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Liar's Dice is played by two or more players. Each player has one cup and starts with five dice. The game is started by choosing a player who will be the first to "bid." After selecting said player, the first round begins by all players picking up their cup containing five (5) dice, shaking, and slamming the cup upside down onto the table, thus concealing all dice.
At this point, each player may look at their dice and contemplate the mathematical probability of all dice on the table, including their own. The player chosen before the game began then states the opening "bid." An example bid would be "3 fours." The action is then passed clockwise to the player sitting to the left of the starter. The second player may then do one of three things: raise the bid; call a bluff; or declare the bid spot-on.
After a bluff or a spot-on bid is called, all players reveal their dice, and total the number of dice showing the face that was bid on. The round is ended by at least one player discarding one die each. After discarding a die, there is no way to regain it until the game is over and a new one begins. The opening bid of the next round is passed counterclockwise of the player that opened the last round's bidding. To start the next round, all players must put their dice back into their cup, shake, slam and repeat the steps of the typical round as laid out above.
Winning and Losing
The style of Liar's Dice is free for all elimination. The object of winning is to be the last player with at least one (1) die remaining. Players lose (are eliminated) by discarding all of their dice.
In this section, we will assume the current bid is "3 fours," four pertaining to the specific face (four dots on one side), and 3 pertaining to the total number of all dice on the table with the matching face, four. As stated above, the current bidder has three options.
1. Raising the bid: To raise a bid, the current bidder must either declare a higher number of total dice with any face value (for example, 4 twos beats 3 fours), increase the face of the dice last bid on (e.g., 3 fives beats 3 fours), or both. At this point, all players are still concealing their dice, taking turns raising the bid.
2. Calling a bluff: If a player believes the last bid (3 fours) to be too high, he may call a bluff. At this point, all players show their dice and total the face value bid upon. If the total number of dice matching the face value bid upon (four) is more than the last bid (3), the player to last bid is safe (bidding under the true total), and the player calling the bluff discards one die for calling a bluff on a valid bid. If the total number of dice matching the face value bid upon (four) is less than the last bid (3), the player to last bid discards one die for bidding over the true total, and the player calling the bluff is safe for accurately calling out a "lying" player.
3. Declaring a Bid Spot-On: If a player believes the last bid (3 fours) to be correct, he can declare the last bid "spot-on." At this point, all players show their dice and total the face value bid upon. If the total number of dice matching face value bid upon (four) is greater or less than the last bid (3), the player who declared the bid spot-on discards one (1) die for inaccurately calling a bid spot-on. The player whose bid was declared spot-on is safe. If the total number of dice matching face value bid upon (four) is exactly the same as the last bid (3), the player who declared the bid spot-on is safe, and all other players discard one die each for getting caught with a spot-on bid.
Tips and Tricks
First and foremost, it is far easier to win at this game when playing against only one opponent. The dynamics of bid escalation, guesswork, and AI tendencies make it so that your best chance in this game lies in a simple duel. After all, this game involves mathematical probability; it's easier when the table's total dice count is 10 instead of 15. Also, it's easier to read one mind rather than two.
Note that NPCs rarely, if ever, call out a bluff on bids lower than four of anything. For example if you bid that there is at least 3 fives, the NPC(s) will rarely ever call out that bluff. It may be different if facing only one NPC.
The exception is if they don't possess at least one die of the face value you are betting on, even if you're betting there's 2, they will say you are bluffing. This leads to one of the easiest winning strategies, especially for one on one, which is to just tell the truth and bet whatever doubles/triples you have, most of the time they lack a dice of the same value and will call your non-existent bluff, leading to an easy (and reliably repeatable) win. In a game with three players, if they do have a die of the same value, they will raise the bet to a higher value and almost always get called bluffing by the third player, either way resulting in your dice laying untouched.
When bidding, seek out multiple dice with the same number, i.e. three 4s, and bid what you have. If you haven't got any multiples, bid one of your singles. It's often good to bid on your lower dice, to leave headroom for subsequent bids to cover the higher-valued dice (i.e. if you have 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, bid there is one 1 -- if the opponent bids two 2s, because you have a 2 yourself, you can then either call spot-on or raise the bid to three 2s if you think there's another 2 out there).
The best approach is to bid what you have (or one less than what you have) and avoid bluffing -- avoid guessing (or hoping) your opponent has one more of the die you need. Although, sometimes the NPC might surprise you!
NPCs very often call your bluff, not believing you when you say you have two or three or more of a particular die. They may also be forced into an obvious bluff (i.e. you bid three 6s, then they jump the bid to five 6s).
NPCs rarely, if ever, use the Spot On bid, so the player can gain a sizeable advantage by learning to use spot-on properly. It is confirmed that, at least in one-on-one matches, your NPC opponent never uses the spot-on bid!
