How To Play: Acquire – Setup, rule summary and strategy

From mastering tile placement and effective money management to executing timely company mergers, our guide to Acquire offers a comprehensive look into winning strategies. Through personal anecdotes and practical advice, we equip you with everything needed to dominate the game board and outwit your friends.

Hey fellow board gamers! Ever found yourself staring at the Acquire board, wondering how to go from a small start-up to a massive empire? You’re not alone! This guide is your ticket to understanding not just the ins and outs of the game but mastering the strategies that’ll have your friends calling you the Acquire King (or Queen). From the basic rules to pro tips on winning, we’ve got you covered.


What’s in the box

  • 1 game board
  • 7 chain tiles
  • 25 hotel tiles
  • 108 hotel chains
  • 4 information cards
  • 6 tile holders
  • 1 bag of money
  • Stock certificates (25 for each chain)
  • Rule book

How To Play Acquire: Rules Summary

Ever found yourself at game night, staring at a box of Acquire, and wondering how the heck you play this thing? Let me break it down for you, so next time, you’ll be teaching the newbies. Trust me, after a few rounds with friends, I’ve got some tales to tell. But let’s focus on getting you started!


  1. Place the game board on the table.
  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding tile holder.
  3. Shuffle the hotel tiles and place them face down. Players draw starting tiles.
  4. Deal out the initial money to each player. Usually, it’s a cool $6,000.


  1. Players take turns drawing a tile from the stack and placing it on the board.
  2. When a tile placement forms a chain of two or more tiles, a hotel chain is founded.
  3. Players can buy up to three stock certificates at the end of their turn.
  4. The board evolves as tiles are placed, with chains growing and merging.


  1. The game ends when all hotel chains on the board are safe, or one chain has reached 41 tiles.
  2. Players sell their shares and receive bonuses for the largest and second-largest shareholder in each chain.
  3. The player with the most money, after all shares are sold and bonuses are awarded, wins the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Chains cannot merge if they both have 11 or more tiles.
  2. Players can’t trade or gift stocks or money.
  3. If multiple chains are formed in a single turn, the player decides which chain is founded first.
  4. Unplayable tiles can be exchanged at the start of a player’s turn.

Now that you’ve got the basics, remember, Acquire is not just about the luck of the draw. Observing the board, planning your moves, and sometimes a bit of bluffing, go a long way. So gather up your friends, and let the building (and buying) begin!

Best Acquire Strategies

The Winning Edge: Mastering Tile Placement in Acquire

Getting the hang of tile placement sets you apart in Acquire. It’s not just about slapping tiles down; it’s chess, with hotels.

Spotting Prime Locations

  1. Look for central spots. These are goldmines for future merges.
  2. Corner tiles? Maybe not first pick, but don’t ignore them. They can surprise you.

Timing Your Moves

  1. Early game, spread out. It gives you options.
  2. Late game, focus. Go for the big plays.

Blocking and Counter-Blocking

  1. See a rival’s setup? A well-placed tile can ruin their day.
  2. But, keep an eye on your own flank. Protect your interests.

Mastering Money Management in Acquire

Winning in Acquire isn’t just about the tiles you place; it’s hugely about managing your money smarter than your opponents. Here’s how to keep your cash flowing and invest wisely.

Start Strong

  1. Invest early in promising companies. Don’t spread your funds too thin, focus on one or two with growth potential.

Mid-Game Moves

  1. Monitor cash reserves. Always have enough to invest in new opportunities or defend your interests.
  2. Avoid unnecessary purchases. If a company doesn’t offer clear advantages, save your money.

Late Game Strategy

  1. Consolidate your holdings. Sell shares in companies unlikely to win and reinvest in your stronger positions.
  2. Plan for mergers. Use cash to buy into companies you predict will be acquired, turning a tidy profit.

The Master Art of Merging Companies in Acquire

Merging companies in Acquire can flip the game on its head. Here’s how to boss it.

Timing Your Takeovers

  1. Wait for the right moment. Jumping too soon can alert others to your plans.
  2. Keep an eye on the board. Spot potential merges before others do.

Strategic Shareholding

  1. Invest in companies you plan to merge. You’ll get big payouts.
  2. Hold onto minority bonuses. They’re often overlooked but valuable.

Playing the Long Game

  1. Think ahead. Merge companies that will give you a late-game advantage.
  2. Balance aggression with patience. Strike hard but at the perfect moment.

Sealing the Deal on Your Path to Victory

And there you have it, folks! After a few rounds of Acquire, using these strategies, you’ll start noticing your gameplay shift from just winging it to actually having a game plan. Remember, it’s all about spotting those prime locations early on, managing your cash like a pro, and merging companies at the ideal moment. Sure, there might be a bit of luck involved, but isn’t that what makes every game night a bit more exciting? Gather your friends, put these tactics to the test, and watch as you become the Acquire champion. Just don’t forget, the real win is the fun and chaos along the way. Happy acquiring!

Want to know what we think of Acquire? Read our detailed review of Acquire here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.