Why You Should Include Wits & Wagers in Family Game Night

by SusanVillasLewis

Review and tips for playing Wits & Wagers with the entire family

I was so glad when my nieces and nephews started getting older. Turns out that while I'm amazing at Pictionary, I suck at Pictionary Jr. Seriously, guessing the word "cat" isn't easy when it's being drawn by a 7-year-old who gets flustered by your constant guessing.

So, moving past the age of 10 opens up a far more interesting world of games for the family. Thank goodness. Still, any word or knowledge games puts the adults in the crowd at a serious advantage.

Enter Wits & Wagers, a great game where knowing your opponents is more important than your knowledge of anything else in the world. It's a game for anyone over 10 that allows you to bet on what other people know and maybe win.

All About The Wits & Wagers Game

How to play, how to win, how to have a great time

The basic premise of Wits & Wagers is that you guess (and trust me, most of the time, everyone is just guessing), then place bets on whose guess you think is closest to correct without going over. (Very Price is Right there.) Winner is the one with the most chips at the end, regardless of whether they actually got any answers correct. Nice.

So you're betting on whether you think Uncle Carl knows more about US history than anyone else at the table or that Mom knows all about garden herbs or Grandma is up on old TV shows.

All the answers are numbers - how many pints of ice cream does the average person eat in a year, what year was a woman first elected to Congress, what percentage of people have peanut allergies - things of that nature. Most of which there is no reason to think someone would actually know.

Have You Ever Played Wits & Wagers?

How to Play Wits & Wagers

Simple and quick with a bonus of honing some math skills
  1. The banker reads the question and turns the timer.
  2. Everyone writes their guess on their little whiteboard.
  3. Everyone places their boards on the felt, which are then arranged in order from big to small.
  4. Bets are placed on the various answers. You can split your bets across two different answers or go for the low end (meaning you're betting everyone guessed too high.)
  5. The banker reveals the answer, then pays out winnings based on the bets.
  6. A game lasts six questions. End of the game, player with the most chips wins.
Wits & Wagers Game Board
Wits & Wagers Game Board

Why I Love Wits & Wagers

And it's not just because I win a lot!
  1. All the random facts in my head are useful for something. (I actually knew the precise year the first woman was nominated for the Supreme Court.)
  2. No one has to actually know anything in order to win. So all my useful facts don't do me much good all the time. In fact, my nephew can just pull numbers out of thin air and beat me. Dang it. But it does make the game a little more equal no matter the knowledge base of the players.
  3. It's short. There's only six questions in a  game, so you can actually play a full game in a whopping 15 minutes. Makes it easier to fit in as little and as much game as you have time for.

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Other Versions of Wits & Wagers

Or what to do once you've played through all the cards in the original version


Wits & Wagers Family

          • 300 new family-friendly questions
          • human shaped wooden pieces (called Meeples) used instead of poker chips
          • simplified rules and scoring
          • 8 and up




Wits and Wagers Party Game

          • Coming out this year
          • Allows for playing with a larger group than usual







Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1

          • 700 new questions on 100 cards
          • three dry erase pens (you go through these fast!)
          • Use it with the original or family versions of the game




Wits & Wagers is also available in German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, and UK English versions. The original game was released in 2007, so the stats on the cards reflect numbers up through that date. The game has won more than 20 awards, including several party game of the year designations.

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Updated: 01/06/2013, SusanVillasLewis
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What Do You Play for Family Game Night?

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katiem2 on 05/18/2012

I'm so excited to have a new game to introduce to my daughters. They love playing board games, and having family game night. I admit it is sometimes hard for me to make myself stop what I'm doing, relax and enjoy a great board game with the kids... BUT it it so worth it. Thanks again for bringing the gamely game wits and wagers to our attention.

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