If you are looking for a different type of family board game, I’m going to share one with you that you might not have heard of. Maybe I’m just not “with it” but I just discovered this game this past Christmas when I was searching for a family type game that would be fun for adults, yet easy enough for an 8 year old kid.
The name of the game is Wits and Wagers by the maker North Star Games. They are known for making games that are quick to learn, that keep all players involved all the time, and for keeping the games short (about 20 minutes).
Here’s a quick introduction.
Basically everyone contributes a numerical answer, which are then spread across the board with corresponding payout odds for each answer. All players then have 30 seconds to place a wager on the answer they feel is correct (or closest to without going over). Seven rounds are played to complete one game. The person with the most chips wins.
Strategy 1: If you don’t have the slightest clue as to what the answer might be, ride with the person you think probably knows the answer. In other words, place your bets where that person placed his/her bet(s). If it is a football question, copy the person who you think is knowledgeable in football.
Strategy 2: With strategy 1 in mind, you can spurt out a subtle bluff when the question is read. For example, if the question asks, “What percentage of American’s pay their credit card bill in full?” You can blurt out, “Ohhhhh, I just read about that last week….” even though you have no clue what the answer is. You then bet heavily on your answer to lure other players to ride with you but at the last minute, move your chips to the answer you think is correct. Hopefully they had bet heavily and lose a bunch of their chips.
Strategy 3: Similar to strategy 2, if you are knowledgeable in a certain subject and the other players know that, purposely submit the wrong answer and, again, bet heavily on your answer to lure others in. Move your chips at the last minute.
Common Sense Strategy: Know how many chips each player has at the ending part of the game. If you are the chip leader and the (current) second place player cannot catch up with you even if he/she bet all their chips and won, do not risk your stack of chips. In other words, do not risk more than necessary (this is a GREAT lesson applicable in life as well).
Tip: Write your name on your (erasable) white board so players know who to return the boards to (the boards are color coded but names are easier to remember).
Tip: Use a count down timer that beeps instead of the sand timer that’s included in the game. Usually everyone is so involved in the game that no one watches the timer.
Tip: If you want to stir up a discussion on a particular subject or event, create your own (7) questions that are hard to guess exactly, but ones that the group might have some idea about. This is a sneaky way for the host to surface his/her agenda.
Wits & Wagers 2nd Edition appeals to people who like games that require knowledge, to people who like gambling, and to people who like the party/social type of games.