Gameday First Play – High Society

Posted on by Jesta

Bidding to win, Bidding to not win


In Reiner Knizia’s High Society, players bid against each other to acquire the various trappings of wealth (positive-number and multiplier cards) while avoiding its pitfalls (negative number and divisor cards). While bidding, though, keep an eye on your remaining cash – at the end of the game, even though all those positive-number cards might add up to a win, the player with the least money isn’t even considered for victory.

So each player starts with an identical hand of cards with various values from 1 million – 25 million.

There is a stack of very nice tiles in the middle of the table containing high value items ranging from 1 to 10 along with some red bordered cards which have various effects.

So you turn over the top card, lets say it’s an item valued ‘5’.

Starting with the first player, and in turn order, each player plays cards down to bid for the item. So you could start with your 1 million, the next player could play 2 million etc etc

Normal bidding here, all good.

When it comes back to your turn you can drop out of the bidding and put your losing bid back in your hand. If you want to increase your bid you can, but you can’t return money cards you’ve already played. This makes bidding that little bit more tactical.

For example, I bid 25 million using my 25 million card. Player two played 28 million with a 25 million, 2 million and 1 million card. Player 3 dropped out and it was back to my turn. The lowest card I had in my hand that would outbid my opponent was a 15 million card. So I either bid 40 million, or drop out.  Serves me right for losing those low cards early.

High Society Game Play


The red bordered cards can be positive, such as the one pictured above that gives you x2 to your end game total, yay!

BUT, some are bad. Some halve your end game total! This are bid for in a different way. The FIRST player to drop out of the bidding gets the 1/2 card but doesn’t pay anything. The players remaining in the bidding pay all the money they have bid when the first player drops out. Ouch.

So you just bid everything not to get it right? WRONG!

When the 4th red bordered card is revealed the game ends. The player with the least amount of money in their hand, can not win. Vicious!

I liked this, it’s a very nice, very quick game. I also have another clever bidding game by the same designer on iOS, Razzia, which I love playing. I own ‘For Sale’ which is similar in a way so it’s not one I would buy now but if I didn’t have For Sale I would be pricing this one up.

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