Introduction: How to Play Liar Dice

About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

For the Pirate's of the Caribbean fans, you'll probably recognize this game. I was taught this game while I was stopped for the night on my recent cross country road trip of sorts. Liar Dice, or Liar's Dice or Perudo or Dudo or Call My Bluff or Mexacali (a drinking game equivalent) or doubting dice or etc is an easy game to pick up but you're likely to have a harder time learning much strategy as it's difficult to anticipate moves.

Step 1: What You'll Need

For this version of the game, you'll need:

5 Dice per player
1 Dice cup per player (anything to obscure your roll from your opponent(s))

You'll also need at least one other person to play with, but having at least three is recommended.

Step 2: Rules

Dice Rolls
You must roll your dice in the beginning of the game, and after a completed challenge. Should one or more of your dice land on top of another -- you must roll again. You do not have to look at your dice immediatly.

Face Values
Unless called by the first bidder - 1's are wild. That is, if the first bid is 4 1's -- 1's are no longer wild.

Your bid is for all the dice on the table. If four people are playing, initially there are 20 dice on the table. Therefore, it is possible to have 20 of one face value. Each bid must be higher than the previous one in number or face value.
Five 2's
Seven 2's
Four 5's
Five 2's
Seven 2's
Six 2's

The Challenge
You may only challenge on your turn and you may only challenge the current bid as given by the previous player (there is a variant exception to this rule in the next step). A challenge is started by raising your cup. If the bid is equal to or less than the number of the dice of same face value -- the challenged bidder wins. However, if the bid is greater than the number on the table -- the challenger wins.

The challenge loser places one die in front of his/her cup -- and is not to be used for the remainder of the game. The loser gets the first turn on the next round and the game continues until only one player remains.

There are no ties in Liar Dice. However, should the remaining players be reduced to 1 die each -- there is a type of elimination round. Each player rolls and instead of bidding o the number of a certain face value, the bids are placed on the sum of the face value itself.
Example for two players
Player 1: 6
Player 2: 7
Player 1: 10
Player2 : Challenge
If the sum of the dice is 8 -- then Player 2 wins by calling Player 1's bluff.

You may wish to print these rules out if you and your opponent(s) have never played before. No worries though, you'll pick it up quickly ;)

Step 3: Strategy

For newcomers to the game, the hardest thing to learn is how to lie. Each bid you make is tells your opponent(s) something about your hand OR it makes them think something about your hand.

In a three player game -- if you call twelve 5's indicates that you likely have quite a few 5's. However, when your turn comes around and you change to eleven 6's -- it seems likely that you either 1: are a liar or 2: you lied on your last hand. Reading your opponent is difficult - especially if you're playing an opponent that has some understanding of the game.

Logic Interferes With Game Play
For most, our first reaction is: what your opponent speaks is truthful. In fact, for beginners - that is likely the case. It's best to throw most logic out the window especially as you, and your opponent(s) learn to lie.

One variant of the game allows players to pass their bid once per round. A pass means that each of your dice have different face value (unlikely until you've lost a few rounds). This is beneficial as it can keep you in the game longer. However, if you're challenged -- an you were were telling a mis truth -- you lose that round.

Additionally, more than one person can pass. However, for a three person game, only two can pass (always players-1). The final player can challenge any of the previous passes.

ye be a liar's dog!
Okay, this is a funny variant. In this version of the game, you're given 3 lives (3 sets of 5 dice). The last person with a life wins. However, the first person to lose all three lives has a concession. If s/he stands up and Barks like Dog -- s/he will have one additional life. If s/he declines to "save the dog's life" the next person to lose all three lives may use the opportunity. Mind you, this must be a nice loud howl or several barks -- a wimpy "bark" will not suffice.

Enough with the reading -- go play!

Step 4: Final Notes

Yes, that was a lot to read -- but really it's not difficult at all. Remember, monopoly is easy -- with a rule sheet full of fine print :p

Alternate Names
You can call your face values by a different name -- typically it's when you have doubles....

1's = Tit(s)
2's = Duck(s)
3's = Line(s)
4's = Window(s)
5's = Tits in the window(s)
6's = Boxcar(s)

Well, really -- I don't use anything above 3 (sometimes 4). It's your call if you want to use them or not :)