BUX, your moneygame

Official Rules

Discard the rules in the box.



 (Sorry, they're obsolete already.)

To make money, you must first know the rules– then practice and master them.

This game is your opportunity to do that. Chips are your money and cards are your resources. And the rules mirror free-market economics.

You're using your money, your imagination and wits to get more resources– to create value to sell for more money– to get more resources. You're trading and buying cards as cheaply as you can, making matching 3-card sets, and selling those valuable sets back to the game– to have the most money before the game ends itself. That's the general idea.

OBJECTIVE: To make the most money to increase your $IQ- demonstrating your ability to handle money and resources in economic competition.


 Here're the details.

SET UP: Remove the 4 reference Rules-Counter cards from the deck.They're not used in the game.

With number-sides down, shuffle the first-time ever deck very well. Each player takes a card from the symbols-up deck. If a tie for the highest number, have a draw-off. All cards are returned to the deck.

The player with the highest number shuffles again, with numbers-side up. But before shuffling, separate the 3 purple BUX1-2-3 cards in the deck somewhere (near top, middle and bottom) back in the deck. Shuffle well– never seeing the symbols under the cards.

Going clockwise, deal cards, 1 at a time to each player, flipping them over as they are dealt to show their symbols until each player has 3 symbol-side-up cards (as shown in diagram above). If a BUX1-2-3 card is dealt, bury it back in the deck and deal another card in its place. Players' cards on the table are called their "spreads". Purple cards are never in spreads.

Give each player the equivalent of 200 chips.

Each player gets 4 white chips worth 5 bucks each, 3 silver chips worth 10 bucks each, 1 gold chip worth 50 bucks, and 1 black chip worth 100 bucks. Red chips are worth 1000 and left in the game bank.  All chips and cards remain visible on the table in "spreads" at all times. Players can look at numbers under their own cards at anytime. Others cannot.

The game is ready to start. The first player, the dealer, takes the first turn. (Assuming you are the first player.)



On your turn, make any 1 of 3 moves and end your turn.

(1) Swap a card for an opponent's unprotected card, or
(2) Draw 3 cards and auction them off, or
(3) Cash in any number of matching 3-card sets.

(1) Swap (or Trade)- Take any unprotected card from an opponent's spread replacing it with 1 of your cards. A card is protected if both of its symbols appear on other cards in the spread. For example, at the left, the X-Hart, Circle-Club and Circle-Hart are all protected since other cards in the spread share both of their symbols.

While on the other hand, the X-Spade, Oval Club and Square-Diamond are not protected since they have the only Spade and Oval in the spread. The Square-Diamond is double unprotected since there is no other Square or Diamond in the spread. (Take a moment to get this. You can't win often if you can't protect your resources.) Owners of cards being swapped-away have no say except to protect their cards with other cards. The turn ends.


(2) Cashing in (or Selling)-
As you see, cards have two shapes on their "symbol" side and number values (25, 50, 100) on the other.  
The shapes are familiar suits in cards– harts, diamonds, clubs and spades. These suits are inside squares, circles, X's and ovals.

Cards are always sold in matching 3-card sets. If only one shape matches, for example, 3 harts, 3 squares, 3 spades or 3 ovals, the set is worth the total on the backs of the cards. This is called a mixed set. If cards are identical, matching both suit and background shape such as the X-Harts, it is a perfect set and worth an automatic 500 bux. So in the example, the six cards sold (you can sell any number of 3-card matching sets) are worth a total of 625 (500 + 125) bux. All sold cards are placed in a symbols-up discard deck on the tray. The turn ends.

(3) Drawing cards- If you don't swap or sell, you must draw. Draw three cards, one at
a time, from the numbers- up draw deck, turning them over and putting them on the table pointing to you but away from your spread. They are not your cards. Immediately put them up for bid as a set to all players.

You can bid too, so if you wish, start the bidding. The bid goes clockwise with players increasing the bid amount or passing. Any player who passes is out of the bidding for that round.

[Note here that the drawn cards have value for all other players since it will give them doubles– nearly valuable perfect sets].

The bidding goes round and round with all participating players increasing the bid– until there is a highest bidder. If you drew the cards and are the highest bidder, take the three cards, add them to your spread and pay the bid amount to the bank. But if another player wins the bid, that player takes the three cards and pays you since you brought that opportunity to the table. The turn ends. (At any time you can look under your own cards at their number values and arrange them any way in your spread.)

The Purple BUX1-2-3 cards- These three special cards should be well shuffled into   
the deck and are never in spreads. They are important in two ways. They set the length of the game and the prices paid by the game for cashed-in sets. When drawn, they're half-tucked under the tray and another card is drawn in their place. Here's how they work. 

1- The first BUX card drawn simply means that time is passing.
2- The second means that the game is paying double for all sets sold.
3- The third BUX card drawn ends the Double-BUX payment period and pauses the game. During this pause, players keep their cards but all unowned cards, cards just drawn in that turn if any, cards in the draw and discard decks, and previously drawn BUX cards, are reshuffled to become the next numbers-up draw deck. (Be sure to separate the three BUX cards in the deck before shuffling. Shuffle well– at least five times, numbers-up, never seeing the shapes.) Place the shuffled deck on the tray (in either bin) to become the next numbers-up draw deck. The game pause is over and play resumes with the player who drew the third BUX card continuing to draw three new cards to be auctioned off.

The game ends when the third BUX card is drawn in the third draw-deck.

When the game ends, play stops immediately and all cards are then worthless.

 The Winner- The winner is the player with the most chips. The second-place player has the second most chips and so on.

Recording the Scores-
All players in four-player games, whether developing their $IQ or not, must record their scores on a BUX Score Sheet. From this sheet, the scores and positions of players' finishes can be tracked. This tracking gives an indication of game performances over time and is linked directly to players' $IQ, We don't have to tell you to keep this score sheet in a safe place. If possible copy and take pictures of it.

Moves not yet mentioned-
(1) If at the beginning of your turn you have no chips, you can take 100 bux and end your turn– our version of Assistance.
(2) If at the beginning of your turn you have no cards, you can draw 3 cards and after looking at them decide whether to put them up for bid, or keep them with no payment. Whatever you do, if you choose this option, your turn is over.

Quick-Game Version:
Normally a game takes between 45 and 75 minutes mostly depending on card sequence in the deck and speed of play. Quick-Games keep the general experience while reducing play time to 15 to 25 minutes. This is ideal for school or lunchtime play.

Remove all Club and Oval cards from the deck– reducing the card count from 51 to 31. Then play exactly as normal without the extra cards. (Keep the removed cards in a safe place for future use.)


With the possibility of all players playing in rounds, deciding on who goes next can be challenging at first. The rule is this:
• If a player either gets paid or pays the bank, the next player is to that player's left.
• When drawing cards, try to bid other players up to get them to pay you more. But be careful. This tactic can backfire. (Here is where your judgement of value and players' personalities pays off.
• Play with as many different people as you can– to learn from their playstyles.

For an official BUX Score Sheet, click here.

Game variants