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For other uses, see Ferengi.

A copy of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are a collection of two hundred and eighty-five sayings that form the basis of Ferengi philosophy. (DS9 episode: "The Nagus")

History of the Rules

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition interior

Interior of a hardcover edition.

The Rules of Acquisition were written by Gint, the first Grand Nagus of the Ferengi people. According to a dream Quark had (which may or may not have been accurate), calling them "rules" was a marketing ploy, as nobody would buy a book entitled The Suggestions of Acquisition. Also in this dream, Gint made reference to Rule #239, implying that at least that many had been written by Gint. (DS9 episode: "Body Parts")

According to some sources, the rules were written out of order, and Gint only wrote Rule #162. (DS9 references: The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, Legends of the Ferengi)

In 2151, Krem stated that there were 173 Rules of Acquisition. This implies that the rules were not all created at once, and have been added to over the centuries. (ENT episode: "Acquisition")

By 2370, at the latest, all 285 rules had been written. (DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition")

In 2371, Grand Nagus Zek re-wrote the Rules of Acquisition, giving them a more altruistic spin, after an experience with a Bajoran orb. The new rules were entitled The Rules of Acquisition, Revised for the Modern Ferengi. However, these revised rules were never published, and were only revealed to Quark and Rom on Deep Space 9. (DS9 episode: "Prophet Motive")

As part of the reform of Ferengi society instituted by Zek, the Rules of Acquisition were no longer taught to children. (DS9 episode: "The Dogs of War")

The Known Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

Number Rule Source
0 What the Nagus wants, we acquire. ST video game: Star Trek Online
1 Once you have their money... you never give it back. DS9 episode: "The Nagus", PRD episode: "First Con-tact"
2 The best deal is the one that brings the most profit. DS9 novel: The 34th Rule
2 Money is everything. ST - Strange New Worlds 9 short story: "The Last Tree on Ferenginar: A Ferengi Fable From the Future"
3 Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to. DS9 episode: "The Maquis, Part II"
4 Sedition and treason are always profitable. ST video game: Star Trek Online
5 Always exaggerate your estimates. SCE eBook: Cold Fusion
6 Never allow family law stand in the way of opportunity. DS9 episode: "The Nagus"
7 Keep your ears open. DS9 episode: "In the Hands of the Prophets"
8 Small print leads to large risk. DS9 reference: The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
9 Opportunity plus instinct equals profit. DS9 episode: "The Storyteller"
10 Greed is eternal. DS9 episode: "Prophet Motive"
13 Anything worth doing is worth doing for money. Legends of the Ferengi (DS9 novel)
14 Sometimes the quickest way to find profits is to let them find you. Fortune of War (TTN novel)
15 Dead men close no deals. Demons of Air and Darkness (DS9 novel)
16 A deal is a deal... until a better one comes along. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
17 A contract is a contract is a contract... but only between Ferengi DS9 episode: "Body Parts"
18 A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all. DS9 episode: "Heart of Stone", DS9 - The Dog of War comic: "Issue 3"
19 Satisfaction is not guaranteed. Legends of the Ferengi (DS9 novel)
20 He who dives under the table today lives to profit tomorrow. Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed (DS9 novella)
21 Never place friendship above profit. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition", PRD episode: "First Con-tact"
22 A wise man can hear profit in the wind. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
23 Nothing is more important than your health... except for your money. ENT episode: "Acquisition"
27 There's nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman. Legends of the Ferengi (DS9 novel)
29 What's in it for me? Highest Score (DS9 novel)
30 "Confidentiality equals profit." DS9 - The Badlands novel: Part IV
31 Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother. Insult something he cares about instead. DS9 episode: "The Siege", Elite Force II
33 It never hurts to suck up to the boss. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
34 War is good for business. DS9 episode: "Destiny"; The 34th Rule (DS9 novel)
35 Peace is good for business.
37 The early investor reaps the most interest. ST novella: Reservoir Ferengi
39 Don't tell customers more than they need to know. Ascendance (DS9 novel)
40 She can touch your lobes but never your latinum. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
41 Profit is its own reward. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
43 Feed your greed, but not enough to choke it. The Buried Age (TNG novel)
44 Never confuse wisdom with luck. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
45 Expand or die. ENT episode: "Acquisition"
47 Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own. DS9 episode: "Rivals"
48 The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
52 Never ask when you can take. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
53 Never trust anybody taller than you. Mission Gamma: Twilight (DS9 novel)
54 Rate divided by time equals profit. (Also known as "The Velocity of Wealth.") Raise the Dawn (Typhon Pact novel)
55 Take joy from profit, and profit from joy. Worlds of Deep Space Nine: Bajor: Fragments and Omens (DS9 novel)
57 Good customers are as rare as latinum—treasure them. DS9 episode: "Armageddon Game"
58 There is no substitute for success. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
59 Free advice is seldom cheap. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
60 Keep your lies consistent. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
62 The riskier the road, the greater the profit. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
63 Work is the best therapy-at least for your employees. "Over a Torrent Sea" (TTN novel)
65 Win or lose, there's always Hupyrian beetle snuff The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
66 Someone's always got bigger ears. What Happens Now (Star Trek: The Last Generation #3, TNG comic)
68 Risk doesn't always equal reward. Star Trek Online
69 Ferengi are not responsible for the stupidity of other races. Balance of Power (TNG novel)
74 Knowledge equals profit. VOY episode: "Inside Man"
75 Home is where the heart is... but the stars are made of latinum. DS9 episode: "Civil Defense"
76 Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies. DS9 episode: "The Homecoming"
77 If you break it, I'll charge you for it! Star Trek Online
79 Beware of the Vulcan greed for knowledge. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
82 The flimsier the product, the higher the price. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
85 Never let the competition know what you're thinking. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
87 Learn the customer's weaknesses, so that you can better take advantage of him. Highest Score (DS9 novel)
88 It ain't over 'til its over. Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed (DS9 novella)
88 Vengeance will cost you everything. The Poisoned Chalice (DS9 novel)
89 Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
89 [It is] better to lose some profit and live than lose all profit and die. "Best Tools Available" (DS9 short story)
91 Your boss is only worth what he pays you. "Old Friends, New Planets"
92 There are many paths to profit. Highest Score (DS9 novel)
94 Females and finances don't mix. DS9 episode: "Ferengi Love Songs"
95 Expand or die. DS9 novel: Legends of the Ferengi, VOY episode: "False Profits"
97 Enough... is never enough. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
98 Every man has his price. DS9 episode: "In the Pale Moonlight"
98 If you can't take it with you, don't go. I, Q (DS9 novel)
99 Trust is the biggest liability of all. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
100 When it's good for business, tell the truth. Ascendance (DS9 novel)
101 Profit trumps emotion. The Long Mirage (DS9 novel)
102 Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever. DS9 episode: "The Jem'Hadar"
103 Sleep can interfere with opportunity. DS9 episode: "Rules of Acquisition"
104 Faith moves mountains... of inventory. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
106 There is no honor in poverty. Sacraments of Fire (DS9 novel)
108 Hope doesn't keep the lights on. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
108 A woman wearing clothes is like a man without any profits. DS9 Novel
109 Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack. DS9 episode: "Rivals"
110 Exploitation begins at home. VOY episode: "False Profits"
111 Treat people in your debt like family... exploit them. DS9 episode: "Past Tense, Part I"
112 Never have sex with the boss' sister. DS9 episode: "Playing God"
113 Always have sex with the boss. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
117 You can't free a fish from water. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
121 Everything is for sale, even friendship. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
122 Never Sleep with the bosses sister "Playing God" (DS9 episode)
123 Even a blind man can recognize the glow of Latinum. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
125 You can't make a deal if you're dead. "The Siege of AR-558" (DS9 episode)
135 Listen to secrets, but never repeat them. Ascendance (DS9 novel)
139 Wives serve, brothers inherit. "Necessary Evil" (DS9 episode)
141 Only fools pay retail. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
144 There's nothing wrong with charity... as long as it winds up in your pocket. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
147 People love the bartender. Fearful Symmetry (DS9 novel)
151 Even when you're a customer, sell yourself. The Long Mirage (DS9 novel)
153 Sell the sizzle, not the steak. "Deep Space Mine" (DS9 comic)
162 Even in the worst of times someone turns a profit. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book), DS9 video game: Harbinger
168 Whisper your way to success. "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" (DS9 episode)
177 Know your enemies... but do business with them always. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
181 Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
183 When life hands you ungaberries, make detergent. Hollow Men (DS9 novel)
184 A Ferengi waits to bid until his opponents have exhausted themselves. Balance of Power (TNG novel)
188 Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit. Star Trek Online
189 Let others keep their reputation. You keep their money. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
190 Hear all, trust nothing. DS9 episode: "Call to Arms"
192 Never cheat a Klingon... unless you're sure you can get away with it. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
193 Trouble comes in threes. Star Trek Online
193 It's never too late to fire the staff. Cathedral (DS9 novel)
194 It's always good business to know about new customers before they walk in your door. "Whispers" (DS9 episode)
199 Location, location, location. The Soul Key (DS9 novel)
200 A Ferengi chooses no side but his own. (DS9 novel: Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed)
202 The justification for profit is profit. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
203 New customers are like razor-toothed gree worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back. DS9 episode: "Little Green Men"
208 Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. DS9 episode: "Ferengi Love Songs"
211 Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them. DS9 episode: "Bar Association"
212 A good lie is easier to believe than the truth. Star Trek Online
214 Never begin a (business) negotiation on an empty stomach. DS9 episode: "The Maquis, Part I"
216 Never gamble with a telepath. DS9 novel: The Laertian Gamble
217 Always know what you're buying. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
217 You can't free a fish from water. "Past Tense, Part I" (DS9 episode)
218 Sometimes what you get free costs entirely too much. Baby on Board (DS9 Malibu Comics)
219 Possession is eleven-tenths of the law! TNG novel: Balance of Power
223 Beware the man who doesn't take time for Oo-mox. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
227 If that's what's written, then that's what's written. Star Trek Online
229 Latinum lasts longer than lust. DS9 episode: "Ferengi Love Songs"
235 Duck; death is tall. Mission Gamma: Twilight (DS9 novel)
236 You can't buy fate. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
239 Never be afraid to mislabel a product. DS9 episode: "Body Parts"
240 Time, like latinum, is a highly limited commodity. Star Trek Online
242 More is good... all is better. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
243 Always leave yourself an out. Sacraments of Fire (DS9 novel)
248 The definition of insanity is trying the same failed scheme & expecting different results Department of Temporal Investigations 3: Shield of the Gods (novel) pg 11
255 A wife is luxury... a smart accountant a neccessity. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
257 When the messenger comes to appropriate your profits, kill the messenger. False Profits (VOY episode)
261 A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
263 Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum. DS9 episode: "Bar Association"
266 When in doubt, lie. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
267 If you believe it, they believe it. Taking Wing (DS9 novel)
272 Always inspect the merchandise before making a deal. Star Trek Online
280 If it ain't broke, don't fix it. DS9 novel: Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed)
284 Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (DS9 reference book)
285 No good deed ever goes unpunished. DS9 episode: "The Collaborator"
286 When Morn leaves, it's all over. DS9 Episode: "The House of Quark"
287 Always get somebody else to do the lifting. "N-Vector" (DS9 comic)
288 Never get into anything that you can't get out of. "N-Vector" (DS9 comic)
289 A man is only worth the sum of his possessions. "Acquisition" (ENT episode)
290 An angry man is an enemy, and a satisfied man is an ally. Antimatter (DS9 novel)
291 The less employees know about the cash flow, the smaller the share they can demand. Betrayal (DS9 novel)
292 Only a fool passes up a business opportunity. "Elite Force II"
293 The more time they take deciding, the more money they will spend. Stowaways (DS9 novel)
294 A bargain usually isn't. The Pet (DS9 novel)
299 Whenever you exploit someone, it never hurts to thank them...That way it's easier to exploit them the next time. Star Trek Voyager "False Profits"
431 When the shooting starts, let the mercenaries handle it! STO mission: "Echoes of Light"



