Bigger or Better Game

If you’re looking for a fun game to play for a family game night, this is it!  It’s very popular and could work well as a community outreach event, as well.

We played Bigger or Better back when we used to a do large group game nights.  It was really fun and amazing to see what the groups ended up with at the end!  Another time we had a group of teens show up at our house when they were playing this game for youth group.  I just happened to have a creepy-looking cosmetology mannequin head sitting on my front porch and it was the perfect trade!


  • 1 small item for each team to start out with (paper clip/marker/playing card)
  • vehicles & drivers (if you’re going to drive instead of walk)
  • watch or phone to keep track of time (1/team)

Game Play:

  1. Split group into teams with equal numbers of players.  If teams are driving around, make sure you divide them so that they will fit in the available vehicles.
  2. Explain rules to players and let them ask questions to ensure that everybody understands the game.
  3. Decide on a specific time for players to reconvene.  We found that 1 to 1 1/2 hours is a good amount of time.  A player from each team should set an alarm on their phone to go off 15 minutes before the ending time.
  4. The host should remain at the meet-up location and wait for the players to return.
  5. Teams either walk or drive to different houses, asking to trade for something bigger or better than the item they currently have.  For instance, I might trade a marker for a box of cake mix.  (A better trade means trading for something of greater value–like trading the marker for an MP3 player.)
  6. Trades continue until time is up and the teams reconvene.
  7. Teams should keep a written or photo record of the trades they make.
  8. Once players have reconvened they should display their bigger and better final trades for all to see.  The host decides which team ended up with the best final trade.


  • All teams should start with identical items to trade.  That starts everyone on an even playing field.
  • I would recommend driving if there are adults playing, too.  Make sure the vehicles can hold all the team members and still have some cargo room.  You never know how large your last item will be!  (We ended up with a roll of carpet and a foosball table!)
  • If only teens are playing, I would recommend walking with a chaperone.  If teens are driving, they should probably only go to houses of people they know.  Better safe than sorry.
  • You may be more successful if you go to houses of people you know.  You could even call or text them before you stop by so they have a chance to look around for a good trade.
  • How you dispose of the final trades is up to you.  They could be sold or given to a player who wants that particular item.

About daisyraytheclown

I'm mom to five energetic kids who keep me hopping all day long.

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