In late 1982, the Mexican government responded to their country’s financial crisis by centralizing their banks and devaluing the Peso, creating the Nuevo Peso in the process. (This much is at least true.)

And now for game world…

The Mexican people responded poorly to these changes, resulting in apathetic security and creative accounting at the new Banco de Mexico.

Once news of this spread to the US, some of the alternatively principled people in the Land of Opportunity looked south of the border for their ventures.


Object of the game


Players send their characters into Mexico with the intent of robbing the Banco de Mexico. They will need to acquire vehicles, seed money, weapons and perhaps some inside information to get the job done.

Your bank at home would ask too many questions about exchanging so many Nuevo Pesos and the authorities are looking for stolen serial numbers, but you know a guy who will launder your Nuevo Pesos. He’ll only do it once with a minimum amount though, so you can’t use your stolen booty for seed money.

Multiple heists will be necessary to complete the target of 100,000,000 Nuevo Pesos. (Rough equivalent – one million US dollars.)


Setting up the game


Deal a character card (blue backs) to each player. Place them face-up in front of you.

Give a gas tank card (blue backs) to each player, also face-up.

Each player has 2 colored pawns. One goes to mark their place on the board and can be placed in their starting city as marked on their character card. The other pawn is for their gas tank and should be placed on empty for now.

Give players their “Starting stuff” (blue backs) if applicable to their characters and put them face-up in play immediately.

Shuffle and set the Nuevo Peso deck (green backs) aside.

Shuffle and deal 7 cards from the Banditos action card deck (red backs) to each player. Seed money should always be placed face-up in front of you when drawn.

Deal out a 4-card discard pile.

Place the red “heat” tokens aside for now.


Card: Seed Money


Seed money is spent on vehicles, gas, weapons, and inside information. Paying for two or more things at once is allowed. (E.g. $30 for a weapon and $20 for gas with a $50 seed money card.) Change is never given for seed money. The change is always spent on beer and burritos.


Card: Vehicle


You may buy a vehicle from your hand at any time on your turn. Just pay its cost to the discard pile and place it face-up in front of you.

If your character card has two people on it, your vehicle must be able to accommodate two people. Motorcycles must have a sidecar to accommodate two people. Newly acquired vehicles start with one quarter of a tank of gas (including starting stuff vehicles.)

You may trade in your vehicle for another in your hand. The trade-in value is listed on each vehicle card. Use this amount towards the cost of the new vehicle. You must pay the difference.

Any time you acquire a new vehicle, the old vehicle goes to the discard pile. Stolen vehicles start with one heat token. (See Heat)

A player may put a motorcycle in the back of the ‘67 Chevy panel van. If you have the panel van in play and acquire a motorcycle without a sidecar, place it under the panel van. At any time you may discard the panel van and use the motorcycle. The motorcycle is considered to have a full tank of gas.


Card: Weapon


You may play a weapon from your hand at any time on your turn. Just pay its cost to the discard pile and place it face-up in front of you. You may only have 1 weapon per character card.

Any time you acquire a new weapon, the old one goes to the discard pile.

If you are on a motorcycle, you must use weapons that can be concealed.

You may not bring a weapon into the US. (Discard at any time.)


Card: Inside Information


You may play inside information from your hand at any time on your turn. Just pay its cost to the discard pile and place it face-up in front of you. Inside information is only useful if used during a heist in the city listed on the card. If the inside information requires a weapon, you must have one to gain the benefits of the card. (Unless you are Mucho Carne.)

Only one inside information card may be used per heist.

Inside information is discarded to the discard pile once a heist is attempted.


Cards: Unfortunate and Fortunate Events


You may play these cards on yourself or another player at a time appropriate to each card.

For unfortunate events that involve a car, the affected player’s full move is taken, followed by the event.

For unfortunate events that happen during heists, any diversions played are not lost.

Regarding the “Knight Rider” event, the $250 must be spent on one vehicle card from your hand before you take any more movement.


Card: Diversion


You may use a diversion when you declare a heist. (One card maximum per heist.)

Regarding Madame M., she may declare upon leaving Brownsville that she has brought along one of her girls (if her vehicle allows.) She may use that girl as a diversion in one heist and gains the advantage of minus one heat for that heist. After that heist, Madame M. is considered to be alone.

Card: Escape a Mexican Jail


If you fail an attempted heist, you may play one of these cards and escape on your next turn. You must immediately speed away. (See part 3 of Turn Overview.)




You may move along the highways the number of spaces that your vehicle allows. If your movement includes a border crossing, you must include two movement spaces for the border crossing (unless you are Yum Yum.) Every move (no matter how many spaces) requires one quarter of a tank of gas. Move the pawn on your gas tank card to keep track. You may move less than your full move if you wish. If you interrupt your movement for any action, your movement is finished. If you choose, you may instead move at the speeding rate as your vehicle allows. (See Speeding.)


You may hop a train from any US city to any other US city. You may not take a vehicle or an unconcealed weapon with you. The cost is $20 for beer and burritos. (It’s a long trip.)


You may hitchhike one highway space per turn if you have no vehicle. You may not cross a border while hitchhiking.




If you choose to speed, you must roll the die. If you roll a 1 you are caught for speeding. Move only three spaces. You may not cross a border if caught.

If you are caught for speeding, you must pay a fine of $50.00 to the discard pile immediately. You go nowhere until you pay. (Misty, if Guido is in the trunk of a car, gets pulled over and only moves her three spaces but doesn’t pay.)


