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    Peruvian liars' dice

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      Originally hailing from Peru, this classic game allows you to indulge in some highly enjoyable pastimes - working the odds, passing off barefaced untruths as fact, and making chumps out of your fellow competitors.

      Here's what you do. Each player puts five dice in his cup, then shakes and rolls in time with everyone else to end up with five dice on the table covered by the cup. Then, everyone takes a quick peek at what they have face up on those dice, ensuring that the cups still hide the dice from general view. The first player then makes a bid, based only on the glimpse at his own dice, declaring how many of all the dice on the table are showing a certain value – for example, 'four twos'.

      Each subsequent player (play moves to the left) then has a choice. They can either bid themselves, or say 'dudo', meaning that they don't believe the previous bid. When dudo is called, everyone has to show his or her dice. If the bid is a winning one (using our example, there would have to be four or more dice displaying two) then the challenger has to remove one die from their hand. If the bid fails (here, less than four twos), the bidder loses a die.

      However, if a player wants to bid, they have to increase either the number of dice called ('five twos' following 'four twos') or increase the value of dice called ('four threes' after 'four twos'). Or, if you're feeling cocky, increase both. A round continues until dudo is called and someone loses a die. The winner is the last die standing after several rounds. Remember, dudo is quite a dangerous call – you can have someone's die out with it...

      Anyway, you get the picture. Bluffing is equally as important as sensible guesswork in this superbly simple game. You don't need a board or table, as any surface will do. A small cash value can be attributed to each die, so that the winner scoops the pot. However you play it, Perudo really is one of the best-kept secrets in games.

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