Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Patchwork Board Game. This is a showdown built for 2 players is all about who can draft the better pieces and then take those and better put together a Tetris shaped puzzle in your personal space to get the biggest points. The game is for 2 – 4 players at ages 8+. The rules for how to play Patchwork are incredibly easy and should have you up in running in no time.

FOR MORE: Patchwork Page | Games Like Patchwork | Buy Patchwork on Amazon


You compete against another to build the most aesthetic patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. To start play, all the patches are laid out at random in a circle with a marker placed directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. On a turn, a player either purchases 1 of the 3 patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. Lots of complexity ensues and it is up to you to masterfully put together these odd patch pieces into strategic point clusters that give you big points.


Time Needed: Approximately 15 – 30 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Patchwork the popular drafting and puzzle abstract strategy board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Place The Central Time Board
To kick off how to play Patchwork setup you need to place the main game board. It is two sided but the only difference is appearance. Use whichever you like better.

2. SETUP | Give Out Player Board & Buttons
Each player needs to receive their own 9×9 grid board and 5x button tokens. Distribute these now.

3. SETUP | Place Time Tokens On Starting Space
Put the yellow and the green time tokens on the starting space of the central time board. This will be on the outside and the furthest spot from the middle. Each of the two pieces correspond to each of the two players.

4. SETUP | Place Special Tile Markers on Central Board
The central time board has five dark square spaces covering different areas of the board. Find the corresponding dark tokens and place these on each space shown on the central board.

5. SETUP | Place Pieces Around Game Board
Take all the puzzle pieces and place them in a loose circle around the central board. This is so they can all be seen and easily accessed.

6. SETUP | Place Neutral Token
In your circle of tiles, find the smallest one (a 1×2 patch). Place the wooden figure “neutral” token in between this 1×2 patch and the patch above it in the circle.

7. SETUP | Place 7×7 Side Objective Tile
There is a special tile with 7×7 listed on it. Place this near the board. This is taken by the player that is able to get to a filled in square of that size first and then awards 7 buttons (worth points) at the end of the game.

8. SETUP | Determine Starting Player
The final step to how to play Patchwork setup before getting into Gameplay is to determine the starting player. Go ahead and use your randomizer of choice like a coin flip or who lost the previous game.

9. GAMEPLAY | Action Choice 1 | Take & Place A Patch | Patch Options
If you choose this option, you have the option to buy one of the three patches clockwise from the neutral token (brown wooden thing within your circle of patches). These cost buttons and move you along the time track. The button cost is the number with the circle and dots symbol, the spaces along the time track is the number next to the hourglass icon.

10. GAMEPLAY | Action Choice 1 | Take & Place A Patch | Purchase & Place
Turn in buttons from your supply equal to the cost of the piece back to the main stockpile. You then take the piece and put it anywhere within your personal board. The only rule is that pieces on your board cannot overlap. You can rearrange in any order when placing, but once you put it down, it is there forever.

11. GAMEPLAY | Action Choice 1 | Take & Place A Patch | Move Neutral Token
The neutral token that determined the piece options now moves. It goes to the spot where the patch was taken from. If you took the third one, for example, the neutral piece would skip over the first and second option to setup a brand new three pieces for next time. If you took the first option, for example, the token would stay in the same place, providing the same two options plus a new one for the next person who attempts to buy.

12. GAMEPLAY | Action Choice 1 | Take & Place A Patch | Move Along Time Track
After all the other steps have resolved, the final thing to do is move your player token around the time track. Move your player token forward on the time track equal to the number of spaces the purchased piece said.

13. GAMEPLAY | Action Choice 2 | Catch Up With Opponent on Track
In case you are low on buttons or need to strategically do so, you can instead skip the patch buying process and do a different kind of move along the track. You can choose to just move your token along the time track as many spaces as it takes to put you one space in front of your opponent. You then get one button for every space you had to move. The turn structure is that whenever a turn ends, whoever is further back on the track goes, so this is a strategic decision to make.

14. GAMEPLAY | Passing Button Income Markers
On the time track, one of the symbols scattered throughout is the button symbol. The moment your token passes one of these on a time track, you go to your personal board, count the number of total button symbols on all your purchased pieces, and then you collect that amount of buttons (these are needed to buy pieces).

15. GAMEPLAY | Passing Special Patch Marks
The loose tokens that you placed at the beginning of the game are special patch tokens that correspond to spaces on the time track. The first player to pass over a patch, gets it. This is a wildcard piece that you get to take a place on your personal board. The idea is to help you fill in gaps in your quilt that you may have missed, which will help you achieve the 7×7 goal first.

16. GAMEPLAY | Turn Over & Furthest Back Player Goes
There is no turn order. The person that goes is whoever is further back on the time track. A turn consists of completing the above, but once that is done you check placement to proceed. This means that one of the player could take several turns in a row if they were able to move in a way to make that happen. If players occupy the same space, the player on top (you stack on top of a player if you move there after them) is the one that goes

17. GAME ENDS | All Player Tokens Pass Final Space On Board
Once both players have made it to the end of the time track, the game is over and you need to move onto scoring. This is the end of how to play Patchwork gameplay.

18. SCORING | Buttons Minus Empty Spaces
Count how many buttons you have at the end of the game. You will get one point for everyone one of these you have. Then count the number of empty squares remaining on your player board. You lose two points for every space you have left over.

19. WINNING | High Score Wins
Whoever has the highest total at the end of this wins.



The central time track board has two sides to help keep things fresh. The only difference between the two sides of the board is appearance. They both have the same number of spaces and bonuses that you hit as you move along. Like a good quilt, choose whichever one is more aesteically pleasing and comfortable for you.


  • 1x Two-Sided Central Time Track Board
  • 2x Quilt Boards
  • 33x Patches (various shapes)
  • 1x Neutral Token
  • 2x Player Time Tokens
  • 5x Special Tile Patch Tokens
  • 1x Special Objective Tile
  • 32x One Button Tiles
  • 12x Five Button Tiles
  • 5x Ten Button Tiles
  • 1x Twenty Button Tiles
  • 1x Rulebook


We hope you can now say you know how to play Patchwork. This abstract strategy game about making a quilt is a good time and a great use of drafting and putting together a Tetris like puzzle on a personal tableau. Built specifically for two players, the back and forth gameplay is special and a great option for that count. The rules for how to play Patchwork are very easy, it is mastering the game where the challenge lies.