Varg Bid
Designed by Felbrigg Herriot
Players 3-5
Length ?
Extra Material none

an auction game

Most people suppose that the game is named for the tenacious, seven-fanged Varg which inhabits the swamps of Lower Scebany. However, there is a man from Holdenvale with the unlikely name of Sebastian Varg-Bid III who claims that his illustrious grandfather invented the game.

Varg Bid is an auction game in which your hand of cards provides both the commodities being auctioned and the currency for bidding on them. The aim is to win high ranked cards at auction; the cards you spend to win them are discarded.


Shuffle the deck and deal each player ten cards. (With four players and the basic deck, each player will get only nine cards. With five players, each player will get only seven; this will leave one card.)

Give the Excuse to the player on the dealer's left; it serves as an auction token.

Crowns are treated as rank 10 for both bidding and auction value. Aces are treating as rank 1 for the purpose of bidding, but have an auction value of 11.

Game play

The player with the auction token (the Excuse) selects one card from his hand and puts it face up in the middle of the table. (With five players, the left over card is auctioned first; the dealer is the first to bid on it. After the initial auction in the five-player, the player with the auction token selects a card to auction and play proceeds normally.)

Starting on his left and going clockwise, players choose to bid or pass. You may only bid one card at a time. After every player has had a chance to play a first bid card, players may play second bid cards or (if they passed the first time around) enter the bidding. Bidding ends when everyone around the table has passed.

When you make your first bid in an auction, you may select any card from your hand. Place it face up in front of you and announce your bid. You are allowed to bid less than someone else's bid, if you like, but a lower bid will not win.

You may increase your bid by adding a card, but you may only add a card that shares at least one suit symbol with the first card that you bid in the auction. You may not increase your bid if you currently have the highest bid in the auction.

You may bid even if you passed earlier in the auction.

When bidding is complete, add together the ranks of multiple bid cards. (Aces count 1, number cards count their rank, and Crowns count 10.) The player with the highest total bid takes the auctioned card and puts it face down in their scoring pile.

If no one plays a bid card in an auction, then the auctioned card is discarded. If multiple players have the same total bid, then the player who reached that total first wins the auction.

After an auction, all bid cards from all players are discarded. The auction token (the Excuse) moves clockwise one player. The player with the token starts a new auction.

Once you have played all of your cards, you sit out the remainder of the hand. Play continues until there is only one player remaining. That player may start one auction, after which the hand ends. This means that a player with two or more cards left over after everyone else has played all of theirs can put one up for auction and use the other to place a winning bid for it.

At the end of the hand, Aces in your score pile are worth 11 points each and all other cards are worth their rank. The total score for each player is recorded, and the player on the dealer's left becomes the new dealer. A game consists of a number of hands equal to the number of players, so that each player deals once.

The current value of your score pile and the number of cards left in your hand are public information.


Original design: Felbrigg Herriot

Development: P.D. Magnus and Cristyn Magnus

Playtesting: Bryan Angley, Dean Howard, Michael Pearsall, Jeffrey Warrender

Rules text: P.D. Magnus

FNH's original version is hosted at BookRanger.


* Varg Bid at BoardGameGeek


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