Background information

With so many writers having written DS9 and ST fiction over the last thirty years, sometimes different sources will use the same Rule of Acquisition number but the rule will be completely different, or the rule will be given in a canon source. Michael A. Martin commented: "I remember coming up with things like a new Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, which was later supplanted by a different canonical rule that used the same number that I chose. That kind of thing is an occupational hazard when you’re writing a tie-in to a series that’s still in production, so you can’t let it bother you when it happens. "[1]

Questionable rules

  • In 2151, Krem quoted the 6th rule slightly differently, and calls the 95th rule the 45th. He also says there are only 173 rules of acquisition (although the rules are always being expanded). The discrepancies may all be the result of later changes to the rules, or he may simply be incorrect (he says himself he does not have the "lobes" for business). (ENT episode: "Acquisition")
  • The DS9 Young Adult novel Prisoners of Peace gives FRoA#3 as "I found it; it's mine".
  • TNG novel Balance of Power gives FRoA#60 as "Let's you and him fight", as well as coming up with a rule it says is #303..."The sheep want to be fleeced!".
  • DS9 Young Adult novel Highest Score simplifies FRoA#16 to just "A deal is a deal".
  • In DS9 episode The House of Quark, Quark recites "Rule of Acquisition 286, when Morn leaves, it's all over." When Rom asserts there is no such rule, Quark states that there should be.
  • In the Voyager episode False Profits, Neelix, disguised as the Grand Proxy, recites "Rule of Acquisition 299; After you've exploited someone, it never hurts to thank them. That way, it's easier to exploit them next time." The rules, naturally, did not exceed 285 at that time. While consulting the Rules of Acquisition, Arridor came across the statement "When no appropriate rule applies, make one up."
  • It is assumed by many that "Discretion is the better part of valor." might be a rule of acquisition. Though the number is unknown, this belief among the fandom is reinforced by Quark saying that it is a belief of his people in the DS9 episode "The House of Quark" when his honor was challenged by his Klingon wife only for him to return later and make a fool of her brother in law, and in doing so preserving her house.
  • During the Hur'q invasion of 2410 in Star Trek Online, Grand Nagus Rom proposes two new Rules of Acquisition based on situations he encounters; the first being "If they can't be bought, get ready to fight!" when referring to the Hur'q. The second being "It's not smart to turn down a deal with the Grand Nagus," when discussing Brunt's failed attempt to double-cross Rom and Quark during a mission to recover the Sword of Kahless from T'Ket.


External link