Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Buy The Vote Board Game. This is a quickfire secret bidding game that is meant to be played against a 15-minute timer. It is a game that pokes fun at the American political system, having you “purchase” the non-purchasable things that make you president, to support a simple, but strategic and cutthroat gaming experience. The game is for 2 – 5 players at ages 9+. The rules for how to play Buy The Vote are easy and should have you up in running in no time.

FOR MORE: Buy The Vote Page | Buy The Vote Review | Games Like Buy The Vote | Purchase Buy The Vote on Amazon


Buy The Vote is an incredibly fun, strategic and competitive (yet simple-to-learn) game where you outbid your opponents for the electoral votes for each of the 51 states and districts (50 states + Washington DC) needed to win the nomination for the president of the United States.

Strategically use your money (in each round’s secret bidding turn) to outbid your opponents. But watch out for the golden swing states cards that can really alter the game! After Round eight (or when time is up), the candidate with the most electoral votes becomes your party’s nominee. If you and the second highest candidate collect 270 or more electoral votes, the two of you become President and Vice President of the United States. All in just 15 minutes!


Time Needed: Approximately 15 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play buy the vote the quickfire secret bidding board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Give Out Player Cards & Shades
to kick off how to play Buy The Vote setup, each player takes a player card showing bidding spaces, as well as, a three panel shade to cover it. Each player should put the card in front of them and then put the shade around the three sides exposed to other players in order to keep your activities secret.

2. SETUP | Put Out State Labels
In the center of the play area, put out the nine state label panels. These will be the spaces where the state cards for bidding are placed each round. They also show when players will receive infusions of cash.

3. SETUP | Shuffle State Card Deck
Take the 51 state cards, shuffle them up and form a face down deck. You will need to deal these out under the state levels each round.

4. GAMEPLAY | Start 15 Minutes Timer
The game is played on a clock so to kick off how to play Buy The Vote gameplay,

5. GAMEPLAY | Check If It Is A “Fundraising” Round
Players receive additional cash before rounds 1, 4 and 7. The state labels in the center show the amount of cash to be given out. Each player takes that amount in the green and gold money tokens.

6. GAMEPLAY | Deal Out State Cards
Depending on the round, a number of state cards are revealed and placed under the nine state labels. These correlate to spaces on each player board which allows players to make secret bids on those states. Earlier rounds have less with more coming in as rounds go on. The player board shows how many should be added, in round 1 you use 3, a 4th on round 3 and so on through the potential 8th round.

7. GAMEPLAY | Secret Bid
After the state cards have been revealed, players choose which cards they want to bid on. They take any amount of their money and put it on any number of state spots in any combination to make their bid. It shouldn’t be all your money because you need it to last over several rounds. When done, players put their hand on the table to indicate they are finished.

8. GAMEPLAY | Bid Revealed & Resolved
After bidding for the round has completed, players lift their shades to reveal their bids. The player with the highest amount in a space, gets that state card. All the money is now gone, including any losing bids from other players. In the case of no one bidding or any kind of tie, the state remains and will be combined with another state card in the next round (stacks continue to get bigger each round until someone wins them). State cards won are taken in order and placed under that player’s mat to keep track of total. Order matters, because when a player wins a gold state (the “swing” state) they get to immediately take the most recent state an opponent has won. If the stack has multiple cards on it (because of previous ties) the swing state rule doesn’t trigger.

9. GAMEPLAY | Repeat Until 8 Rounds Complete or Timer Runs Out
Repeat this gameplay process for each round. This is done through the 8 different rounds or until the 15-minute timer runs out.

10. WINNING | High Score Wins
Whoever gets the highest total of electoral votes basically wins. The game says that the 1st place player and the 2nd place player need to get a total of 270 (you are the president and vice president theme-wise) but that is basically just ensuring that the game was close enough to be a fair fight. This helps ensure that everyone plays honestly during the timer and doesn’t try to cheat by wasting time, working the clock.



At Round 1: Gain $10MM
At Round 4: Gain $20MM + $2MM per controlled state
At Round 7: Gain $30MM + $2MM per controlled state


California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15), New Jersey (14), Virginia (13), Washington (12), Arizona (11), Indiana (11), Tennessee (11), Massachusetts (11), Missouri (10), Maryland (10), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Alabama (9), South Carolina (9), Colorado (9), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Oklahoma (7), Connecticut (7), Oregon (7), Arkansas (6), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6), Utah (6), Nevada (6), Iowa (6), Nebraska (5), West Virginia (5), New Mexico (5), Idaho (4), Hawaii (4), Maine (4), New Hampshire (4), Rhode Island (4), Alaska (3), Montana (3), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Wyoming (3), Delware (3), District of Columbia (3), Vermont (3).


  • 51x State Cards (23x red, 16x blue, 12 swing)
  • 5x Standing Voting Booths
  • 5x Player Mats
  • 168x Money Chits (63 gold, 105 green)
  • 9x State Round Levels
  • 3x Rules Explanation Cards


We hope you can now say that know how to play Buy The Vote. This secret bidding game with a satirical American politics back drop is simple but very high paced. In just fifteen minutes, you need to use your money wisely to get as many electoral votes as possible. Strategic management is everything but there are still plenty of hooks, with swing states allowing you to take over additional states, and of coarse the timer that will make you question everything due to the hectic pace in which you must act. The box claims you can learn how to play Buy The Vote in just 3 minutes, and that is not an exaderated claim.