At setup, the rich gentleman is just off the bridge at one end (the bridge is in three sections of five steps, each step having room for two shops). Each player gets a free shop to place on the board and 100 gold, then the game starts.
Each round, the players bid to build a single shop. Highest bidder places the shop somewhere on a free space. Next, the players bid to control the rich gentleman's movement, using a deck of 11 cards (ranked 1..10 plus a Joker). Each player picks a card and the choices are revealed simultaneously. On the following round, the played card remains out, until (after 11 rounds) the player decks are exhausted, at which point everybody starts afresh.
The player who bid the *least* controls the rich gentleman. In case of tie, the player whose shop is closest to being in front of him wins; two players who tie using this criterion (having shops across each other) drop out of the tie, and the privilege goes to the next lowest bidder. Rarely, everybody ties, in which case everybody passes this round. The controller moves the rich gentleman forward any number of spaces, decides whether to keep heading in the same direction or turn around at the end of the move. If he stops in front of two shops, the controller chooses which shop. If the player who won the bidding (bidding the least) stops at his own shop, he wins the amount bid.
However, he may sell the control to another player,who will then use *his* card to win money. So it is a delicate matter of splitting the profit between the controller and the various high bidders...
After 30 rounds, the bridge is full, at which point one last hand of 11 rounds is played, skipping the bidding for shops.
The Joker wins the bid for control of the rich gentleman (it is the "lowest" card), but it is worth 20 gold per shop the owner has on the bridge --easily the most valuable card during the later rounds.