Edit Game
Chinatown box image


Chinatown is a negotiation and trading game where players take on the roles of Chinese immigrants in New York City's Chinatown, buying and selling properties, businesses, and goods to build their fortunes.

7.41 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
3 - 5
player count
4 - 5
Recommended player count
60 mins
play time

How Complex is Chinatown?

2.25 / 5

Chinatown has simple rules but requires strategic thinking, and negotiation skills to succeed.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Chinatown?

2.5 / 5

Luck plays a small role in Chinatown as players have control over their negotiations and trades, but the random allocation of shop tiles and building cards can affect the game's outcome.

How much Player Interaction does Chinatown offer?

5 / 5

Chinatown is a highly interactive game that relies on negotiation and trading between players to succeed. Players must work together and compete to build their fortunes, creating a dynamic and engaging gameplay experience.

How much Replayability does Chinatown offer?

4 / 5

Chinatown offers high replayability due to the random allocation of tiles and buildings, as well as the negotiation and trading mechanics that create unique gameplay experiences each time.

Why you should play Chinatown

Strategic gameplay

Chinatown is a game that requires players to use their negotiation and trading skills to build their businesses and maximize their profits. Players must carefully consider their moves and anticipate their opponents' actions to succeed.


The game has a high replay value due to the variability of different business types & buildings available to the players. Each game is unique, and players must adapt their strategies accordingly.

Easy to learn

Despite its strategic depth, Chinatown is easy to learn and can be played by both casual and experienced gamers. The game's rules are straightforward, and players can quickly get into the game.

Social interaction

Chinatown is a highly interactive game that encourages players to negotiate and trade with each other. This creates a fun and engaging social experience that can be enjoyed with friends and family.


The game can be played in about 60-90 minutes, making it an ideal choice for a quick game night or as a warm-up game before a longer game.

Unique theme

Chinatown's theme of building businesses in New York's Chinatown during the 1960s and 1970s is unique and provides an immersive experience for players.

Suitable for all ages

Chinatown is a family-friendly game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It's a great way to introduce younger players to the world of board games and strategy games.

Why you should avoid Chinatown

Heavy reliance on negotiation

The game heavily relies on negotiation and trading, which may not be everyone's cup of tea. Players who prefer games with less social interaction and more individual decision-making may not enjoy Chinatown.

High luck factor

The game's random setup and the luck of the draw can heavily influence the outcome of the game. Players who prefer games with less luck and more skill may not enjoy Chinatown.

Limited strategic depth

While Chinatown is a strategic game, some players may find that it lacks the depth and complexity of other strategy games. This may make it less appealing to experienced gamers looking for a more challenging game.

Where to find the Rules of Chinatown

Check the rules of Chinatown in a PDF file.

You can also find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Chinatown files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Chinatown

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Chinatown.

Understand the value of each business

Each business in Chinatown has a different value based on its size be it complete or incomplete. Familiarize yourself with the amount of money they will bring at the end of each round so that you can negotiate effectively with other players.

Build a diverse portfolio

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Try to acquire businesses in different locations and industries to diversify your portfolio and minimize risk.

Negotiate effectively

Negotiation is a key aspect of Chinatown. Try to negotiate deals that benefit both you and the other player. Be willing to compromise and don't be too greedy.

Keep an eye on the clock

The game is played over six rounds, so time is limited. Try to have the highest amount of money at the end of round 6 to win the game.

Hold on to buildings & shops other players need

Try to anticipate what businesses other players might want and plan accordingly. If you acquire a shop tile or a building that another player needs, hold on to it so that you can use that as leverage in negotiations.

I hope these strategies help you get started in Chinatown!

Advanced Strategies for Chinatown

Be flexible

As you become more experienced with the game, you'll start to develop favorite strategies and business combinations. However, it's important to remain flexible and adapt to the changing circumstances of each game.

Don't be afraid to break up your portfolio

While diversification is important, sometimes it's necessary to break up your portfolio in order to make a deal or acquire a valuable business. Don't be afraid to sell off a business or two if it means getting something better in return.

Keep track of the businesses in play

In Chinatown, the number of shop tiles available to players is equal to the number needed to complete that business plus three. Hence, if two players are trying to complete the same business that requires 6 shops, only one can complete it. Keep this in mind and build a business that nobody is building or the ones you can complete to earn the maximum money at the end of the round.

Try to build businesses in the middle

If you start building a business on the edge or corner of a district, to complete the business you will have to depend on a limited number of buildings which will put you at a disadvantage. If you build in the middle, you can expand the business in all 4 directions. This makes it easier to complete the business.

Be patient

Chinatown is a game of negotiation and strategy, and sometimes it can take a while to get the deal you want. Don't get too impatient or frustrated if negotiations aren't going your way. Keep your eye on the prize and be willing to wait for the right opportunity.

Take calculated risks

As you become more experienced with the game, you'll start to get a sense of when it's worth taking a risk and when it's not. Don't be afraid to take calculated risks if you think they'll pay off in the long run. Just make sure you're not putting all your eggs in one basket.


Tile Placement
Set Collection
Victory Points as a Resource


City Building