Onami is a strategic card game where players lay down cards on a board. When laying these different card they can capture other players cards. At the end of the game the player with the most cards under his or her control wins.



Onami is a competitive game that can be played with at least 2 players and as many as 4. The game is rooted in Japaese culture as many of the pieces represent different aspects of the culture, such as the Lotus or hthe Samurai.


The story behind the game of Onami is mixed with myth and legend. Long ago when large forces met on the fields of battle the leaders would often settle the victory based on the outcome of a game similar to Onami, as to not waste countless lives needlessly.




A game simple to learn, but difficult to master!

  1. Each player will draw 5 cards from the deck. Each card in their hand will have 4 numbers on it, one number on each facing of the card. North, East, South, and West.

  2. The first player ( chosen randomly ) will then place a card somewhere on that 5 x 5 grid. Next they will place a double sided token on the card marking that they own it, with the color of their choosing facing up. They will then draw a card from the deck, signaling the end of their turn.

  3. The next player will then go, doing the same thing.

When placing cards you must choose to place them in such a way that you can capture another players card while at the same time defending your own.




Onami can be played with some tweaks to the original rules that you may want to try out. The following are game play variations that we have come up with and have been suggested by Onami fans.


For 2,3,4 & 6 player games, draw a card from the deck FACE DOWN on the center square of the board. Spin the card in a random direction and then flip it over. This tile plays as any other would on future player's turns. The first time an adjacent card overpowers it, place the appropriate token/die on it.

This balances the number of turns per player. Under normal rules, in all but 5-player games, the first player gets an extra turn and is always last. The Starting Tile "fixes" this.


The first round, each player places a card from their hand on the board FACE DOWN anywhere on the board with their color token on it. Replenish your hand as normal.

While face down this is a island that can not be overpowered. You will want the card you choose to be strategic for your end game.

This is your SLEEPING ISLAND. On any turn after the first, instead of playing a card from your hand, you may AWAKEN YOUR ISLAND. When you Awaken the island you flip that card over and orient it in any direction you wish. This then plays as normal, triggering whatever waves occur in all four adjacencies. On the turn you awaken your island, you do not draw a card.

If you have not awakened your sleeping island by the time last card is placed it stays asleep and the game ends.


During game setup place 5 cards FACE DOWN forming a PLUS + in the center of the gameboard. No one ever claims these squares, they act as gameboard borders for the rules of how waves capture. Otherwise, play the game as normal.


The following are clarification on the rules as described in the Instruction Journal.

  1. When I lay down a card and the wave created off of my card can go into multiple directions, what happens?

    Waves can split. If a wave can go in multiple directions it is the choice of the capturing player which cards to capture. It's possible in some cases to actually capture less cards if you choose the less optimal path.

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