THE AIM OF THE GAME
Be the first to reach £1,000,000,000 (one billion pounds).
HOW DO YOU GET ALL THAT MONEY?
The game consists of a series of rounds. In each round, players take it in turns to select squares from a grid. Some of these squares contain cash; others have some form of other impact on the game, described later in these rules. The square contents are determined by a random draw before the round begins.
At the start of the round, each player places a "Bomb" on the grid by sending the host of the round a private message (PM) with the location they would like their Bomb to be placed. Bombs overwrite the previously drawn contents of the square. Only the host of the round knows where the Bombs have been placed. When a player selects a Bomb, they are eliminated from the round, lose any accumulated bonuses, and pay a "Bomb penalty" of £500,000. A Bomb has a 20% chance of mutating. It can:
- Become a Burnout Bomb, meaning the player returns to their next round with a 50% Booster,
- Become a Bankrupt Bomb, meaning the player loses all the cash they have gained in that round, and then incurs the usual Bomb penalty,
- Fizzle out and deactivate, and play continues as normal,
- Double-, triple-, or quad-cluster, multiplying the Bomb penalty by 2, 3, or 4 respectively.
Each player has 24 hours from the host's last update to post their selection. If you have not locked in a selection in time, you automatically exit the round (termed "Auto-Bomb") and the usual Bomb penalties apply as described above. Your Bomb will surface if it has not already been selected, or a random remaining square will become a Bomb if it has already been selected. This is to help keep the game going at a speedy pace. Additionally, players can "lock in" their next selection at any point; doing so prevents any other player from selecting that square, even if their next selection is earlier.
THE GAME STRUCTURE
Each 'Round Cycle' consists of three parts: The Quadrants, the Super Round (SR), and the bonus round - Megagrid.
Part 1: The Quadrants
The regular rounds in each cycle are played simultaneously wth all players split into at least four rounds, one of which is the 'Wildcard Round' (WR) which is a new, special type of round that follows different game rules (see below). A random draw carried out by Aaron Brock allocates each player to one of the rounds.
Regular rounds take place on a 5x5 grid (25 squares total). At the start of each round, each player also receives one Peek. At any point in the round, they can choose a square to Peek at; this must be announced in the thread. The host will then PM them to inform them if it is a Bomb, and if it is not a Bomb, the category - but not the exact contents - of the square. The player can do with that information what they wish. The rest of the round plays out as normal. The winners of the quadrants qualify for the Super Round. The winners also receive a £10,000,000 fixed bonus plus £250,000 for every flipped square in the round (doubling to £500,000 if all squares have been flipped, known as a Clear Board Bonus).
Any quadrant winners can then stake their Win Bonus on Square 00, which can have one of the following five outcomes:
- DOUBLE: Your Win Bonus is doubled
- £26,000,000: This becomes your new Win Bonus
- ADD MINIGAME: Keep your Win Bonus, and also receive a random minigame to play. This minigame is shown to the player before they decide whether to risk Square 00
- MYSTERY PRIZE: Lose your Win Bonus in return for two Hidden Squares
- NOTHING: Lose your entire Win Bonus.
Part 3: The Super Round
The Super Round then begins on a 5x8 grid (40 squares total), and plays out as per a normal round. As in the quadrants, each player again gets one opportunity to Peek at a square on the grid. The winners of the SR again receives a £10,000,000 fixed SR bonus, plus £250,000 for each flipped square (again, doubling to £500,000 for a clear board), which again may be wagered on Square 00. The winner(s) of the SR then qualify to play Season 7's new bonus round - the Megagrid; a simple game where you are given £10,000,000 (which increases by £1,000,000 per Round Cycle after the first one) in an attempt to increase it by tens of millions of pounds.
There are nine different categories of square in Race to a Billion; three of these contain cash, whilst the others affect the game in some other way.
In regular rounds, three squares from Category 2 and Category 3, two squares from Category 4 and Category 5, and one square from each other category will be drawn onto each board, with the remaining squares drawn randomly from all categories. In super rounds, there are a minimum of six Category 3 squares, two Category 7 squares, and three squares from each other category. Note that, because squares are covered by Bombs after the draw is made, not all rounds will contain a square from all categories.
CATEGORY 1: NEGATIVE CASH
These are values from -£10,000 to -£250,000 in increments of £10,000, plus -£26,000, -£27,183, -£31,415, -£54,321 and -£123,456.
CATEGORY 2: SIX-FIGURE CASH
These are values between £100,000 and £999,999, consisting of multiples of £10,000, £25,000, and £111,111, plus £123,456, £124,421, £271,828, £314,159, £543,210, £567,800, £654,321 and £???,000 where "???" is a random number between 100 and 999.
