Sabacc (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

Do you consider yourself a Star Wars fan? Then you surely know Sabacc, the fictional “best game in the universe,” turned reality. Learn the Sabacc rules here and now!

Sabacc was first introduced to us, Earthlings, in 1983 as a high-stake game played by Han Solo, an iconic Star Wars character impersonated by Harrison Ford in the film franchise.

But let me confess that I am a much bigger fan of card games than sci-fi films, so I first discovered Sabacc as a regular game without knowing much about its cultural references. 

Although this game reportedly originates in a faraway galaxy, I found it surprisingly similar to classic Blackjack or Poker (see Follow the Queen Poker or Joker Rules for comparison).

In any case, it’s an exciting and not too-difficult game for two to eight players with beautifully designed cards, a fast pace, and a hard-to-predict outcome.

This Sabacc rules guide will cover the following: 

  • What is Sabacc?
  • What you’ll need to play Sabacc
  • Sabacc rules
  • How to play Sabacc (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Sabacc (our guides)

Continue reading this step-by-step guide to learn how to play Sabacc.

What is Sabacc?

Sabacc Card Game Info Image

Sabacc may originate in the universe, but it’s not as complicated as it might seem. The game revolves around undemanding counting, so it’s suitable even for kids or beginners.

Number of Players: 2 – 8 players

Ages: 10+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 20 – 30 minutes

Category: Strategic card collecting game

Similar to: Blackjack, Poker, JokerFollow the Queen

Main Objective: Get cards as close to zero as possible.

Why We Love It: Sabacc is a refreshingly original yet straightforward and logical game. Also, it’s a perfect treat for all the Star Wars fans!

What You’ll Need to Play Sabacc

This game requires the original Sabacc card deck (you can find different versions from various manufacturers, but we’ll focus on the one by Galaxy Edge in this article). 

The game set contains the following:

  • 30 green positive values cards (1 to 10, three of each)
  • 30 red negative values cards (-1 to -10, three of each)
  • 2 zero cards
  • 2 dice


You can also find Sabacc credit chips (separately sold) in the stores, but the official rules for the game do not mention any betting. I believe it is an option to use on your terms.

Our Pick
Galaxy Edge Sabacc Card Playing Game, from Solo: A Star Wars Story
$26.99 $24.90
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Our Pick
Sabacc Wood Credit Chips x25 Lasercut
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10/21/2023 06:07 pm GMT

Sabacc Rules and Gameplay

There are reportedly dozens of different Sabacc versions around the galaxy, but the one that gained the most notoriety and popularity on Earth is the so-called Corellian Spike. 

As few as two players can play the game, but I enjoy it much better with more opponents (4 to 5 works great). 

Starting the Game

Before you start playing, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the game materials, as Sabacc is not your typical poker-style cards deck. 

The cards are divided into two colors (green and red), and each includes three different suits according to the symbols they depict (circles, triangles, squares).

Nevertheless, suits are not important in the game. Similarly, you don’t have to worry about the symbols on the dice. I’ve also played this game with standard dice, and nothing changed. 

The dealer (it can be a volunteer or the oldest player) shuffles the deck and deals two cards to each player. Players keep their cards hidden from each other. 

The rest of the deck will be your draw pile, whereas the top card from the pile can be flipped over and placed next to it as a discard pile. Now you’re ready to start playing.

How to Play Sabacc

Each hand of Sabacc is played over three rounds. During these three rounds, each player tries to collect cards with a total value as close to zero as possible.

The player to the dealer’s left takes their turn first. They can choose one of the following actions:

  • Draw one card from the draw pile and optionally discard one of the cards to the discard pile (they can also continue with three cards if they want..)
  • Swap one of their cards with the top card of the discard pile
  • Stand – pass the turn to the player on their left without taking any action
  • Junk – discard all your cards face-up on the discard pile if you’re sure you’re going to lose the game (similar to folding in Poker).

Players complete one round, each choosing one of the actions above. Then, when the dealer finishes his first turn as the last of the players, he rolls the dice

  • If he rolls doubles, players discard all their cards and get the same number of new cards from the draw pile (i.e., if a player had two cards, he’ll get two new cards, etc.)
  • If he rolls any other combination, nothing happens, and the game proceeds.

This process is repeated three times (these are the three rounds of the one Sabacc hand). Then the players compare the total value of the cards in their hands. 

Sabacc Scoring 

Hitting exactly 0 with your cards (for example, if you have cards worth +3 and –3) is called Sabacc. This is what every player tries to achieve in this game to become the winner.

However, a tie is very common in this game (in my experience, much more common than a clear victory, especially if you play in a larger group). In case of a tie, follow these rules:

  • If no one has zero, the closest positive number wins (from –2, –1, and 1, 1 wins)
  • If more players have zero, the one with more cards in hand wins.
  • If more players have zero AND the same number of cards, compare only the total value of their positive cards. The highest value wins. 

You can stop here and declare the winner of the first hand the total game-winner, or continue playing more hands and compare your scores later. 

How to Play Sabacc Game – Video Tutorial 

Sabacc Frequently Asked Questions

Can you play Sabacc alone?

No, you need at least one opponent for this game. Ideally, you should have at least three or four opponents – that’s where the fun begins. Sabacc can be played by 2 to 8 players.

Is Sabacc just Poker?

No. Although Sabacc is often compared to Poker, the two have many differences. I believe that Sabacc is also much more straightforward than Poker.

What do the dice do in Sabacc?

The dice make any difference in this game only if the dealer rolls a double at the end of the round. In this case, all the players discard their cards and get new ones. 

Other Similar Games to Sabacc (Our Guides) 

Check our guides to the following Sabacc alternatives before leaving:

Also, don’t forget to check out our Star Wars Trivia Questions for more Star Wars-themed fun!

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Read all the articles (121) written by Lucia Fajnerova