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Subject: Liar's Dice / Dudo / Cacho Rules for Dummies rss

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Roberto Arbelaez
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Rules for playing Liar's dice (also known as Dudo or Cacho in Latinamerica)

Ok, let's start by giving names to the different types of results you can get on a 6 sided die:
(it makes things much easier).

TYPES
Aces - 1 on a six sided die
Ducks (because ducks have 2 legs) -2 on a six sided die
Tripods (because tripods have 3 legs) -3 on a six sided die
Cows (because cows have 4 legs) -4 on a six sided die
Horses (do i really need to explain?) -5 on a six sided die
Ants (because ants have 6 legs) -6 on a six sided die


Everyone gets a non-transparent cup, and 6 dice (you can play with 5 or 4 also).

The game goes like this:

STEPS OF THE GAME

Step 1: Shake & place
Players put their dice on the cup, shaking it thoroughly, and then place it inverted on the table in one quick, fluid movement (don't let any dice out! don't damage the table!).

Step 2: Look at your game
Players will take a look at their dice, by carefully lifting one side of their inverted cup without allowing other players to see their dice. If by chance one die landed on top of another, the player will lift his cup, showing everyone that his dice landed crooked (he should actually say crooked dice! out loud). After other players acknowledge this, he will proceed to put them back on his cup, shake them and place them again on the table.

Step 3: Beginning statement
First player will make the beginning statement to the player on his left or his right, as he chooses. This will decide if the round will be played clockwise or counter-clockwise.

A statement should be as follows:

There are [quantity] [type] on the table.

Examples of statements:

There are three cows on the table
there are twelve ants on the table
there are ten ducks on the table
there are two aces on the table
there are four horses on the table

A statement should be made based on a calculation of how many dice of a certain type are at the table (taking into account ALL the dice from ALL the players). So first, calculate how many dice there are at play, look at your own game, and then make a reasonable first statement! Take into consideration that aces are wild (and therefore can be counted as any type).


Step 4: Increase & pass, call bluff or check
The player that receives the statement can do one of 3 different things:
A)Increase & pass
B) Call bluff
C) Check


A) Increase and pass

The player that received the statement can increase the statement and pass it on to the next player.

You can increase a statement by increasing the type, the quantity or both. Just make sure you always obey the followig rules:

Rule 1: Always Increase at least one: You always have to increase at least one (type or quantity).
Rule 2: Never decrease quantity: You can't decrease quantity!


You might find situations in which you increase quantity while lowering the type. It's OK, as long as you increase at least one .

However, you can't increase type and lower quantity! (never decrease quantity).

Increasing the type

The lowest type is the duck (2 on a six sided die)
and the highest type is the Ant (6 on a six sided die).

So you'll always have to increase from a lower type to a higher type.

Aces (1 on a six-sided die) are a special case, we'll go over them later.

Examples of type increase:

Received statement: There are seven ducks on the table
Passed statement: There are seven tripods on the table

Received statement: There are ten cows on the table
Passed statement: There are ten horses on the table

Received statement: There are six tripods on the table
Passed statement: There are six ants on the table


Notice that you don't necessarily have to increase by just one level, you can increase as many levels as you want.


Examples of quantity increase:

Received statement: There are seven ducks on the table
Passed statement: There are eight ducks on the table

Received statement: There are ten ants on the table
Passed statement: There are eleven ants on the table

Received statement: There are four horses on the table
Passed statement: There are ten horses on the table

Notice that you don't necessarily have to increase the quantity by one, you can increase it as much as you like.

Examples of type and quantity increase:

Received statement: There are seven ducks on the table
Passed statement: There are eight tripods on the table

Received statement: There are four ducks on the table
Passed statement: There are eleven ants on the table

Notice that you don't necessarily have to increase the quantity or the type by one, you can increase them as much as you want.

Examples of quantity increase and type decrease:

Received statement: There are five ants on the table
Passed statement: There are six ducks on the table

Received statement: There are ten ants on the table
Passed statement: There are eleven cows on the table

Notice you can't increase ants (it's the highest type), so if you receive a statement with ants, you'll necessarily have to increase in quantity. Since the type couldn't be increased, the quantity was increased (complying with the rule of obligatory increase) and the type can be changed to anything (even ants!).

Special case: Increasing to or from aces

Aces count for twice the quantity of a regular type.

One of a regular type is equivalent to 2 aces
Two of a regular type are equivalent to four aces
Three of a regular type are equivalent to six aces

and so on. (if it's confusing, just keep on reading, the examples will make it clear).

