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Wits & Wagers
First Edition, First Printing
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from 32 customer reviews
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Are you tired of not knowing all the minutia that others do in trivia games? Then Wits and Wagers is for you – a party game in which you don’t have to know the answers, but simply bet on those who do! In each of the seven rounds a question is read, and players write down their numeric answer. These answers are arranged on an odds table, and then players bet chips on the guess that they think is closest to the actual answer. Those who bid successfully get more chips, and the winner is the one with the most chips at the end of the game. Wits and Wagers is a game that induces hilarity even in large groups and makes an excellent game for parties and events.
- 1 rubber betting mat
- 1 sand timer
- 7 dry erase pens
- 7 laminated answer cards
- 14 betting cubes
- 120 poker chips
- 1 rules booklet
- 100 trivia cards
Average Rating: 4.5 in 32 reviews
The best trivia game, ever.
A tip for the reviewer who didn't like seeing the answers to the other questions on the card...
The rules state that you read each question from a different card. In other words, You read question #1 from the 1st card, question #2 from the 2nd card, etc...
Fun for the adults, but even a 6-year old can compete by putting chips on people who seem to know the answer.
This game is a wonderful combination of betting and trivia that turns into a extremely fun time. I am not a big fan of trivia game, while my wife loves them. My father-in-law doesn't care for silly games, while my mother-in-law doesn't play much at all. And we all LOVE this game!
If you are thinking about getting this game, do it.
Ok here's the deal. This game will not disappoint. It has all the elements that make a game great. For me that means...easy to set up and learn....easy for everyone to participate (no special knowledge required).....and everyone has fun. The kicker is when you're done playing people always ask "Where did hear of this game" and "Where can I buy it". I've played Wits & Wagers with my kids and their friends....but the best is inviting a group of friends over and playing as a group. Depending on the number we will have 5 teams of 3 or 6 teams of 2. We do random drawings out of a hat to determine the teams. Play with your spouse or maybe mix and match..... See what I mean...this game is interactive and you can format the playing as individuals or group or however you like. It's a great social game. Keeps the party lively and the action fast and furious. The bottom line here is: Do you want to play a game that everyone enjoys and when you have your "game night" again everyone asks "can we play wits & wagers tonight?" Nuff said.
This game is easy to learn (10 min or less for all of us), fun to play (you don't have to know all the trivia yourself), notes the source of the question/answer (for those sticklers), and it even includes little fun facts about the trivia questions.
Best of all each round is about 15-30 min. long so you can play for a short while or all night. We really enjoyed this game at the holidays.
The Saturday after Thankgiving the wife and I had some people over to play games of various types. The big winner of the session was Wits and Wagers.
The group included Mike, John, Bob, Sarah, Liz (my wife), and me. Normally this is not a group that would flock to trivia games as I have a tendency to know a lot of worthless information and the others don't really care but after reading about Wits and Wagers on BGG I thought it would be a good fit. I was certainly right. The first game was tight all the way until the end when it came down to Bob and I. On the final question both of us knew that Cheers had gotten a whole ton of Emmy nominations and were the only ones with money in the right place. He had more there so the first game was his. The second game really showcased how this is anybodies game until the very end. Sarah had been trailing for the first 6 questions but she was the only one who guess that a 100lb person on the moon would weigh less than 20lbs and since everyone else had gone all in she was the winner. The group enjoyed this game immensely. I would recommend this game for any party as a great way to get started or take a break between longer and more intense games. The fact that it was competitive, fun, and relatively quick means that it will be brought back out the next time people are over.
Wits and Wagers is a party trivia game that awards those that know the answer, but has greater awards for those that know who has the right answer. Combining roulette-style betting with trivia, this is a lively game that gets you thinking and laughing.
Each player (or team) is given a small dry-erase card, a marker, and a question is read that has a numerical answer. The players are to come up with an answer without going over (good old "Price Is Right Rules").
Next, all the guesses are shown and arranged in numerical order on the betting mat. Players have two bets of $5 to place on any one or two answers they like. Depending on where an answer is arranged it has odds ranging from 1-1 to 4-1. The correct answer is read, and at this time someone gets to act as croupier and pay out those that bet on the answer that came in equal to or just under the correct answer (I love being the croupier). The individual that gave the right answer gets $10. Those that bet on the right answer get paid out depending on the odds, so a $5 on 3-1 odds would get you $15.
