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Wits and Wagers: A new board game by Dominic Crapuchettes

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The big problem with trivia games is the pesky need to know trivia. Fortunately, Wits and Wagers has found a clever way around this. You don't have to know the answer; in fact, the questions are designed so most folks won't know the exact answer. What you have to do is correctly guess which of the answers, either your own or another player's, is the correct one.

Each question has a numerical answer. Players each have a card and erasable pen to write their answers with. The question is read aloud to all players, and they secretly write down their answer. The answers are then all revealed at the same time and are placed on a board, which is divided into eight areas. These areas have odds, and players may now make two bets on which answer they think is the correct one. It's like "The Price Is Right" in that the closest answer to the correct one, without going over, is the winner. Answers are arranged numerically, low to high. The answers in the middle get the lowest odds (even money) and betting the answers on the edges of the guesses pay up to five to one. This is a strangely effective method. The collective knowledge of the group often puts the correct answer toward the middle of the guesses. But not always.

The game only lasts a few rounds and usually runs under a half hour. There's also a bluffing element. On the off chance that you do know the exact date, should you nail it exactly and share the money with all the others who also bet on you, or write a number just a bit too high, and bet on the next player down? You may fool a few people and have a lock on a higher payoff. But that's probably as deep as your planning could ever go. This game is meant to be fun.

There is a bonus for having the correct answer, so knowledge does have a small reward, but the best money comes from getting the payoffs from betting on others when they are right. Sometimes you have no idea and can just follow the crowd or play a long shot.

The game lasts seven rounds and players can go "all-in" in the last round, so more folks have a chance to win. There's a bit of "Final Jeopardy" strategy that can be used.

If you hurry, you might still find Wits and Wagers at Target. The publisher has sold out of the first printing and may not reprint it right away, so grab this fun game before it starts selling for $50 on eBay.

Wits and Wagers is a game for 3-7 players, playing time is about 25 minutes and the list price is $29.99.