So, if you want to change from a regular type to aces, you should:

1) Adjust the current quantity to half (rounded down)
2) Increase the quantity by +1 (remember you always have to increase before you pass!)


Examples:

Received statement: There are seven ducks on the table
Passed statement: There are four aces on the table

Adjustment: 7/2=3 (rounded down).
Increase: 3+1=4


Received statement: There are two horses on the table
Passed statement: There are two aces on the table

Adjustment: 2/2=1
Increase: 1+1=2


Received statement: There are ten cows on the table
Passed statement: There are six aces on the table

Adjustment: 10/2=5
Increase: 5+1=6


And, if you want to change from Aces to a regular type, you should:

1) Adjust the current quantity to double
2) Increase the quantity by +1 (remember you always have to increase before you pass!)
3) Choose any regular type you want!


Examples:

Received statement: There are two aces on the table
Passed statement: There are five ducks on the table

Adjustment: 2*2=4
Increase: 4+1=5
Type selected: Ducks


Received statement: There is one ace on the table
Passed statement: There are three ants on the table

Adjustment: 1*2=2
Increase: 2+1=3
Type selected: Ants


Received statement: There are five aces on the table
Passed statement: There are eleven tripods on the table

Adjustment: 5*2=10
Increase: 10+1=11
Type selected: Tripods


B) Call bluff

If you receive a statement, and based on your calculations you disbelieve there are as many dice of that type on the table, you should call bluff! (you should actually call Bluff! out loud).

Immediately, all cups should be lifted, and dice of that type should be counted. Remember that aces are wild dice, so they should be added to the count too.

If you find there is a smaller quantity of dice than stated, the player who made the statement takes out a die and discards it in a common discarded dice pool on the center of the table, and keeps on playing with one less die.

If there is the same or a greater quantity of dice than stated, the player who called the bluff takes out one of his dice and discards it in a common discarded dice pool in the middle of the table, and keeps on playing with one less die.


The common discarded dice pool serves to calculate how many dice are being played at one time! Just substract the number of discarded dice from the initial amount of dice!


C) Check

Sometimes, (specially when playing with a small amount of dice on the table) you do NOT doubt the statement you got from the player that played before you. But you don't want to increase and pass either, because you're sure that there's exactly the quantity (and type) of dice you got from the player before you, and not a single die more of that type.

So you can't call a bluff, because you believe that the amount and type of dice you got from the player before you does exist.

And you can't increase and pass, because you believe there aren't anymore dice of that type (or there aren't as many dice from a higher class), and if you raise, you think the player after you will surely call your bluff.

This tends to happens when playing with just a few dice on the table (and when you're playing in a game with only 3 dice on the table, you just can't raise to 4, can you?).

So what do you do?

You can check! (you should say I Check! out loud).

When you check, you're basically saying "I believe the statement I received from the player before me is exactly true. There is exactly that amount of dice of that exact type".


Immediately, all cups should be lifted, and dice of that type should be counted. Remember that aces are wild dice, so they should be added to the count too.


If there's exactly the number of dice you checked of that specific type, you get to put one of your discarded dice back on your cup (if you haven't discarded dice yet, you get to ignore your next discard).

If not, you fail the check (because there are more OR there are fewer dice than you checked), so you have to discard two dice.

When you check (and win), the person with the least amount of dice on the table starts the next round. If there´s a tie, the person who won the check decides who begins the new round.

Step 5: Keep on going, end the round or end the game

If the statement was increased and passed: the player that receives the new statement is the active player. (keep on going!) Go to step 4.

If the statement was called a bluff or checked:

Check if there's only one player left with dice. (In that case, he wins the game, and the game is over).

If not, the game goes on, and the current round is over. You should:

1) Make sure all discarded dice are put in the common discarded pool at the center of the table.
2) Check if there are players left without any dice. They are eliminated from the game.
3)Select a new first player (the player who discarded dice), and go to step 1.

That's it! It's pretty simple, just play for a couple of rounds and you'll get the feeling of the game.


Additional Rule (highly recommended!)

Blind last die

Whenever a person is down to their last die (they had 2 dice, and in the last round they discarded one), the next round (and only the next round) must be played blind (no one can look at their game - except for people with only 1 die left in their cup).

If no one tries to take a look at their cup contents, just play as usual (but blind), until someone calls a bluff or a check, and then, lift cups and count as usual. But if one or several players do look at their game (because they're not aware a player is down to his last die), they must take one die out, and the round is immediately over. The next turn is started by one of the players that discarded a die (the one with least dice). This gives an edge to a player who is down to his last die, and also, forces players to be aware of each other's dice pool.

