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Liar's dice

Liar's dice, or Liar dice, with roots originating in South America and popularized in early Spanish History, was brought to Spain by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro during the 16th century. Liar's Dice is known for being a game in pirate history, and a name for a class of dice games for two or more players. They are easy to learn, require little equipment, and can be played as gambling or drinking games. Playing them well requires the ability to deceive and detect an opponent's deception.

Versions of the game are known as Dudo or Cachito in South America. The equivalent drinking game is sometimes called Mexicali or Mexican in the United States; the latter term may be a corruption of Mäxchen ("Little Max"), the name by which the game is known in Germany.

There are at least three different versions of Liar's Dice; it's uncertain which version is the original. In all of them, dice are rolled in a concealed fashion and bids made about the result of the roll. Players must then either raise the bid or challenge the previous bid in turn. For the purposes of this article, the three versions discussed are referred to as "individual hand", "common hand", and "Mexican".

In "common hand", each player has a set of dice, all players roll one and the bids relate to the dice each player can see (their hand) plus all the concealed dice (the other players' hands).

In "individual hand", there is one set of dice which is passed from player to player. The bids relate to the dice as they are in front of the bidder after selected dice have been re-rolled.

Rules (common hand)

Five six-sided dice with traditional dot faces are generally used per player, with dice cups used for concealment. Poker dice can also be used, but some systems for bidding become difficult or impossible to use.

Each round, the players roll their dice while keeping them concealed from the other players. One player begins bidding, picking a quantity of a face 2 through 6. The quantity states the player's opinion on the minimum number of the chosen face have been rolled in total on the table. A 1 ("ace") is often wild and counts as the stated face of the current bid, however the game can also be played without wilds (see variants). In a five-dice, three-player game with wilds, the lowest bid is "one 2" and the highest bid "fifteen 6s".

In turn, each player has two choices; believe the previous bid is true and make a higher bid, or challenge the previous bid as being wrong. Raising the bid means either increasing the quantity, or the face value, or both, according to the specific bidding rules used. Different bidding rule sets are described below.

If the current player thinks the previous player's bid is wrong, he challenges it, and then all dice are revealed to determine whether the bid was valid. Revealing the same number or more of the relevant face than was bid is a successful bid, in which case the bidder wins. Otherwise the challenger wins. A challenge is generally indicated by simply revealing one's dice, though it is customary to verbally make the challenge, by saying "I call you up", "I call", "You're a liar", or simply "Liar".

  • Example: if a bid of "seven fours" is challenged, the bid is successful (and the player who made it wins) if there are seven or more fours, or less than seven fours but enough wild aces (1s) to total seven or more fours and aces (four fours and three aces, or five fours and two aces). The bid fails (the bidder is a Liar and the challenger wins) if there are fewer than seven total fours and aces combined (or if aces are not wild; see variants).

Bidding Rules

The most common systems for bidding are listed below, in order of the amount of restriction they place on bidders. All variants are described in relation to the face value and quantity of the previous bid.

  1. The player may bid an increased quantity of the same face, or any quantity of a higher face. Given a bid of "three twos", the minimum raise is either "four twos" or any quantity of "threes". This is very common as it generally gives players many options, allowing for the most information to be gained. However, as the face value can never be lowered, rounds generally end with bids of "sixes", placing higher importance on this face.
  2. The player may bid an increased quantity of any face, or the same quantity of a higher face. Given a bid of "four fours", the minimum raise is five of any face, or "four fives". This is the most common ruleset in packaged games as it is very similar to Poker's emphasis on quantity over rank in hand rankings (three twos is better than a pair of kings). It also allows a player to re-assert a lower face value believed to be predominant.
  3. The player may bid any quantity of any face, as long as either the quantity or face is higher than the highest of the two numbers of the previous bid. Given a bid of "five threes", the minimum bid must have a six, either six of any face or any quantity of "sixes". The bid can go higher than six; the number raised is then always the quantity. Either this system or the previous one was used in the game featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; the bidding in that game conforms to both systems. They are however different; a bid of "five fours" following "four fives" is legal in the preceding system while illegal in this one.
  4. The player may bid any quantity of any face, as long as the product of the quantity and face is higher than that of the previous bid. A bid of "three threes" multiplies to nine, so the minimum raise is "two fives" or "five twos", the product of either being ten. This system is uncommon, especially as a drinking game due to the arithmetic required, but is simple for a computer to check and is sometimes used to add an educational element. Because "aces" as their face value become largely worthless very quickly, this system is predominantly used with wild aces.
  5. The player may bid a higher quantity of the same face, or the same quantity of a higher face. Given a bid of "six fives", the minimum bid is either "six sixes" or "seven fives". This is common in computer versions of the game as the rules can be enforced "real-time" by simply preventing a lowering of face or quantity. Because of this same simplicity, it is also common in smaller games, but as the most restrictive of these systems, rounds tend to be very short as the bid quickly becomes improbable.

