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Wits & Wagers

Second Edition


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 25 minutes 4-20

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Product Description

Not a trivia buff? It doesn't matter!

  • Everyone writes down a guess to a question
  • Place the guesses face up on the betting mat.
  • Bet on which guess is closest to the correct answer, even if it's not your own.

Think you know it? Bet on your own guess.

Think you know who the experts are? Bet on them!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Party Game, 2007
Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 2006

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Nate Heasley, Satish Pillalamarri, Dominic Crapuchettes

  • Manufacturer(s): North Star Games

  • Year: 2008

  • Players: 4 - 20

  • Time: 25 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 910 grams

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #26

  • Customer Favorites Rank: #30

  • Language Requirements: This is a domestic item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. Game components are printed in English.

Contents:

  • 1 felt betting mat
  • 80 plastic poker chips
  • 100 question cards
  • 14 player betting chips
  • 7 dry-erase pens
  • 7 dry-erase boards
  • 1 sand timer
  • 1 rules manual

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.6 in 47 reviews

Sort reviews by:

 
 
 
 
 
by Susie Q
Fun Game for All!
November 23, 2009

Wits and Wagers is a game that I first became familiar with at the Origins Gaming Convention in Columbus, OH. It was in it's premiere and North Star Games was doing demos of it and many of it's other new games. As soon as I played the demo, I knew that I HAD to own this game. I bought it right there on the spot. I went back several times during that weekend to keep playing the demos and help others get into the game. I took it back to my board-game loving family and friends and we all had a blast with it! This game has something for everyone - trivia for the quizzical type and luck/chance for the wagering type. Even my 6 year old brother (at the time) loved it and we all had a blast playing it with him. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone!

 
 
 
 
 
A Trivia Game For Everyone
November 15, 2008

I play a lot of games. A few of them fall under the "party" category. And Wits & Wagers is the best of them!

When trivia games come off the shelf, half the people are up to the challenge while the other half groan. This game is perfect for both groups. One gets to test their general knowledge on some impossibly hard questions while the other enjoys the bluffing and betting that comes along with selecting the best answer. This is "The Price is Right" meets "Trivial Pursuit" with everyone having a blast.

With 600 questions, the game holds up to repeated plays. We play this game a lot, with a lot of different people. We enjoyed it so much that we made it part of our wedding reception where each table played in their own game. Everyone went away wanting more!

I highly recommend this game for any gathering. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like this game.

 
 
 
 
 
by Lexilu
Excellent Party Game!
August 12, 2008

I was just recently introduced to this game by friends. I immediately went out and purchased my own copy after we played! This game is fast-paced since everybody plays the whole time -- there is no "down-time" as you wait for others to take their turn. It is especially enjoyable since there's no harm in not knowing the answer--you make your best estimate, but if it's totally off-base, no worries! Since you don't lose points for having the wrong answer, there is no stress... and it even makes it a little more hilarious when you can laugh at your answers and your friends' answers that aren't even close. Everybody has a chance to do well in this game -- young or old. It generates lots of laughter and lots of discussion. I can't wait to introduce it to my game night crowd of friends -- it will be a hit!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
This is a Great Game!
July 23, 2008

We bought this game as a Christmas gift and haven't stopped playing it since. We play this game for Game Day (or whenever we can!). From my 14 year old Nephew to my 80+ Mom, we all love this game. It is fun, educational and easy. We can't wait for the expansion pack of questions to come out. If you buy this game you will really enjoy it.

 
 
 
 
 
by Dan
Great Party Game
July 07, 2008

This game is a blast for any number of players. It plays fast, requires no actual knowledge of trivia, just educated guessing and clever wagering. We are looking forward to the upcoming expansion pack.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Unexpected fun for the most sceptical
February 23, 2008

Not being a fan of trivia games (since I always lose) I didn't hold out much hope for this one, either. But since we needed something new at our family get togethers, I figured I'd be kind and at least let others have some fun. Some times being nice pays off -- and this is one of them! Wits & Wagers is a delight regardless of one's trivia knowledge. In fact, some times being "in the know" ends up hurting you because others bet on your being smart, so they gain from your brain. It doesn't take but a minute or two to learn, and any age or stage can play. We've played individually in small groups and in teams with a group of 16. Now when the kids and grandkids come to play, they all ask for Wits & Wagers. We won't loan it out because it's a way get them to come here where we don't miss the fun!

