Ultra-Portable Bluffing Dice Set

Ultra-Portable Bluffing Dice Game

Games like perudo or Liar's dice are great bluffing games. The components are simple: some standard D6 dice, a handful of opaque cups, and a board (which isn’t even really required). The gist of the game is that everyone roles their dice, but keeps the results hidden under there cups. They then bet on the total number of die for a given role around the whole table. After rolling you would say "I think there is a total of 4 sixes around the table." Your opponents can then increase the bet if they desire using the information they gathered from your bet and the information they have about there own dice (of course at anytime someone could be bluffing about what information they might know). In many ways it’s a perfect travel and/or pub game as its simple to teach and play, yet it has a lot of interesting tension. It’s also fairly portable, however as part of my super compact board game collection I wondered if I could make it even more portable.

You can get the cards from me at Printer Studio: http://www.printerstudio.com/sell/mtrossdesign
This gives me a few bucks and I have tested the quality of the print and material. The cards are plastic and durable. The set includes the board and enough materials to make "cups" for up to 7 players. The cups require some assembly (see the pictures at the bottom of the post).

You can also download the card designs for personal use (click the picture below to download a zip of the files). I ask that you don't post the original images elsewhere and instead direct people back to my site.


Design Notes:
In order to make the game as compact as possible the first thing that would need to go were the cups as they took up the most space. I actually played around with a couple ideas (including collapsible camping cups) before settling on what is about the simplest solution you can get: two cards taped together.

It’s a sort of mixture between a player shield and a dice cup. The shield itself is made up of two cards and vinyl tape. In my case the cards are custom designed, but really any cards would do. To use the shield, you just squeeze its edges together and throw the dice in. The dice inside then hold the shield up on its own. Even though the top is open, you need to be looking straight down on it to see the dice, which obscures them from other players. If sitting in close proximity to others you could always throw a card on top to make sure no one else can see your dice. Of course, when using these shields you do lose the satisfaction of slamming your dice cup down on the table.

The next thing to do was redesigning the board as a handful of cards.

This allows the whole thing to fit into a deck box. I’m currently using 16mm dice, but if you used 12mm dice the whole thing could be even smaller.

If you really wanted to push the limit of portability you could really just use your hand as a shield and keep track of the bets without a board, thereby only needing some dice. The real challenge to the project though is reducing the size of the game while sacrificing as little as possible in terms of playability. I think I managed to pull that off with this set.

If you get a set of the cards check out the instructions below for assembly. All you need are the cards, scissors and some vinyl (electrical) tape.

First thing is to cut out strips of vinyl tape a little more that twice the height of a card:

Then place the cards onto the middle of one of the strips of tape as follows:

Flip the overhanging tape over the cards:

Then fold it together and place the edge in the center of the other strip of tape:

Press and hold the card down:

As before flip the excess tape over the edges of the card. It can be a little tricky as you have to reach your hand into the center of the "cup."

And there you have it, a portable dice cup:

Matthew T Ross - Last updated July 24th 2016

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