Die Kette von Saba
The Sabine Necklace

Designed by Martin Ebel
Published by Queen Games 1997
Translated by Richard Ingram
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins

Five thousand years ago, wise King Solomon received tidings from an indescribably beautiful Queen from the distant land of Saba.

After lengthy requests, she visited him at last in his kingdom. Out of gratitude, he gave her a highly valued item of jewellery as a gift. It was so magnificent that news of it spread across the world, and its name became legendary: The Sabine Necklace.

When, many years later, the Sabine Queen died, the necklace went with her to the grave. There it remained until grave robbers came and plundered the treasure from Saba. They then had nothing better to do than to break the piece into its component parts in order to make it easier to sell. The necklace was slowly oblivion-bound.

Today, many thousands of years later, the first pieces are suddenly surfacing and are greatly exciting the world. The rich Sheikh Amir Haruk Ibn Thalir Ben Ghat, totally in love with the beautiful Princess Fatima, now wishes to give the Sabine Necklace to his beloved as a gift, and no price is for him too high!

In this game, you wish to help him to reassemble the necklace. The hunt for the valuable stones begins with a grand auction. Make sure you secure the best parts of the necklace. Whoever now spends money the most skilfully on his or her collection will later have an advantage. Then you lay the stones in turn on the board until the Sabine necklace is once again restored at last. Whoever places his pieces best will receive at the end the highest price.


Aim of the Game

To be the richest player at game end via making the best deals at auction and reconstructing the necklace in such a way as to gain the highest reward money.


Study the overview sheet to see by which rules the necklace will be reconstructed and how to garner rewards for that reconstruction. This will help you know which pieces to invest in.

Set the spare stone cards aside.

Shuffle the remaining 44 cards and place them as a face down deck.

Turn the top 4 cards over and place them on the board in accordance with the reconstruction rules. If a lion's head card is turned up, put this back in the deck and take a different card. These joker cards come into the game later.

Beginning with the youngest player and proceeding clockwise, draw one card at a time from the deck until you have the correct number of cards for the number of players:

with 3 players draw 7 cards each
with 4 players draw 5 cards each
with 5 players draw 4 cards each
with 6 or 7 players draw 3 cards each

Finally each player receives 20,000 marks ( 1 x 10,000, 1 x 5,000 and 5 x 1000 notes ). The remaining money forms the bank.

How to Play

The game is played in two stages.

Stage 1: the auction - so long as cards remain in the face down deck, each player in turn offers one of his cards for auction. He can then buy a new card from the deck.

Stage 2: the reconstruction of the Sabine Necklace - as soon as the deck is exhausted, each player in turn lays one of his cards on the board and reconstructs the necklace stone by stone. Rewards can be claimed for this.

End of the Game: the game ends when the necklace is complete and all forgeries have been revealed.

The Stages in Detail

The Auction

When it is your turn, lay one of your cards face up on the table and act as auctioneer to sell it. The other players, starting with the person to the auctioneer's left, bid in turn. Bids must always rise in thousands. You may pass and still rejoin the bidding later.

The highest bidder wins and pays the auctioneer the agreed price in return for the card. The auction is rerun if the buyer has insufficient funds.

The new owner has a choice: a) he can take the card in his hand and keep it for stage 2 of the game, or b) he can place it on the board at once and earn a doubled premium. If you keep the card, you can choose to re-auction it later. In spite of it being doubled, rewards are somewhat meagre during the first stage of the game.

If the highest bid is considered too low by the auctioneer he has to name an amount at which he is willing to sell - he can do this only once for each card. If a player will pay this amount, the deal goes ahead as above. If no agreement is reached, the auctioneer must place the card on the board at once, but he receives no reward for this. Similarly, if no bids are made, the card is again placed on the board and no money is awarded. If the piece turns out to be a forgery, it is set aside and plays no further part in the game.

After the auction, the auctioneer may take the top card from the deck if he pays 2,000 marks to the bank. This rule always applies, no matter what the outcome of the auction.

The role of auctioneer now passes to the left - nobody can excuse themselves from this role.

As soon as the last card is drawn from the deck, this stage of the game ends. The player with the most money now begins stage 2.

The Reconstruction of the Sabine Necklace

In turn each player places 1 card on the board and claims his reward.

If a player runs out of cards, he takes no further part in this stage.


How much money you receive depends on how many cards your newly laid card touches.

If your card is isolated, you receive 1,000 marks.

If your card touches other cards, count how many are in an unbroken straight line stemming from your card in each of the six possible directions. Count your card as part of each line - see example on the back of the overview card. The total you reach is how much you receive in thousands.

If your card is placed at the edge of the board, there will obviously be fewer lines.


These are the lion's head cards. They can be used as any other card. They cannot be removed once placed.

In order to play a joker, there is only one condition: it must be clear which individual piece of jewellery would normally belong on that space. The symmetry rule detailed on the overview sheet does not have to be obeyed where jokers are concerned.

The reward is worked out in the same way when playing a joker.

Two joker variants:

a) play without joker cards

b) apply the symmetry rule to joker cards as well.


Cards for which no place can be found on the board are forgeries. For example, cards in the middle column cannot be repeated elsewhere on the board, and so the duplicates become forgeries. Also cards whose spaces have been taken by jokers become forgeries as do jokers themselves which cannot be placed because the necklace is complete.

Forgeries are of course worthless and are played in turn, when you must place a card, to one side. Playing a forgery doesn't have to be seen as a wasted turn, you could rather be playing for time, hoping that some cards, useful to you, will be played before it is your turn again.

End of the Game

The game is over when all players have played their cards. The Sabine Necklace is then fully reconstructed and the 8 forgeries have been placed face up near the board. Whoever has the most money has won.

The Overview Sheet

Reconstruction of the Sabine Necklace

The board shows the shape of the necklace. Where the different precious stones will be placed is unknown. The picture shows, as an example, only one of many possibilities.

Three Rules Govern the Reconstruction

The Sabine Necklace is to be symmetrical, left and right halves containing the same jewels in the same places. All cards appear twice in the game, and so what appears on the left side must appear in the same position on the right side. The four pieces in the central column are exceptions - in the example, these are the red rubies. The duplicate cards have no place on the board and are forgeries.

Pieces of jewellery containing the same type of precious stone must be placed in uniform columns, i.e. the first piece placed in a column dictates what kind of stone must appear in that same column. No other type of stone can be placed in these columns.

The number of precious stones on a card can only be one greater than the number on the card directly above it. Thus a 3 emerald piece can never be placed below a four emerald or one emerald piece.

In the central three columns, the cards placed must feature 1, 2, 3 and 4 jewels in order running from top to bottom.

In the next two columns in both directions, the order of jewels must be either 1, 2, 3 or 2, 3, 4. The left over jewels will have to be found space in the extreme left and right two columns.

In the columns featuring only two spaces, jewels placed underneath each other must be either 1, 2 or 3, 4.

In the example, the other set of rubies prove to be forgeries, because the column cannot be repeated elsewhere.

Rewards for Reconstruction

How much money Sheikh Amir will pay you for your jewellery depends on how many already placed pieces your card touches - see main rules, but study the picture on this side of the sheet.

The second diagram shows the maximum reward totals possible if, at the time of placing a card, all lines of which it forms the centre are full.