CATEGORY 3: SEVEN-FIGURE CASH
These are values between £1,000,000 and £9,999,999, consisting of multiples of £100,000, £250,000, and £1,111,111, plus £1,234,567, £1,248,421, £2,718,282, £3,141,593, £5,678,000, £6,543,210, £7,654,321 and £?,???,000 where "?,???" is a random number between 1000 and 9999.
CATEGORY 4: BOOSTERS
These are values between 5% and 100% in 5% and 11% increments. There is also a 63% Booster and a ??% Booster where "??" is a random number from 1 to 100. Boosters are applied to all cash amounts, all winnings from minigames (see below), the Bomb penalty, and the revealed square and clear board component of the win bonus. Boosters are cumulative, but capped at 300%. Square values and minigame winnings affected by a booster are rounded up to the nearest £1 if necessary.
CATEGORY 5: MINIGAMES
These are one-player games that are played if you win the round (some special squares allow for minigames to be played without winning the round). The full rules will be explained before the start of each game.
- Accelerator - A game played to increase your Boost.
- Biscuit Risk-It - Win the value of 1,000,000 packs of biscuits with every square that is not a Bomb.
- Digital Fortress - Crack the numerical code in three attempts to win.
- Fractioniser - A game of multiplication and division.
- Higher or Lower - A recreation of the Play Your Cards Right/Card Sharks endgame.
- Hypercube - Pick squares, reveal numbers, and win their sum cubed.
- Leap of Faith - Build up cash for as long as you dare, then "take the leap" to try and multiply it.
- Make Your Mark - Climb the ladder to pick up cash and maybe more.
- Math Time - Pick squares to create the sum that tells you how much you win.
- Penalty Shootout - Can you kick it in this unique two-player minigame?
- Postcode Lottery - Collect the value of houses, plus massive hidden square potential!
- Power Number - Win £1,000,000,000... to the power of somewhere between 0.7 and 0.8.
- Punch-a-Bunch - Biff your way up the board with this new take on a game show classic!
- Smash for Cash - Avoid the bombs and your total could get more than a token increase.
- Spectrum - You get nothing without a pair, not in this game.
- Shut the Box - Roll your way to millions in this classic dice game.
- Split Decision - An adaptation of Challenge game show Take It Or Leave It.
- Tic Tac Dough - An all-American classic.
- Times Table - Shuffle hidden cash amounts between different multipliers.
- Treble Chance - Take a chance on three for some money money money.
These are squares that affect gameplay in some form.
- Add a Row - An additional row of five squares are created (with a random draw from all categories). The player who selected Add A Row places a Bomb on this row.
- Ask the Host - Each player remaining in the round can ask one yes/no question about the board or the players; the host will reply honestly to all questions. Questions about Hidden Squares may also be asked.
- Board Booster - All remaining cash on the board is boosted by a random amount from 50% to 100%. There can be up to three Board Boosters on any one grid which are cumulative, but capped at 200%.
- Booster Siphon - All boosters held by all players in the round are stolen by the player selecting this square (still capping at 300%).
- Chamber of Secrets - Each remaining player in the round is given a random Hidden Square.
- The Commissioner - The player selects a minigame that will be played by the winner(s) of that round.
- Double Dip - The next player must make two selections from the grid on their turn.
- Eclipse - All remaining squares, including Bombs, are shuffled.
- Extra Peek - The player may make another Peek in that round.
- Fast Forward - The player selecting this square gains access to play any minigame they acquire in the round, even if they do not win it.
- Game Boy - All minigames held by all players in the round are stolen by the player selecting this square.
- Game On! - Each remaining player in the round is given a random minigame.
- Get Lucky - The player receives a random Booster, minigame and seven-figure cash square, in that order.
- Gift Card - Three randomly chosen squares from Categories 3-6 are drawn. The player selecting the Gift Card chooses one of these three to give to any other participant of the round, even if that player has already been eliminated.
- Grid List - The remaining contents of the board are listed publicly. Hidden squares remain hidden.
- Hypnotise - The next 1 to 4 selections of the contestant selecting this square will be made purely at random, potentially including their own Bomb. Any cash acquired while 'hypnotised' will be doubled.
- Immunise - The player selecting this square elects someone to become immune from all Bombs in that round. If the immune player subsequently finds a Bomb, there is no effect and gameplay resumes. This does not protect a player from elimination from other squares.
- Immunity - The player selecting this square becomes immune from all Bombs in that round. If the immune player subsequently finds a Bomb, there is no effect and gameplay resumes. This does not protect a player from elimination from other squares.
