Tabletop Review: ‘Wits & Wagers’

What Is Wits & Wagers?

Wits & Wagers is a trivia game where players place bets with poker chips on who has the correct answer. The answers are all numerical and the person betting on the guess closest to the correct answer without going over wins that round. After seven rounds, a the person with the most chips wins.

Players: 3–7 (Can be up to 7 teams)

Ages: 10 and up

Playing Time: Around 20-30 minutes

Retail: \$30

Rating: A very accessible trivia game that works well with teams

Who Will Like Wits & Wagers?

Any fan of trivia games will likely enjoy the game. The betting mechanic is a fun twist that doesn’t penalize you if you don’t know the correct answer.

Components

The box contains 7 dry erase boards and 7 markers for writing answers, an assortment of poker chips, an hourglass timer, a felt betting mat and question cards.

How to Play Wits & Wagers

The game is simple to pick up. Either playing individually or dividing into teams, players (or teams) receive a little white board and a marker for writing down answers. Then someone grabs a question card and reads the first question. The timer is started and players have 30 seconds to come up with an answer to the question. All answers will be numerical. For example, one question reads, “Out of each 1 million Legos manufactured, how many fail to met the company’s quality standards?”

Players then write their answer and place them on the felt betting mat. They try to write the answer closest to the correct answer without going over. Answers are arranged from smallest to largest, with the middle answer aligned on a Pays 2 to 1 square and each subsequent answer higher or lower increasing the payout to 3 to 1, 4 to 1 and so on. Players then can review the answers on the mat from all the teams and compare to their own. Perhaps someone else’s answer is closer! Players then get to bet on the correct answer.

Betting works like this. At the start of the game, each player gets two chips that they cannot lose, even if they bet poorly. This keeps players in the game through all seven rounds. Players can only bet on two different answers using as little as two chips or as many chips as they have in their possession, but again only on two answers. When the answer is revealed, the players who bet on the closest answer that did not go over win their payout based on how they bet.

In the Lego example, let’s say someone guessed 10 bricks out of a million, and after everyone guessed, this answer paid out 4 to 1. If you bet 5 chips on this answer and it was the closest without going over, you’d win 20 chips and get to keep your original 5. You also get some additional chips if you were the player who made the closest answer.

The correct answer, by the way, is 18 Lego bricks!

This continues for seven rounds and the player or team with the most chips at the end wins.

The Verdict

This game is fun. I played it with a group of regular gamers who love Trivial Pursuit. In that game, you either know the answer, or don’t. There is little room for guessing. But Wits & Wagers allows you to guess, then reassess when everyone else’s answers are on the board. This keeps players engaged even if a question asks something they are unfamiliar with. Additionally, the betting mechanic allows for plenty of come-from-behind victories. Frequently, my group went “all in” on the last question.

While we didn’t have more than 6 people playing, I can easily see how this game can scale up in a party by forming teams. I could also see how having someone to discuss answers with might also lead to bigger payouts, allowing for more strategic bets.

Once everyone understood the basic rules, we got through rounds quickly, so even if someone found themselves down on their luck by the sixth question, it didn’t take long to reset and start a new game.

Overall, I recommend it for both fans of trivia games and party games.

Wired: Good mix of questions. Quick game play. Betting mechanic makes it easy for anyone to guess and come out ahead.

Tired: If you’re not a betting person, the betting mechanic might be off-putting.

Wits & Wagers (\$22 on Amazon.com)

Disclosure: GeekDad received a review copy of this game.