Raises must be at least the minimum, however the current player may raise the bid to any legal bid. Given "four fours", a player may (in any of these systems) call "seven sixes". Such "bid jumping" has strategic value, but a large increase such as in this example has a high probability of being incorrect, and so is likely to trigger a challenge. It is also considered bad form, as bid jumping reduces the amount of information that can normally be gained by more conservative raises, and makes for shorter games.

Variants

  • The game can be played without wild aces. This simplifies game play and odds calculation, and is a good way to introduce beginners to the game. Ones then become similar to any other value. This variant is often used with a less restrictive bidding system, particularly one that allows a reduction in the face value of the bid.
  • A player that loses a challenge loses a die, and the next round begins. If there are three players and on the first round, Player 1 loses a die, then in the second round Player 1 has only four dice, whereas Players 2 and 3 still have five. This puts Player 1 at a disadvantage as he has less information than the other players about the dice. A player with no dice is out of the game.
    • Another variation that can be played is for the loser of a challenge to give one die to the winner of that challenge. If Player 2 challenged Player 1's bid in the previous example, and Player 2 won, then at the beginning of the next round Player 1 would have four dice and Player 2 would have six dice.
    • Also, the amount of dice lost can be decided to be the difference in bid and actual outcome, e.g. a player bids five 4s when another calls the bluff, but there altogether are only two 4s and one 1; hence, the loss will be two dice. This leads to a sounder relationship between the probability and cost of over-bidding.
    • In variants where dice are lost over the course of the game it is customary to start with more dice; typically as many as there are available.
  • Instead of the current player being the only one who can challenge (or "call up") the previously-made bid, any player may challenge a bid at any time. This is challenging out-of-sequence. In the case of multiple out-of-sequence challenges at the same time, the person closest to the bidder in the normal direction of play is the challenger. Alternately, multiple challengers could be honored, with rules on how winnings or losses are paid out among challengers set out beforehand. This variant is uncommon, but adds a heightened tension to bidding as a challenge may come from anywhere. Penalties for making an out-of-sequence challenge are often included with this variant, such as the challenger being required to double their wager or losing double the dice from their hand if they are incorrect.
  • When a bidding system is used that does not allow the reduction of face value when raising a bid (such as the first or fifth listed system above), a player may elect to choose one or more dice of matching value from under his cup, place them outside the cup in view of the other players, re-roll the remaining dice, and make a bid on the shown face value higher than the quantity shown. This may be done only once per round (sometimes once per player per round), and the player doing this must have at least one die left under his cup after taking out the dice to show others. This is regarded as an emergency option when a player believes that the previous bid is correct but is unwilling to raise. It allows the player to escape the situation and also changes the dice in play, with the disadvantage of giving up some information about the player's dice.
  • 1s are bid in a special manner. 1s are wild when the bid is on any face value other than 1. When switching the bid to 1s (if allowed by the bidding rules), the quantity must be a minimum of half (rounded up) the previous bid's quantity. To switch back to a non-1 face, the quantity must either be double the number of 1s bid or one greater than the last non-1 bid, whichever is greater. For example, a bid of "four 5s" could be followed by a bid of "two 1s", which could in turn be followed by "three 1s" or five of any face. If "three 1s" is bid and the next bidder wishes to change the face value of his bid, a quantity of six or more of the new face must be bid. The idea is that when 1s are bid when they are normally wild, there is no longer a wild value that can help the player make that bid. Therefore the odds, in general, of any quantity of 1s having been rolled are roughly equal to double that quantity of both wild aces and any other value combined.
  • 1s are only wild if not called on the first bid. This is an extremely common variant on the US West Coast and in Bangkok, Thailand. Thus all face values called are said to be "natural." That is, is someone calls "Three "5s" he can only count the dice that are displaying a five, and not the 1s that are usually counted as wild. This makes one 1 a very common call, especially by a player with few dice left, and can significantly change the strategy of the game since removing the possibility of wilds cuts the odds of any bid being correct in half.

