by Allan Stagg 1998


This is a simple bidding game, where players are bidding for two different commodities each turn for five turns. The winner is the player who has the best mixture of the two commodities at the end of the five turns.

The scenario is the viciously competitive battle between three different Teadance clubs in a small provincial town in the mid 1920s. Each club will be holding a Teadance on Saturday, and each club hopes to be able to provide the largest combination of different dancing partners.

Each day for five days a number of men and a number of women will enquire about attending each clubs Teadance, and will buy tickets from the club who offer the greatest inducements to attend. These inducements (which could be free beer, cucumber sandwiches etc.), will cost money, so each day each club will offer a sum of money (between 0 and 9) to attract the group of men enquiring that day, and another sum to attract the group of women enquiring.

The clubs - lets call them Labour, Liberal and Conservative - have different appeal to the two sexes - women would be more likely to go to the Conservative Club and less likely to go to the Labour Club, while men would be more likely to go to the Labour Club and less likely to go to the Conservative Club. Both sexes are equally likely to go to the Liberal Club. Over the week groups of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 men will enquire, as will similar groups of women.

At the end of the week, the club with the greatest possible number of dancing partner combinations (where partners must be of different sexes) will be adjudged the winner.


The game is played over five turns (Monday - Friday) by three players, who play the Labour, Liberal or Conservative Club.

They are bidding for five groups of men and five groups of women to buy tickets for the Teadance at the end of the week. The five groups vary in size, from 1 person to 5 people, and 1 group of each sex will buy tickets on a particular day. Each Club has ten cash bids, numbered 0 - 9, that it uses to persuade the groups of men and women to buy tickets for its own Teadance. The Labour Club has a bonus of +1 to its cash bid for groups of men, and a penalty of -1 to its cash bid for groups of women. The Liberal Club has no bonuses or penalties to its bids, and the Conservative Club has a bonus of +1 to its bids for groups of women and a penalty of - 1 to its bids for groups of men.

Each day a group of men and a group of women will be announced, and each Club will make a cash bid for each group. The adjusted cash totals for each bid are compared, the highest bid sells tickets to that group. If two or three adjusted bids tie, then the highest original bid, before penalties and bonuses are applied, wins.

After the fifth round (Friday) each club establishes the number of possible combinations of partner by multiplying the number of tickets sold to men by the number of tickets sold to women. The Club with the highest total is the winner.


MONDAY3 men1 WomanScore
Labour3 (4)5 (4)0 x 0 = 0
Liberal4 WINS33 x 0 = 0
Conservative2 (1)4 (5) WINS0 x 1 = 0

Liberals win the bid for men as the adjusted bids were tied, and the Liberal cash bid was the highest. Conservatives win the bid for women even though the Labour cash bid was higher, due to the effects of bonuses and penalties.

TUESDAY2 men5 WomenScore
Labour4 (5) WINS7 (6)2 x 0 = 0
Liberal29 WINS3 x 5 = 15
Conservative5 (4)8 (9)0 x 1 = 0

So the Liberals take an early lead, while the Conservatives will be annoyed to have missed out on the largest group of women.

WEDNESDAY4 men3 WomenScore
Labour6 (7) WINS8 (7)6 x 0 = 0
Liberal603 x 5 = 15
Conservative6 (5)7 (8) WINS0 x 4 = 0

Success for both Labour and the Conservatives, but both need to have both sexes at their Teadance. With two rounds left, the Liberals are sitting on a healthy lead, but can be overtaken if the Conservatives successfully bid for the group of 5 men that are still to come, or if Labour gain the group of 4 women.

The Clubs have the following cash bids left:

and the groups left include: