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Qwirkle is an easy family game. Everyone gets 6 tiles, and you take turns laying them on the board. A line (horizontal or vertical) can be by color or shape. So a completed line or Qwirkle can be 6 green shapes (each shape must be different) or 6 squares of the same shape in the 6 different colors. You cannot repeat a color in a shape line. You cannot repeat a shape in a color line. That’s the most important thing to remember.

When you take your turn, you can only play in one direction (horizontal or vertical), but you can play as many tiles as you want/can in that direction. You then replenish your tiles from the tile bag.

If you don’t have any moves (perhaps the player before you took your move), or don’t want to make any moves, you can trade in 1-6 tiles. Hopefully your new tiles will be more useful.

Points are based on how many tiles you put down plus points from existing lines you added to. If I add 2 tiles to a line of 3, I get 5 points. If I add 2 tiles to 2 different lines of 1 (by playing directly under another horizontal line for example), I get 6 points. If I complete a line (Qwirkle), I get 6 points for completing the line plus a 6 point Qwirkle bonus for a total of 12 points. There are a lot of different ways to lay down your tiles to get optimal points.

It really is a game that is best understood when played because it’s so heavily based on seeing the colors and shapes. After a few rounds, everyone’s picked up on it and the game goes pretty fast.

Ideally you don’t want to make it too easy for another player to Qwirkle, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

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