The Bidding War


The Bidding War is a simple card game for two players. It’s similar to the children’s card game War, but it involves a little more skill. That means that, if you play better than your opponent, you can gain an edge on him and beat him more often than not. Basically the game involves some mathematics and psychology , at least if you want to play it well.

So let’s see how it’s played…

Card values:

  • Face cards(K,Q,J) = 10 points
  • Ace = 1 point
  • Cards from 2 to 10 = their face value (2 = 2, 3 = 3 etc.)

The Deal

The game is played with a standard 52 card deck (no jokers). All of the cards are dealt out face down between the two players, so each player gets 26 cards. Players must not look at their cards! They just get a pile of 26 cards each, that’s it.


The game starts with one of the players guessing the sum of the top cards of both player piles. The other player then guesses as well, but he can not chose the same sum or a sum that equals the first player’s sum +/-1.

After both players make their guesses, there are 3 possible outcomes:

  • One player is closer to the right sum. In this case, that player takes the two cards into his pile.
  • One player guessed the exact right sum. If this is the case, then that player takes the top two cards and the next two cards in both piles.
  • Both players are equally close to the right sum. In this case, a bidding war starts…

Bidding war

When you get a bidding war, both players take a look at the next card in their pile. Then the first player starts the bidding by saying what he thinks is the sum of both cards. The other player can then raise the bid to a higher number or call, if he raises, then the first player can raise again or call. It goes on like this until one of the players calls.

If the sum of both cards is lower than the bid, the calling player wins all four cards, plus the next two top cards(one from each players pile). If the sum is higher that the bid, then the bidding player wins all six cards.

Who won the game?

Well, you can play this game in two ways:

  1. You can keep putting the cards you win on the bottom of your pile. In this case, the game is played until one player has all the cards in the game.
  2. You can put the cards you win in a separate pile. In this case, the game is played until both players burn through their 26 cards. Players count their score at the end and the higher score wins.

Enjoy playing the Bidding War!