Some general liar's dice strategy tips:

- If playing competitively or for money, never play with more than 6 players (4 is my favorite, when I feel most comfortable). If playing for fun, play with as many people as you like, but keep in mind luck will play a much more preponderant factor on who wins the game, as there are more variables.

-Try to keep count of other player's quantity of dice (specially the player who goes before you). That way you'll be able to analyze their statements, and know when they're surely bluffing, when they're making a reasonable guesstimation, or when they might be stating a fact. If they're guesstimating, check your game, because you might not have any dice that support their guesstimation. Also, try to remember past statements, to calculate if someone else at the table might be strong in that particular type of dice. If you don't have any dice that support their guesstimation, and you believe there's no one particularly strong with that type of dice (or with aces), call their bluff! (keep in mind that statements made by other players might be false, that some players might be bluffing).

-When you are first player, make a high enough statement that won't be doubted but also won't come around the table and put you to the wall. Make sure you won't be the one who has to pass (or doubt) the final statement. When you receive a statement, if possible, increase it enough to assure it won't be coming back to you, making other players lose their dice before you.

-Every time the cups are lifted, check other player's dice and see if they bluffed in the round or not. Take mental note of how a player uses bluffs (how much they bluff, how they bluff -conservatively, aggresively, at the beginning of the round, at the end, changing quantity, changing types, about having aces, etc.-). This will help when trying to know if they're bluffing or not, and it'll help identify an expert player from a beginner.

-Bluff wisely. Remember that when cups are lifted, everyone is going to know you were bluffing, so try to change how and when you bluff to keep everyone on their toes. Don't be afraid to bluff. Do it often, but unpredictably, without any discernible pattern.

-Bluff more at the beginning of the round, when nobody's going to call your bluff, but you might influence how things develop (some people like to bluff at the beginning every other round -I play like that-, and it's OK, as long as you mix it up a little bit and don't get predictable -if you play like that, people will always doubt your early statements, and this adds unpredictability to the game, making it more of a mind game -just how i like it!-).

-When you have a good game, bluff about bluffing (make a hard to believe statement -that happens to be true because you have an exceptionally good game- and do it in such a way that people might suspect you're bluffing, and call your bluff.

-Be quick at passing your statements. Quickly made statements tend to be believed more (specially if you show strong confidence). Overanalyzers always have tell-tell signs. Learn how to read them.

-Psyche people by making true (or false) affirmations! (this round there's ducks all over the place! This round looks like a stampede (full of cows)! Sorry Mike, you´re wrong. Ducks aren't dominant on this round. Horses are!). Talk a lot! Psyche them out! it's part of the game!

-Try to guess what other players have (what types are their strong ones)by bluffs at the beginning of the round, and try to make them believe you are strong on the same type so they'll overcalculate (and perhaps other players will believe the trend too and overcalculate as well, based on two players who seem to be strong on a certain type of die).

-Bluffing (or making believe you're bluffing) about having aces on later rounds (when there are lesser dice on the table) is a good way to play since the increase to regular types is often grater than the number of dice being played, and people tend to disbelieve statements about aces more than statements about regular types (because of the probabilities). So you'll be able to limit your opponent's options.

-Remember that the probability for any die to be of a regular type (the exact type, or an ace) is 1/3 (33,3%) and the probability for a die to be an ace is 1/6 (16,6%), so anyone saying that there's more than a third of any regular type of dice (or more than a sixth of aces) on the table is probably bluffing... or they have a pretty good game on that particular type... try to read them and find out! Don't base your statements purely on probabilities!

One last note.

There's no luck in Liar's dice. This game is similar to poker, because ability, not luck, will win this game on the long run. You'll develop the same kind of abilities you use for poker, and no matter the kind of game you get, the better player will outplay weaker opponents and win.

Happy gaming!

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Re: Liar's Dice Rules for Dummies
rarbelaez wrote:
There's no luck in Liar's dice. This game is like poker, only better. Ability, not luck, will win this game. You'll develop the same kind of abilities you use for poker, and no matter the kind of game you get, the better player will outplay weaker opponents and win.

Interesting article! (although I'm afraid I didn't find the use of animals as intuitive as using raw numbers). I have a few comments:

1. No luck? You make a good argument for how the game allows for and rewards clever play, and I agree to some extent. But no luck whatsoever? As in: amount of luck = zero, zilch, zippo, nada? I don't buy it. I'm curious to hear from others on this.

