How To Play: Puerto Rico – Setup, rule summary and strategy

This quick guide delves into efficient strategies for playing Puerto Rico, covering topics like resource management, building selection, and the timing of role selections. It encompasses everything from initial setup to advanced strategies, encouraging players to enjoy and adapt their strategies for optimal gameplay and fun.

Hey, fellow board gamers! Ready to conquer the island of Puerto Rico? Well, you’ve docked at the right post. Today, we’re diving into the colorful world of Puerto Rico, a game where strategy is king and every decision counts. From the game rules to the winning strategies, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your plantation hat, and let’s get started.


What’s in the box

  • 5 Individual player boards
  • 1 Governor card
  • 8 Role cards
  • 49 Buildings
  • 58 Island tiles
  • 1 Colonist ship
  • 100 Colonists
  • 1 Trading House
  • 50 Goods tokens
  • 5 Cargo ships
  • 50 Victory point chips
  • 1 Supply board
  • 9 Cargo ship tiles
  • 50 Doubloons
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Puerto Rico: Rules Summary

Getting into Puerto Rico might seem daunting at first, but once you dive into it with your friends, you’ll find a game of strategy, cunning, and a bit of good old-fashioned luck. Here’s a simple guide I put together after many nights of playing and laughing over this game. Whether you’re planning, harvesting, or shipping, each phase is a blast. Let’s break it down:


  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding player board.
  3. Distribute the initial buildings, colonists, and resources to each player.
  4. Set aside the victory points and cargo ships near the game board.


  1. Choose a starting player. They take the governor tile.
  2. On your turn, choose a role card. This determines your action for the round, along with giving a bonus to the chooser.
  3. Players take turns in clockwise order, performing the selected action.
  4. Once everyone has acted, the role cards are returned, and the next player clockwise becomes the governor.
  5. Continue this process, with players selecting roles, until the end game conditions are met.


  1. The game ends when either the colonist ship cannot be refilled, the victory points run out, or someone fills up their city.
  2. Add up victory points from buildings, bonus points, and shipped goods.
  3. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If you run out of a specific resource, use a placeholder to keep the game moving.
  2. Buildings have unique powers that can alter the course of the game. Pay attention to their specific rules.
  3. Remember, only one large building of each type is allowed per player.

And there you have it! The basics of How To Play puerto rico. Grab some friends, set aside an evening, and get ready for an adventure in the Caribbean. Who knew that managing crops and shipping goods could be such a laugh?

Best Puerto Rico Strategies

Mastering Resource Management to Dominate in Puerto Rico

Managing your resources in Puerto Rico is like juggling knives. Do it well, and you’ll impress everyone. Slip up, and well, it’s game over. Here’s how to keep those knives in the air.

1. Timing is Everything

  1. Always monitor the flow of goods. Harvest at the right time to ensure you have what you need, when you need it.

2. Diversify Your Portfolio

  1. Don’t put all your corn in one basket. Diversifying ensures you’re not at the mercy of the market.

3. Efficient Storage

  1. Maximize warehouse space. Unused goods are missed opportunities. Plan ahead to avoid spoilage.

The Master Key to Victory: Building Selection in Puerto Rico

Selecting the right buildings is crucial for winning in Puerto Rico. Here’s how to nail your strategy:

1. Early Game Essentials

  1. Focus on buildings that increase your resource production. These are your bread and butter.
  2. Consider the Small Market for an early economic boost.

2. Mid-Game Moves

  1. Transition towards buildings that offer versatility, like the Factory for varied goods production.
  2. Eye the Harbor to maximize shipping points.

3. Late Game Legends

  1. Invest in big point buildings like the Guild Hall or Residence. These can secure your victory.
  2. Don’t forget about defensive play. Block strategies that might let others win.

The Secret Sauce: Mastering Role Selection Timing in Puerto Rico

Winning at Puerto Rico doesn’t just happen by chance. It’s all about making smart choices at the right time, especially when selecting roles. Here’s how:

Early Game Moves

  1. Choose the Settler to grab prime plantation spots.
  2. Pick the Craftsman to start producing goods early.

Mid-Game Strategy

  1. Opt for the Builder to expand your infrastructure.
  2. Select the Mayor to populate your buildings.

Late Game Tactics

  1. Go for the Captain to ship goods for points.
  2. The Trader becomes crucial for extra cash.

By carefully timing your role selections, you’re not just playing the game; you’re strategizing to win.

## Wrapping Up: Mastering Puerto Rico

And there you have it, folks! After diving deep into the strategies, making a few mistakes, and having a blast with my friends, I’ve shared my top tips on how to play Puerto Rico like a pro. Remember, every game is a new adventure. Whether you’re focusing on building selection or timing your role choices just right, the key is to adapt and enjoy the journey. Grab your friends, set up the board, and may the best governor win!

Want to know what we think of Puerto Rico? Read our detailed review of Puerto Rico here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.