Seven rounds are played. The game takes about 20-30 minutes for newbies and large groups, but certainly starts flying once people are familiar with the game.
The creaters did a great job on the game. Mainly with the betting mat. I'm sure some manufacturers tried to get them to cut out this costly piece, but it really adds to the game. The game comes with a nice thick mat that is used to track bets. It looks like a traveling Craps mat, or something out of roulette.
The rules are well-written and easily understood. Plenty of full-color samples make actually reading the rules unnecessary.
The mechanics of the game are nice and simple, as any good party game should.
One of the difficulties of finding a good party game is dealing with an odd number of players. This alleviates the problem in two ways: the game supports up to 7 players, but teams work wonderfully. So, as long as your number can be split into 4, 5, 6 or 7 teams you're golden. If you're dealing with some prime number, then as the host sit out and play 'game show host' (this allows you to also be the bank/croupier). It's actually a lot of fun to just read the cards and deal with the money. (I'm one of those 'center of attention' kinda people.)
I've played this with small groups (just two couples) and larger groups (I brought it to an all-nighter at work), and it went over well with both.
This is also a great game for mixed groups because it doesn't overly favor the 'Trivial Pursuit' expert. Don't be scared off by the 'trivia' aspect of this game! Most of the questions have little to do with history, science or literature. Most are weird questions that take a lot of common sense, or just a flat out wild guess. That's where a lot of the fun comes in. One bright guy at work was doing real well with the questions, but being a young guy thought that 600 grams of carbohydrates a day was what Atkins limits you to. Being a So Cal boy, I thought 1500 inches of snow a year was a decent average for a northern state.
We bought this game at GEN-CON after seeing demos of it being played. My girlfriend is a knowledge junkie (You know the type, subscription to Mental Floss...) and as such it just isn't fun to play with her in almost any type of trivia game.
Wits and Wagers is different. Knowing the answer has almost nothing to do with playing and or winning this game. Most questions aren't trivia as much as reasonable estimate type questions. It is much more important to know what the answer isn't than what it is in this game.
Betting on other peoples answers adds a great level of gameplay as a valid strategy is to throw out incorrect answers from time to time.
Great Game! Can't wait for an expansion of more cards and questions!
I have played this game at a few family parties, and it's always a big hit. Younger children find it educational, some of the older folks loved the betting aspect, and my friends (twenty-somethings) get very competitive and rowdy while playing! One round takes a perfect length of time. And I also feel that the more we play, the better we get at learning how to bet, and really master this game. I like games that take a little bit of playing in order to be better. I highly recommend this game to anyone, especially if you are looking for an extremely interactive game that makes you think, but not too much!
This game is designed by some fellow University of Maryland graduates. The only reason I have heard of it is because they come to gaming events in the area to show their game. Imagine my surprise when I saw a picture of this game in Time Magazine yesterday!! There it sits next to pictures of Trivia Pursuit and the latest Cranium and Scene It? game. That picture reminded me that I should come here to rate the game.
I'm glad Wits & Wagers is getting noticed because the game is one of the most fun games I have ever played. But the reason I like the game so much is partly because it is the only game that my father will play. I'm not really sure why. He usually hates playing games but this one has captured his interest.
Part of what he likes is that you don't have to have a bunch of memorized facts in your head to do well at this game. Instead, it is a game where you have to come up with reasonable estimates. So the game makes you actually think about stuff instead of recalling memorized pieces of information. At the same time, if you have no idea of the answer, you still have the option of betting on someone else's answer. This is great because people who are social instead of academic, still have a way to do well. In fact, knowing who to bet on is sometimes the most important element in this game because the questions hit so many different subjects (history, pop culture, classical literature, sports, science, any random hilarious weird facts).
The fact that each player's answers has a different odd is also interesting and fun. This game has definitely captured the fun of being in a casino and has somehow mixed it with learning weird and interesting tid bits. This game comes highly recomended, especially if you want a game to play with your family or other people who do not usually play games.
This has just become my family’s favorite party game! I can’t stress this enough, buy this game for your next party or family event and you wont be disappointed!!!
