Wucherer (Profiteer)

A game for 2 - 6 players


  1. 96 cards as follows:

  2. All cards have a single apartment 'outer wall' illustrated on the reverse.
  3. 60 counters representing rental income in the following values:
          Number        Colour        Value
            25          Red              1
            10          Yellow           5
            20          Green           10
             5          Black           50


Aim of the Game

To fleece your tenants in order to become the richest Profiteer.

The Game

The player who can build the largest house plays first. The other players follow clockwise. On their turn each player can play as many cards as they wish from their hand in any order.

Cards can be played as building materials for houses (outer wall side face up) or, depending on the card, as an action card, a special card or as a tenant card.

All buildings must have at least one storey and roof.

House Building and Tenants

A card that is turned over onto its reverse side forms an apartment (of one storey) in a house. As many apartments (face down cards) as you wish can be placed above each other. A roof must be added onto the top. Once a house has been built it cannot be changed except by adding a basement or by converting a loft.

In order to show that a tenant lives in the house, a tenant card is placed face up on one (or sometimes two) of the apartments in the house. The apartments are very small and the tenants very particular, so that only one tenant (card) can be housed in each apartment. Nobody can live in an (unconverted) roof.

The numbers in the bottom corners of the tenant cards show the maximum number of apartments that a house can have if that tenant is to live there. If the house is any higher then that tenant will not live there. When calculating the number of apartments only the face down cards are counted, i.e. not the roof or, if applicable, a loft conversion or basement.

On some of the tenant cards the numbers are at right angles to the illustration. This means that these tenants are very fussy and must be housed on two stories. To signify this the tenant card is placed vertically over two apartments in a house in order that the numbers appear the correct way up.

Once a tenant card has been played it cannot be put back into a player's hand. Subject to the powers of the special and action cards below, a tenant must remain in the same apartment for the rest of the game.

A special case is that of the snobs. They pay 6 units of rent per round, require two apartments, but will only move into a home with one apartment. Therefore a player must either convert the roof using a loft conversion card or install a basement (see below).

Action and Special Cards

A player may play as many of these cards as they have available each turn. Each action must be carried out fully before playing the next card. Unless otherwise mentioned (i.e. when the cards destroyed by a bomb are placed at the bottom of the 'live' pile) each card after being played, is placed on the discard pile. The action cards can be played in any order. Two or more cards of the same type may be played in a single turn.

The Rent

Rent is collected from tenants and for empty apartments. The number in the top two corners of a tenant card denotes the amount of rent which that tenant will pay each turn. At the end of a player's turn the player collects rent equal to the sum of the rent payable by their tenants, plus one unit of rent for each empty apartment.

Rent can be paid in the form of cards or rent counters, with one card representing one unit of rent up to a maximum of five cards. The sixth and any subsequent card received must be taken as being equal to two units of rental income. Rent can be taken as a mixture of counters and cards. Once rent is taken in counters the counters cannot subsequently be used to purchase cards. If a player does not have a house they receive either just one rent counter or one card.

End of the Game

Once the last card has been taken from the deck then the last round begins. In the last round each player, except the player who picked up the last card, has one more turn. The game then ends. Once the last round has begun no new cards can be taken even if some new cards are returned to the deck, e.g. through the action of a bomb.

The winner of the game is the player with the most rent counters.

It is recommended that more than one round is played and that a running total is kept. The winner is then the player who has obtained the highest total of rent counters after a set number of games, or alternatively, the first player to reach a particular total. 111 is suggested.

The Tenant Cards (Die Mieterinnen)

See the illustrations on page three of the German rules.

    Die Musiker                 The musicians
    Die Seltsamen               The odd people
    Der Hacker                  The hacker
    Der Mann mit Hund           The man with a dog
    Die Familie                 The family
    Die Nobelen                 The snobs
    Die Promis                  The celebrities
    Die Freaks                  The freaks
    Die Frau mit Kind           The woman with a child

The 'Other' Cards

See the top two illustrations on page 4 of the German rules.

The top illustration is of the outer wall of one floor of a house and appears on the reverse side of all of the cards. This side of the card allows a player to build one floor (an apartment) of a house.

The next illustration is that of a roof card. All buildings must have a roof on the top.

The Action Cards

Removal (Umzug)
This card can be played against any tenant card or squatter card. The tenant card or squatter can be placed either into any free apartment or at the bottom of the 'live' stack, at the option of the player playing the removal card.

Murder (Mord)
This card can be played against any tenant card or squatter card. The murdered tenant is then placed onto the discard pile.

Bomb (Bombe)
This card can be played against an opponent's house or against one of the player's own houses. The cards making up the bombed house and all of its tenants are then shuffled and placed at the bottom of the 'live' stack. The bomb card is placed onto the discard pile.

Loft conversion (Dachwohnung)
This card may be played on top of any roof card and has the effect of making the roof inhabitable. It is important to note however that the number of apartments in the house remains the same.

Basement (Kellerausbau)
This card works in the same way as the loft conversion card except that it placed below the bottom of the house. A house may only have one basement.

Squatters (Hausbesetzerinnen)
This card may be placed into any empty apartment. When a house is occupied by squatters no income is received from that house, either from other tenants or from vacant apartments. If a player owns a house containing squatters, then at the beginning of that player's turn that player must move the tenants paying the most rent out of that house. That player may decide into which apartment the evacuating tenant will move. However, if there are no empty apartments then the tenants cannot, and therefore do not, move. No new tenants will move into a house where there are already squatters living. Other squatters can however move into a house where there are already squatters.