  • 6 is wild instead of 1. This is uncommon, as most packaged versions of the game use dice with a special shape (often a star) in place of the dot on the "1" face to denote wilds.
  • When a player has no two dice with the same face, he may choose to pass once in a game round. If he does so, the bid won't be raised. The next player can raise the bid using standard rules, or call the bluff. By doing so, he challenges the claim of the passing player having no two dice with the same face. If there are consecutive pass bids, the player currently taking his turn may challenge any of the previous distinctness claims. This is commonly used in multi-round games where dice are removed from the game, as it helps players with few dice left to gain more information about the other dice without risking being called a liar.
  • Instead of raising or challenging, the player can bet that the current bid is exactly correct (usually announced by calling "Spot On"). Such a call, like "Liar", ends the round. If the number is higher or lower, the player loses to the previous bidder, however if they are correct, they win. This allows a player who believes the previous bidder has made the best correct bid to attempt to "steal" the win. "Spot-on" calls have a far higher probability of being wrong, and so the reward for a correct "Spot-on" call is generally higher; a "spot-on" call may be used to gain a previously lost die for instance, or to make all other players pay the agreed penalty for losing (giving up a die, drinking, paying out) instead of just the previous bidder.

Gambling

There are a number of different ways to gamble with Liar's Dice. The simplest and probably most popular scheme is for all players to agree on a wager for the game before the first round, and for the game to be played winner-take-all using the multi-round "lose a round, lose a die" variant. Another popular method is played round-by-round with no dice lost, and the loser pays the winner their wager after each round, with other players breaking even.

Drinking Game

Also known as Mexacali, a popular way of playing Liar's Dice as a drinking game is to play in rounds, and the losing player or players for each round take a drink of alcohol. If played with the variants where players lose dice when they lose a round, they may be required to take a drink for each die lost and an additional pre-arranged number of drinks upon being eliminated from the game, or a drink for every round played thereafter until the game is over. Care must be taken with this last variant; the player eliminated first from a game with 4 or 5 players may have to drink 15 or 20 drinks in a relatively short time if this rule is in effect using shots or full beers as "drinks". Sometimes the drinking is based upon the difference between the quantities bid and revealed. For a failed out-of-sequence challenge, the out-of-sequence challenger drinks a greater quantity (eg double). If played with "Spot On" calls, a successful "Spot On" call means everyone else drinks, while a failed call means the caller drinks double.

Elements of Common Hand Strategy

Playing Liar's dice involves many subtleties and interpersonal skills similar to other bluffing games such as Poker. However, there are some universal elements of strategy.

Perhaps foremost, a bid gives others at the table information. Players, through subsequent bids, reveal the players' confidence in the quantity of each face value rolled. A player with two or three of a certain face value under his or her own cup may make a bid favoring that face value. Players can thus use these bids to build a mental picture of the unknown values, which either strengthens or weakens their confidence in a bid they are considering. Others may consider a bid as evidence it is true, and if their own dice support the same conclusion, may increase the bid on that face value, or if their dice refute it may bid on a different face, or challenge the previous bid.