The Good: Very easy to learn, it can be enjoyed by anyone over 8, it can be enjoyed by grandparents, excellent value for components with a cool betting mat made out of rubber and fabric, quick twenty minute playtime, lots of cheering!
The Bad: It takes some time to count out the chips when you want to play another game.
The Ugly: There is no ugly to this game except that not many people have heard of it yet. Wits & Wagers should be in every game closet (and my prediction is that it will be in a few years).
There are several cool new ideas in this game. First of all, you don't ever have to know the exact answers (thank god). Instead, all of the questions are about giving an educated estimate. I'm horrible at trivia but it turns out that I am sometimes pretty good at making wild guesses. It also turns out that sometimes I have no idea about things that other people seem to know. And that is where another cool idea is introduced; you can bet on someone else's answer instead of your own. So part of the game is figuring out who is likely to have the best estimate at the table. Sometime people give away when they know something, but other times you simply know which friend is likely to be good a movie trivia or sports trivia or U.S. history. Then on top of all this, each answer has a different payout. Some answers pay out 4 chips where as another might only pay 1 chip. It's when people bet heavily on the 5:1 payout answer that people start cheering.
Another good thing about this game is that it only takes about 20 minutes to play. It is like a short burst of fun casino excitment!! I highly recomend buying this game immediatly.
If you’re looking for a game that can accommodate a wide range of players and never goes on TOO long, you'll enjoy this game.
This game is so simple I was able to play it with my relatives after our Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn't believe how much fun everyone had! Now my parents have all of a sudden taken an interest in my gaming hobby. They're curious about the games we play and they want to know what other great games I've been hiding from them. I think they might enjoy Apples to Apples and perhaps Peruda, but I have a feeling there is nothing else out there that they'll like as much as Wits & Wagers. Mostly because they think their is educational value in the trivia. The game is just a great blend of trivia, odds, and chance that leads to tons of cheering and excitement.
I can't remember a game that has had this great of a reception among both my gamer friends and my relatives. People who like heavier games will consider this a light and fun diversion while your relatives will think of it as the next Cranium or Trivial Pursuit deluxe. Congrats to North Star Games! I was told in an email that their next game is a get to know you game, but that has been getting the same type of reception as Wits & Wagers!! Perhaps they're just hyping it, but I'm already getting excited just thinking about what they will come up with...
Wits & Wagers delivers what we've all been looking for--a board game that has the simple mindless thrills of gambling coupled with the intellectual challenge of a trivia game! What a concept!
On a board reminscent of a poker felt, players lay out answers to trivia questions which they then can bet chips on...or bet against by backing someone else's answer if they think they're wrong. They can even split their chances and bet on both if they're unsure.
With a possible seven teams and endless numbers of players on each team, the odds that the seven answers are numerically close only add to the mental mayhem. Since betting strategies are involved, it's a true blast to play.
It's so easy knucklewalkers can play against Mensas--and the knucklewalkers can win! Yet it's hard enough that the Mensas might win every time--unless the great apes bet better! It could go either way, and that's the beauty of this game. It's the ultimate level playing field for which we've all searched.
There's nothing trivial about this pursuit--it just rocks! Highly recommended party game for party animals and party politicos alike.
This is a fun party game. I've played it now 3 times, with varying groups of people and each time it was very well received. If you enjoy trivia, you will like it. If you enjoy gambling, you will like it. If you just enjoy laughing, you will like it. If you enjoy all three, you will love it. If your group can't have fun with this game, then you need to find a new group. One of the times we played, we had more than 7 players so some people had to split up into teams. I initially thought this may take away from the game experience but, to the contrary, it added to the laughs because of the squabbling between team members. Party games are fun because they let you and your guests express sides of themselves that you would normally never see by simply talking about the weather. This party game fits the bill.
I am a big fan of trivia, but unfortunately I don't get to play very many trivia games. This is because in trivia games the person with the most knowledge of useless facts will almost always end up winning, so those people who have less trivia knowledge never want to play. That is until Wits & Wagers! Who would have thought that it would be possible to combine trivia into a party game and end up with something everyone loves. Wits & Wagers is so simple in it's basic concept that you sit back and think "why didn't someone think of this before?".
