Wits and Wagers

Everyone has played Trivial Pursuit by now right? I remember playing it at the cottage in the summer and my parents and their friends playing all day long on New Year’s Day. I always found it was most fun with large groups of people, broken into teams, because often are strong in one area of trivia, and weak in another. Teams make things more even, plus it’s just fun.

But if you only have a few people, or some of the players just don’t have a head full of useless trivia? How about a game where knowing the right answer is not as important as knowing who in your group might know the answer?

Wits and Wagers is like most trivia games. You read cards with questions and guess the answer, but there are a few significant differences. First, all the questions have numerical answers. I don’t mean they are math problems, but things like, what year did World War 2 end, how many siblings does Ron Weasley have or what is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

The second difference is that everyone answers the same question at the same time, you don’t take turns. Each player has a little whiteboard they write their answer on in secret, with a dry erase marker. When everyone is ready (or the timer is up) the players reveal their answers, which are then placed on the table in order of lowest number to highest.

Now comes the most unique part of the game. Before the correct answer is revealed, each player takes their two poker chips and bets on which answer is right, or at least closest, without going over (just like the Price is Right). You can put both chips on one card, or split them to hedge your bets. You don’t score points by having the correct answer, you score by guessing which of your fellow players knows the answer. If you think what you wrote is right, bet on yourself. If you know Sarah is the biggest Potterhead at the table, and the question was “How many O.W.Ls did Hermione get?”, you might want to bet on her response.

It’s fun because even if you are not good at trivia, you still have a great chance to win, if you know the other players very well. They also make a party version for larger groups, and a family version with questions geared more to younger children.

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