Dim Sum Derby™
Rules and Clarifications

A Mean Yet Tasty Game for 3-4 People
Flagpole Edition

A Blood and Cardstock Game
by Joan Wendland
© 2010

Everyone is hungry for some combination of dim sum. The object of the game is to eat as much of the items you are hungry for as possible. The game will end when the first player is full (all his portion markers are scored).

Players start with 10 portion markers. The markers keep track of your appetite. When they are all gone you are full. Players are also dealt one random card from each of the yen decks (one steam cart, one side dish, one main dish and one dessert). These cards are what they are hungry for. Only portion markers that are placed onto dishes the player has a matching yen card for will be scored.

Shuffle the Derby deck and set aside. Find the Kitchen card. It will always be placed directly to the left of the first player. Whoever ate the longest ago will be the first player. All carts will be replenished when they pass the kitchen.

The carts are represented by 4 decks of cards. Shuffle each of the cart decks separately. Place one cart in front of each player and flip over the top card. All the other cards remain face down. If there are three players one cart starts in the kitchen and one will always be in the kitchen.

Players must take three actions per turn – no dawdling we need to clear your table for the next customers! Players can do any combination of the following actions:

  • Rotate the carts one place clockwise. The entire deck rotates as one unit.
  • Move the top card of the cart in front of them to the table if there is room. The table can hold no more than 5 dishes.
  • Move the top card of the cart in front of you to the bottom of the cart in front of you. Flip the new top card to reveal it.
  • Place one portion of a dish on the table onto your plate (place your portion marker on it)
  • Draw a Derby Card – this requires 2 actions
  • Play a Derby Card


As soon as a dish has been completely eaten (it is holding the maximum number of portion markers it can take) it is scored. If you have a portion marker on the card and that card is one of your Yen cards flip over your Yen card so everyone can see it. Place your portion marker(s) from the dish onto the Yen card. If your marker is on a dish you don’t have a Yen card for discard it. When the dish is scored it returns to the kitchen. If a dish is placed on the table more than once you can place markers on it again and continue to score points from eating it.

In summary:

  1. A dish can come off the top of the cart in front of you to get onto the table IF there is room for it. No more than 5 dishes can fit on the table at once.
  2. Once on the table you place a portion marker on the card to indicate you have put some on your plate.
  3. After the card holds the maximum number of portion markers (see the number and circles on the card) it is scored.
  4. If you have a Yen card that matches the dish then you place the portion markers on your Yen card. If not, you discard the markers. No markers should return to your initial supply unless a Derby card states otherwise.


The Kitchen
In a three player game the kitchen serves as a parking place for the extra cart. In 4 player games carts simply pass through the kitchen without stopping. Either way when carts leave the kitchen shuffle all the discarded dish cards of their type and place them on the bottom of their decks.

Derby Cards
Derby cards are fun ways to cheat at the game. They require 2 actions to draw, but only one action to play. No player may hold more than 2 Derby cards at a time. You may discard Derby cards if you do not wish to play them without using an action.

End Game
There are two ways for the game to end:

  1. When a player places his last portion marker on a dish
  2. When a player has at least one portion marker on each of his Yen cards

When either of these conditions is met he announces he is full. At this point play is at an end.


First take into account the table. Partially eaten dishes are scored as if they were completely eaten.

Next total up your scored portions, and subtract from those portions the number of Yen cards you have not satisfied at all (have no portion markers on). Compare your scores and you have a winner! In the case of a tie whoever ate the most portions of their chosen dessert will win. Still a tie? Whoever ate the most portions of their chosen main dish wins. Still a tie? Give it up you both win – who’s going to quibble when they’re so full?

This game is dedicated to my mother. She started me off on my long love affair with Chinese food. This one’s for you Mom.

Copyright: © Joan Wendland 2010

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