Disclaimer: This preview is from a reviewer’s copy of the game that was provided by North Star Games to Open Seat Gaming, but opinions are our own based on several plays of the game.
Game: Wits and Wagers, It’s Vegas Baby!
Publisher: North Star Games
Design: Dominic Crapuchettes
Art: Jacoby O’Connor
Mechanisms: Trivia, Party Game
Number of Players: 3 Players to 7 Teams of Players
Game Time: 25 to 45 minutes
Description: Wits and Wagers is a popular, tried and true twist on the genre of trivia games. Wits and Wagers is not just your ordinary trivia game. The game is played over 7 rounds. Every round has a different question – but the answer is always a number – and they’re usually based on statistics and info from all over the place. So, everyone is on a much more even playing field than other trivia games. Depending on the number of players you have, everyone can play individually or in teams of two or three players.
Every team has a pen and a dry erase board in their color, and that’s where they’re going to put their answers. A question will be asked, and your team will agree on an answer, writing it down on the board. When everyone is done, you flip over your boards, and put them in numerical order on the playing board.
Now, it’s time to bet on who you believe is correct. Each area has a different payout (2 to 1, 3 to 1, etc), and the Vegas version also has a “any red” betting area, an “any black” betting area, and a “1” betting area (where you can bet if you believe the lowest answer is higher than the real one).
After every team bets (they have two betting tokens – a $1 and a $2, and you can bet higher with winnings from previous questions), you reveal the answer. The person or team that got closest to the answer without going over gets a bonus depending on the round ($1 in first, $2 in second, and so on) and any bets correlating with that number are paid out. Then, you clear the board, and it’s time for the next question. Team or person with the most money at the end of the game wins!
It’s Vegas Baby! tweaks the game’s betting mechanism and gives players some major Vegas vibes. It is a smaller, retail-sized version of the Vegas Wits and Wagers Game that was featured on Kickstarter during Summer 2017, however it has (mostly) different questions than that version, and the board doesn’t have the “long shot” from that board.
Review: The It’s Vegas Baby! edition of Wits and Wagers takes the Family and Party Versions of the game and really shakes it up with the added choices when you bet. The choices are an even bigger part of the game.
In this edition, you can hedge your bets a lot more effectively. Do you go for one of the bets that’s an outlier, hoping for the 5 to 1 pay off, or do you play it relatively safe and bet on either all the red guesses or all the black guesses for a 1 to 1 pay off? Hedging your bets and taking risks is just as much of the game as getting close with your questions is!
The thematic tie-ins to make the game Vegas-ified are well executed. You can tell how much attention was paid to the overall graphic design. All of the neon helps gives the game even more Vegas flair. Making the player board backs look like playing cards and having their symbols match some well-known slots symbols is an excellent choice.
And, as always, we absolutely love Wits and Wagers. Having more unique questions to add to the mix that we already have ensures that, when we bring it out for friends and family to play, they’ll rarely encounter the same questions that they have in the past.
It’s such a solid trivia game and everyone can join in, no matter how old or young they are. One of the last times we played this version, we had our associate pastor’s 10 year old playing against a bunch of 30+ year old adults, and he got second place behind Sarah (who, in a feat I’ve never seen, got 2 questions spot on correct) – he beat the other 5 adults in the game!
Try, Buy, Deny: If you enjoy trivia games that you can play at parties this is a definite buy. Even if you are not sure about trivia games in general I would still say this is a try, because of how it is different from other trivia games and the thrill players get from making a good bet. It’s available in Target right now!
Marti and Sarah