‘Wits and Wagers’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
Games of chance are just that—chance. Wouldn’t it be great to play a betting game where knowledge is the deciding factor?
Wits and Wagers is a party game for 3–7 players designed by Dominic Crapuchettes and published by North Star Games, LLC in 2005. In the game, players are given a trivia question with a numerical answer. Each player writes their answer on a card, and then the answers are placed on a mat from lowest to highest. Each space on the mat has odds ranging from 2–1 to 7–1. The player who scores closest to the actual number of the question without going over receives 3 points.
Before the answer is revealed, players have an opportunity to wager their points based on what they think the right answer is. Here, the odds displayed on the mat come into play, with outliers from the median guess having a greater payout, but a bigger risk.
In the past I have spoken of my dislike for trivia games. Where rote knowledge is king, some players easily outclass others, making for a very unbalanced and boring game. Wits and Wagers eliminates this factor by allowing the players to score points not by knowing facts, but by deducing which of the guesses is close enough. One smart bet can unbalance the game. Like most party games, it is relatively short and rematches can be staged within 20 minutes.
I would recommend this game for anyone who likes trivia, but might not have as broad a knowledge base as some of their friends. Wits and Wagers is fun, fast, and—as the winner of the 2006 Mensa select award—may just make you think.