Liar’s Dice is a classic dice game where each player rolls five dice secretly, and then states a bid for how many total dice of a specified value are on the table. With the Green Box, you can play the same game with cards, and maybe add a few variations.

At a glance:

2-10 players

30 minutes

Complexity: Low

Components used:

6 tiles, one of each symbol

5 cubes pr player (any colour) and one additional for keeping track of bids

All cards

Setup:

Shuffle the tiles and place them face up in a single row. Rotate the first tile 45 degrees to make this the starting point and a wildcard.

Give each player 5 cubes each, and put an additional cube on the starting tile.

Shuffle the cards and deal 5 to each player. Select a starting player randomly.

20170110_142809_001b
Setup ready for 6 players

Play:

In turn, each player has to state a bid for how many symbols of one type have been dealt among all players. State the number and move the cube to the appropriate symbol on the track. The next player now must:

  • EITHER: State a higher bid, either by moving the cube UP the track and state the same number (or higher if you want to), or by moving the cube DOWN the track and state a higher number only.
  • OR: Call the last bidder a liar!

Bids continue as long as nobody is called a liar. When this happens, all players lay down their cards, and you count the symbols to see if the bid was correct. The first symbol in the track is a wildcard, meaning all cards with this symbol count toward the bid in addition to the actual stated symbol.

If the bid is valid, i.e. if the total number of cards with the stated symbol plus the wildcards is equal or greater than the stated number, then the bidder wins, and the player calling her a liar loses. She then has to remove one of her cubes. If the bid is invalid, i.e. there are not enough cards with the right symbols in play, the bidder is indeed a liar and must give up one cube.

Now reshuffle all cards and deal everyone a new hand. From now on, only deal as many cards to each player as they have cubes left, so the player who lost the first round only gets four cards. Players who have lost all their cubes are out of the game.

The starting bidder in the next round is the player who lost a cube in the previous.

Special rules for wild cards: If the starting bidder chooses to make a bid for the actual starting symbol, then this symbol is not wild this round, and you can rotate the tile back to illustrate this. Further, the wildcards do not count towards a bid if there are no cards on the table with the actual correct symbol. So if hammers are wild, and the bid is for three arrows, and the cards on the table show four hammers but no arrows at all, the bid is not valid.

Winner:

When only one player has cubes left, this player is declared the winner.

Special rule towards the end: When the total number of cards being dealt is less than 4, bids are no longer given for number of symbols. Instead, players bid for the total value of all dealt cards, i.e. the sum of the printed numbers on the cards.

With 8-10 players:

In order to ensure that the cards dealt indeed carry sufficient uncertainty, you should always deal less than 40 cards in total. That means that with 8-9 players you deal four cards to each player, and with 10-12 you deal three. You may choose to give each player 5 cubes nonetheless, and then only reduce the number of cards dealt once a player falls below 3-4 cubes. Or you can give the players the same number of cubes as cards, for a slightly quicker game.

Variation:

Allow the starting bidder to select which symbol is wild, after looking at their dealt cards. The starting bidder chooses one tile and places it at the start of the row, rotating it 45 degrees.

Advertisements