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Salt Merchant

Salt merchant is a fun card game of business, luck, math and strategy. Each player becomes a salt merchant and tries to outplay other players and become the first to setup maximum number of salt manufacturing factories and hence earn maximum money.

  Full Game Play and Rules

Your grandfather started the salt manufacturing business 50 years ago. After thriving for many years, the salt business is now in trouble. Faced by tough competition and the lack of a good management, there's a risk of business going bankrupt. It's up to you to take up this challenge and save this family business. Your challenges are to acquire good labor, factories, dig more salt water wells and automate your factories. There's a tough competition too. So, you have to be smart, make the right moves and setup factories of all different types, if you want to regain the lost glory. The salt merchant is a thrilling card game to rebuild half a century old family business!

Setting up the game - Place the cards deck and payout cards in the center of the table.

  • 1. Separate payout cards and shuffle the deck well.
  • 2. Give 3 cards from the deck to each player.
  • 3. Give 6 coins of value 5 to each player.
  • 4. Keep the rest of deck and payout card separately in the middle of all players.
Once everything is set, you are ready to play.

Game end - Game finishes as soon as one of the player reaches winning goal of setting up at least 1 factory of all 3 types

The game consists of following cards and material -

  • 1. Factory cards - There are total 15 factory cards, 5 each of type free flow, iodised and crude salt. Each factory has it's price, maximum production capacity and labour requirements written over it.
  • 2. Well cards - There are total 15 well cards with various capacity and prices. You need at least 1 well card along with a factory.
  • 3. Labour cards - There are total 25 labour cards. Each labour cards has a number of labours and their pay written over it. To put up a factory, you need labour or automation cards.The pay of labour is deducted from your final pay for each factory, from your payout, in each round. To pick up a labour card from deck or open pile, you don't have to pay any coins.
  • 4. Automation cards - There are total 5 automation cards. Automation cards can be used in place of labour cards, to save labour pay. The capacity and price of each automation card is written over it.
  • 5. Payout cards - There are total 20 payout cards. Each payout card contains payment rates for each type of factory. The player gets payment according to the rates she gets in her payout card, for each factory she has placed.
  • 6. Coins - There are 40 coins of value 5 and 10 coins of value 1.


Shree Kant, the co-designer of the game, was born and raised in Phalodi, a city in Western Rajasthan, which is also called as "Salt City". Shree Kant's grandfather, Late Kanhaiyalal Bohra, was among the one of the earliest 'Salt Merchant' and pioneer of the organized salt business in the area in early 1960s. In this area, salt is produced from salty water coming out of deep wells in a nearby area called BAP-RIN.

Growing around the Salt Industry and being proud of it's rich history, when he decided to make his second game, he chose to make a card game on the Salt Industry, to give tribute to all the people who have worked thanklessly in this salt industry for more than 60 years now. There are millions of stories of workers, labors, thekedars, seths and many more people, associated with the industry, which are left untold.

When you play this game, you are actually living the life of these people, celebrating their efforts and being part of their story.

My grandfather's younger brother, standing in the extreme left with the workers at Salt Fields in early 70s

Images of gathering of "Salt Mechants" of the areaOld photo of a Salt Factory


"Superb and really addictive. It's very eary to learn and once you get hold of it, you just can't resist to play it again and again for hours and try to setup salt factories. Haha it's so much fun. only thing I don't like is the fire in factories :P" - Nicky
"Fun and addictive card game" - Mohit