Perudo (Liar's Dice) Review

Perudo - Liar's Dice, cleanup after play

One of my favorite party games that I'm glad to get to tell you about is Perudo (also know as "Liar's Dice").

In Perudo, each player starts with five dice and a cup (to keep their dice secret). Each round starts with all of the players rolling their dice. Whoever lost a die most recently (first round, just pick someone randomly) starts the round. They must bid how many dice they think have been rolled among all of the available dice. For example, they may bid "five 4's", which means that they think that there are at least five dice showing the number four among all of the players' dice. To add to the fun, one's (or ace's) are wild and count as any number. Now the next player must either increase the number on the die (and keep the number of dice at least the same), or they can increase the number of dice (so, in our previous example, both "five 5's" and "six 2's" are legal bids, but "four 6's" is not); or they can "call" the player before them, if they do not think that their bid is correct. Once someone is "called", all players reveal their dice. If the necessary dice were rolled, then whoever called them loses a die; otherwise, the person who made the bid loses a die. There are some other special rules when a single player gets down to one die, and for how to bid on ace's, but this is the bulk of the gameplay. Play continues like this until only one player has any dice left.

beautfiul Liar's Dice packaging
A beautiful Toys R Us version
The first thing that I love about Perudo is the secret element of the dice. Since any given player never has more than five dice, the players have to completely guess what dice are present. Yes, you can use statistics to guess how many of each die there should be, but statistics always lie to you in Perudo. Because of this, it's great fun to start the game by bidding that there are 10 or more of some number, when you really have no idea. But, with six players (30 dice), 10 is probably a safe bet!

The next thing that I like about Perudo is the mind games that you can play with people in the game. In a big game, your objective is simple - bid so high that the bid will not get back around to you, but just low enough that people will not call you! If I bid on something and five other people bid after me before I am forced to bid again, then this works out really well (after all, you can't lose a die unless you either call somebody or are called). However, the game can be just as fun when you have eliminated everybody but yourself and one opponent. It's a fun bluffing exercise to try to outwit your opponent when you know what dice you have rolled, he knows what he has, and you must still force his hand - and the less dice you each have, the better it gets. If we each have one die left, should I start by bidding "one 2", when I have a five, thinking that he won't call me? If I do, and he changes it to "one 3", should I call him thinking that he is using my same strategy?

The final aspect of Perudo that I like is the social nature of the game. Yes, Perudo requires strategy, but it's not such an all-brain encompassing strategy that you only focus on it, leaving no room for talking. Perudo has quite a lot of banter, laughing, and "ahhhhh!!!" moments (as your opponent outwitted you - or really did roll all five of his dice on the same number). The game is flat out fun to play (pro number four), and at the same time allows players to enjoy each other's company. (Plus, it can be scaled up to as many players as you want if you have extra dice lying around. Though I'd guess at some upper limit it stops being fun.)

Final pro - it can also be played by anyone! Perudo is very non-traditional gamer friendly.

a very versatile roll in Liar's Dice (Perudo)
With this, you can lie to anyone!
With all the positive aspects of Perudo, there are really only two things to mention that can be considered negative. First of all, Perudo is a filler game. I don't really envision people getting together specifically to play it. However, since it could also be thought of as a party game, it is a game that I can see people being able to play often (like.... you know.... at parties) - especially non-traditional gamers.

The other "con" (well, more "thing you should realize") is that there is player elimination in Perudo. Once you run out of dice, you are out of the game. However, since this game will probably be played at parties, this simply provides time to mingle, get a snack, go to the bathroom, or just chat with your other friends that were eliminated.

Overall, I give Perudo an 8.5/10. I love Perudo and think that everyone should play it. However, my (current) personal rule is that I reserve 9+ for games that I think people would get together specifically to play, which I don't think is the case for Perudo.

If you're looking for fun dice games, you might also want to look into Cookie Fu, Martian Dice, and Rory's Story Cubes.


  1. Love, love, love this game. Great review, Josh.

    I've made a Liar's Dice set with rules from Board Game Geek and a pirate map bid tracker that's taken from map in the front of Treasure Island.

    It's a blast to play and has gone over well, especially with non-gamers, at various gaming events and family gatherings.

    As a pro-tip, keep an eye out in thrift stores for Pirate's Dice. It was a Pirates of the Carribean movie tie in game and comes with some decent plastic cups and nice dice with jolly rogers on one of the faces of each die. Our copy had never been opened so it needed to be left outside for weeks to air out, but in the end it is a nice thematically appropriate version of the game that we got for a buck or two. They printed thousands of these and lots of them have ended up in thrift stores.

    If you do find a set, I'd still print off a pirate themed score sheet and some rules from Board Game Geek as what's included in the base game isn't very complete or helpful.

    co-host, Great Big Table podcast

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Jim! Yeah, ultimately if you find the rules online, you can buy a block of dice and have enough for 7 people for pretty inexpensively. Your tip on looking at thrift stores is also a great idea! Though, honestly, I've seen several different ways of getting it cheap. General advice - if you see it inexpensively BUY IT!

    1. I completely agree. It's a good game and it is often cheaper to buy a set than build one when you consider the number of dice on hand.

      My set uses the nice dice that come in the Sharp Shooters dice game. We've found a couple of copies of that game in thrift and aren't big fans. The dice, though, are really nice and you get a bunch for thrift store prices.

      So it worked out. Had it not, a copy of Perudo or Liar's Dice from the store is probably going to be cheaper because the publisher got some economies of scale when dealing with the dice versus what you'll pay at a teach supply or gaming store.

    2. We also play with the variant that you lose the number of dice equal to the difference between the bid and the actual number on the table.

      It really speeds the game up so that player elimination isn't as big of a deal.