Rikki's Rating (my wife who has slight influence on my reviews): She definitely likes Wits & Wagers and often suggests it when we are playing games with several couples.
Plus sides of the game:
- The rules are extremely simple. You can actually just start playing, and explain the rules as you go along.
- The game is only 7 rounds long and goes by very fast. Plus the timer keeps things moving, so one player can't slow the game down. Almost every time we play Wits & Wagers, we end up playing two games of it because one game is so brief.
- It takes the edge off of trivia, and makes it fun for everyone. As a matter of fact, the person who would be best at Trivial Pursuit may lose Wits & Wagers every time. Because this game is all about reading people, betting intelligently, and sometimes bluffing.
Down sides of the game:
- The trivia is often so obscure that no one will come anywhere close to the correct answer. This kind of messes with the basic premise of the game as you really can't predict who in your group might know the answer.
- Although the game says it will play with up to 21 people, I can't see this being a team game. I just don't think it works that well with more than 7 players.
My overall feeling about Wits & Wagers is very good. It is definitely our most popular new party game, and it works well with almost all ages. 4.5 stars.
Broke this out on New Year's Eve to play with my wife and some friends. It has since been asked for several times. One of the best party games. Requires very little knowledge of trivia (but it can help). I have been beat several times by friends who only picked random numbers but knew how to bet. Excellent game, Excellent components, you won't be disappointed.
Wits & Wagers is a terrific party game. I have introduced it to all kinds of groups - big, small, old, young - and it has been a hit with everyone. The beauty of the game is not having to know the correct answers to win. Trivia games can be intimidating. C'mon - you know what I'm talking about. You pull out a trivia game and inevitably you get some groans: "I'm no good at trivia games." Well, this game puts an end to that argument. You don't have to know trivia, you just have to have good instincts.
Here's how the game works. There are 7 rounds with 1 question each. All questions have an exact numeric answer. Each player or team is given a small dry erase board, a marker and $80 in poker chips. The 1st question is read and players have 30 seconds to write an answer on their board. Next, the answers are arranged from smallest to largest on the board. Then players have 30 seconds to place up to 2 bets totalling no more than $10. The correct answer is read. The answer on the board that is closet without going over pays out. That's it! Repeat that process for rounds 2-6. Round 7 is "all in" - there is no limit to the amount players can bet. That means you can come all the way back on the last question.
By the time you make it through the 1st question, all the naysayers are naysayers no longer. The questions are interesting, the betting mechanic is loads of fun, it scales well from 4 to ??? (you can have up to 7 teams).
Buy this game - you'll be glad you did.
This game is pretty neat, but there are definitely some issues with it. The last round allows you to bet as much as you want and this generally wins the game every time. The game also is forced to be played on a table top, and with this sort of game an easel would be a wonderful addition to a second edition. I've played with the maximum number of players, and we were forced to perilously tilt the game board so folks could see it; edition 2 would be greatly benefited by Velcro.
Very fun game; can be frustrating for friends who prefer outright trivia to guestimation.
Wits & Wagers looks like a trivia game at first, but really it is a gambling game. If you know trivia, then you might have an advantage once in a while. Mostly though, it is a matter of making smart bets and overall guesses/judgments on trivia questions.
All of the trivia questions require a number answer and everyone provides an answer. Then, the answers get put on the board and you bet on which one you think is the closest without going over (like Price is Right). You can make one or two small bets or one big bet and then collect your winnings. More chips are earned if you make your bet on the lower or higher numbers.
It's a simple and clever game that is great for groups of four or more!
Wits and Wagers is a party game designed for between three and twenty-one players. It combines elements of a standard trivia game with competitive betting, the combination resembling the price estimation element of the TV show "The Price is Right" combined with gambling. Players answer questions asked from a wide range of categories, write down their answers with dry erase markers on small answer cards, and place their bets with plastic poker chips and wooden ownership marking cubes. Unlike many trivia games, the answer which pays off is the one which is closest to the printed answer without going over (all answers are numbers, like "What year did the US War of Independence end?" or "What percentage of Americans owned VCRs in 2002?". This takes the focus away from always knowing the exact answer (though that does help) and puts it on knowing which answers to bet on, if any.
