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Breaking ties in blind auctions

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/14/2008

I'm planning to use blind auctions in one of my designs to auction off a limited number of resources. (The higher you bid, the earlier you may purchase resources; if you bid too low, there might not be any left by the time your turn comes around. The value you bid is the amount you will pay for a resource.)

In blind auctions, there's the issue of tied bids, and I'm looking for an easy way to resolve them. I prefer not to use a random element such as having tied players roll a die since this auction will be the only non-perfect-information element in the game. There's the flagpole in O Zoo le Mio, which seems like the easiest option. I could also have a separate scoring track to which players may optionally contribute victory points/money; whoever's further along this track wins ties.

Can you think of any other ways to break ties in blind auctions?

I considered normal auctions, but because the value of what you bid is the value you will pay, I foresee bids (in particular, in auctions that only involve two players) that are always separated by $1.

Joined: 08/04/2008
Breaking ties

How about the first player to the left of the previous high bidder wins ties. For first turn decide something like youngest player breaks ties.

Joined: 07/26/2008
On the assumption of an

On the assumption of an amount of auctions divisible by the amount of players, how about a rotating priority token, which gives priority to the person holding it (and priority rotates clockwise from it, while after each auction it passes to the next player in sequence)

bluesea's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Here are some discussions in

Here are some discussions in the 2.0 site (the archive) that might be of some value:

1. Tie Break = bidding war between the tied bidders starting with a bid 'x' amount greater. x could be the difference between the highest bid and the 2nd highest bid.
2. Tie Break = Player with the least amount of the resources up for bid wins tie break. So an example: wheat is up for bid, player A and B tie for the blind bid. Player A has 3 wheat, B has 1. Player B wins. I have no idea if this would actually be balanced. Just throwin' it out there.

Also, take a look at Ys ( it uses a semi blind bidding system. The rules can be found here:

Mitchell Allen
Mitchell Allen's picture
Joined: 08/09/2008
There is no Spoon

How about this: if there is a tie, both high bidders LOSE to the third person.
In a two-player game, or whenever no winning bidder emerges, no resources are collected that round.



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