This is a tricky little game where you need to manage your tiles (your options) and manage the others around the table. Will you merger into the larger hotel and cash out, or will you build up a share position in the largest hotel on the board.
Take a look at the review if you haven’t played it, but if you have and want a few strategy ideas then I hope these help:
During the game:
Founding Companies: Get those companies to the board – each time you do you get free shares, and you get a chance to buy three shares in it (standard for a turn) in this new company! That’s a great head start on the majority position. Keeping the majority means that if there is a merger you can get the biggest bonus from it.
Card (cash) Count: Card counting might be frowned upon in Vegas, but here knowing who has what shares is key. There’s no obligation to tell your opponents, so keep track of the companies that matter to you and think carefully before founding another company that you think others kept shares in!
Roll Cheap Shares: When you exit, you can sell out those shares for cash or you can keep them. If you can found another company based on the tiles you have, then actually keeping those shares will help you win another shareholders bonus. Selling out, to pay the same again to repurchase them will not be efficient (takes time). However if the company had grown then you can take a profit – you need to judge if that profit or the opportunity of using cash for other companies, is needed this time.
Recycle & Re-position: Generally, you will want cash the first two times a merger occurs, but on the third merger may be the one that creates the first hotel to last to the end of the game. This is the point to start to consider switching shares. The hotels at game end will be very valuable and the largest shareholder will get a key bonus. If you don’t take shares in this company now, then watch out and make sure you merge in to this group (or get a majority in another large hotel) before game end.
Build Out to Build in: If you think you can merge in the company and you want to cash out, then build out the company as much as you can first. Push through the rising share value brackets and make the most of that merger.
Build Small to Take Shares: However, if you are merging for shares, then the size of the hotel is irrelevant – just how many shares you own. This trading (at two for one) is typically inefficient, but if your hotel was small and shares were cheap then a two-for-one exchange can be profitable. Combine it with a share purchase and you might even become a majority
Founding Companies: That’s a free share each time – all else aside that has value either to trade in, or to sell out. If others have large hotels, then just keep getting those new hotels out there and getting a quick buck.
Pick Your Moment: I think it’s important to keep some options open. Some tiles allow you to “pass” effectively, others allow you to start a hotel, some will allow you to build out and others will create mergers. Controlling these events is important. Pick your moment to found a hotel, pick the time of the merger, and be careful not to build out and help an opponent get closer to a merger they wanted. You can plan it all, especially with random drawn tiles, but you can keep your options open and watch out for the tiles you need to create these opportunities.