The game includes the rubber playing mat, a sand timer, seven dry erase pens, seven laminated answer cards, 14 wooden betting cubes, 120 plastic poker chips in red and blue, a rules booklet and a box of trivia questions. The production design is decent, if not inspired, and all of the individual pieces are of average quality.
This game plays quickly in about 20 to 30 minutes. In every case where I brought it out, with experienced gamers, family or casual friends alike, everyone wanted to play more than one game. In the case of my extended adult family (father, mother, uncles and aunts) we actually played for eight successive games in one evening because everyone was enjoying it so much. This was surprising because this particular group is not much of a gaming-oriented bunch. My father, who was most sceptical, ended up as one of its more enthusiastic players.
The questions themselves represent a nice variety. Many of the questions are in the "you can't possibly know that" category, and are best approached from a best estimate strategy. First time players should be assured that it is not so important to answer correctly as it is to bet correctly.
As a Canadian, I would comment that the questions are largely America-centric, but this is common in many trivia games. If there is an international edition or deluxe edition released, I highly recommend a set of questions with a much broader geographic and cultural basis.
This game is fun, fast and easy with broad appeal and a shallow learning curve. Perfect for a party game, but having a bit more meat than the usual roll and move grind of Trivial Pursuit and Scene It. It also has a limited playing time - unless you are not doing things right, games will almost always be over within 30 minutes, and 20 minutes is more common. There's virtually no down-time (as there can be in other trivia games where a player can continue to move with several successfully answered questions) and there is a certain level of excitement (generated by the timers) to the betting and answering.
I highly recommend this game for anyone who likes party games. It is definitely in my top three of published party games. It doesn't have much appeal for euro-only gamers, as the betting strategy can be largely negated by the no-limits "all-in" round at the last round.
I do feel that the international appeal of the game could be increased dramatically by selecting more international questions.
One of the most telling aspects about the game is that every time I've introduced it to a new group of players, they’ve asked where they can buy a copy. I've enthusiastically recommended local gaming stores in my area where I know the game is carried. If you need a party game that you can pull out and play anytime with almost any group of players, this is one to have.
GENERAL OVERVIEW: Take a little bit of Trivial Pursuit, and add in a few wagering chips, and you've got the basic premise of "Wits & Wagers". In all honesty, comparing it to Trivial Pursuit may be selling it a bit short; you really don't need to know answers to any of the questions to win.
Players can listen to the sometimes insanely difficult questions, and then fill in their best guess. Once all answers are submitted, they are arranged in an array on the board. Each answer that strays progressively further away from the "average" answer makes the answer that much more unlikely to be correct, and so corresponding payouts grow. A really aggressive player can attempt to wager on the most ridiculous answer, whereas more conservative players will stay somewhere near the lower payout answers that seem more reasonable. Only the closest answer (without going over) is awarded, so sometimes decisions can be very difficult when several answers look very tempting.
THE HIGHS: I really enjoyed the production quality of this game, especially the gameboard. The answer cards are big and easy to read, and the overall presentation really strikes a nice balance between simplicity and functionality.
The questions are usually difficult to answer, and that is a good thing. This game is all about your best guess, so the questions are meant to create a wide variety of answers. It is not uncommon for answers to range from 5 to 5000, with all sorts of answers in between.
The answers, while always numerical, are on a wide range of topics. It would be very difficult for any one person to dominate the game, or even remember the exact answers for some of the questions. This makes the game very replayable.
THE LOWS: The limitations on betting were a little disappointing. Some playing felt as if it was a little too dependant on the last question for determining the winner. We managed to solve this by simply allowing players to bet unlimited amounts whenever they wanted. Once a player was out of money, they could only obtain more money by entering the closest (best) answer.
The lack of a fake betting chip was also a bit of a problem. Often, players would simply wait until the "expert" at the table placed his/her chip, and then would simply pile on chips according to how that person was betting. It would be really interesting to have one fake bet that would be revealed after all bets were placed, so as to not suffer the "copy-cat strategy".
OVERALL IMPRESSION: What can be said about a game that causes so much laughter, applause and debate? Wits & Wagers is an excellent follow-up game to Cluzzle, and should be on your shopping list if you are looking for a Trivia game without all that hassle of actually knowing useless information.
The many upsides to this game overshadow its small shortcomings (as explained earlier, nothing says you can't fine tune the rules to your liking!).
If you're looking for a game that plays quickly, produces a wide range of possible winners, and scratches the trivia itch, Wits & Wagers is the game you're looking for. I'm very glad it is part of my collection.
I loathe Trivial Pursuit, but I enjoy playing games with my friend and introducing them to more challenging titles. And as I'm sure most of you well know, introducing a group of people to good games usually requires an "entry" game. You know the one, something that is simpler, plays quickly and is easy to "get". But, upon once in a while, I've run across a person so in-love with their mastery of trivia that they insist on Trivial Pursuit. I'm then left with the decision to "cause a stink" and be the guy who just refuses to play or to suffer through interminable hours of rolling the wrong number to land on the pie slice category space and when I finally do not be familiar with the minutia their asking about.
I'm sure your wondering by now if I'm going to ever review this board game - well let me get started:
This game rocks. I introduced to a mixed group of men and women ranging from life long gamers to a female friend who I have a running backgammon game with as the try out. This game is so good and is such a tasy length we played upwards of 20 games back to back because it was great.
Next trial, wife's parents (yes you heard me). Had a great time. Played 4 player with them one evening. They enjoyed it. From there on out it's a great game to break out pretty much whenever.
The betting mechanic wonderfully mitigates everyone's inability to know everything or even be a good guesser of it, while fairly rewards the guy who knows stuff.
The no limit betting on the last round provides a fun throw-caution-to-the-wind way to end the game with the possibility of a surprise upset.
This game is fantastic and is now top of my list of great games for groups and also is a great entry game.
And Wits and Wagers was indeed quite fun. It doesn't matter if you know anything about trivia (well, a little might help). But the meat of the game is betting on the answer you think is closest to the right answer. It has a bit of "Price is Right" feel, a bit of gambling, and a healthy dollop of fun. It's most enjoyable with more people; the full complement of seven players/teams makes for the best games. It's certainly the most popular party game I've introduced to people over the last several months and has had people demanding repeated plays.
Each player is given a small whiteboard with a border of their color, along with two cubes of their color and an erasable marker. Players also receive eight points worth in chips, which come in "5" and "10" denominations, with the remainder of the chips placed in the bank. A thirty-second timer is placed near a very large player mat. One player is chosen to be the Question Reader and is given a stack of question cards. The game involves seven turns.
On each turn, the question reader draws a card and reads the question number on the card (out of seven) that matches the number of the round. Each question has a numerical answer and usually involves some statistic that few people know (How many gallons of water it takes to fill up an Olympic-size pool, in what year was the film Casablanca first released, etc.) The timer is then flipped over, and all players have thirty seconds to write down a guess on their cards. When the timer runs out, everyone reveals their cards, and they are placed on the large answer mat. The mat has seven spaces, each with different payout odds. The middle space is 1:1, then the two surrounding it are 2:1, then 3:1, then 4:1. The answers are arranged on each space, from smallest to largest, with the middle answer placed on the 1:1 space. Depending on how many players / duplicate answers, the arrangement might vary; but the rulebook explains how to do it.
Once all the answers are placed, then the timer is flipped again, and players may bet on the answer they think is correct. Players can bet on one or two payout spaces, betting five or ten points total. (Players can also refuse to bid, but I've never seen this happen). Players can also bid on a space that says, "The correct answer is smaller than all given answers", which has a payoff of 5:1. Players place their bids, putting a cube of their color on top of each bid to identify it. After thirty-seconds is up, players stop betting, and the reader reads the answer to the question. The answers on the table are examined, and the answer that comes closest to the correct answer without going over is the "correct" answer. All bets not on this answer are removed from the board, and each player who did correctly bet on the "correct" answer gets a payoff according to the odds. The player who was the author of the correct answer also gets ten points as a bonus (unless of course, all the answers go over - in which case no one gets the bonus, and anyone who bet on the "Correct answer is smaller than all given answers" receives a payoff).
The next round then begins, with a new question from a new card. This continues until the seventh round, which is the same as the prior six, except that players can bid as much as they want. After the winners are paid after this round, the game ends; and the player with the most points is the winner!
Some comments on the game...
