Machi Koro Strategy Guide: May Your Merchants Roll!

Machi Koro is a great game for casual gamers. It’s simple enough to be played by those who are new to board games, yet it has enough strategy and depth to keep experienced players having fun as well. Machi Koro is a clever combination of luck and skill, which makes the game enjoyable for people of various gaming backgrounds. 

The best strategy to win in Machi Koro is to get a town or ranch as your first building. Most players don’t realize they can win without buying any of the expensive landmarks. The secret is to get a ranch first and then buy lots of cheap landmarks. 

Machi Koro is quick and easy to learn, but there are a few strategies that can help you win. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best Machi Koro tips and tricks. 

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, read on for some helpful advice. 

Machi Koro 5th Anniversary Edition board game
You can click on the picture for up to date pricing on this astounding game.

Machi Koro General Gameplay Explained

Machi Koro is a kind of “economic town-building” game, which means that players are trying to build their own little towns as a general goal. Each player rolls a six-sided die and then uses the roll to purchase buildings or developments. 

The idea behind the game is to achieve certain combinations of cards or dice rolls to take over the town, or to be the first player to build a complete town (or cities) with specific requirements. 

When playing Machi Koro, players draw cards from a deck. These cards are landmarks, like hotels, parks, restaurants, or a sum of money. The money cards, in particular, are used as currency for buying and trading for lands as well as building up your town. 

Furthermore, you have to buy and trade land to build on top of it. You can then expand your buildings to attract new people and businesses to your town, in hopes of making it big! 

Rules and Tactics 

  • The game is made for 2-4 players.
    There are four different kinds of cards in Machi Koro: 
    • Establishments 
    • Landmarks 
    • Industry 
    • Utilities  
  • Players are given a certain number of cards at the beginning of the game. 
  • On a player’s turn, they roll two dice and must play one card from their hand that corresponds to the result. 
  • Buildings earn the player money each time someone rolls the corresponding number on the dice; landmarks earn points, and utilities allow players to manipulate the results of die rolls.
  • The first player to build all four of their buildings wins the game. 

The Best Strategy for Machi Koro

Machi Koro is a great game for the whole family. It’s easy enough for children to play but still offers enough strategy to keep adults interested. There are several strategies you can use to win this game. 

Buy a Ranch at the Start

Not every strategy works for every player, but one of the best strategies is to start the game by purchasing a ranch. It’ll only cost you one coin to buy the ranch, it delivers a coin each turn, and occasionally gives you an additional coin when opponents land on the same activation number. 

This will help you to build up cash early in the game, which provides you with the opportunity to purchase more expensive establishments later. 

Focus on Building Industry Cards in the Early Game

The best strategy for Machi Koro is to stock up on the Primary Industry cards early. These cards generate money for you at the beginning of each round. 

Most people focus on purchasing buildings, but this means they will be waiting until later rounds to make some good cash. The sooner you get these Primary Industry cards, the more coins you can earn in a single turn. 

Mid Game Is All About Major Establishments

In the mid-game of Machi Koro, start stacking up on all the major establishment cards you can get your hands on. At the very least, you should focus on purchasing at least one or two of these cards. It will give you a massive advantage over your opponents. 

With major establishments in play, you can force your opponents to pay you a fixed amount of coins each round. With everyone else hoarding money during the mid-game, you can easily steal their hard-earned coins without much effort. 

Spend Money, Don’t Hoard

The goal of Machi Koro is to have the most money at the end of the game. You can do this in a number of ways, including building up your city and taking advantage of others when they hurt themselves. 

But there’s a better way. The real way to win Machi Koro is to invest in infrastructure: 

  • Railroads 
  • Landmarks 
  • Factories 

Why? Because building infrastructure acts as a defense against your opponents’ attacks. If you build a Railroad, then anytime someone rolls the dice and takes your money, you get some back. The same goes for Landmarks. 

When you get a lot of money, don’t hoard it. Instead, invest it well to increase your winnings. If you notice that your opponents are trying to get as much money as they can from the bank, then make sure you invest in your city’s infrastructure. 

This will prevent them from stealing any of your hard-earned money, as well. 

The Goal of Machi Koro

Machi Koro, or “Town Square” in Japanese, is a dice game designed by Masao Suganuma. It was released in 2012 by IDW Games and since then has grown in popularity with over 1 million copies sold around the world. 

The goal in Machi Koro is to build a prosperous town. You start out with a basic city, but as you play the game, you will use cards to add new features and buildings, hopefully making your town more successful than your opponents’ towns. 

Pros of Playing Machi Koro

  • Machi Koro is a fast-paced, lighthearted game that is easy to learn and fun for all ages. 
  • The game can be played with as few as two players or as many as four, making it perfect for gatherings with friends and family. 
  • There are a variety of expansions available that add new elements and challenges to the game. 
  • Machi Koro is a great way to teach kids about money and business concepts. 
  • It’s portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go. 
  • The cards are high quality and will last for years with proper care. 

Cons of Playing Machi Koro

  • The game is considered too short for many players, as it can be completed in about 30 minutes. 
  • The player interaction is limited, allowing players only to interact with each other at the end of the game. 
  • Playing it can be repetitive, and some people find playing the same game over and over again to be boring. 
  • The dice rolls are completely random and left to chance, so it’s not really satisfying if you’re in the mood for a skill-based game. 
  • Some of the cards are just too powerful, and they can easily make the game unfair to the point of being unenjoyable for some players.

How To Play Machi Koro

Here are the basic instructions for gameplay:


You begin with a bakery and wheat field. You also get four Landmark cards:

  • Train station 
  • Shopping mall 
  • Amusement park  
  • Radio tower 

These cards are placed face-down and are hidden from view as Construction projects. When it’s your turn, you can either decide to build something new on these sites or expand them further. 

To create a marketplace from which players can purchase new building cards, build a deck of all remaining cards and stack them in the order of the dice roll requirements. Basically, when a player rolls the die, they can take a card that matches their roll. 

Finally, each player receives three coins, and the game can officially begin. 

Taking Turns

The objective of Machi Koro is to earn the most money by developing your city. To do this, you will need to roll the dice and collect income from various buildings. You can also construct new buildings by spending money earned from previous rolls. 

Be careful not to run out of money, or you will have to start over! 


At the end of the turn, players can decide to build something or skip their turn. To build something, the player will have to pay the associated amount of the card they wish to build. The amount is linked to the marketplace created during the setup phase. 

Players can only take one card from the marketplace each turn. Once the construction phase is over, the turn ends, and the next player gets to play. 


This article discussed some basic strategies you can use to win more games of Machi Koro. Just remember, It’s up to you to choose which strategy works best for your gaming style. When playing Machi Koro, it’s important to have fun! 

There are many ways to play, but keep in mind that you need to build a strong foundation, or your entire game will crumble. We hope these strategies have proven useful! 


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