Conversely, bids can also be bluffs. Bluffs in Liar's Dice can be split into two main categories; early bluffs and late bluffs. An early bluff, for instance "three threes" when the player making the bid has no threes under his cup, is likely to be correct by simple probability (depending on the number of players), however, other players may believe the bidder made that bid because his or her dice supported it. Thus, the bluff is false information that can lead to incorrect bids being made on that face value. Players will thus attempt to trick other players into overbidding by use of early bluffs to inflate a particular face value. A late bluff, on the other hand, is usually less voluntary; the player is often unwilling to challenge a bid, but as a higher bid is even more likely to be incorrect it is even less appealing. A late bluff is thus a critical part of the game; convincing bluffs, as well as reliable detection of bluffs, allow the player to avoid being challenged on an incorrect bid.

As with any game of chance, probability is highly important. The key element is the "expected quantity"; the quantity of any face value that has the highest probability of being present. For six-sided dice, the expected quantity is one-sixth the number of dice in play, rounded down. When wilds are used, the expected quantity is doubled as players can expect as many aces, on average, as any other value. Because each rolled die is independent of all others, any combination of values is possible, however the "expected quantity" has a greater than 50% chance of being correct, and the highest probability of being exactly correct ("Spot On"). Bids higher than the expected quantity become exponentially unlikely; the chances of 60% of the dice in play having any one value are less than 1 in 10,000.

However, a high bid is not necessarily incorrect, because bids incorporate information the player knows. A player who holds a preponderance of a single value (for instance, four out of the five dice in his hand are threes) may make a bid, with fifteen dice on the table, of "six threes". To an outside observer who sees none of the dice, this has an extremely low probability of being correct (even with wilds), however since the player knows the value of five of those dice, the player is actually betting that there are two additional threes among the ten unknown dice. This is far more likely to be true.

Basic Dice Odds

For a given number of unknown dice n, the probability that exactly a certain quantity q of any face value are showing, P(q), is

P(q) = C(n,q) * (1/6)^q * (5/6)^{n-q}

Where C(n,q) is the number of unique combinations (irrespective of sequence) of n dice taken q at a time.

For the same n, the probability P(q') that at least q dice are showing a given face is the sum of P(x) for all x such that q ≤ x ≤ n, or

P(q') = sum_{x=q}^n C(n,x) * (1/6)^x * (5/6)^{n-x}

These equations, entered into a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, can be used to calculate and chart the probability of exactly q and at least q for any or multiple n. For most purposes, it is sufficient to know the following facts of dice probability:

  • The expected quantity of a certain face value among a number of unknown dice is one-sixth the total unknown dice.
  • A bid of the expected quantity, rounded down, has a greater than 50% chance of being correct and the highest chance of being exactly correct.
  • The probability of there being more than the expected quantity becomes exponentially low as the bid increases beyond the minimum. At a quantity roughly 60% of the number of unknown dice, the chances of there being at least that number are effectively zero (less than 1 in 10,000), however such a result is still theoretically possible.

Rules (individual hand)

A closely related game, known as Liar Dice, is played with one set of 5 poker dice. Each die is marked with Ace (A), King (K), Queen (Q), Jack (J), ten (T) and nine (9); the faces, as listed here, are in order of value with Ace being the best.

Summary

A player is slid the dice cup with dice concealed under it, along with a claim as to what poker hand is shown on the dice. The player must either challenge the claim or roll the dice and make his or her own claim, which must always be higher than the previous claim. If a claim is challenged, the dice are revealed. If the dice show a poker hand at least as high as the claim, the challenger loses a "life" (a point). If the dice show a lower poker hand than claimed, the claimant loses a life. When a player has lost a number of lives (often 3), that player is out of the game. The last player remaining wins.

Play

Any number of players sit round a convenient table so that a set of poker dice can be passed clockwise from player to player without disturbing the rolls. The game is best with 5-8 players.

The starting player is determined by highest die roll. Matching highest players re-roll to tie-break.

In turn, each player rolls all / some / none of the dice at his discretion, usually hiding them from the other players' view. The starting player must roll all 5 dice. A player must state accurately how many dice he is rolling.