2. Value of ace bids. The instructions given here about increasing bids to or from aces are different from the official rules in both the Perudo edition, and the Bluff/Liars Dice edition. The order and value given to the different bids under the official two sets of rules is as follows:
Bluff: 1 of anything, 1 ace, 2 of anything, 3 of anything, 2 aces, 4 of anything, 5 of anything, etc
Perudo: 1 of anything, 2 of anything, 1 ace, 3 of anything, 4 of anything, 2 aces, 5 of anything, etc
Dummies: 1 of anything, 2 of anything (or 1 ace), 3 of anything, 4 of anything (or 2 aces), 5 of anything, etc
The Dummies rules above actually allow less possibilities for what bids are available.
For a discussion, see here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101530

3. Checking an exact bid. The instructions given here about "checking" (4c) are also different from the official rules. The Perudo rules give this as an optional rule for advanced players, and checking by calling Calza (or Jonti) can not be done by the player who is turn is next to bid or "challenge”, but only by the other players.
For a discussion, see here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101481

4. Blind last die. The "blind last die" is new to me, I'm wondering what the source of this is? The official Perudo rules allow for a Palafico round when a player is down to his last die, but this is quite different.
For a discussion, see here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101418

In short, people reading this article to learn the game for the first time should be aware that some of the rules explanations above aren't the usual way that Liar's Dice is played. I've outlined the main official variations here:
The Main Rule Variations (Perudo vs Bluff/Liars Dice)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101779

Having said this, I'm aware that many rule variants exist for Liar's Dice, and in the end you play with the rules that work best for you, and have fun with whatever house rules you adopt!

Edit: I see you've listed the "Blind last die" and "Check" variants in the Variants forum. Thanks!
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Roberto Arbelaez
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Re: Liar's Dice Rules for Dummies
EndersGame wrote:
rarbelaez wrote:
There's no luck in Liar's dice. This game is like poker, only better. Ability, not luck, will win this game. You'll develop the same kind of abilities you use for poker, and no matter the kind of game you get, the better player will outplay weaker opponents and win.

Interesting article! (although I'm afraid I didn't find the use of animals as intuitive as using raw numbers). I have a few comments:

1. No luck? You make a good argument for how the game allows for and rewards clever play, and I agree to some extent. But no luck whatsoever? As in: amount of luck = zero, zilch, zippo, nada? I don't buy it. I'm curious to hear from others on this.


Well, I agree with you, there is luck (I shouldn't have made such a strong statement). However, luck doesn't decide who wins or loses in the long run (several games), just as it happens in poker.


All the rules I stated, (including the blind last die) explain how Liar's dice is played in Golf clubs in latinamerica (It's known as Dudo or Cacho, and its very, very popular with golfers. It's been part of their culture for decades. They always finish a day of golf with a few drinks, and a few games of dudo -and heavy betting!).

 
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Simon Robinson
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As a Perudo addict, I agree that there is luck in the game, but it's how you manage that luck that makes this game so full of skill.

Interesting variation; we play the palifico rule; when a player is down to 1 dice, nobody other than people also on 1 dice can change the number, and 1's aren't wild.
We also play the Calza rule: As long as it isn't your go, you can call Calza. This means that you think that there are EXACTLY the number and quantity called. If correct=retrieve a dice; if incorrect=lose a dice.
We also play a demented version in which you have a D4, a D6, a D8, a D10 and a D12 under your cup. When you lose a dice, you lose the bigger ones first. Man, does that mess with your head!
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Chris Bailey
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This is my favorite game and I'm always interested to hear how others play. I play Perudo but when converting to aces we round up. I think I like the idea of rounding down better though since when converting FROM aces you double the aces and add 1.

One rule we play from Bluff that works very well with perudo is the "Great Re-Roll" where you can state your bid, then take one or more dice out from under your cup, display them openly and then reroll the rest.

As far as luck is concerned, sure there's luck! But the better player wins MUCH more then he loses.
 
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David Me
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The "check" rules here just increased my rating by 2 full points! We play it so that there if you check (saying "spot on") successfully and have no dice, you don't get or lose anything, but you begin bidding. And when you are wrong about "spot on", you only lose one die.

I wonder why anyone plays with a loss of two dice. One seems balanced, because guessing the exact number is a lot tougher than raising or challenging.
 
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Sebastian Sohn
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rarbelaez wrote:
Rules for playing Liar's dice (also known as Dudo or Cacho in Latinamerica)

Ok, let's start by giving names to the different types of results you can get on a 6 sided die:
(it makes things much easier).



would be easier to read if you use the emoticons available here on bgg

There are three cows on the table

444
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Mike G
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I appreciate the effort that went into writing this. However, speaking as someone who is happy to own up to being a dummy, this rules explanation is confusing as hell.

Merry Xmas!
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