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What the Cup!?

What the Cup!? from The Op is a light party game where 3-6 players will each have a 12-sided die concealed in a compartment at the bottom of their cup and they're competing to end the round with the highest or lowest value die, depending on which side of the high/low marker is face up at the end of the round.

Like Liar's Dice (aka Perudo) and Lying Pirates (Nordic Pirate Games), What the Cup!? is a bluffing game. The game comes with 60 chips and these are divvied up among the players; so with a full complement of six players, everyone starts with 10 chips. You pay a chip into the pot at the start of each round. Players all shake their dice cups and then peek at the die face that's face up in the compartment at the bottom. Play then involves flipping an action card and either following the action indicated on the card or ignoring it and instead flipping the high/low marker to its reverse side.

Cards may allow you to look at another player's die, and, as in hidden role games, some players will then choose to report their observation to the others round the table but they may or may not be telling the truth... There are cards that let you require any two players to swap cups, and cards that mandate that all cups are moved to the left or right. There are cards that require a player to honestly announce the range that their die sits within and there are cards that let you re-set your die anywhere within the range 4-9 or, for payment into the pot of an extra chip, to set it at any number you choose. Play continues until the Game Over card comes up, in which case it immediately stops and everyone reveals their die. If the high/low marker is showing 'high' then the pot goes to the player with the highest value die; if it shows 'low' it's the lowest value die that takes the pot. You continue to play rounds until a player runs completely out of chips, with the overall win going to the player with the most chips.

What the Cup!? is a chaotically fun party game with plenty of opportunity for bluffing, misdirection and 'take that' actions that can easily backfire. It's at its best at higher player counts (we enjoyed it most with five or six players); so much so that it's a pity that it doesn't come with more cups to allow you to further raise the player count. You could certainly consider combining two copies to take the player count up to 12. For those so minded, What the Cup!? could easily be turned into a drinking game or a gambling game where you substitute real money for the chips that come in the box. Our one caveat is that the 10-20 minute on the box grossly underestimates the playing time of a full game, assuming you play, as the rules suggest, until one player has run out of chips. In a three-player game, the rules suggest everyone starts with 20 chips. There are some cards where you might spend chips but a 20 chip starting point could mean that if you lost every game you'd be playing as many as 20 games - many more if you won some games. In a six-player game, you each start with 10 chips and, to avoid the game overstaying its welcome, we'd recommend setting 10 chips apiece as everyone's starting allocation regardless of player count.

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