Special Cards

Police (Polizei)
A police card may be played against any squatter card, whether the squatter card is just being played by an opponent (even though it is not the player holding the police card's turn to play) or whether the squatter card has already been laid. A police card may also be played out of turn in order to defend a player against the effects of a bomb card or a murder card which has been played against that player. The player who played the bomb card or the murder card is also sent immediately to jail. Note however that the police card does not negate the effect of either the bomb card or the murder card.

The lunatic (Der Irre)
The lunatic card can also be played in response to a bomb card or a murder card. By playing the lunatic card the effect of the murder card or the bomb card is redirected against the player who first played the murder or bomb card. The player who plays the lunatic card may decide which of the other player's tenants or houses the murder or bomb will affect and do not suffer any loss themselves. No police card can be played against the lunatic card.

Alibi (Alibi)
If a police card has been played against a player resulting in that player being sent to jail, then that player may play an alibi card. The effect of the alibi is to redirect the police to the player playing to the left of the player playing the alibi card and therefore to send that player to jail instead. If the player playing to the left of the player playing the alibi card also has an alibi card then the process may be repeated with the next person to the left being sent to jail. All cards played are placed on the discard pile.

Justice (Gericht)
A justice card has the same effect as an alibi. In addition it can also be used to get out of jail free.

The Jail (Knast)
As mentioned above this card is placed to one side at the beginning of the game. If a player is sent to jail as the result of a police card then the jail card must be placed face up in front of the player in jail. As soon as another player is sent to jail then the jail card is passed to that player and the first player in jail is freed. Whilst in jail a player may receive only one rent counter per turn, but may perform all other actions. At the beginning of a turn a player may pay five counters and be freed immediately. Any player in jail automatically has an alibi.

Hints on Play

There are many tactics allowed by the rules. Two of the less obvious, but allowable tactics, are as follows:

Loft Conversions
It is permissible to build a loft conversion in an opponent's house. This could be advantageous, if for example, a player also holds a squatter card as the squatters could then be played into the new loft conversion.

The Jail
One method of getting out of jail is to murder one of your own tenants and then, as the murder was committed in one of your own houses, to play a police card. As a player already in jail automatically has an alibi it follows that another player must have committed the murder and will therefore have to go to jail. As only one player can be in jail at a time the player originally in jail is consequently set free!

Special Rules for Professionals

If a bomb is played in the final round, then a new stack is formed and the previously final round is no longer deemed to be the final round. The final round only begins again once the new stack has all been used.

Tenant Rules

The musicians
If a musician moves into a house in which no other musician is living then all the other tenants and any squatters move into another apartment in a different house. The player who played the musician card decides where the vacating tenants move to. Any tenants however who cannot move out because there are insufficient vacant apartments remain where they are. Vacating tenants will move into other houses occupied by musicians.

The odd people
Neither new tenants nor squatters will move into a house where odd people are living. Odd people will only move into empty houses or houses with other odd people.

The hacker
If there is more than one hacker in a house then a hacking community is formed. As a consequence the first hacker will pay two units of rent, the second hacker three units, the third hacker four units, the fourth hacker five units and the fifth hacker six units. Therefore if all five hackers live in the same house the owner will receive twenty units of rent per turn.

The man with a dog
Because of the dog the man will only move into a basement or into a ground floor apartment.

The family
Families prefer to live where there is not much crime. Therefore if a murder card or a bomb card is played on a home in which they live then they will automatically report the event to the police. This has the same effect as that occurring when a player plays a police card. If the lunatic card is played in response to the murder or bomb card and the crime is therefore 'redirected' back to the player playing the murder or the bomb card, then the family does not report to the police as they are no longer the victims of any crime.

The snobs
no special rules.

The celebrities
This couple only pays two units of rent but they enhance the reputation of the house. As a result all the other tenants pay double rent and an empty apartment in that house brings in two units of rent. If both pairs of celebrities move into the same house then each couple pays two units of rent. In addition the rent collected from tenants, other than the celebrities couples, and from empty apartments is quadrupled.

The freaks
As there are lots of freaks they are impossible to kill with a murder card. This is because whenever a freak is killed two more appear in their place.

The woman with a child
As the woman is at the bottom of the housing market she can be given notice to vacate at any time. Therefore when it is a player's turn that player can simply remove the woman with a child card from the game by placing her on the discard pile.


The following examples of houses are illustrated on the inside cover of the German rules.
House One
consists of one apartment, one loft conversion and one basement, a total of three apartments. The empty loft conversion pays one unit of rent and the snobs pay six units of rent. The player owning this house will therefore receive seven units of rent each turn.

House Two
consists of four apartments. The owner receives six units of rent. Two for the hacker, two for the woman and the child and one each for the two empty apartments. The roof does not generate any rent, it has not been converted and therefore cannot be inhabited.

House Three
generates no rent as there are squatters in residence. The musicians do not pay rent because of the squatters and at the beginning of the player's next turn they will move on.

A player owning all three houses will therefore receive thirteen units of rent.

Distributed by Mike Siggins from The Sumo Rules Bank

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