During a game of Splendor on Board Games Arena, I reached a state where no move can be made. My timer ran out and I was expelled from the game.

(source: i.ibb.co)

  • I can't reserve a card because my hand is full.
  • I can't take any token because none are available
  • I can't spend any card because I cant pay them

How should this kind of state be handled by the game? What should I have done while in this state?

I opened a thread on bgg too: What to do when you can't play? | Splendor and someone created a bug report on bga: When no action is possible, player is booted from the game (instead of passing automatically).

  • 1
    It looks like you're playing on BoardGameArena. If you believe there is a bug in there games you can report them here boardgamearena.com/bugs You've got a screen shot so that will help the developers. Jul 29, 2022 at 16:48
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    Or more specifically Splendour bugs can be reported here boardgamearena.com/bugs?game=1394 Jul 29, 2022 at 16:52
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    Am I missing something? It looks like you can pay for your second reserved card Jul 29, 2022 at 23:54
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    @Arcanist Lupus BGA has an option to show either card cost (as per physical copy) or show how much more in needed. for 2nd reserved card it looks like they have enough blue but need one more green. Jul 30, 2022 at 8:38
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    @ikkachu Its an option on the BGA version. I don't use it. I prefer the cards looking as the do in physical version. I find it to confusing and cards wouldn't do that in a real game. I agree I want to know what I have left. Jul 31, 2022 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


You pass the turn

More formally, you take the "take three" action and follow the "do as much as you can" principle* to take zero.

From a representative of Asmodee Games

So, official answer:

If a player really has no possibility to make any action, he is allowed to pass. And of course he has to prove this by showing his hand.

And regardless what the FAQ literally says, the official latest ruling is: If you want to use the action "take 3 different" and you can't because there are no 3 different, THEN, you can take 2 (or 1 if only one kind is available). Under no other circumstances you can take less and you can never take 0 unless you cannot take any other action as well, because this would be a pass turn.

The app may not allow you to take the "take three" action when you have no tokens to take, but that is the official way to handle the situation.

*"do as much as you can" is a fairly common method in board games of resolving situations where the game state makes it impossible to fully complete an action. It's not universal, but very common.

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    Doesn't the quote kinda contradict the statement in your first sentence? It says you can't choose "take three" to only take zero if there's any other move available, and explicitly calls it "passing" instead when you actually do get to pass because you can't do anything else.
    – ilkkachu
    Jul 31, 2022 at 8:44

In the Days of Wonder app, if you reach a state where (say) there are only 2 colours of token available, it allows you to just take those two tokens, even though this doesn't meet the action as stated in the rulebook of "Take 3 gem tokens of different colors". (I've never set up a situation where there are no tokens at all available) Again, while not definitive, this highly rated quick ref on BGG states "As many as possible if 3 colors not available".

Generalising this, I'd say you can take 0 tokens as your turn.

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