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How To Play For Sale

for sale

For Sale was originally released in 1997 and is as popular now as it was 26 years ago. Stefan Dora’s game of bidding and auctions always produces a great gaming experience no matter who you are playing with. But ‘how do you play it?’ I hear you ask, let me tell you now in this blog.

Set Up

Shuffle the property cards and currency cards separately and then remove six of each for a 3 player game, two of each for 4 players, and none for a 5 or 6 player game.

Give all players some bidding money depending on the number of players. 3 or 4 players each get two $2,000 coins and fourteen $1,000 coins. 5 or 6 players get two $2,000 coins and ten $1,000 coins.

This is all the set up you need so let’s start bidding.

Let’s Play

This game is all about selling properties for the most money. It has two types of bidding / auctions separated by two rounds. In the first round you will be doing an open bidding phase for the properties. You will want to claim the best properties for the lowest price. Then in the second round you will have buyers for your properties, in this round it will be a blind bidding phase where you sell your properties for the most currency. At the end of the game the player with the most money (currency cards and coins) is the winner.

Buying Properties

Take the same number of cards as there are players from the stack of properties and place them face up on the table. All of these properties will be auctioned and each player will receive one property each.

Choose a starting player in For Sale and they may bid a number of their coins or they may pass. If they pass they receive the lowest value (worse) property in the current market.

If they bid they place their bid coins on the table, then each player in turn order (clockwise) may choose to increase the bid (by placing their own coins on the table) or to pass. Any player that passes will receive the lowest value property from the market plus they will lose half the coins they bid rounded up (so if you had previously bid $3,000 but then decided to pass when it came round to you again you would lose $2,000).

As each player passes they receive the lowest value property that is available until only one player is left. That player then loses all of their bid coins and takes the last property available (the best one that turn).

The player who won the bidding phase becomes the start player for the next bid and turns over the required number of cards.

You continue playing like this until all of the property cards have been sold.

Selling Properties

Once again take the same number of cards from the currency stack as there are players and place them face up on the table. This phase has a blind bidding mechanism where

you look at the cards available and decide which of your properties you want to sell. All players place their chosen property face down in front of them and then reveal them simultaneously. The player who has placed the highest value property gains the highest currency card, then players continue to take the currency cards depending on the value of their properties (from highest to lowest).

You continue to sell your properties until all of the currency cards have been claimed at which point final scoring is calculated.

Final Scoring

To work out your final score add up all of the currency cards in your hand and then add to that the value of your coins not spent in the first phase. The player with the most money wins. In the event of a tie the player with the most leftover coins win.


I hope this has helped you to learn the rules and how For Sale plays. Obviously I would always recommend people use the official rule book to learn the rules in depth but this blog should give you a really good flavour of how the game flows.

I really enjoy the game and if you want to find me on twitter to discuss how brilliant For Sale is please do @boardgamehappy.