Ali Baba

Variant for the board game by Abacus


In this variant, all players take on the role of an Ali Baba as in the famous story, seeking to gain wealth at the expense of the Forty Thieves.


The existing game comes with materials appropriate to a true Arabian Nights adventure, but the actual play more resembles a modern insurance theme. The idea of this variant is to restore more of the flavor of the original tale.

Extra Materials

Before the game

Players take turns as usual, but with an altered structure:
  1. Decide how much treasure to steal from the cave.
  2. Play a movement card.
  3. Resolve the space moved to.

Decide how much treasure to steal from the cave.

The player decides how much he would like to steal. The amount dictates how many turns they must spend gathering jewels and coins in the "Open Sesame" cave, prolonging their risk of being caught by thieves.

After the player decides how much treasure to take, count players clockwise the listed number of turns and place this amount of cash in front of this player with the current player's token covering it. If the number of turns is greater than the number of players, place an extra token for each time this number has been exceeded.

Players may not take an amount for which the number of turns would exceed the number of spaces which could be visited in the remainder of the game.

Players wanting to take more treasure while they are currently in the cave waiting to claim treasure, may do so by extending their stay. However, this is re-calculated from a zero base. Thus, if the player wishes to extend their stay by 1 turn, they may add an extra 1000 to the stack under their token.

Play a movement card.

The player plays a movement card and moves the figure appropriately as normal.

When the figure crosses the halfway mark of the board in the first round, the discarded movement cards are shuffled and dealt out to the players so that all have the same number of cards as they began the game with.

This same process is conducted again when the figure reaches or crosses the start space and again when it again reaches the halfway mark.

Resolve the space moved to.

If the space entered is a jewel, then any players currently in the cave, i.e. any player with cash under a token, is now in danger of being caught. The current player decides whether to turn up 1, 2 or 3 cards of the corresponding deck (on some spaces more than one deck) of thieves and then rolls the dice. (The player must announce the number of cards before seeing any and adhere to this decision.) If the dice indicate a number on any of these thieves, then any player currently in the cave has been caught. They lose all the funds under their tokens to the bank. In addition, they must pay 1000 from their holdings, unless they are bankrupt.

If a player has not been caught and the cash is sitting in front of the current player, he removes a token from the cash. If this is the last cash, he now claims it as his own.

Then the player who has lost the most money receives the just turned up thief of his choice and keeps it face-up in front of him. If there are more thieves, they may be taken by other players who have been caught in descending order of cash lost. If there are ties, then cash is claimed in order beginning from the player to the left of the current player and progressing around the table.

No player may claim a card of the type he already has. Cards not claimed are used to form a discard pile which, when the deck is exhausted, are used to form a new deck.

In subsequent turns, if a player is caught by a thief of a type which he has previously claimed, he may ignore all thieves of that type.

Note that for the purposes of the above two paragraphs, matching "type" means that the thief must be not only the same color, but also contain the same name and symbol on the card.

Ending the Game

The game ends when the Start space has been reached or passed for the second time. The last space moved to is resolved as usual.


The player who has stolen the most treasure, i.e. has the most money, wins.

Optional Rules

Devising meanings for the Grafitti Symbols in this variant is left to the reader.
Last updated: Tue Nov 16 16:41:06 PST 1999
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