 
 
 
 
 
by Jean M
Great Family Game
February 13, 2008

Wits & Wagers is a great game for a few people or for a crowd. It's also a game that the whole family can play together, from the young to the old. It's quick to learn and quick to play and a lot of fun. And the smartest one is not always the winner!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Waterboy
This is a great party game that 14 can play.
February 07, 2008

We have a group of people that meet every month to play board games. We were able to have 12 people play as 2 person teams. Not everyone is a trivia master, so this game worked well because you don't have to know the answer to score points. Also, the length of the game can be adjusted to your personal preference. This game is very fun if you have a large group, but also plays well with just a few people.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Gamer
Best game in years
December 10, 2007

We bought this game last year and are still playing it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Just Give It Your Best Guess and Have Fun!
December 05, 2007

After playing this game at EuroQuest, GameDays, and other GCOM locations/events, I finally got a copy of Wits and Wagers, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. I convinced my wife, not even close to being a serious gamer, to play Thanksgiving night with a couple friends and my Dad. It turned into a 10-game marathon, at her request. She loves it.

The next night we had another marathon session with our neighbors (whose family was up from Tennessee), and the following night, when the family of one of my son's football teammates came over for the evening, we ended up playing again. It's a good thing I love the game, too.

As far as everyone who played during that three-day "Wits and Wagers Fest" is concerned, the best thing about the game is that you don't have to know the exact answer. Any guess even remotely close -- and sometimes ridiculously incorrect -- will do just fine.

Dominic -- the game's designer -- has suggested that a very good variant to the game is an alteration to the betting rules, allowing any amount to be bet on any of the seven questions, instead of just on the seventh (final) question.

So, just how many Lego pieces, out of one million, fail to meet the company's quality standards?

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Keith B
Party Proof Game
December 03, 2007

This is an easy game to learn. It takes about two minutes to explain. I gotten this game out anytime I have six or more people (even up to 16) over at my place - and we can all play a group game that keeps everyone involved during the entire game. No waiting for your turn. I also come up with Christmas oriented questions for Christmas parties, and it is a huge hit. Customer service for this company is second to none. Highly recommended.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by The Fool
The only trivia game I will play.
July 11, 2007

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...

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by A Gamer
Lots of fun for all ages
March 29, 2007

Fun for the adults, but even a 6-year old can compete by putting chips on people who seem to know the answer.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Matthan Heiselt
You Can Bet This Game Is Fun!
February 01, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Frank S
5 Stars... Great Party Game
January 18, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Cali
Fantastic family/friends game - Highly recomended
December 29, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Matthew S.
Goes Well With Leftover Turkey
December 02, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A MUST HAVE party game, don't be scared off by 'Trivia' aspect
December 02, 2006

Overview

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.

Visuals

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.

Rules

The rules are well-written and easily understood. Plenty of full-color samples make actually reading the rules unnecessary.

Mechanics

The mechanics of the game are nice and simple, as any good party game should.

Impressions

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Greg M.
Great Game!
November 16, 2006

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!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by nimtank
Wits & Wagers - Great family party game!
September 04, 2006

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!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Educational and exciting!
April 06, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
An intelligent fun version of trivia games!
January 27, 2006
I got this game in December and brought it back to Italy with me. I played it over and over again with my family and friends. Compared to usual board games, it helps learning a lot. Compared to usual trivia games, it is fun and even if you don't know the answer you have the chance to win! This is one of the most fun games I ever played! Congratulations to North Star Games for making this happen!