If you can get your opponent down to one die remaining, the game is in the bag. The NPC will always bid the value of their die honestly during their initial bid. Their bid's quantity might vary between one or two, but the bid's face value is always the truth. If they bid one 2, they have one 2; if they bid two 4s, they have one 4. Therefore, if they bid two 6s and you have one 6 yourself, you can successfully bid spot-on because you know the total is two 6s. If they bid two 6s and you have none, by the process of elimination you know they are lying. If they bid two 6s and you have three of your own, you can raise the bid to three or four 6's; they will either either erroneously call your bluff, or raise it to an impossible amount where you'd know they were lying. Also, if you have a pair of something other than the value they bid (i.e. they bid one 2 and you have two 4s), bid on your pair; they will always erroneously call your bluff.
In summary, because NPCs often call bluffs they shouldn't, and they often make their own obvious bluffs, and they never, at least in one-on-one matches, use spot-on bidding, and their endgame strategy is awful, as they will always say what they actually have as their last die, and so you can either go spot-on if you don't have the same die or if you do raise the number, and then the NPC will raise again, which doesn't make sense so this game can easily be mastered.
Easy Money Exploit:
During the Stranger side-mission "Lights, Camera, Action", the game's ante amount is set to $200 instead of $20, making it the most profitable opportunity in the game. The ante will remain at $200 until the player leaves Lyle Mouton at the table and saves elsewhere, thereby pushing the mission into its next phase. As long as the player keeps winning, they will get an increase of $200 each game.
After each game during the moment of choosing to ante or quit, the player may adjust one of the game options while still sitting at the table to initiate auto-save. This preserves the player's growing fortune. The player may also stand up, possibly initiate auto-save and sit back down to continue playing, but upon sitting down for a second round, the opponent becomes considerably more difficult.
Auto-saving is only useful as a fail-safe in case the game or system is quit or turned off. Loading the auto-saved file will cause the ante to drop back to $20.
Liar's Dice games are available at the same three locations in single player and multiplayer. In single player, the ante is $20 at all locations. In multiplayer, the ante is different at each location, as noted below.
- Escalera ($10 multiplayer ante)
- Casa Madrugada ($25 multiplayer ante)
- Thieves' Landing ($100 multiplayer ante) (Single player - After meeting a stranger (MacKenna) in the entrance behind the Armadillo Theater, he will ask you to go to Thieves' Landing to play Liar's Dice to raise money to help him. The ante is $200 for this stranger mission. The player may take advantage of these higher stakes.)
- The description for the Elegant Suit at the Thieves' Landing tailor says that it can be used to cheat at Liar's Dice as well as Poker. The cheating opportunity is when the player to your left looks at their dice, you can see the side face of one of the dice. From this, you can figure out what they may have, particularly if they have a small number (1-3) of dice remaining. Remember that the opposite faces of a die add up to seven. For example, if a 6 is showing on the side, you know that die is not showing a 1 or a 6. You may be able to figure out whether it's a 2-5 or 3-4 showing.
- Also can use the web app at the following website to help you calculate the odds Here
In Multiplayer, a game of Liar's Dice can be launched from markers on the game map or by a playlist selection in the multiplayer menu. The same $200 daily multiplayer gambling allowance is shared between Liar's Dice and Poker. If a player enters a Liar's Dice lobby with insufficient funds to buy into the game, $200 will be added to the player's account (limit of once per day).
Players have a time limit within which to make their bid. If a player exceeds the time limit, a default bid of "one one" is entered.
When a game is finished, the Liar's Dice playlist will take the players to the next location unless the majority choose to replay at the current location. At each location, the buy-in cost and the player's current multiplayer gambling balance are displayed above the table in the lobby.
Two multiplayer challenges under the Gambling category are available for Liar's Dice, with eleven ranks total.
- Sometimes when someone loses a die and you skip to your turn, you may get the same die faces from the one you already had, which is good because you can do the same bid before.
- (PS3/other?) Occasionally in multiplayer, when a player leaves the session after being eliminated, the camera will stay focused on the player and the game will not proceed. The game can not be completed and the remaining players must manually transfer to other sessions. No money is awarded, even to the last player to leave.
- (PS3/other?) In multiplayer, when someone loses a die the animation can make the die shake and clip into the player's hand.
The player can acquire the following Trophies/Achievements while playing Liar's Dice:
Complete a game of Liar's Dice without losing a single die.
Earn $10,000 in Single Player.
XBOX 360 Only
In a full Multiplayer Liar's Dice game, win without losing a single die.
In a single Multiplayer Liar's Dice game, successfully make a spot-on call.
In a Multiplayer Liar's Dice game, win with only one die left.
Attain 100% in the Single Player Game Completion stat.