Board games, and especially competitive board games, often create a tense and competitive environment. That is maybe best exemplified in board games that utilize auctioning and bidding.


Related: Popular Board Games You Can Play Online

The mere act of trying to gauge what your opponents might bid, and trying to outbid them to gain the advantages you need, is quite a tense time. However, it’s equally exciting and fun to try and come up with alternate plans when the bidding goes wrong. Several games use these types of mechanics very creatively and are strongly recommended to try out.

Updated October 4, 2022: We’ve updated this list to include handy links through to Amazon for all the top picks of our favorite auction board games.

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10/10 Power Grid

In Power Grid, your purpose is to supply power to the most number cities amongst their opponents. In order to do so, you’ll be marking routes between cities and bidding against your opponents trying to purchase power plants.

Another part of the game is about getting materials, such as coal and uranium, to power your plants. The game is all about acquisitions and staying ahead of your competitors, and has depth and incorporates bidding mechanics beautifully.

Get it on Amazon here!

9/10 For Sale

For Sale is a simple and quick game you can easily pick up. Its premise is that you’re buying and selling real estate. You first bid on the buildings, and, once all buildings are owned, you sell to try and maximize profit.

There is an element of bluffing and trying to get your opponents to pay more for less, and, despite the simplicity of the rules, it can lead to some exciting auctions. It’s an easy to learn, family-friendly game that can be played out in 30-minute sessions with ease.

Get it on Amazon here!

8/10 High Society

High Society is a game where you try to increase your status, avoid misfortune and try to achieve the sought-after lavish lifestyle as a socialite. In order to do that, throughout the rounds, you will be bidding to gather status cards and avoid disgrace cards.

The bidding is central to the flow and strategy of the game, as you’ll be cast out before even counting your points if you’re the poorest player when the game ends. That means you have to pick and choose what you invest in. The game is very simple to understand and has cool art, making it a prime candidate for an introductory game to the hobby for potential newcomers.

Get it on Amazon here!

7/10 Keyflower

Key Flower is a great game that incorporates bidding mechanics into a tranquil, Euro-style game. In Keyflower, you’ll be bidding with your workers to gather tiles to add to your village over four seasons, with each season adding more workers and tiles to the mix.

Related: Best Tabletop Games To Play With Friends This Summer

You will be trying to build the village that gives the most victory points. While not a pure auction game like some other entries on this list, Keyflower mixes the auction theme into the game beautifully and ends up a very enjoyable and competitive game.

Get it on Amazon here!

6/10 Ra

Ra, takes place thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, overseen by the god Ra, and is played over three rounds called Epochs. Throughout these Epochs, you will be enriching ancient Egyptian culture with art, religion, and much more. You’ll be building monuments and trying to get the favor of gods.

The game has amazing artwork and very enjoyable mechanics throughout. If you are remotely interested in a very thematic game, or an especially well-designed auction game, Ra is a safe bet to try with your group.

Get it on Amazon here!

5/10 Dream Factory

Ever wanted to feel what it’s like to be in charge of a movie studio? In Dream Factory, you’ll be auctioning with your rivals to get special effects, directors, star actors, soundtracks, and more to produce the best movie you can.

The game mechanics are interesting too. For example, the game has a closed economy, meaning the money there is, in the beginning, is all there ever will be, with spent money being distributed to the other players after each auction.

There is a real balance and competitive nature to this game and the fun of parody names for both people and movies is quite amusing, if not outright hilarious. It’s always a good time to see Leonardo Dicappucino star in Punk Fiction.

Get it on Amazon here!

4/10 Nidavellir

In Nidavellir, you’re in charge of building a glorious dwarf army to defeat the legendary Fafnir. To do so, you will amass hunters, explorers, blacksmiths, miners, and more. The game is unique with its bidding mechanics. Each player begins with the same resources, but you can choose to transform one of your coins into a bigger ones instead of using it to buy dwarves for that turn – do you have a smaller army and better resources, or stick to the basic coins everyone has and splash out on more forces?

There’s a lot of depth in the game with different scoring methods for different types of troops, powerful heroes, and of course, the chaos of blind bidding.

Get it on Amazon here!

3/10 The Estates

In The Estates, you will be playing as real estate investment companies trying to get the most points, while also manipulating the development of the area. To do so, you’ll be building floor tiles, and rooftops, using building permits, and even cashing in your illegal earnings.

The game is simple, but has a lot of depth once you get to experimenting with the mechanics. It’s good to play in short bursts, too, as games take about an hour, and is incredibly easy to learn.

2/10 Cyclades

Cyclades is a board game that perfectly mixes bidding mechanics with a more traditional area control war game. In this game that’s set in Ancient Greece, you have to bid to get the favor of gods and get access to their special actions each turn. These are extremely impactful and will dictate how the game is played out.

Related: Best Board Games For Monsters And Kaiju Fans

The order of these god powers also changes each round, and the capital of other players is kept hidden, so there’s uncertainty to keep things engaging. Cyclades is a great mix of war games, exciting auctions, and strategy.

Get it on Amazon here!

1/10 Modern Art

Modern Art may be one of the purest forms of auction/bidding games, because it is purely a game about auctions. In Modern Art, you will be trying to manipulate the value of paintings and trying to get the most valuable ones for the cheapest price.

With several different auction styles and varying values for each artist throughout the rounds, the game always keeps you engaged. However, where Modern Art really shines is the beautiful art pieces you get to enjoy while playing. The rulebook even comes with an artbook attached, so that you can get to learn about the artists and examine their work. This is truly a celebration of auction board games and art at the same time.

Get it on Amazon here!

We hope you like the items we recommend and discuss! TheGamer has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

Next: Best Board Games To Play Outdoors



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