High Society

Invented by Reiner Knizia.
Published by ?.
Translated by ? (via Merfyn Lewis and edited by Ken Tidwell).
Any mistakes in translation by Ken Tidwell.




Players bid to get positive possession cards and to not get negative possession cards by playing money cards.

A round of bidding is over when all players have passed. A player may increase their bid as often as they wish, as long as it is higher than the highest bid of the other players.


The player with the highest total value of possession cards, who has more money than at least one other player, wins the game.

Money Cards

Money cards are used to get or to refuse possession cards.

Possession Cards

Promotion to Peerage (2x)
Doubles the total value of the possession cards held by a player.
Scandal (½)
Halves the total value of the possession cards held by a player.
Gambling Debts (-5)
Reduces the total value of the possession cards held by a player by five points.
Theft (a crossed out square)
The owner must discard one possession card of their choice. If this is the first possession of the player, they must discard the next possession they get. Both the theft card and the stolen possession are removed from the game.


Each player is given the eleven money cards of one color to form a hand. Shuffle the sixteen possession cards and place the deck face down. Choose a starting player.

The starting player turns up the top possession card and starts the first round. There will be at most fifteen rounds.


On their turn a player can do two things:

Play Money Cards

A player may play one or more money cards from their hand. The cards are placed face up in front of the player. The total value should be announced out loud.

As long as bids increase play continues clockwise around the table. You may not make change by taking cards from the table into your hand (or any other devious means).


A player may pass, play no money cards, and is then out of the bidding for this possession card. Money cards that were played before the player passed are taken back into their hand.

End of the Round

Positive Possession Cards

After all but one of the players have passed, the remaining bidder takes the possession card and places it face up on the table

The bid is paid by placing the money cards on a discard pile (they are out of the game). If all of the players pass without ever bidding, the last player who had the option of bidding gets the card for free.

Negative Possession Cards

Now the first player who passes gets the card and places it face up on the table. If the player bid money cards before passing, they may return these to their hand. The other players must place their bids on the discard pile.

New Round

The player who got the last possession card is the starting player for the next round and turns over another possession. Play then proceeds as before.

End of the Game

Four out of the sixteen possession cards have red edges (the three 'Promote to Peerage (2x)' cards and the Scandal card). The game ends immediately when the fourth red edged card is turned face up. This card and any other cards left face down count towards no player's total.

Now count your money. The player or players with the least amount of money are out of the game and have no chance of winning.

Now total the values of your possession cards (see example formulae under "Wer ist 'In'"). The player with the highest total wins. In case of a tie, the one with the most money wins. If there is still a tie then both players win.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell