Liar’s dice is a class of dice games for two or more players requiring the ability to deceive and detect an opponent’s deception.
Five dice are used per player with dice cups used for concealment.
Each round, each player rolls a “hand” of dice under their cup and looks at their hand while keeping it concealed from the other players. The first player begins bidding, announcing any face value and the number of dice that the player believes are showing that value, under all of the cups in the game. Ones are often wild, always counting as the face of the current bid.
Each player has two choices during their turn: to make a higher bid, or challenge the previous bid – typically with a call of “liar.” Raising the bid means either increasing the quantity, or the face value, or both, according to the specific bidding rules used. There are many variants of allowed and disallowed bids; common bidding variants, given a previous bid of an arbitrary quantity and face value, include:
- the player may bid a higher quantity of any face, or the same quantity of a higher face (allowing a player to “re-assert” a face value they believe prevalent if another player increased the face value on their bid);
- the player may bid a higher quantity of the same face, or any quantity of a higher face (allowing a player to “reset” the quantity);
- the player may bid a higher quantity of the same face or the same quantity of a higher face (the most restrictive; a reduction in either face value or quantity is never allowed).
If the current player challenges the previous bid, all dice are revealed. If the bid is valid (at least as many of the face value and any wild aces are showing as were bid), the bidder wins. Otherwise, the challenger wins.
Drinking game version
The first player rolls two dice under a cup and claims a roll. Most claims are scored by reading the higher die as the 10s place and the lower as the 1s, e.g., a roll of 1 and 4 is read as “41”. Doubles are higher than “65”, and what would be the lowest roll 2-1, is a “Mexican” and higher than 6-6.
- 3-1 Social (everyone drinks, cancel all previous rolls, roll again to open)
- 3-2 Reverse (change direction and previous player drinks one sip (maybe two if he/she is thirsty), cancel all previous rolls, roll again to open)
- 2-1 Mexican (if the cup is lifted revealing a Mexican, the incorrect challenger drinks twice, if the player does not challenge, the player must still drink, since nothing is higher than Mexican)
The next player may do one of two things. If he believes the roller, he simply takes the dice (without looking at the result), rolls, and claims a higher scoring roll. If he does not believe the roller, the cup is lifted, revealing the roller’s hand. Either the bluffer or incorrect challenger must drink.