The Game of 49 is an auction game for one to five players. The game consists of a board with 49 squares, money, and a deck of cards numbered 1-49 plus wild cards. Each player starts with 49 dollars. The starting player will draw a card from the deck and the players will bid on that board space. The winner of the auction puts a chip of their color on that space. The object of the game is to capture four spaces in a row, vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Wild cards will either be the “49” (center) board space, or will cover a range of spaces. The 49 space is the only space on the board that can be “stolen” or “re-auctioned”. If you win an auction for a wild card with a range of space, you choose which unoccupied spot within that range to place your chip. Each wild card also has a payout action. Once the auction is complete, each player will receive $7 for each chip they have on the board, to a maximum of $49. If a number that is already taken comes up, a new card is drawn.
This is an easy to learn game. It’s fast paced and bidding becomes fierce over contested spaces. There are different strategies to win, and different bidding styles can really change the game. The number of players also can wildly affect strategies, but it plays equally well with any number. There is a slight variation in rules for two players. As you gain more spaces after 7, you start getting less payout. This keeps the duration of the game to a similar timeframe as the multi-player game.
I really enjoy this game. It is exciting and keeps moving. Everyone is involved and interacting. It is not really billed as a party game, but certainly has that feel. If you are looking for a good party game for a few friends, that plays quickly and has a lot of energy, then give The Game of 49 a try. Age says 10+ but a younger set could play with the right group.
Check your local conventions. Double Exposure Envoy hosts state and regional tournaments for the Game of 49, with winners getting cool trophies and regional winners get admission to the National tournament at GenCon.