NFL Trade$ Card Game – Draft Players, Make $$
NFL Trade$ Card Game brings family friendly, fast paced card drafting to football. Your goal is to pick the best combination of players to rake in big money.
NFL Trade$ has four ways to play: Trade & Draft, Trade & Pass, Trade & Drop and Divisional Sets. Setup and game play varies slightly, but scoring is the same for each variant.
Trade & Draft (2-9 players)
Deal nine cards to each player. After that, deal another nine cards face-up to a grid in the center of the table.
Players take turns drawing a card from the grid and discarding two cards back into it. After three turns, each player can swap a single card with a card from the grid. This ends the round. Players then calculate their score based on sets collected. We’ll discuss how to score later.
The player with the lowest score goes first in the next round. After three rounds, the player with the highest score wins.
Trade & Pass (2-5 players)
Players each start with a hand of cards (size dependent on player count). Everyone simultaneously selects a card from their hand and places it face-down. Everyone reveals their selection and pass the remaining cards to the player on their right. Drafting continues until no cards can be passed. At the end of the third round whoever has the highest combined score wins.
Trade & Drop (2-6 players)
Deal a hand of six cards to each player. Everyone simultaneously chooses a card and places it face-down. When ready, flip over cards and slide them to the center of the table. Take turns, starting with the dealer, selecting a card from the middle or top of the deck. When a player decides not to flip over a card, the round ends. The remaining players take a final turn. Each player scores their six cards. After three rounds of play, whoever has the highest score wins.
Divisional Sets (2-6 players)
Deal five cards face-down plus one face-up to each player. The face-up card starts the set each player will build on. In turn order, each player plays two cards from their hand as follows:
- Place a card into their own sets
- Place a card into an opponent’s set to steal it, placing it in front of them.
- If a player cannot play a card into any sets, start a new one.
- Players can only add a card to a divisional set if the team is not yet in the set.
After playing two cards, players draw back up to five and end the turn. Once a four-card set is complete, it can’t be stolen. The first player to make 3 complete sets wins.
Scoring is the same for all modes of play.
Team Sets score $50 for three players from the same team. $20 for two players from the same team
Divisional sets get $40 for three teams from the same division, $30 for three, and $20 for two.
Position bonuses (Quarter Back, Running Back, Wide Receiver) – $10 for the player with the most of a position. $5 when tied with one player. $1 if tied with more than one player.
NFL Trade$ is a solid card drafting game that meshes well with its football theme. Set collection here is quite creative using teams, divisions, and player positions.
The card artwork and iconography aren’t exciting, but make it easy to recognize sets. It’s especially helpful when playing with pre-readers (or ones who know nothing about the NFL).
Familiar and Fun: Trade & Pass
My favorite game mode is Trade & Pass because it is card drafting in its purest form; pick and pass. There’s tension with each hand that comes around as you try cobble together the best player sets.
While it appears simple, it’s deceptively hard to get that third team member. Pivoting to work on divisional sets can help score more points. Position bonuses have such a small value that in my opinion they aren’t crucial.
After playing all the variations, Trade & Pass was the clear winner for my kids.
Cutthroat Play: Divisional Sets
The most challenging variation is the cutthroat Divisional Sets. Players need to be crafty with timing to successfully steal away an opponent’s set just before they complete it. Choose when to hold a card instead of making a set of three; waiting could let you complete a set of four by getting that other card.
The designer offers a little sage advice “Creating a set of three in front of you might be a risky strategy. Instead use another card to build a new set, holding onto the one card for the perfect time to create a four team set.” It’s pretty good advice since you must always play something.
Unique and Child Friendly: Trade & Draft
Trade & Draft is the most child-friendly mode. While you’re competing to make the best picks, there’s no direct conflict. Everyone will need to build the best lineups from their starting cards while tossing others away. The box age says 8+, but my seven-year-old caught on just fine.
Discarding and choosing from the same grid is a unique take on card card drafting; something I’ve never experienced before. Kicking off the game with a preset grid sometimes allows for viable options from the get go.
Our family really enjoyed NFL Trade$ – it’s one we’ll definitely bust out with friends who enjoy sports. Its simple to learn, but meaty enough to challenge seasoned players of drafting games.
I loved that there were four different ways to play the game. Each mode kept us wanting play multiple games back-to-back. My biggest complaint is that the team colors for the Cleveland Browns were incorrect, showing red instead of orange.
NFL Trade$ is a perfect gift for a sports fan, or for anyone looking for a different take on card drafting. If football isn’t your cup of tea, Master Pieces also publishes a baseball version (MLB Trade$). Find it on Amazon, get it directly from Master Pieces, or ask for it at your local game store.
- Football theme
- Family friendly with high player counts
- Unique card drafting
- Quick game play with four different ways to play
The Family Gamers received a copy of NFL Trade$ Card Game from Master Pieces for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
- Art - 5/105/10
- Mechanics - 8/108/10
- Family Fun - 9/109/10
Number of Players: 2-9 (depending on game mode)
Age Range: 8+ (or younger – very little reading)
Playtime: 20 minutes