- Valerio

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Favorite party game!
January 18, 2006
We played the game 6 times on New Year's eve with 15 people in our final game. One of the 9 year old kids nearly won that last game with some excellent betting skills (he realized that betting on his Dad was usually a smart thing to do).

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).

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
This is a game worth betting on!
January 18, 2006
People in the next room were getting louder and louder. Cheering would erupt every now and then. It turns out they were playing a new game called Wits & Wagers. Although I don't usually like trivia, I got into the next game. It was a BLAST!

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
At last, a party game that does not overstay its welcome.
December 19, 2005
Most of the party games I have been subjected to in the past always seemed to have me wishing they would end sooner. Those games went on for far too long but, Wits and Wagers is just the right length. The game's timer keeps the game moving along so there is very little down time. The game also is very accessible for the trivially changed player. I have played Wits and Wagers about ten times and have yet to hear a complaint from any of the thirty plus people in those games.

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Exhilarating and fun! North Star Games does it again!!!
December 13, 2005
I have been eagerly awaiting the next release of North Star Games, since their first game, Cluzzle, was such a hit in my gaming group. I have to admit, the reaction to Wits & Wagers was far better than I had expected! Not only did my gaming group enjoy it, but I had a feeling I could get my parents to play...

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...

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Brilliant Combination of Proven Game Concepts
November 28, 2005
Wits and Wages takes two of the best and most played games anywhere, trivia and poker, and combines them into a social game that takes the best of both of its ingredients. I played this with a mixed group of friends, and it seemed everyone liked a different aspect of the game. For myself, I enjoyed the psychological element of trying to figure out which of my friends would know the answer to a given question, and then deciding how much to wager on their answer. This one has the makings of being as big as poker itself, keep it up Northstar Games!
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by A Gamer
Wits and Wagers is Wicked
November 11, 2005
This is a must have for board game aficionados and novices alike. If you're thinking of getting a board game this year, you should pick this one. I have tons of board games clogging up my closet, but this one of the few that I keep cracking open for parties and get-togethers. It's a phenomenal game, and I can't wait for the sequel to come out. Bring it on Northstar Games. I've got more brain cells for you to battle!
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Wits & Wagers: Brainpower optional, fun optimized! Great party game!
November 07, 2005

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Great game for the trivia impaired!
March 11, 2008

Wits & Wagers impressed my wife and me and her family when we played this for the first time.

The usual problem with trivia games is that whoever has the largest fund of inane information will win. The Trivial Pursuit games cater to various categories, i.e. sports, movies, science, etc. I'm not ashamed to admit that I could care less about sports statistics and record holders. The same is true of most of my gaming friends. That means we can count on not having any right answers in games with those questions. The great thing about Wits & Wagers is that it doesn't matter in this game. The questions cover a multitude of subjects including ones that may be of interest to only a few. But you don't have to know the right answer to win. Players do have to provide an answer but the payoff is being able to pick the right one (or the closest without going over) out of all the answers. And if your answer is outrageously far off then that just adds to the amusement. We had people whose ages ranged from their 20's to 60's. We all enjoyed the questions, some were obscure, others were in the "I think I know this one" category. Part of the fun is learning the right answer and the "fun facts" provided with many of them. The game lasts 7 turns and that seems just right. We had so much fun we played the game a second time. I expect to be playing this one a lot. Its also good that it can accommodate up to 20 people (in teams) if you have a large group.

The mat is excellent quality and the other components are very nice as well.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Farid Widjaya
A Wits & Wagers Story
December 27, 2007

This review will be a bit unusual. Instead of reviewing the game normally I'm going to tell you the story of how our first game of Wits & Wagers went.

If you simply want to read the summary of what I think about Wits & Wagers, here it is: It's one of the best party games your money can buy. It's got all the hallmarks of a great party game: Fun & Exciting, light, family friendly, easy to learn, and short gametime to allow for multiple playings.

So that's it. But if you want to know how our first game of Wits & Wagers went, read on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I had not been into the gaming scene for a long time, and in my small collection I had zero party games. This led me to do some searching around for the ONE party game that will make it to my tiny collection.

I had come across Wits & Wagers in my searches and found the premise of the game to be very interesting. However, being a value (read: cheap) gamer that I am, I wanted to wait to place my order as a bulk to save on shipping cost. When North Star Games graciously offered a 2nd edition copy to be reviewed, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. After a few days the game arrived.

I then waited and waited, and waited for the right opportunity to introduce the game to our group. Having read the rules and learning about the overall sense of the gameplay I have a feeling that the game will do better with more people than it would with less. Our group consisted of some casual gamers and many who are non-gamers. When we finally had our Christmas gathering, I did a headcount and there were twenty-three people left after dinner. There were 4 simultaneous games going on and one group just finished a game. perfect.

I walked to my game shelf and pulled Wits & Wagers out. As I began to lay the game board on the table people saw the poker chips and began to wonder: "What kind of game is this? Gambling?" One guy commented on the nice glossy feel of the board. Some other dude started to get excited and exclaimed "Wooo, I'm going to whoop everyone's butt if this is a gambling game!!" I just smiled and carried on.

There were 7 people so we had enough for 7 teams. I handed out the starting betting chips to everyone. I handed out the answer sheets and the markers. At this point some people starting to wonder about what kind of game it really is.

Then I started my introduction with my best Drew Carrey impersonation (as best as an Asian Drew Carrey could do): "Welcomeeeeeeeee to Wits & Wagers!!! Where teams will compete, some will rise and some will fall, to answer corrrrrectly. Wits & Wagers is a game of trivia, and a hint for all of you, the answers will always be a positive number. After I read the question, you may write your answer in the pad I gave you, and put your pad on the board face down!!."

At this point someone wondered: "But we only have 1 pad.. how many questions do we have to answer? Ohh.. wait... you can easily erase the answer! Cool!!"

"Alrighttttt... everyone ready??? Here's yourrrrr first question." I started reading some question about the fastest speed of a fish ever recorded. Everyone immediately groaned because they never heard of such trivia. The same dude who said he's going to whoop everyone's butt already mumbled "Oh man, I'm going to lose so bad.."

And that's exactly the point of Wits & Wagers, some of the trivias are so out-of-this-world that you WONT know the answer... but knowing the answer is NOT the ONLY way to win this game.. which these guys will soon find out.

"Alllrightttt... time's up! [gasp in the crowd] Put down your answers, and lets reveal them together on the count of one... two... three!!" Everyone flipped their answers and immediately they made fun of each other's answer. Much Laughter ensued when one MATH teacher put down "415 mph" as her answer.

I sorted out the answer, and I told them. "OKKKK.... now you may put down your bets! Bet on which answer is the closest without going over! The payouts are shown at the bottom of the column!" At this point everyone understood how the game works. I didn't even explain the rule beforehand. This is one of the hallmark of a great party game: Anyone can just start playing the game and immediately have fun.

"Annnd... the answer to the fastest speed of a fish ever recorded iiiiiiissss....." (dramatic pause) I blurted out the answer which was in the 60s.. and everyone's expression was priceless. More laughter. More teasing. There's one person who reaped the prize in the form of more betting chips.

Then someone asked me: "Hey, how many questions did the game come with? At this pace we're going to run out of questions really soon." I showed them the stack of cards with 7 questions each (700 total), and how NorthStar Games give additional question to be used from time to time. He nodded.. "Ahh yeah, this way we wont get to the same question until many, many games in the future."

Then something happened. On question 3 one person exclaimed: "Oh, I know this!! I read it somewhere before!" and started writing down her answer confidently. When the betting time came, 3 or 4 teams put their bets on her answer. Her answer was wrong. More hilarity ensued.

