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How To Play Acquire


Acquire is a strategic board game that blends elements of finance, investment, and planning. It’s designed for 3 to 6 players and revolves around buying stocks, merging companies, and amassing wealth. The objective of the game is to become the wealthiest player through savvy investments in hotel chains that grow and merge on the board. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to play and teach Acquire:

Game Setup

Board and Tiles: The game board is a grid where players will place tiles that represent hotels. Each player receives a set of tiles (the exact number can vary by edition) from a bag or pile without looking. These tiles correspond to spaces on the board.

Stocks: Separate the stocks for each hotel chain and place them where all players can reach them.

Money: Distribute the game currency to each player. The amount of starting money can vary by the game's edition.

Playing the Game - Turn Overview:

● Play a Tile: Players begin their turn by placing one of their tiles onto the matching space on the board. Placing a tile can start a new hotel chain, grow an existing one, or merge two or more chains.

● Buy Stocks: After placing a tile, the player can buy up to three stocks in any of the currently active hotel chains. Stocks are purchased at the current price, which depends on the size of the chain.

● Draw a Tile: End your turn by drawing a new tile so you always have the same number of tiles with which you started.

Teaching Acquire

1. Explain the Goal: Start by clarifying the objective of the game - to be the wealthiest player through strategic investments in growing hotel chains.

2. Board and Tile Placement: Show how the board is set up and how tiles represent the growth of hotel chains. Explain the significance of strategic placement in starting new chains or merging existing ones.

3. Buying and Selling Stocks: Teach how players can buy stocks in active hotel chains and how the value of these stocks increases as the chains grow. Explain the importance of diversifying investments and timing the sale of stocks for maximum profit.

4. Merging Companies: Detail the process of merging hotel chains when connected by placed tiles. Highlight the benefits for the major and minor shareholders in the merged companies, including bonuses and the option to sell, trade, or hold stocks.

5. Winning Strategy Tips: Introduce basic strategies, such as spreading investments across different hotel chains, planning for mergers, and holding onto stocks of companies that might become more valuable later.

Game End and Winning

The game ends when all hotel chains on the board are safe (cannot be merged, at size 11) or when one chain reaches a certain size, depending on the version of the game. In the latest version the game ends optimally when a chain reaches the size of 41. Players then liquidate their stocks based on the final sizes of the hotel chains and stockholders bonuses are paid out. The player with the most money from stocks and cash on hand is the winner.

Winning in Acquire requires not just understanding the rules but also mastering the art of timing, cash management, and strategic investment. Here are some key strategy tips divided into three game stages: the beginning, middle, and late stages of the game.

Strategies and tips for winning in Acquire

Winning in Acquire requires not just understanding the rules but also mastering the art of timing, cash management, and strategic investment. Here are some key strategy tips divided into three game stages: the beginning, middle, and late stages of the game.

Beginning of the Game

● Cash Management: Early in the game, it's vital to diversify your investments rather than committing all your resources to a single chain. This diversification helps mitigate risk and prepares you for potential mergers.

● Stock Accumulation: Focus on acquiring stocks in hotel chains that have the potential for growth or are likely to be part of mergers. Holding a majority or minority stake in any chain can be highly beneficial, as it leads to bonuses when mergers occur.

Middle of the Game

● Strategic Holding vs. Selling: As the game progresses and hotel chains begin to merge, decide carefully whether to hold or sell your stocks. Selling during a merger might give you the cash needed to invest in more promising ventures.

● Cash is King: Ensure you have enough liquidity to adapt to changing circumstances. It might be tempting to hold onto all your assets, but being cash-poor can leave you unable to buy into new, promising hotel chains.

Late Stage of the Game

● Aggressive Moves: In the game's late stages, focus on making moves that will end the game to your advantage. This might mean initiating mergers that benefit you significantly or expanding hotel chains you have a majority in to secure their untouchable status.

● Timing Your Sales: Decide when to sell your shares based on the game's tempo and your cash needs.

● Final Push for Control: If you’re leading, solidify your position by acquiring more shares in key hotel chains. If you’re trailing, look for bold moves that could disrupt the leader's strategy, such as forcing unexpected mergers or rapidly expanding smaller chains to challenge the board's status quo.

Winning Acquire hinges on astute cash management, timely decisions on when to hold or sell stocks, and strategic foresight to navigate the evolving landscape of hotel chains on the board. The key is to remain adaptable, foreseeing potential mergers and positioning yourself to benefit from them, while also managing your cash flow to take advantage of emerging opportunities.


Acquire is a game that combines luck and strategy, requiring players to think ahead, observe opponents' actions, and adapt their strategies accordingly. By understanding the basics of tile placement, stock investment, and mergers, players can enjoy this dynamic game of corporate mergers and acquisitions. Teaching Acquire involves explaining the goals, mechanics, and strategies in a step-by-step manner, ensuring that all players grasp the concepts to fully enjoy the strategic depth Acquire offers.