He then offers the (usually hidden) dice to the player on his left stating that they are some poker bid (excluding runs). This bid must be better than the offer made when he accepted the dice. (The starting player may name any bid).

The next player may either accept the dice and have his turn, or he may challenge. If challenging, the dice are exposed. If the hand equals or betters the stated bid, the recipient loses a life and the dice pass to the player on the recipient's left who starts again. If the hand is worse than the bid then the offerer loses a life and the recipient becomes the starting player.

The above procedure is often done in a confusing manner in order to make other players play harder.

Each bid need not be fully specified, in which case it is deemed to be the weakest possible bid meeting constraints stated. Better is a valid bid, as is Way better meaning Better than better, etc.

Should a player make an undercall, it is treated as Better. The undercall can be pointed out by any player at any point in the future of this hand, up to and including the exposure of a challenged set of dice.

When the bid reaches five aces (AAAAA), the player who needs to improve the bid must roll all and then may roll all / some / none of the dice twice more to achieve another five aces. If he achieves this then no-one loses a life and the next player starts a new hand, otherwise he loses a life.

Each player has three lives and is out of the game when he has lost them all. The winner is the final player with a life. As a concession to the first player to lose all three lives, he may get an extra life by standing and "barking like a dog" (a decent howl, not just saying 'woof'). Should a player decline the dog's life, it remains available for a subsequent player to claim on losing his last life.

If a player is absent when his turn comes, perhaps buying a round of drinks, he is deemed to have accepted the bid and to be passing the dice, unrolled, on as "Better". This is the Königswinter rule.

Bids

There are no runs in Liar Dice. Getting progressively stronger, the types of bids are:

  • Singleton
  • A pair
  • Two pairs
  • Three of a kind
  • Full house (3 of a kind plus 2 of a kind, the 3 being more valuable)
  • Four of a kind
  • Five of a kind.

Here follows an example, stating what was said and the least it can mean: A pair :99QJT A better pair :99KJT A pair of Jacks :JJQT9 A pair of Jacks with no ten :JJKQ9

A bid is often just "better". You have to pay attention since after 3 or 4 "betters" in a row, it is easy to lose track of what level the bid has reached.

There is no obligation for a player to repeat his bid to clarify a situation for any player once the dice have been accepted by the recipient.

You must be truthful about the number of dice that you roll. You do not have to be truthful about which dice you are rolling. For example, if you accept a bid of "four of a kind" (implying 9999T) and it happens to be JJJJQ, then you can roll 1 die - stating "rolling one die - a singleton Queen" and actually roll one of the Jacks to trash the hand for the next player.

Techniques

You do not have to look at the dice on your turn, though it is wise to do so.

Certain confusions are in standard usage, for example "three pairs of Jacks" actually means "three jacks" as the 3 pairs are J1+J2, J2+J3 and J3+J1! Similarly six pairs means four of a kind.

It is necessary to remember what the most recent bid is - even if this is determined by analysing "betters". It is advisable to remember exactly what dice you passed on to your left and how many dice each player has thrown since you saw them.

Cooperation with the players to your left and right is a good strategy, ganging up on the players on the far side of the table.

Mistakenly claiming a lower hand than is required can be beneficial. For example, if the previous player called "three jacks" and your roll included four kings, you may mistakenly state that you have "three tens". Players will quickly remind you that you need to roll better than the "three jacks", to which you respond, "Ok then, four kings". The next player will almost certainly call you on this "mistake".

You can only lose lives by calling the person to your right a liar, or by the person to you left calling you. You have better chance of staying in the game by accepting most of what is passed to you, and looking after the person to your left, so that when there are tough calls they will take what you offer. Sometimes looking after lefty means giving them a fighting chance so that a good throw will save them, for example passing three aces on as four nines gives three players a chance to throw two dice and make the fourth ace.

If you have a killer hand, like five queens, be careful not to pass on a call so low that it comes back to bite you, call high enough to nail someone on the opposite side of the table.

It all changes when down to just two players, always call the highest that you can, there is no point in giving a "better" call to an opponent you want to beat! Now winning depends on luck and how devious you can get, for example, if given three kings, call rolling two dice, but roll two of the kings, hand back rubbish and don't take it back again.

