4 min read

Learn How to play Wits and Wagers

I hate the hassle of reading rulebooks and wish they could get straight to the point. I wrote this guide with the aim of helping you learn how to play Wits and Wagers quickly.
You can also access the official published Wits and Wagers rules pdf / rulebook here.

If you are looking for a quick concise overview of what Wits and Wagers is about and whether it is a game that will appeal to you, click here for our quick walkthrough and links to videos.

Players: 3 to 7 | Game duration from: 20 mins | Game Complexity: EASY

What is the goal?

Every player writes down a guess to the same question and places it face-up on the betting mat. After seven questions, the player with the most points wins.

Playing in Teams

Wits and Wagers is a team game. There should be 1 – 3 players on each team. For large groups, we recommend to split into seven teams and to give extra time for answering questions and betting. When these conditions exist, wait 10 – 20 seconds before turning over the sand timer.


In Wits and Wagers, players (or teams) are given:

  • a Dry Erase Pen,
  • an Answer Card, and
  • two cardboard Betting Chips that match the colour of the Answer Card they have.
  • Write your name (or a witty team name) on your Answer Card.
  • Pick a player to be the Banker and place your Poker Chips next to the Banker.
  • Designate one player to read the questions.
  • Put the Sand Timer next to the Question Reader.
  • The Question Reader takes 7 Question Cards from the box and places them yellow-side-up on the table. These will be used in the game.

The setup of the board should look like this (exclude answer cards on board)

Wits and Wager Board Game
Wits and Wager Board


1. Ask and Answer

  • Question #1 is read from the 1st Question Card, which the Question Reader takes from the table.
  • The Question Reader then turns over the 30-second Sand Timer. Each player (or team) has 30 seconds to write a guess on their Answer Card.
  • The answer to every question will be a number, so you can always make an educated guess. You can answer in whole numbers or decimals.
  • Question Readers always read the question corresponding to the question number being played. Question #2 on the second question card drawn from the box is the second question of the game. Read Question #7 on the 7th Question Card drawn from the box.

2. Sort the Guesses

On the Betting Mat, place the Answer Cards face up when the Sand Timer runs out. Following the arrows on the Betting Mat, arrange the guesses in increasing order from the smallest to the largest.

Arranging guesses

Duplicate Guesses

If more than one player wrote the same guess, place them in the same payout slot.

Odd Number of Unique Guesses

The middle guess goes in the “Pays 2 to 1” slot.

Even Number of Unique Guesses

The “Pays 2 to 1” payout slot remains open. These two middle guesses go in the two “Pays 3 to 1” payout slots.

3. Betting

Once guesses are sorted, the Question Reader turns over the 30-second Sand Timer.
The players (or teams) have 30 seconds to bet their two chips.
The goal is to bet on the guess that is closest to the correct answer, without going over it.

The two Betting Chips can be bet in one of the following ways:

  • Place both betting chips in the same payout slot.
  • Divide their betting chips between any two payout slots.

There is no need to place a bet on your own guess. You may only bet on a payout slot that has a guess, unless it is the “All Guesses Too High” slot.

Correctly placed bets will earn players red and blue Poker Chips.

Players can bet these chips as follows:

  • A red poker chip is worth one point (just like a cardboard betting chip).
  • A blue poker chip is worth five points.
  • A poker chip must always be placed underneath a cardboard betting chip. In this way, the Banker knows who placed each bet.
  • Under each Betting Chip, players may place any number of Poker Chips. There is no limit to how much players can wager.
  • A maximum of two bets can still only be placed per question.
  • If you bet on the wrong guess, you will lose your poker chips. Betting Chips are always returned, even if they are bet on the wrong horse

4. Determining the winning guess

The Question Reader flips the card over and reads the answer.

Closest Guess Without Going Over
The winning payout slot will have the guess that comes closest to the correct answer, without going over.

All Guesses Are Too High
The winning payout slot is “All Guesses Too High,” if all guesses exceed the correct answer.

5. Paying the Bonus

A bonus of three red poker chips is awarded to each player (or team) who makes a guess that was placed in the winning payout slot.

6. Collect Losing Bets and Payout Winning Bets

Losing Bets
Betting Chips that are not on the winning payout slot are collected by the Banker and returned to the appropriate players.
The Banker collects all Poker Chips that are not on the winning payout slot and returns them to the bank.

Winning Bets
Each player (or team) who bet on the winning payout slot is paid (see examples below)

The cardboard betting chips and the red poker chips are worth one point each. The blue poker chips are worth five points.

Wits and Wagers Payout Examples

Next Question

Players return their Answer Cards. A Question Reader places a used Question Card blue-side-up on the table next to the remaining Question Cards. If players forget how many questions they have asked, they can count the blue-side-up Question Cards.

How to Win

The player (or team) with the most points at the end of the 7th question wins!
If there is a tie, the team with the youngest player wins.

Questions should be returned to the back of the deck by the Question Reader. Draw the 7 cards from the front of the deck when you start a new game. This way, you will not repeat a question until you have gone through all 700 questions

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