Pirate's Plunder is a card and dice game in which players take on the roles of pirates and engage in a life of swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.
The game is played in turns. At the start of the game, each player starts off in a lifeboat. They have to steal a pirate ship (based on the result of a dice roll), otherwise, they are stuck in the lifeboat and have to skip their turn. When they have a ship, players draw Playing Cards into their hand. These cards offer maps for treasures, events to modify a pirate's guns and crews, and other ways to bend the rules of the game.
A pirate's score is reflected by his treasure, which comes from the wealth-laden ships, loot, and hostages in the form of Treasure Cards. These cards are drawn from their deck when a pirate plays a map in hand, or by making a successful "Sail Ho!" dice roll during their turn. Pirates can bury their treasure to keep them safe, although they have to dig it up for it to be counted as score.
Some Treasure Cards, however, are perils in the forms of deadly pirates (such as Blackbeard) and naval warships. Players can play perils on fellow pirates, forcing them to engage in combat. Players can also engage other players in battle as well during a successful "Sail Ho!" dice roll if they choose to do so instead of drawing Treasure Cards. Such battles are resolved by comparing dice rolls, which are added to the player's number of guns or crew. The loser's ship is sunk and the player has to start his or her subsequent turns in a lifeboat. The winner also takes the loser's unburied treasure.
The game ends when a pirate has 3,000 or more pieces of eight worth of unburied treasure and makes a successful dice roll to "Sail Home", thus becoming the winner.