1.) Components: The first thing that you'll notice is the very large board. It's like a huge, giant mouse pad, made of very nice felt and looking remarkably similar to a table at the casino. The board folds up easily and manages to fit into the box somehow. The boards are small and nice, although it would have been nice if they had included something to erase the boards - although tissues work quite fine. The cubes are quite large and fit nicely on top of the poker chips, which are just large and plastic blue and red chips (I may replace them with actual poker chips). Still, the components are nice, and all fit in the nice plastic insert in a fairly large box.
2.) Rules: There are quick start rules, and more detailed rules. Honestly, there's not much difference, since the game is simple enough. Most of the rules involve a color pictorial of how to place answers with different amounts of players. I actually found this rather simple, but not everyone I played with always understood it. Still, the game is a breeze to teach and learn.
3.) Guessing: Most of the questions are impossible for most people to know. For example, how many people know how many knives were discovered during U.S. airport passenger screenings in 2004? Probably no one, and that's the point. If no one knows, then it's very interesting to see who comes close. Of course, every once in a while, you'll have someone who - just like in the Price is Right - will bid 1, just to have the lowest number, because they just might win. Or, and this is what the designers intended - someone just might know the answer.
4.) Bidding: But why would they want one person to know the answer? It's because of the bidding. See, the person who is the winner is not the person who knows the most information, but the person who knows which of their friends knows the most information. Some people know a lot about certain topics, and it's up to you to guess which ones. Of course, this leads to a lot of bluffing - "I know this one!" is shouted in many games. Sometimes, and this is funniest, people are not bluffing, and certainly are sure that they know the correct answer. Then, they are shown that they are wrong by the card, and usually after they've convinced several others to join them in their folly. Of course, at that point there's a lot of laughter and /or a denouncement of the facts on the card.
5.) Questions: With seven-hundred questions in the game that allows one hundred games of Wits and Wagers to be played. Unless this is the only game you'll ever buy, that is certainly plenty enough to be satisfied with. The selection of questions is very well done; I know that they took great care and had a large group of people look them over before producing the final game. Many of the questions are obscure, but some of them are actually easy enough to guess close to. And often they lead to interesting discussions.
6.) Time and Players: The game plays best with more players. The game states that it can be played with three to seven players. In my opinion, seven is the perfect number; because if you have more than that, people have to be on teams. Teams are certainly fun to play with; but the game has an "individual" feel about it, especially when betting. Games are quite quick - with only seven questions. This allows the game to be played quickly, without getting stale; and if you like it, you can play several games in a row.
7.) Fun Factor: While not the most fun party game I've ever played, it certainly is a good one, and I can state unequivocally that it is the most fun trivia game I've ever played. It has elements of betting, and players can sometimes bet on the most unlikely answer, simply because of the odds. When one player is the only person to bet correctly, there's a lot of laughter and yelling. When everyone gets it wrong, hilarity ensues (and arguing with the cards again). I guess that it could be argued that the last round (as in Jeopardy's "Final Jeopardy") invalidates the previous six, but the game is fun enough that no one really cares. Betting all your money on a big payoff can give you the game or lose it all. Because Wits and Wagers is a party game, no one cares; they're having fun.
If you don't mind the large box, then I recommend getting Wits and Wagers. It's a party game about trivia that the most ignorant person can play, and possibly win. In games I've played, the canniest better sometimes won, the most clueless person sometimes won - but never the smartest person. And that's a bit of a relief to me. Sometimes (rarely) I want to play a game to see who's the smartest. But more often, I want to have fun, and that's what Wits & Wagers provides.
"Real men play board games"
Wits & Wagers avoids this dilemma by taking a novel
1. All the answers to questions are numeric.
2. In most questions, the answers are very trivial, so it's not likely anyone has an exact answer.
3. After all answers have been revealed, if one isn't confident in his/her own answer, he/she has an opportunity to win chips by successfully wagering on the answer which appears closest to the correct answer.
The gambling aspect combined with the trivia knowledge factor, make a truly fun game that can be enjoyed by most everyone. This game ought to be a hit at family get-togethers, classroom environments, parties, and gaming groups.
