The game seen on Dead Man’s Chest, when Davie Jones is sitting at the table with the Turners on the Flying Dutchman bidding away bootstrap's life long sentence in servitude.
Liar’s Dice is a pirate’s game of dice for some, and a drunken game for others, for me it’s a family game. Every player has a set of five dice to start, rolls, and bids on how many of a particular die number are on the board between their hand and the other player’s concealed dice. Liar's Dice "Contains a substantial element of bluff and psychology." (Dreamvirus) “This classic parlor game of bluffing and bidding will test your mettle and your poker face! Roll the dice and bid on what you think your opponents are holding. Don’t let that perspiration show, because if you lose a challenge then you lose a die. If you lose all your dice, then you’re out of the game!” (Off the box)
Liar’s 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.” (Wiki)
Each player has five dice and a cup. The board, which is only necessary for easy tracking of bidding, has one red die moved as bidding is increased. The dice all have 2-6 on them, 1’s are replaced with stars as wilds. You could play this game if you had five dice per player and just count the 1’s as wilds in essence. I suggest playing with four people. The game I purchased came with 20 dice, and we raided some Yahtzee games and got upto eight people playing at once. It’s not fun for those people getting knocked out early but I love the increased amount of dice.
Example: Four people have 5 dice, everyone rolls. Player one has three 3’s and two 2’s. Player two has two stars, one 2, one 3, and one 4. Player three has two 6’s, two 5’s, and a star. Player four has four 5’s and a star.
Bid until a challenge. Bidding begins with whoever won the previous challenge, or highest roll for first set. Player one will begin our bidding. “Six 3’s.” Player two raises, “Seven 3’s.” Player three raises, “Eight 3’s.” This continuation is quite common, however all raises can be changed in number, for example player four could say “Nine 5’s” or even “Eight 5’s” because as long as the bid is raised by dice number that is an appropriate raise. For brevity, let’s say player four said “Nine 5’s,” player one challenges the bid. Dice are revealed and we see a total of 10 possible 5’s, through stars and 5’s combined, and player one loses one die for being off by one. If the bid was exactly the challenge (10) then everyone but the bidder would have lost a die.
This game is more easily learned by watching/playing than reading, but let me encourage you that this game is possibly the easiest and fastest game to learn that every player in a group would love to play. When it gets down to the wire and player one has only a die against player two, strategy is more about lying.
The re-roll ability
This is an underrated rule in this game. If the previous player bids a number of dice, let’s say 12, and you think it is actually possible that 12/20 dice on the board are that particular number, you can re-roll some dice. As long as you reveal one die you can re-roll any remaining dice you want. If the bid was twelve 4’s and you had three 4’s, you reveal your 4’s and re-roll the two remaining dice, and raise the bid to 13. Hopefully one of your re-rolls changes into a 4!
Thanks to Wiki for doing my math…
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) * (q/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." (Wiki)
Bid high, high enough that the bid won't get back to you, but not too high so you don't get challenged. Since you're bidding high, you'll likely need to re-roll as many dice as possible. Even if you only need to re-roll one die, that is okay because the person following you will not challenge seeing four dice counting towards your bid already! Choose your seat wisely, I can not emphasize this enough. If anyone of your friends thinks you're a liar, in any regard, sit next to them on strategic choice, or don't. If you like to stretch the truth, try to sit next to someone who will rather extend a bid higher than challenge you. Also, since the best way to get rid of other people's dice is to get a perfect bid, GET A PERFECT BID as much as possible, your opponents will lose one die. That's a lot!
This game is also known as Dudo, Cachito, Mexicali / Mexican, Liar dice, Perudo and possibly a few hundred more names to this classic game.