I’m probably beginning to sound like an old record when I talk about trivia games and how I never do very well at them. Just last week I was complaining as I told you about two new ones on the market from Gray Matters Games, You Bet-Cha and The Game of Wolf. Modern-day game publishers have found creative ways to help those of us who don’t have the instant trivia knowledge needed to be successful in these games. The previously-mentioned games either required you to have the most correct for a question with multiple answers or to quickly answer five easier challenges and the person with the most correct wins the turn.
But to be fair, when you talk about current-day trivia games, there is only one title that does it right. And it’s NOT Trivial Pursuit! Wits & Wagers by North Star Games was originally issued in 2005 and has enjoyed a number of follow-up releases over the years. 2019 marks the release of the latest in the family, Wits & Wagers: It’s Vegas Baby! It’s enjoyed tremendous popularity over the past decade and a half and we only felt it right to include this new version in our annual Gift Guide for Party Games!
You don’t need to be familiar with the original Wits & Wagers game to purchase and enjoy this Vegas version. Setup is super quick with each player receiving a dry erase marker, compatible answer board and two betting tokens matching the color of their board. A felt betting mat is placed in the center of the table with blockers over the appropriate betting spaces, depending upon the number of players. (Wits & Wagers: It’s Vegas Baby! supports 5+ players). Poker chips are stacked in the seven circles on the mat in denominations matching the total shown on the board. This represents the number of rounds that will be played and the reward for each.
One player is chosen to be the banker, who will control the tray of chips. Another player is chosen as the first player and they draw the top seven question cards from the unshuffled deck and return the rest to the game box. This person then reads the top question out loud to all players. All participants, including the active player, then writes a guess to the question on their answer board and places it face-down on the betting mat.
Once all players have submitted their responses, all answer boards are turned face-up and arranged in order from smallest to largest in the open spaces on the board. If there are matching answers, simply place them side-by-side in their own spaces. Now players get to bet on which answer they think is correct!
Each space on the board represents a different return on your bet in the form of odds. The further away from the middle of the board, the higher the payout if correct! If you don’t like any of the answers, you can also bet on “All Guesses Too High” for a 6:1 payout or play it safe by wagering on a range of answers in either the red or black spaces for even money. You have two tokens, which cannot be lost, so always bet them both!
After all bets have been placed, the correct answer from the back of the card is revealed. You have a winning bet if you bet on the betting space with the winning guess (the one that is closest to the correct answer without going over) or if your bet is on the red or black area when a correct guess is in a red or black space!
The bonus from the round spaces mentioned earlier is awarded to the person whose answer was correct! Everyone collects their betting tokens, answer board and any poker chips won that round and an additional round begins with the next player in clockwise order!
After the first round, some players will have won poker chips. These may also be used to bet in subsequent rounds. They still pay out the same odds, but now multiplied by the number of total chips bet! Don’t bet too high, because if you lose, you lose them all to the bank (except your original betting chip). The person with the most chips after the 7th round is the overall winner of Wits & Wagers: It’s Vegas Baby!
You can find this Target-exclusive copy of Wits & Wagers: It’s Vegas Baby both online and on the shelves of your local Target. Find out more about North Star Games’ Wits & Wagers line over on their website and be sure to follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter) to be notified about the next title in the line. Want to win a copy for yourself? Come back in a couple days and see where we’ll be giving away a copy to one lucky reader!
What’s your favorite game to play in Las Vegas?