Wits and Wagers gets a mixed review from our family. Some thought that the questions are skewed in favor of older players, so put teens at a disadvantage. Others liked that so many people could join in and no one really had a lock on all of the answers. The twist of being able to vote on someone else's answer is a good way to engage so many people.
It is a pretty fast game, and we like that. It took us about 30-45 minutes. That's quick enough that those of us who love it can talk those of us who are lukewarm about it into playing, since it doesn't last too long.
One big problem with the design of the game is that the answers are all on one side of the card, so when you're looking for the answer to #4, you might accidentally look at the answer to #5, which isn't really fair.
We decided to play this with teams, and in many ways that was more enjoyable than each of us playing individually. We haven't tried it with solely one age group, and that might also make a big difference.
We got this game after reading so many good reviews and we just can't understand why would you give this game 5 stars!
We were so excited when the game came in the mail. We invited our game buddies and started to play. After first round all of us said that the game is good but we like Apples to Apples better. We decided to give the game another try and we played another round. In the middle of the second round everybody was asking: "how many more questions till we play Apples to Apples?"
The game is good but it won't make you laugh, we like the games that you will drink Margaritas or beer while you are playing and have fun. This one is definitely not it.
Purpose: I'm in a situation where I feel a number of Geeks are in. You have a core group of people you play Euro/Designer games with, and you also have your non-gamer family and friends. I'm going to give my impression of this game from both sides, if it crosses over, and how much bang for the buck you'll get from the game between the two groups.
Overview: Wits & Wagers is a trivia game with a twist, you bet on the answers given by the players, and attempt to have the most money at the end of the game. Each player starts with an equal amount of money, two betting markers in their color, a dry erase board in which to write answers, and a pen. One player reads a question aloud, and everyone writes down what they believe is the correct answer (all answers in the game are numbers). You then arrange all of the answers from highest to lowest on the betting mat. By doing this, you assign odds to the various answers, which is determined how far off they are by the mean answer, as determined by the player answers. There is a short betting round, and then the correct answer is read aloud. All players who placed bets on the closest answer without going over are paid per the odds amount listed above the answer. The player who wrote that answer gets a bonus as well.
The components are of good quality, and I was especially impressed with the betting mat. The chips are cheap plastic, so we used a set of poker chips instead to give us that real gambling feel.
Game play: Game play is usually quick, each game lasting about 15 – 25 minutes. You can rotate who reads the questions, or have one player play as “host”. Both ways work, and I would always recommend getting everyone involved, rather than just having someone moderate, but that’s a personal preference. We felt the questions asked were hit or miss, some required a real educated guess (dates, etc), and others were really a shot in the dark (meaningless statistics that nobody would know outside of a book). This randomness produced a light “who cares” attitude during some games because of the ridiculous questions, and others became a real test of knowledge. The main issue with the rules as written is the betting scheme that is used. Under the rules that come with the game, everything rides on the final betting round in which you’re allowed to go “all in”. This is easily fixable with suggested variants available online, but it is a glaring omission to the printed rules, and probably should have been included.
With your family and friends: This game received mixed results. It plays fast, the rules are very easy to explain, and there's usually a lot of socializing over the game as you try to determine who would actually know the answer, and watching where others place their bets. The stigma of trivia games is a hard one to get past with a lot of people, as is betting with certain crowds. This type of game obviously appeals more towards some because of the betting, and others because they don’t always feel as if they need to know the answer to questions to do well.
With your fellow geeks: I’ve seen few games bomb as badly as I have with Wits & Wagers. It plays quickly enough, but the rules as written for betting were highly criticized as being anti- climactic, and all riding on the last betting round. The other meta- game that formed was who could go the lowest of everyone in order to “lowball” the answer, hoping everyone else would go over. So we saw “1” being written, then “2” along with “1”, etc. So it became something that veered from the spirit of the game, and just continued to ruin the experience. And, once again, try to overcome the “trivia game” stigma with your gaming buddies.
Overall: Wits & Wagers is a well produced game in an already crowded genre of trivia games. It does try to do something new, by taking the knowledge off of the individual, and placing it more on “who would know this answer?” Unfortunately, it misses the mark with gamers in a number of ways, however, there’s nothing inherently broken about the game, it’s easy to explain, and I feel it’s a good opener to the night with Friends and Family.
Friends and Family: 8