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An Account of Wits & Wagers Party

A Session Report from our first Boardgame Lab

An Account of Wits & Wagers Party

By Sean Hofer  |  September 06, 2019

Wits & Wagers Party

We recently had our first boardgame lab in class, and for this inaugural session I played Wits & Wagers Party with four of my fellow classmates (AJ, Vanky, Tiffany, and Martin). Wits & Wagers can be played with 4-14 players, but the BoardGameGeek page places the ideal number of players at around 5-6, so we chose a group of about that size. Wits & Wagers’ only listed game mechanic on BoardGameGeek is Betting/Wagering.

Wits & Wagers Party is a simplified version of Wits & Wagers in which the objective is to have the most chips at the end of the game. Chips are obtained by correctly wagering (1) and (2) point* tokens on proposed answers to trivia questions. The game plays out like so:

  1. Players divide into teams. In our game we played with 3 teams: Red (Martin and Tiffany), Blue (me), and Yellow (AJ and Vanky).
  2. One player volunteers to be the banker (handles chips) and another volunteers to read the questions.
  3. Each team gets an answer board, dry-erase marker, and two wagering tokens - one worth (1) point and another worth (2). In the center of the table is the “1 (pays double)” answer card.
  4. For seven rounds, a question with a numerical answer is posed. Each team decides among themselves upon an approximate guess (or whatever they wish), writes it on their answer board, and places their answer board face down in the center of the table.
  5. After everyone has submitted an answer, the answers are flipped face-up and ordered about the “1 (pays double)” card. (As shown above.)
  6. Each team then places bets on the available numbers with their point tokens, with the goal of choosing the closest number to the real answer without going over.
  7. After all wagers are placed, the answer is read and teams with tokens on the value closest without going over are given chips equal to the value of their bet.
  8. On the 7th and final round, teams may wager their chips in addition to their point tokens, but they can still only bet on at most two values.
  9. The team with the most chips at the end of the game is victorious!

A detailed session report is below.

Session Report:

Turn 1:

What year was Babe Ruth traded to the Yankees?

Team Guess Wager
RED 1990 1 (1), 1932 (2)
BLUE 1932 1 (2), 1932 (1)
YELLOW 1943 1 (2), 1932 (1)

ANSWER: 1919

RED BLUE YELLOW
2 4 4

Turn 2:

How long is the longest recorded beard?

Team Guess Wager
RED 10’ 5” 10’ 5” (2), 12’ 3” (1)
BLUE 12’ 3” 10’ 5” (2), 12’ 3” (1)
YELLOW 7’ 7” 10’ 5” (1), 12’ 3” (2)

ANSWER: 17’ 6”

RED BLUE YELLOW
3 5 6

Turn 3:

What year did Cassius Clay change his name to Muhammad Ali?

Team Guess Wager
RED 1980 1968 (2), 1 (1)
BLUE 1968 1968 (2), 1 (1)
YELLOW 1967 1968 (2), 1 (1)

ANSWER: 1964

RED BLUE YELLOW
5 7 8

Turn 4:

How much did Luke Skywalker’s lighsaber sell for at auction?

Team Guess Wager
RED 10 mil 10 mil (1), 2.3 mil (2)
BLUE 2.3 mil 1.5 mil (1), 2.3 mil (2)
YELLOW 1.5 mil 2.3 mil (1), 1.5 mil (2)

ANSWER: $240,000

RED BLUE YELLOW
5 7 8

Turn 5:

How many pages was the FBI’s file on Albert Einstein?

Team Guess Wager
RED 100 100 (1), 45 (2)
BLUE 8 45 (1), 8 (2)
YELLOW 45 45 (1), 8 (2)

ANSWER: 1427

RED BLUE YELLOW
6 7 8

Turn 6:

What percentage of Americans believe in aliens?

Team Guess Wager
RED 75% 75% (2), 70% (1)
BLUE 8% 8% (2), 70% (1)
YELLOW 70% 8% (1), 70% (2)

ANSWER: 48%

RED BLUE YELLOW
6 9 9

Turn 7:

FINAL QUESTION

How many movies have Tarzan in the name?

Team Guess Wager
RED 10 10 (8)
BLUE 5 5 (2), 10 (1)
YELLOW 225 5 (1), 10 (2)

ANSWER: 89

FINAL SCORES

RED BLUE YELLOW
14 10 11

RED TEAM WINS!

*Note: “Points” in Wits & Wagers are actually dollars in $100 increments. I use “points” for simplicity.

*Also, during gameplay we made some errors calculating scores. The numbers in this should be accurate as they were recalculated for this post.