- Invite - The player selecting this square chooses one other contestant to instantly join the round. Players currently active in another round being played simultaneously cannot be selected.
- Jackpot - The player gains the total of all positive cash amounts that have already been revealed in that round, plus £1,000,000 multiplied by the Round Cycle number. Only present in Super Rounds and Head to Head Wildcard Rounds.
- Leftovers - The player receives the original contents of all the squares that were covered by Bombs in that round, including Hidden Squares. The player will learn the exact contents of the pickup privately, but will only be summarised in public.
- Lockdown - Every remaining square that is not a Bomb becomes a Category 3 square. The Bomb penalty is increased to £2,500,000 for this round only. Any winners of this round must wager their winnings on Square 00.
- Minefield - For each player remaining in the round, one additional Bomb is added to the board at random.
- Minesweeper - If there are any remaining, between one and four Bombs are flipped and deactivated.
- Pay Day - The player receives a win bonus as if the round ended after the selection of that square, but they remain in play and the round continues.
- Penalty Box - The player loses £1,000,000 and misses their next turn.
- Power Spike - Every remaining square on the board that is not a Bomb is replaced with a Category 3 square. Once each remaining player has made one selection each, the remaining non-Bomb squares are redrawn at random from all categories.
- Protect - The player becomes immune to elimination by any means until after their next selection.
- Quick Finish - If this square is selected, the round ends immediately if there are five squares remaining (eight in the case of a Super Round) and all players still remaining will receive a win bonus as if it were a clear board.
- Schadenfreude - The player selecting this square nominates one opponent in the round, and will receive a square from Category 3, 4, or 5 at the end of the round if that player is eliminated. This includes elimination from another round entered following a Switcheroo or Wormhole.
- Six and Out - The player selecting this square receives six Category 3 squares. They are then removed from the round as if they had hit a Bomb, only without the Bomb penalty.
- Switcheroo - The player selecting this square chooses another player from any round active at the time the square is selected (including but not limited to their own) to swap positions with. Only selection order is affected. In the event of players moving between rounds, held squares are carried over and the booster is retained.
- Tag Along - Nominate a player in your round. If they go on to win the round and you don't, the player who selected this square will also win the round.
- Team Rocket - All remaining players in the round receive a 50% booster increase.
- Win Zone - If the player wins the round within the next eight selections, their win bonus is doubled.
- Wormhole - The player selecting this square leaves the current round and enters a randomly selected other (eligible) round that is active at that point, carrying forward any held squares and retaining their booster; if there are no other active rounds, nothing happens and play continues. This square does not appear in Super Rounds.
These are squares designed to help trailing players and/or peg back runaway leaders. Any cash gains or penalties from a Game Changer cannot be increased by a Booster, Board Booster or the doubling effect of Hypnotise, and are rounded up to the nearest £1 wherever necessary.
- Anchor - The player selecting this square has their total reduced to £1 more than the total of the player immediately below them on the leaderboard. If the player is in last place, there is no effect.
- Blammo - The player selecting this square must make one selection from a choice of four squares, each containing one of the following: Block the Blammo, which means that nothing happens and gameplay resumes; Eliminate Opponent, which randomly eliminates another competitor from the round; Eliminate You, which eliminates you from the round; and Threshold Situation, which removes 2% of your total immediately and 20% of your total if you go on to lose the round. Players eliminated via the Blammo are removed as if they had hit a Bomb, only without the Bomb penalty.
- Deadlock - If multiple players survive the round, only the player with the lowest total will win the round. The other players, who otherwise would have won, exit the round as if they had hit a Bomb, only without the cash penalty.
- Digital Love - The lowest placed player in the round has their ten-millions digit increased by 3. The second lowest placed player in the round has their ten-millions digit increased by 2, and that same digit of the third lowest placed player is increased by 1. Those digits cannot exceed nine (9) and do not 'tick over'.
- Fifty50 - The player selecting this square and the player immediately above them on the leaderboard equally share their totals (e.g. a player who has £22,500,000 and the person immediately ahead of them on the leaderboard has £26,000,000 would both now have a total of £24,250,000).
- Metamorphosis - Every remaining square on the board that is not a Bomb is replaced with a Category 6 square. Once each remaining player has made one selection each, the remaining non-Bomb squares are redrawn randomly from all categories.
- Military Aid - The lowest-placed player remaining in the round places one extra Bomb on the board, and also receives a Hidden Square.
- Napping Hare - The player selecting this square loses £5,000,000 multiplied by the number of players beneath them on the current leaderboard.
- Nightmare - The player with the highest cash total in that round loses 5% of their score if they are still in live play, or 10% if they are inactive.
