OBJECTIVE OF SONO:  Be the player with the highest score at the end of the game



RANK OF CARDS: (low) 9 – Ace (high), one Joker

TYPE OF GAME: Tableau building

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Sono is a tableau building game from designer Reiner Knizia that challenges players to build the highest scoring rows or columns.  Players will compete by strategically placing cards in order to build specific combinations.


Sono uses a 25 card deck including the 9’s up through the Aces of each suit as well as one Joker.  Keep the Joker separate from the rest of the cards.  It will be used at the end of the game.  Shuffle the cards and deal ten cards face down to each player one at a time.  The remaining five cards are then placed face down to form a diagonal line.  Each of these cards designates one of the rows in the tableau.


While playing Sono, players will choose and play one card from their hand to the tableau in order to build a shared 5×5 grid.  The dealer is working to build the columns, and the non-dealer is working to build the rows.  

During a turn, the player will choose one card from their hand and play it on the tableau.  Cards must be played in a spot that is adjacent to a card that is already played. 

When a face down diagonal card has two adjacent cards next to it, it can be flipped over and revealed.  When all five of the diagonal cards are revealed, players must show their remaining cards for the rest of the game.  This can be done by simply laying them face up on the table.

Once all of the cards have been played, the game is over.


Once the grid is complete, players will tally up their scores based on the cards in their respective rows or columns.  For example, the player who earns points for rows, will look at each row and score the following:

For each row containing a pair, the player earns 1 point.  

Two pairs in a row = 2 points

Three of a kind = 3 points

Full House = 5 points

Straight = 5 points

Four of a kind = 6 points

Five of a kind = 10 points

A Clan is made up of five red cards, five black cards, five numbered cards (including aces), or five face cards and is worth 3 points

When scoring, each player may place the Joker on top of any one card they wish in order to get the highest score possible.  The Joker may only be used one time by each player.  


The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

Mark Ball
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