Growing beans is the odd topic of this card game, which shares aspects of rummy and trading games. While you collect money for large sets of the same kind of bean, often you will have to harvest your beans early to make room for another kind of crop, cutting your profits. Trading away beans you don't want is the key to this game, since if you can't trade them you have to plant them in your own field, which means harvesting something else earlier than you want.
Bohnanza is entertaining and quite simple to learn. There is enough luck in the drawing of cards so that anyone can win, but not so much luck that you don't feel it is responsible for you winning or losing.
I found the available translations of the rules to all be a little ambiguous, so you may need to develop your own house rules.
Bohnanza Expansion 1
What? More beans?
Bohnanza--the freeform bean-trading game from Uwe Rosenberg--proved to be such a success that it was only a matter of time before there came an expansion. In fact, to date there have been two expansions and a spin off. While the second expansion (La Isla Bohnitâ) is of dubious value at best, this first expansion is in my view invaluable.
The expansion simply allows two more players--up to seven--to participate in the game. Since the active player can trade with anyone, there is almost no downtime in Bohnanza, so seven players is not a problem. But even if you normally play with five or fewer, the expansion is not wasted, for the bean varieties that it adds are equally useful with as few as three players. With the expansion you have a much greater flexibility in the kinds of beans you grow. Don't like the ultra-rare beans? Don't use them. By selectively removing some bean varieties you can also alter the length of the game.
It's good to see that the English language edition of this game includes the cards from the basic game and this expansion, all in one box. As such, this expansion set is only of value to those who have the original German version from Amigo, but those people should consider this expansion a must.