- Realignment - The lowest-placed player remaining in the round reshuffles every digit in their total other than the first into descending order (e.g. £12,750,000 becomes £17,520,000). The highest-placed player remaining in the round reshuffles every digit in their total other than the first into ascending order (e.g. £12,750,000 becomes £10,000,257).
- Reparations - Any Booster or held squares held by the highest scoring live player in the round transfer to the lowest scoring live player in the round. This includes Hidden Squares, but does not include Split & Share or a Threshold Situation as a result of a Blammo.
- Reverie - The player with the lowest cash total in that round gains a 5% score boost if they are still in live play, or 10% if they are inactive.
- Революция! (Revolution) - 25% is subtracted from each active player’s total, and then distributed evenly between each active player.
- Robin Hood - The player selecting this square takes 10% of the total (up to a maximum of £50,000,000) of the player in the round with the most money, unless they are that player - in which case they give 10% of their total (up to a maximum of £50,000,000) to the player in the round with the least money. The "stolen" amount is rounded up to the nearest £1 if necessary.
- Slipstream - The player selecting this square increases their total to £1 less than the player immediately in front of them on the leaderboard. If the overall leader selects this square, there is no effect.
- Sob Story - If the player with the lowest total in that round is still in live play, they receive Immunity for the rest of that round. If they are not active, they are revived and return to live play.
- Split & Share - If the player selecting this square goes on to lose the round, they lose 15% of their total, evenly split between the other players in the round.
- Steady Tortoise - The player selecting this square gains £5,000,000 multiplied by their race position on the current leaderboard.
- Steal Your Million - Everybody but the lowest scoring player has their millions digit reduced to zero. The sum of the money lost is then added to the total of the lowest scoring playing in the round.
- Zero Hour - The highest scoring player in the round has their ten-millions digit reduced to zero, the second highest scoring player has their millions digit reduced to zero, and the third highest scoring player has their hundred-thousands digit reduced to zero. The sum of the money lost is then added to the total of the lowest scoring player in the round.
These squares are a throwback to squares present in earlier seasons of RtaB.
- £10,000 (will not have a Hidden Square).
- £1,337,000 (will not have a Hidden Square).
- Access - The player selecting this square will automatically gain access to the next Super Round, even if this is discovered in a Super Round.
- Banker's Offer - The player selecting this is made an offer by the Host (which may be cash and/or some other effect) to surrender their place in the round and all of their bonuses. If accepted, they receive everything included in the offer package. If declined, the round continues as normal.
- Footballer's Salary - A random cash amount between £100,000 and £250,000 (to the nearest £1,000) is drawn. This is a weekly sum, and the player selecting this square receives a year’s worth of that pay, after all relevant UK 2018-19 taxes have been deducted.
- For the Rest of Your Game (FtRoYG) - This is a minigame which was present in Seasons 1 and 2.
- High Stakes - This is a minigame which was present in Seasons 3 and 4.
- Knife Edge - The player's next selection has a 50% chance of being either (a) a Bomb, which works in the usual way, or (b) a Win Zone along with a Hidden Square. This does not apply if the player selects what originally was a Bomb in their next selection.
- Mystery Chance - This is a minigame which was present in Season 1, and BigJon’s original game.
- OnePlus - Each digit in the player’s total except the first is increased by one (1). Any nines in the player’s total remain unchanged.
Any cash square (from any of Category 1, 2, or 3) has a chance of additionally containing a hidden square behind it. Negative cash amounts have a 25% chance of hiding one; six-figure amounts have a 17.5% chance of hiding one, and seven-figure amounts a 13.37% chance. If a Hidden Square is found, the player will be notified by PM of what they have uncovered.
Each hidden square provides a secret advantage for the player holding it. Some of them require the player to announce they are using the hidden square. Others are used automatically when the appropriate situation arises. All hidden squares are single-use and, except Revive, are lost when a player is eliminated from the round.
- Bomb Finder - The player is informed of the location of all current Bombs on the grid. They will not be informed of any subsequent changes that may occur, nor will they be informed of the Bomb locations in their new round if they are subsequently moved by a Wormhole or Switcheroo.
- Bomb Switch - When the player next hits a Bomb, it is deactivated, and the player picks a new square in which to place the Bomb. The next selection will be delayed until after this is made, and lock-ins will be lifted. This has no effect on an Auto-Bomb, which will detonate in the usual way.
- Bonus Bag - The player can choose to make a selection from the Bonus Bag instead of a regular turn. The Bonus Bag contains random squares from Categories 3, 4, and 5.