By question 4 the other 2 games that were going on was also finished and they all gathered around our table. After our first game which only took 20 minutes or so everyone else wanted to play too, so we ended up having 7 teams of 2 people each, many of them couples. It was hilarious seeing couples argued on the answers, and many "I told you so!!" comments after the answers were revealed.

By the third game, EVERYONE gathered around our table. The laughter got louder. The bets got more furious. The questions didn't get any less ridiculous.

As we said our goodbyes that night, one girl asked me "hey, what was the answer of the fastest fish question again?"

And that's how our first game of Wits & Wagers went.

 
 
 
 
 
Fun Party Game
June 22, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Takes the sting out of trivia games
April 27, 2007

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:

  1. The rules are extremely simple. You can actually just start playing, and explain the rules as you go along.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

-Blott

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A excellent party game
January 23, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Outstanding party game!
December 08, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by PDOwen3
The smart guys aren't so smart...
November 23, 2009

I pulled this out when we had some friends over Saturday night. It took almost no time to teach everyone how to play -- the rules are simple and easy to explain. The fun part was realizing that those of us (yours truly included) who thought we were "so smart" found that this game is a lot more about intuition and knowing how confident to be in your hunches than about actually knowing trivial facts. A great aspect that keeps the game moving even for a larger group is that you don't take turns; everybody is always playing all the time. (That's a fundamental principle that the game designers wanted to maintain -- no waiting for each other!) The game is quick, too, and our friends had so much fun after the first game that they wanted to play it again, which was a pleasant surprise. It turned out to be a big hit. This is a nice social game, easy to learn, quick to play, good for laughs, and something that everybody has a chance to win -- there's no "Dad always wins at Monopoly" here.

 
 
 
 
 
by Friz
Lots of fun
July 24, 2007

I've gotten the chance to play this game two years running now at the Origins Gaming Convention, and I can attest that its a lot of fun. The guys who run the company (North Star) present and run the game in what can best be described as a game show format. Teams are formed, smack is talked, lots of fun is had by all. The only reason I don't give a full 5 stars is that it seems like you would need a fairly large group to fully enjoy the experience. If you do have a large enough group (or event), this could well be one of your highlights. I also see GREAT potential for classroom use - write your own questions based on the current lesson plans, split the class into teams, and have at it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Fun but needs balance
June 07, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Brad N.
Fun, simple gambling - doesn't matter if you know trivia.
January 22, 2007

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!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Christopher Ono
Fun, Fast and Challenging without the Usual Trivia Grind
January 12, 2007

Overview

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.

Components

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.

Gameplay

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.

Summary

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
It's Not Gambling if You Don't Use Money!
March 22, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Finally a trivia game that this triva game hater can dig.
March 10, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Don't know much about trivia, but enough to have fun in this game!
December 26, 2005
The problem with most trivia games is that they reward the person who has the biggest stockpile of useless, obscure knowledge. Sometimes this can be alleviated by having multiple categories - thus allowing players to draw from areas of knowledge that they have a better grasp of. Still, they usually leave me a little cold, simply because they lack the "fun" that I look for in a trivia game. Wits and Wagers (Eagle and North Star Games, 2005 - Dominic Crapuchettes) advertised that it was "The Trivia Game for Everyone". Well, games advertise such stuff all the times, but Dominic did design the excellent Cluzzle party game, so my hopes were high (an interview I did with Dominic further confirmed this interest).

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.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Finally, a trivia game for just about everybody!
December 05, 2005
One of the characteristics of classic trivia games, such as Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy, is that it rewards players' knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. For those who lack a great grasp of such knowldege, trivia games are reminders that someone knows more than they, and that they are at a significant disadvantage to win against those persons..

Wits & Wagers avoids this dilemma by taking a novel approach.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by A Gamer
Worth a try
January 14, 2007

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
good but if you want to have fun choose Apples to Apples
December 16, 2006

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Review from both sides: Wits & Wagers
April 19, 2006

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.

Ratings:
Friends and Family: 8
Gamers: 4
Combined: 6

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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