Wits & Wagers Party
Our family enjoyed playing Wits & Wagers and Wits & Wagers Family. For those of you who haven’t read my reviews or have never played these games, players will be attempting to score the most points by not only coming up with the best answers to questions, but by also betting on the answers that they think could be correct. All of the answers are always in the form of a number and the “best answer” is the one that is the closest to the actual answer without going over. (Think “Price is Right”)
Wits & Wagers Party follows along with the same theme, combining aspects of both games to provide hours of entertainment to family and friends alike. Before we get started with the review, I’d like to thank Luke Warren from North Star Games for sending me a free review copy.
Markers and Marker Boards – Players will be writing down and submitting their answers with these as questions are read.
Question Cards – Each round, one question will be read that the players will need to answer. All questions call for a numeric answer.
Bid Tokens – Players will be betting on answers with these. They are allowed to place bets on their own answer as well as on the other answers present.
Poker Chips – These chips are awarded during the scoring phase of each round. Players will be trying to get as many as possible as they determine who wins the game.
The “1” Elvis Impersonator Board – This board represents the absolute minimum answer, which players can bet on if they see fit to. This can sometimes occur when a player feels that all of the answers on the table are too high, including their own answer. The “1” Elvis board is double sided…one side pays out double should players bet on that answer and win, while the other pays out as normal.
Setup & Gameplay
Players can play individually or divide up into teams, depending on how many people are playing. Each player / team gets one marker, a board, and two betting tokens of their color. The “1” Elvis board is placed in the middle of the table, on whichever side players choose to use.
A question card is drawn and one of the questions is read. Each player / team writes down their answer on the marker board and places it facedown on the table when they are finished. Once everyone has guessed, they sort the guesses in numeric order, lowest to highest, starting with the “1” Elvis board. After that, each player / team places bets using their two betting tokens. They can split their bets or place them both on the same answer board. Once that is done, the answer is read from the back of the question card and poker chips are handed out as follows:
1. One poker chip is given to the player / team who wrote the winning answer*.
2. One poker chip is given to all players who bet on the winning answer*, one poker chip per betting token.
*The winning answer is the number on the table closest to the actual answer without going over.
Players receive their betting tokens back and repeat the process for six more rounds. On the seventh and final round, players may bet their poker chips in addition to their betting tokens if they wish to. However, the bank keeps any poker chips that were bet on the wrong answer, but payout the same as betting tokens should they be on the correct answer.
Whoever has the most poker chips at the end of the game wins! In case of ties, the team with the youngest player wins.
The above is simply an overview of the game, but should still give you an idea on how the game is played. You can view more information by following the links at the end of this article.
Wits & Wagers Party plays very similarly to its predecessors, so experienced players will be able to jump right into it. I noticed that it seems to take a little from both games to make itself stand apart. There isn’t a felt mat with odds on them like in Wits & Wagers, for example, but it borrows the poker chip / betting mechanic for use in the last round. Wits & Wagers Party adopts the board order placement mechanic (no mat) from Wits & Wagers Family, but gives players the option on the “1” board to pay out normally (like in WWF) or double (6:1 odds in WW). I also appreciated the dry erasers on the marker caps…nice touch!
The questions themselves come from the out of print “Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1”, which may disappoint players who already own it. The good news is that the makers chose the best questions out of the expansion pack to appeal to a wider range of people…and I am forced to agree. In Wits & Wagers, I was cycling through the questions, trying to find ones that the kids would have a shot at understanding and guessing. I didn’t have to do that in Wits & Wagers Party…the questions were indeed light, easy to visualize, and a lot of fun to think about.
I appreciate how flexible this game allows you to be in terms of number of players. While the game does mention a four player minimum, our family found it to be playable with only two or three, in that each player can use two marker boards and two sets of betting tokens. This opens the door as well for some strategic options in terms of guessing the best answer…I observe the kids often answering low on one and high on the other, and having four betting tokens instead of two makes for an interesting betting round.
If you’re new to the series, buying all three versions may not be practical or economical. However, the games are flexible enough to where you can mix and match. If the odds mat and betting mechanic is an absolute must, but prefer lighter questions, you could pick up Wits & Wagers (for the mat and chips) and either Wits & Wagers Family or Wits & Wagers Party for the lighter questions. If the odds mat and accompanying betting mechanic isn’t that big of a deal and you’re looking to buy something for family game night, then Wits & Wagers Family or Wits & Wagers Party will do nicely. The latter offers a bit more in terms of gameplay options, what with the double payout option on the “1” and poker chips.
Overall, Wits & Wagers Party is an excellent game for gamers and non-gamers alike. I’m glad to have been able to add it to my collection.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can read more about “Wits & Wagers Party” by visiting the North Star Games website and BoardGameGeek here: