggle can sometimes have disastrous results for the players who are tied for the boss position. If two players reroll to a number below that of another player's die, that third player will become the boss.
The Green player is the boss of a 2-tile gold casino. Red is the boss of a 3-tile brown casino. Green's dice are 4 & 5; Red has a 5 & 2, and Yellow has a 2. Green remodels his gold casino to brown.
He is tied with Red for control of this new 5-tile casino. Both 5's are rerolled - each gets a 3. Now Green's 4 is the largest die, so Green is the boss and no more rerolls are required.
At Any Time: Trading
You and the other players may trade at any time, even when it is not your turn. However, there are restrictions on what you may trade.
You may trade any combination of money, lots, dice in casinos, actions (your turn only).
Example: You may trade a die for a lot. You may trade a die for money. You may trade an action you perform this turn for money. You may trade a lot and a die for 2 dice.
When you trade a lot, replace your marker on the lot with a marker belonging to the player you are trading with. When you trade a die, replace your die with a die belonging to the player you are trading with. The new die has the same value as the die it is replacing, not the value marked on the space.
You may not trade points or casino tiles. You may not trade promises of actions, exchanges, and/or transfers to be performed on future turns. No player may ever take an action on another player's turn.
End of the Game
You win if you have the most points after the End of Game card is drawn and paid. When the End of Game card is drawn, there is one last payment for The Strip. This means that you can be sure that there is a final payoff. If there is a tie for most points, the tied player with the most money wins.
You can also win immediately if you have 90+ points. As far as we know, this has never happened. But, nothing is impossible in Las Vegas!