There is a great dichotomy in the world these days; people who watch Jeopardy! and those who don’t. Oh wait, I mean trivia! People who like trivia and those who don’t. Personally, I don’t understand this. I love trivia. I mean, who doesn’t want to know that India’s highest military award is the Param Vir Chakra?
Wits and Wagers is the trivia game that makes trivia fun for everyone no matter how much you know or even how much you care about the trivia itself.How is this accomplished? Well, it’s in the game’s title; through crafty wagering. Everyone (or every team) picks a color and receives corresponding dry erase board, two bidding tokens, and a marker. Someone reads the first question and all players are given 30 seconds to write and submit their answer on their boards. All the questions are statistical (In feet, how tall is the Empire State Building? Out of 300 million Americans, what percentage have red hair? etc etc) so everyone can give some sort of answer (and usually it’s something no one is going to know the exact number to anyway). Next, the answers are arranged on the board in order from lowest to highest and everyone is then given the opportunity to bet on up to two of the answers.
Once you start winning some chips you can stack as much or as little or none of them under any of your bets as shown in the picture. The closest answer without going over (yup, just like being in the 1st round of The Price is Right) is the winner who gets a chip and everyone who bet on that answer is awarded chips according to the payout odds the answer lies on. So if you bet 2 chips on a 3 to 1 payout you’ll receive 6 chips. All other bets are put back in the bank and the next question is read.
A complete game is only 7 questions and the person/team with most chips at the end of the game is the winner. You can learn everything in 2 minutes and (unlike most trivia games) finish a whole game in less than a half hour. Plus, it plays up to 21 people.
So, do you have the wits to make the right wagers? This is where the strategy and most of the fun is. “Who is the most likely to know the right answer?” “Why did he bet there?” “Why did she put her bets out so quickly? Does she know something or just trying to trick us?” It’s the meta game and intrigue along with the interesting questions that make this game so enjoyable. I’ll sometimes switch my bets at the last moment before time is up just to throw people off. It really is a trivia game that everyone can enjoy and that has been my experience every time I’ve pulled it out no matter what group of people it is. Gamer, non gamer, trivia hater or Ken Jennings, everyone will have a chance at winning and enjoy this game regardless. The only complaint I’ve had is that the markers tend to dry up rather quickly. However, I’ve been assured by North Star Games that they have switched marker manufacturers and will happily replace any markers, game components or help in any other way you may need.
Wits and Wagers is already the most awarded trivia game ever and is widely available. It’s even available on the Xbox. So, whether you like questions and answers or not, if you’re looking for a fun Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or any other day to party, Wits and Wagers will leave everyone having a good time.
Number of players: 3-21
Playing Time: 25 minutes
Suggested Ages: 8 and up (Publisher says 10 and up)
All images courtesy of Boardgamegeek’s database (which, coincidentally, were provided by the game’s designer, Dominic Crapuchettes, who visited us here in my last posting and is a regular over at Boardgamegeek.com)