Empty Hotpot tables in Palia
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Palia Hotpot Mini-game Guide – How to win, Location, & Prizes

The hottest card game in town!

After a long day’s gathering and crafting in cozy MMO Palia, it’s nice to unwind. A great way to do so is with its Hotpot mini-game, so read on for everything you need to know about Hotpot.

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How to win the Palia Hotpot mini-game 

A Hotpot table in play in Palia
Image by Pro Game Guides

The Palia Hotpot mini-game is a set collection card game played over a variable number of rounds and by up to four players. To join a game, simply approach a table to get an in-game prompt (you can find table location information below). If you’re the first to a table, it will start a short timer during which other players can join (up to four players). Any spaces not taken by players will be played by some (pretty useless) AI players, so don’t worry.

When the game begins, each player will be dealt eight cards. Yours will be at the bottom of the screen (see A, above) and while they’ll be face-up for you, the other players will not know what they are. Players take turns clockwise around the table, taking one card and then either discarding one card or ending the game

When it is your turn to take a card, you can take one of the top face-up cards from another player’s discard pile (B, above). Alternatively, you can take a card blind from the top of the draw pile (in the middle of the discard piles). Next, if you haven’t won (see below), you must discard any one of your nine cards by clicking it. 

When it gets to your turn, you have 30 seconds to take and then discard a card. If you don’t draw, your turn will simply be skipped. If you draw but don’t discard within 30 seconds, the card you drew will be discarded.

While playing, you have four non-play options to select during your and the other players’ turns, which are in the bottom-right corner of your screen:

  • Check discards: This is great for card counting, as you can look at all the cards that have already been played.
  • Examine: Get a close-up of your hand, if playing on a small screen or if you’re visually impaired.
  • Quit: Leave the table early. You won’t get any rewards but the game will continue without you.
  • Tutorial: Check a very basic rules guide.

End of the game and scoring

The result of a winning hotpot match in Palia
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

You can only end the game (by selecting ‘Let’s Eat’) if you have three sets of three identical cards. You’ll have nine cards at that point, not eight, as you won’t discard on your turn if you end the game. If no one has won after 30 rounds, the game will end automatically and everyone will score their sets.

Every player gains rewards, but you’ll get a nice bonus for winning (see all the rewards above). Exact sets of three are premium and are the only way to end the game. However, if you don’t win, you’ll get points for each identical set you’ve collected but also for any sets of three whose color matches, even if the food on it doesn’t. These score half, but that still works out pretty well, so it's best to hold those while you try to get a completely identical set, if possible.  

Where to find the Palia Hotpot mini-game 

Map of how to find Hotpot tables in Palia
Image by Pro Game Guides

There are two locations where you can find the Hotpot mini-game. The original location is at the Maji Market, but this is only accessible on the Fairgrounds during special events. A second location, in Zeki’s Underground Black Market, was introduced as part of patch 0.180.

When the Fairgrounds are open, you can access them via the far southeast corner of the Kilimar Valley map (A, above). This is usually only open around the Lunar New Year. Zeki’s Black Market can either be accessed through the back of Zeki’s Store (B, above), or via the Sewer Entrance (C). 

If you are not familiar with the entrances to Zeki’s Underground Black Market, I’ve marked the secret entrances below.

How to get to Zeki's Underground Black Market in Palia
Image by Pro Game Guides
  • The Sewers: Simply go to the location marked in the map above by following the path along the side of the water, and enter via the sewer grate.
  • The secret door in Zeki’s store: Go behind the counter in the store, follow the linear corridor, and you’ll come to a dead end. Approach the bookshelf marked above and use the book to go inside.

Note that the Fairgrounds Hotpot tables, when available, and the tables at Zeki’s Black Market, are only open to play from 6pm to 3am in-game time. If you have already started a game when the clock strikes three, you will be allowed to complete your game as usual.   

All prizes in the Hotpot mini-game - Palia

Getting gold for losing while playing Hotpot in Palia
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

By playing the Hotpot mini-game at the Fairgrounds you’ll be rewarded with Fair Tickets, while playing at Zeki’s Black Market will reward you with Gold. In both instances playing the game is free and there is no way you can lose money. As you'll see in the image above, despite being one card short of winning, I still came away with 180 Gold.

Your prize depends on how many sets you collect, how many other players collect, and how good the sets are. In the Fairgrounds you’ll also get a bonus for having the winning hand, as well as a table bonus based on how well everyone competed. At Zeki’s, you will only gain your rewards.

  • Tickets: Each Three-of-a-kind is 120 Tickets, and each three-of-a-category is 60 Tickets (you only get the greater amount). The win bonus is 360 Tickets.
  • Gold: Each Three-of-a-kind is 30 Gold, and each three-of-a-category is 15 Gold (you only get the greater amount). The win bonus is 90 Gold.

Everyone scores the sets of all participating losing players, including the winner, but only the winner scores their own sets. In the example above, the rest of the table got 5 sets that I also scored Gold for, but only I got the 90 bonus Gold for my own three identical sets. 

For more Palia help and information here at Pro Game Guides, check out How to get Muujin Plushies in Palia (Map Location) and our Palia Romanceable Characters Guide.

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Image of Chris Marling
Chris Marling
Chris Marling is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience across newspapers, magazines, and websites. Based in the UK, he has written professionally on everything from tech to tearooms. But his real passion is gaming, going right back to the Atari 2600 - and especially RPGs and MMOs. He cut his teeth on games such as The Realm and Anarchy Online. But 20 years on still gets excited about exploring each new world. When not online, you'll find him gaming analog-style around the table. Chris has had five of his own board games published, including Pioneer Days and Armageddon.

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Palia Hotpot Mini-game Guide – How to win, Location, & Prizes

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