An example hand

In a four player ([a], [b], [c] and [d] ) game.

  • [a] rolls TTAQ9 and offers "a pair" meaning 99QJT.
  • [b] rolls 3 dice (AQ9) to get KKTTJ and offers "two pairs" meaning TT99J.
  • [c] rolls one die (J) to get KKTT9 and offers "better" meaning TT99Q.
  • [d] rolls 3 dice (TT9) and gets KKKAJ and offers "two pairs, jacks on top" meaning JJ99T.
  • [a] rolls no dice and offers "three queens". [b] challenges and loses a life as the dice are "three kings" which betters the bid of three queens.
  • [b] thus misses a turn and [c] starts the next hand.

The above may not be good quality play, but it is a valid hand.

Stanford Variation of Individual Hand

The Stanford variation is played with one set of six standard dice. Play is still the same, although the points are often eliminated. Players can reveal dice or remove them from view, as well as roll them inside or outside of the box.

Bids

Hands are evaluated in this manner

  • More of a kind is always better than less of a kind
  • Higher numbers beat lower numbers
  • If there is a tie in the major part of the hand, evaluate the next part of the hand.

Here are some examples

  • 111123 is better than 666555, because four 1s is better than three 6s and three 5s.
  • 666432 is better than 555444, because three 6s is better than three 5s
  • 555443 is better than 555621, because although both hands have three 5s, the first has two 4s while the second has a 6 high

When making the claim, the bidder does not describe every die in the hand. Instead, the hand is assumed to be the minimum hand to fit the claim. For example, the call "Three 6s" is shorthand for the minimum hand that has three 6s, 666321. The call "Four of a kind and a pair" is shorthand for 111122, the minimum hand to fit the description.

The term "Minimum Raise" means "the next greatest hand."

You may roll die inside the box or outside the box. You cannot lie about how many die you roll, though you can conceal which die you are rolling.

Rules (Mexican)

The game starts by one person rolling 3 dice under a cup to keep the results hidden from the next player. (Some variations play with 2 dice). The roller then places the cup over his dice tells the next player what he rolled (but he may bluff). The next player may do one of two things:

  • If he believes the roller, he simply takes the dice, and tries to roll something higher than the roller claimed. If he does not roll something higher, he must attempt to bluff the following player into thinking that he did or take a drink for another roll.
  • If he does not believe the roller, the cup is lifted, revealing his hand:
    • If the roller was bluffing, he must take two drinks. Play is started over with no previous roll value to beat.
    • If the roller was telling the truth, the challenger must take two drinks.

Play continues as the roll results (or the claims of those results) get higher and higher until someone finally rolls a "Mexican" or a bluff is called.

  • The value of the roll is determined by forming a 3-digit number from the dice in order from highest to lowest. Thus a 3, 4, and a 5, has a value of 543. In order to beat that roll, the next player would have to roll a 544 or better.
  • Three-of-a-kind is higher than all other rolls, except for the "Mexican" (read below). Three 5's can be said to have a value of 5550. Three ones can be said to have a value of 1110, making it higher than a 665.
  • Rolling a 1, 2, and 3 is a Mexican. It beats all other rolls. A Mexican is handled differently to the other rolls. When you roll a Mexican:
    • You must take the 1 out from under the cup, and place it in front of you. This means that you must have rolled at least one 1 in order to even bluff having a Mexican.
    • Now it is up to the next player to believe him or not:
      • If he believes the roller, he must place the dice on top of the rolling cup, flip the dice up in the air, flip the cup over, and catch the dice in the cup. If he succeeds in catching the dice in the cup, he rolls 1 dice and drinks that many... if he missed, he must roll 2 dice and drink the result.
      • If he doesn't believe the roller, the roller must lift the cup and show if he was bluffing or not :
        • For a bluff, the roller must catch the dice as described above, and drink accordingly.
        • For a genuine roll (1,2, & 3), the challenger must catch the dice and drink as described above, except that the drinks are doubled. This means that he could possibly have to take 24 drinks!!! (if he misses the cup, and then rolls two 6s)

After a Mexican, a new round commences.

