In Buffet Master players strive to fill their stomachs from the offerings at the buffet before the buffet runs out of food, but also to not overindulge or waste food.
Each turn the players each take at least one but up to 6 menu items (cards) from the Buffet's offerings randomly displayed in six trays (the face up top cards of six decks). The menu items combine into various meals of 1 to 4 items each and are arranged in specific shapes. Menu items are worth 0 to 4 points each, with those forming larger meals generally worth more points. Completed meals are eaten by removing them from the hand and placimg them in the player's eaten deck.
Various special cards allow players to swoop in to grab food during another player's turn, return food in hand to the trays, take food out of another player's hand, and other effects.
The game ends when any one of the trays has been emptied of menu items. Players then see if they have filled their stomachs, overeaten, or wasted food. Eaten meals are arranged in a grid (size depends on number of players): if the grid is completely filled with no gaps or excess, they have successfully filled their stomachs and gain a bonus. Eaten meals that don't fit in the stomach score a penalty; uneaten food still in hand scores a greater penalty. Highest score wins.