Ten Dollar Words


Designer: Amabel Holland
Hex Number: 81
Duration: 30 minutes
Players: 2-4
Solitaire Suitability: Low
Theme: Words
MSRP: $20.00

Ten Dollar Words is the auction word game where you use letters to make words to bid on letters to make more words, sometimes with the same letters! On your go, you’ll put up one of four lots for auction. Each player uses their letter tiles to make a word. Each tile has a Live side – with a dollar value – and a Dead side – without, and this determines the value of their bid. When you win an auction, any Live letters you used are flipped to their Dead side but remain in your available pool, to which you add the letters just won: you’ll always have access to them but they won’t contribute to the bid total. At the end of the game, everyone uses the letters they’ve accumulated to make one last word, and the most valuable word wins the game.

The value of a lot depends on the letters in it and their utility in making new words, but also on which of those letters entered the game Live or Dead, which letters you’re willing to flip to gain them, and how all those factors relate to the other players and their pool of letters. Tricky letters like Q and Z will double the value of your bid, while the dreaded S will subtract from your bid total – do you use it now so you can flip it to its Dead side, so it can be used without penalty in a later auction?

It's an auction game where you’re spending your resources but they’re still available, where you must spend money to make money but it’s not a matter of how much money you have at the end – you might have $20 worth of letters but if you can’t find a way to make them all fit into a word, they’re going to be worthless.

  • 54 letter tiles
  • 40 wooden discs