Adding to the fun, the value of the dice is read through code, like this:

  • 1 = Eye
  • 2 = Train (as in "choo-choo train"... the "choo" phonetically similar to "Two")
  • 3 = Half-Schmitty
  • 4 = Pane (The 4 dots look like a Window pane)
  • 5 = Titty (The 5 dots look like....well...)
  • 6 = Devil (as in the Number of the Beast)

So:

  • A 543 is read as "Titty, Pane, Half-Schmitty"
  • A 654 is read as "Devil, Titty, Pane" , or as "Devil with a Titty Pane"
  • A 655 is read as "Devil, Titty, Titty", or as "Devil with a pair of Tits"
  • A 533 is read as "Titty, Half-Schmity, Half-Schmitty", or simply as "Titty, Schmitty" (Two Half-Schmitties make a whole)

Two-dice variations

In the two-dice version, only doubles are referred to by their code name:

  • Two 1's = Tits
  • Two 2's = Ducks
  • Two 3's = Lines (as in lines of cocaine)
  • Two 4's = Windows
  • Two 5's = Tits in the windows
  • Two 6's = Boxcars

In addition, there is a caveat that a "54" is called a "Betty Ford" (a reference to the former First Lady's mastectomy). One is not allowed to bluff when they roll a Betty Ford. If they are caught bluffing on such a roll, the penalty is usually 10 drinks. A Mexican becomes a roll of 2 and 1.

In popular culture

  • A game of Liar's dice played an important role in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The version depicted appears to be the basic common hand variation, except that 1's are ordinary values, neither wild nor requiring special bidding rules (twists that would have required explanation for viewers). The bidding is legal under the second or third of the bidding systems listed above, but it is impossible to tell which one. In the movie, Will Turner's father purposely makes an outrageous bid (twelve fives) to spare his son an eternity aboard The Flying Dutchman. A toy spinoff, "Pirate's Dice", was made available for sale around the same time as the release of the film, featuring dice with skulls and cups like the ones from the film. In the Blu-ray disc release of the movie, there is a Liar's Dice mini-game included as an extra feature. This version uses the second of the above bidding systems. The online Flash version of Liar's Dice available on Disney's Pirates website uses the last bidding system (players must raise either the quantity or face, or both). "Pirate Dice" is a similar game that is encountered in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (video game).
  • Strip Liar's dice is included as a minigame in the computer game Leisure Suit Larry 7, where the main character must win several rounds of the common hand variation.
  • A variant of Liar's dice called 'Stones of Wisdom' was included as a minigame in the computer game Legacy of The Ancients. It was used as a puzzle to increase the wisdom stats of your character as you played increasingly difficult games against a computer player.
  • A game called djinnverso, which is similar to Liar's dice but with eight-sided dice, features in The Blue Djinn of Babylon by Philip Kerr.
  • A version of Mexicali was featured in the movie Havoc (2005 movie) .
  • Briefly featured in the movie Beerfest.

Modern variants

Commercial versions

  • 1974 Liars Dice, published by E.S. Lowe
  • 1984 Liars Dice, Milton Bradley, designed by Richard Borg.
  • 1993 Call My Bluff by FX Schmid, designer Richard Borg, won the 1993 Spiel des Jahres and Deutscher Spiele Preis awards .
  • 1994 Perudo published by University Games, designed by Cosmo Fry.
  • 2001 Bluff, from Ravensburger (after acquiring FX Schmid), reissue of Call My Bluff, won the 2006 Årets Spel adult game of the year award.
  • 2002 Liars Dice by Endless Games - 4 player variant.

Online

Some online versions of Liar's Dice have been made e.g.:

See also

  • Bullshit (card game) - a card game with a similar emphasis on bluffing and detecting bluffs.
  • Liar's poker - a structurally similar game using the digits of the serial numbers on dollar bills
  • Mia - a dice game with a similar emphasis on bluffing

Notes and references

External links

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