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Subject: Goods Bartering rss

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Andrew S. Fischer
United States
Devon
Pennsylvania
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Instead of completely blind bidding, the start player plays any number of cards from his hand face-down. The other players follow in clockwise order, once around the table. This allows for some actual bluffing, and forces players to bid craftily, as well.

For example, early in the game, if the start player places six cards face-down, it's a good bet he's bluffing (i.e., he played more than one type of good) and the cards will be returned to his hand. A different example: if the first three players place only two cards, a bid of three by the last player must win. Early bidders can't be too cautious or a later bidder may win yuan with few cards. Additionally, a bid of one card must be legitimate, and may win, so it becomes a statement to the other players: bid two or (maybe) else.

This change works quite well. In my last game I was bidding last one round, and an opponent played six face-down cards; I strongly suspected she was bidding on the card-type I wanted (purple). I also had six cards of that type, and agonized over playing them, since ties lose -- and we'd both have to discard all the cards we bid. What I could have done was bid four cards, on the off chance that she was bidding on another card-type, and if so, I'd win since the other two players only bid three cards each. Or I could have placed an invalid bid, let her have it and save my six cards for the next round. Instead I bid the six and we tied. Another player then took the card-type and its 4 bucks with just one card during the re-bid. Phooey!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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asfhgwt wrote:
IIn my last game I was bidding last one round, and an opponent played six face-down cards; I strongly suspected she was bidding on the card-type I wanted (purple). I also had six cards of that type, and agonized over playing them, since ties lose -- and we'd both have to discard all the cards we bid.

Ties don't automatically lose: if you bid the most, you split the amount you were bidding on, rounded down. You can end up with no yuans because of it, but that is something else.
 
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Andrew S. Fischer
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Devon
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There was no mention of ties in the English rules I originally downloaded, but I see it now as a note in Mik's rules. In any event, I believe most players would prefer my tie-breaker -- no one wins -- as opposed to the unsatisfying idea of splitting the pot. Try it and see.
 
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