Sunday, August 12, 2007


Billionaire is a simple card game characterised by much shouting and bidding and trading of sets of cards as players race ahead in a mad free for all to complete a card set of one of the market 'suits'. The player who manages to do this first in a hand will have managed to collect in their hand either a full and complete set of one of the commodity suits (filling their whole hand), or possibly the 'Billionaire' card instead of one of the cards of the suit.

Besides the suit cards, the deck contains two cards that are 'wild' in trading, the Billionaire and the taxman. In each hand, one player will end up with the Billionaire card in their hand. If they were the players to 'go out', it doubles their score for that hand. If they are stuck with it in their hand when another goes out, they are penalised. Similarly, there is a 'taxman' card, and whoever ends up with it in their hand at the end of a hand is penalised.

The player who 'goes out' in a hand scores the value of the suit they collected, (doubled if they have billionaire card). Those who hold the Taxman (and Bllionaire, if someone other than the person who 'went out' has it in their hand) are penalised. Scores are recorded. The next hand is dealt. This continues until someone reaches the score agreed on to be the winning score (a billion, obviously, if you have time, less if you don't). That person wins.

The heart of the game is its trading session. The idea is that a person swaps one or more cards with another. They announce how many cards are in the set they are offering to trade by calling (shouting) out the number. Another player may match this number of cards, and the sets are then exchanged. Taxman and Billionaire get passed around as wild cards as players choose. This continues until someone goes out by shouting "Billionaire!"

A noisy and interactive card game that has lots of non hostile shouting. At about $10 AU, good to have around. Also, we've played it with upto 8 players which is pretty handy at times (took aobut an hour and a half with eight players upto 200,000,000).

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