If you are caught for speeding, you must also make a second roll to see if a cursory search of your vehicle is done. On a roll equal to or less than the amount of heat tokens on your vehicle, a search is done. (You may have no heat tokens and therefore do not have to roll.) Lose all weapons and Nuevo Pesos.

(If you are Misty and Guido and Guido is in the trunk, you are fined $100.00 and you spend your next turn at the police station. Lose all weapons and Nuevo Pesos.)




The amount of police attention in the area or “heat” will affect your odds of doing illegal actions. Heat can be in the form of the red tokens or as symbols on some cards.

       Each red circle symbol or token denotes an increase in heat. The symbols and tokens are cumulative and each one increases the roll needed to do an illegal action by one.

       The red circle symbols are found on Unfortunate event cards.

       Each time you attempt to steal something from the discard pile, immediately place one heat token on your character card.

Each time you attempt a heist, place one heat token in the appropriate Mexican city, one on the vehicle used in the attempted heist and one on the character attempting the heist.

Each time you attempt to steal gas, place a heat token on the vehicle used.

       The symbol of a red circle with an ‘X’ through it denotes a reduction in heat. These symbols are cumulative and each one reduces the roll needed to successfully do an illegal action by one. They offset any heat markers. They are found on inside information cards, Double character cards and Diversion cards.


Turn Overview Part 1


Part 1 of any turn is comprised of illegal actions. Players may rob the discard pile or pull a bank heist. In addition to either a heist or robbing the discard pile, players may rob a gas station (for gas only.) Players may steal gas before going into a heist.


Players may opt to skip part 1 and go directly to part 2 of a turn.


Robbing the discard pile:

The top card on the discard pile may be stolen on a roll greater than 1. You may ignore the top card and steal a card farther down, but the roll increases by 1 for every card on top of the target card. The roll is also increased by every heat token on their character card. (Example – if you have no personal heat, the third card from the top of the deck can be stolen on a roll higher than 3. Additionally, if you have 2 personal heat tokens, the theft is successful on a roll higher than 5.) You may attempt to steal as many cards on your turn as you wish, rolling for each one separately. (The target roll should be calculated for each individual robbery.)

Only vehicles, seed money, weapons and inside information may be stolen from the discard pile.

If you fail in stealing any card, your turn ends immediately.

If successful in all of your rolls, you may continue to part 2 of a turn.

Each time a player attempts a robbery, add one heat marker to their character card. (This will count towards a second robbery on the same turn.)


Pulling a bank heist:

To attempt a heist, a player must:

1)     Have a vehicle with a full gas tank.

2)    Be in a Mexican town.

3)    Have a weapon unless otherwise stated on an applicable Inside Information card.

Add the total heat markers on your character card, your vehicle and in the Mexican town you are in. Roll the die. On a roll higher than your heat total, the heist is successful. Heat modifiers (like diversions) may alter the target roll.

If successful, take a payout of 2 Nuevo Peso cards (or more if using applicable Inside Information) and immediately speed away. This ends your turn.

If unsuccessful, you do not get the payout and go to a Mexican jail. Lose all weapons and Nuevo Pesos. This ends your turn.


Robbing a gas station (for gas only):

You must have a vehicle to do this.

Roll the die. On a roll higher than the total heat on your vehicle you immediately get a full tank of gas. If unsuccessful, you do not get the gas and this ends your turn.


No matter the illegal action in part 1 of a turn that you attempt, a roll of 1 is always a failure.



Turn Overview Part 2


You may do any of the following things in any order:

- Draw 2 cards.

- Movement.

- Play cards from your hand. There is no limit to the number of cards you can play on a turn if you have enough seed money.

- Buy gas. (Example - $20/3 indicates that $20 will buy three quarters of a tank of gas. In this case, spending $40 will fill your tank.) Move the pawn on your gas tank card to keep track.

- Buy a card from another player’s hand. The players involved negotiate the price in seed money only. If you buy a card, you may pay its cost to the discard pile (if any) and play it immediately, or you may add it to your hand. (Face-up cards may only be bought and sold if players are in the same place on the map.)

- Sell a card from your hand to another player. The player whose turn it isn’t may pay any cost involved and immediately put the card into play or put it into their hand.

- Stash Nuevo Pesos at home. (Put your Nuevo Peso cards under your character card to signify this.) Once stashed at home, they can never be lost.


Turn Overview Part 3

If you now have more than five cards in your hand, discard until you have only five cards. (Face-up cards in play are not counted in your hand.) This ends your turn.


***If you are in a Mexican prison at the start of your turn, ignore turn parts 1, 2 and 3. You may only:

 - Use an “Escape a Mexican Jail” card. You must immediately speed away. (Your vehicle is where you left it.)


- Get deported. Go immediately to your starting city. You may not take your vehicle. It is impounded to the discard pile.


- Stay in jail, draw 2 cards and hope to either find or buy an “Escape a Mexican Jail” card from another player. You may then play it on this turn and speed away.

Any of these actions ends your turn.


Winning the Game


The first player to get a total of 100,000,000 Nuevo Pesos back to their home city is the winner.


You may have noticed that you have a little black pawn that has no apparent use in this game. That’s because you’ll need it for the expansion. It’s called “Hippies and an Armored Truck.” Coming soon from Baksha Games.


Questions? Comments? See us at


Banditos board game copyright 2011 by Sean Garrity.

Game design: Sean Garrity.

Thanks much to all of my playtesters and helpers: Gary P., Mr. Niknuk, Trev G., Rob A., Leela G., James V., Ian C., Matt C., Chloe R., Ed V., Ash R., Megan K., Tommy V., Patrick W., Scott T., Jim B., Jason S., and I guess Jeff S. My apologies for those who helped out but are not on this list.