How To Play: Santorini – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Santorini is a game where strategy, flexibility, and understanding God Powers play crucial roles. The key is to master building tactics, block your opponents effectively, and strategically use your God Powers. Remember, it's not just about the strategy, but also about having fun and adapting to the game flow.

Hey there, board game buddies! Ever found yourself in the middle of a game of Santorini, scratching your head on how to clinch that win? Worry not! I’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt (or, in this case, the victory crown). I’ll break down not just the game rules but also dish out the top strategies to ensure your win. So, grab your builder’s hat, and let’s get to it!


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 18 Domes
  • 22 Level 1 Blocks
  • 18 Level 2 Blocks
  • 14 Level 3 Blocks
  • 6 Builders (3 pairs, 2 per color)
  • 30 God Cards

How To Play Santorini: Rules Summary

Alright, folks, strap in because we’re about to learn how to play one of the slickest board games out there – Santorini! Whether you’re a newbie or just need a quick refresher, this guide will get you up to speed in no time. So, let’s get started!


  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding builders.
  3. Shuffle the God Power cards and deal one to each player, if you’re using them.
  4. Decide who goes first. Now, you’re ready to roll!


  1. On your turn, move one of your builders to an adjacent space. You can move up one level, stay on the same level, or go down any number of levels.
  2. After moving, construct a building level adjacent to the moved builder. You can’t build on a space with another builder.
  3. Hand over to the next player. Rinse and repeat!


  1. You win by moving one of your builders onto the third level of a building. Bingo!
  2. If all moves or builds are impossible, you’re outta luck and the other player wins.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. God Powers: These cards give you special abilities. Use them wisely and according to their specific rules.
  2. Blocking: If you cap a building with a dome, no one can move there, effectively blocking that space.
  3. No take-backs: Once you move and build, your turn is over. So think ahead!

And there you have it! You’re now ready to dive into Santorini. Remember, it’s all about strategy, blocking your opponent, and a bit of luck. Have fun and may the best god or goddess win!

Best Santorini Strategies

Mastering the Divine: A Guide to Understanding God Powers in Santorini

In Santorini, God Powers can flip the game on its head. First, always know your power well. Does it beef up your building, or mess with your opponent? Big difference!

Choosing the Right God Power

  1. Match your power to your play style. Aggressive? Athena. Sneaky? Hermes.
  2. Think ahead. Pick powers that grow stronger as the game goes on.

Adapting to Your Opponent’s Power

  1. Know their power as well as yours. Plan to dodge or counter it.
  2. Change your moves based on their god. Don’t just play; play against.

Using Your Power at the Right Time

  1. Timing is key. Wait for the perfect moment to unleash your godly skill.
  2. Don’t waste it. Some powers are one-shot. Make it count.

The Blueprint to Victory: Mastering Building Strategy in Santorini

Winning at Santorini isn’t just about climbing; it’s about building smart. Here’s how:

Claim Your Territory Early

  1. Start by placing your buildings in strategic spots. Think about access and how to box in your opponent.

Think Vertically

  1. Don’t just focus on the ground level. Plan your towers to force opponents into dead ends.

Block, Then Climb

  1. Use your turns to block opponents’ paths. It’s not just about going up; it’s about keeping them down.

Adapting these strategies to your game will set you on the path to victory!

The Art of Sabotage: Mastering Blocking in Santorini

Blocking opponents is a key tactic in Santorini. It’s not just about building your way to victory; it’s about carefully placing your buildings to thwart your opponents’ plans. Use these strategies to turn the tides in your favor.

Strategic Building Placement

  1. Always observe your opponents’ movements and anticipate their next steps.
  2. Place your buildings in a way that disrupts their direct path to victory.

Timely Use of God Powers

  1. Choose god powers that allow you to block or alter the state of the board effectively.
  2. Use your powers at the moment your opponent least expects, to maximum effect.

Creating Obstacles

  1. Focus on not just your advancement, but also on how your actions can create barriers for your opponents.
  2. Strategically place your second builder to act as a blockade.

## Master the Marvel of Santorini
In wrapping up, the key to becoming a Santorini champ lies not just in how well you play, but how smartly you strategize. From maneuvering your builders in anticipation of your next move, to leveraging your God Powers at the most opportune moments, success in Santorini is a blend of foresight, flexibility, and a bit of fun-loving cunning. Remember, every game is a new chance to outwit and outbuild your opponents, laying claim to the island’s mythic glory. So gather your friends, pick your gods, and set forth on a quest to reign supreme over the picturesque island of Santorini. Who knows? With enough practice, you might just become the next legend whispered among the gods!

Want to know what we think of Santorini? Read our detailed review of Santorini 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.