Settlers of Catan (House Rules)

As all of you listeners know, I am a huge fan of Settlers of Catan.  On Episode 15, I mentioned that we play with house rules and team rules to make the game even more enjoyable for our game group.

Here are the rules we have added/changed:

We play 4 player games on the 5-6 player expansion.  This change gives us a lot more space to work with for growing our empires.

You get resources for the first two settlements that you place, instead of just the second one.  This allows us to have a quicker start from the get go.

We ignore 7’s on during the first round.  This is because starting with 6 cards instead of 3, really screws player 4 if a 7 is rolled before they take their first turn.

Team Rules:

We play to 15 points with two teams of two players.

Teammates cannot trade with one another but they can steal from one another with 7’s and soldiers.

Teammates share development cards.

When a player has more than 7 cards and a 7 is rolled they may give on discarded card to their teammate.

Teammates share roads.

Let me know your feedback and any house rules you use!



Settlers of Catan (House Rules) — 4 Comments

  1. hi Jason, thanks for your publication!

    It’s the first time I can read about playing by teams…great! because I’ve been thinking about it many times.

    We use to play 4, basic Catan with all the expansions and it’s really great!

    I would like to know if you’re still playing by teams and if you apply more rules.

    Tomorrow we have a big one game…. our first 25 VP game!!



    • Thanks Tolo,

      I still play by the same rules i mentioned in the post. We haven’t found any huge needs to adjust. I’m interested to try a 25 VP game. That would be epic.



  2. We’ve been playing in teams for quite some time, actually, we never went back to the One-against-the-world ways. it’s either 2 against 2 (15 combined VP’s to win) or 3 against 3 (21 combined VP’s to win).
    Rules are not broken in anyway, the only exception is the “one or more for zero cards trade”.
    players sit in between teams. No 2 teammates should seat together.
    You decide were to put the first settlements as a team, but the order of placement is still clockwise and counter-clockwise after.
    When playing you can get all the cards of the team and think what to expand or buy. If playing 3-3 you can give the cards for a house to a teammate for in-between turn building, and before ending your turn, give the remaining cards to your teammates in a way no one will likely get 8 or more.
    No cards are trade when is the opponent’s turn. although 3-3 game allows building in-between turns.
    We play tournaments of games won, best out of 3, or 7 even.
    Lemme know how it works for you!! it will change the way you see this game! might loose some friendships too! hehe

    • Hi Christian!
      On sunday we have our second great team match, 2 against 2 again! Of course I think it’s much more amazing than One-against-the World and we’re looking for new partners to join for a 2-2-2 match…it should be more than great!
      We played 5 hours in our first match (apart from 1 hour for preparing the game!!), to 30 point or the team which get more point at one time. We won 25 to 23 point! ;-))
      We played with the expansion Pirates and Explorers but adding another island in the oppossite.
      We changed some rules:
      .- You can give or receive one card to/from your partner for free, from here, you must interchange one by one card.
      .- Play with Cities and Knights from that expansion.
      .- One of each team begins in each island and seat alternative in the table.
      .- We give 2 minutes time for thinking the strategy each turn, after that u have to buy and move.
      .- With a 7 we place the robber and the pirate.
      .- Each player begins with a city, a village and a portuary city.
      .- Play with tha cards and items from the Basic Catan too.
      .- We can do Metropolis.
      .- We play with event cards as an option, that is, you can throw the dice or take a card.

      Well, the result was a long, very competitive match with a lot of tension and amusing. We’re going to introduce some changes for the next match but still not decided.

      The race is about to begin…. preparing troops!