- Borrow the Truth - The player will receive the categories of all Peeks made by other players in the round, including those after this square is used.
- Conversion - The player may change the category of any remaining, unlocked square to another one randomly chosen from all other categories, and will be notified with the new category of that square. Bombs can also be converted, and conversions occur in secret via a PM to the host.
- Copy/Paste - The player can choose to select any square that has already been selected instead of a regular turn; the square has the same effect.
- Deflect - When the player next hits a Bomb, it is "deflected" onto another player remaining in the round, who is then eliminated with the usual Bomb penalty. This has no effect on an Auto-Bomb, which will detonate in the usual way.
- Defuse - When the player next hits a Bomb, it is deactivated, and gameplay continues as normal. This has no effect on an Auto-Bomb, which will detonate in the usual way.
- Endure - The player can announce at any time, not just on their own turn, to nullify the last cash penalty they suffered that was £5,000,000 or more. Automatically activates if you lose a round in a way that would cause you to lose any money.
- Fold - The player can choose to leave the round at any point. They will play any held minigames at the end of the round, and then leave that round cycle. They will return for the next round cycle, retaining their booster and any other held squares. They will also be exempt from the Split & Share and Threshold Situation penalties for losing a round.
- Force Play - The player can choose to select any other player in the round to make a selection on their turn.
- Free Play - The player designate a selection they are about to make as a Free Play, meaning that that player cannot lose any money from that selection.
- Gold Dust - This square is used at the point of selecting a square. It will make that square a Category 3 square regardless of its original contents, even if the square previously contained a Bomb.
- Kablam! - The player selects a square for a Blammo to be placed on the board. This can be done at any time.
- Metronome - Instead of making a selection as usual, the player can instead gain the effect of a random non-cash square from all possible squares from Categories 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8.
- Nitrous - The player will place three Bombs instead of one in their next round.
- Omniscience - The player is informed of the hidden squares currently held by each of the other players currently present in the round.
- Reveal a Row - The player will be informed of the contents of every square in any given row. This can be done at any time by PMing the host for that round.
- Revive - If you are eliminated from the round and there are still multiple players remaining, you can choose to use this square at any subsequent point in the round to re-enter it by paying 50% of your winnings from the round (or £1,000,000, whichever is greater). Revive is lost when the round ends.
- Skip Turn - The player can choose to skip their selection. Play will continue with the next player.
In Season 7, we have five Wildcard Round variants. One of the variants is selected at random, and once every player has had a chance to play that Wildcard Round, a new variant is selected.
- Gold Mine - A Gold Mine round is played on a board with fifteen Category 3 squares, four Category 4 squares, a “Board Booster” square, and five squares drawn randomly from Categories 5, 6, 7 and 8, with equal probability for each category. Gameplay then continues as normal.
- Head to Head -In a Head to Head round, the game is split into two smaller rounds played on grids consisting of three rows of four squares (12 squares total). One square from each category is drawn, and the other four squares are drawn randomly from all categories. The rules otherwise follow that of regular rounds. There are two players in each showdown. Any minigames that are due to be played will occur after both showdowns have concluded.
- Remain or Leave - At the start of this round, all contestants submit a choice between Remain and Leave alongside their Bomb placement. These votes are revealed before the round begins. All Category 4 squares drawn on this grid are replaced with Category 6 squares. Players who opted for Remain will play the round in the usual way. Players who opted for Leave immediately gain £50,000,000 and a 252% Booster. However, all Category 2 and 3 squares are negated, and the Bomb penalty for that player increases to £15,000,000. If the majority of players opted for Leave, then Invite, Switcheroo and Wormhole cannot appear on the board. If all four players opted for Remain, then Invite is guaranteed to be on the board under any circumstance.
- Rolling Start - At the start of this round, no Bombs are placed. Each square on the board is a Category 4 square. Once each player has selected a Category 4 square, the remainder of the board is completely redrawn. Each player then places their Bomb, and gameplay then plays out as usual. Let the mindgames ensue with this game!
- Takeshi's Castle - At the start of this round, all contestants receive a 250% Booster. All Category 4 squares drawn are replaced by Category 3 squares, and all Category 5 squares drawn are replaced by Category 6 squares. A player can only win this round if they are in the Win Zone active period. A contestant who fulfils the regular win conditions outside of a Win Zone is judged to have left the round as though they have activated Fold.
KP and I have written a full rulebook, including all the finer details about the mechanics of Season 7. It also includes the full descriptions of each of our minigames, and describes how various different sqaures interact with each other. You can find that HERE.
(Latest Rulebook update: 27/03/2020 - Banker's Offer 24 hour timeout)