- Players: 2 or more; 4-8 is ideal
- Game type: Cards, bluffing
- Objective: Be the last player remaining
In Liars' Poker, each player is dealt five cards. The first player names a poker hand he/she believes can be made by pooling all players' cards. Poker hands must be specific: e.g. pair of 7, two pair 8 and J, flush 2,5,7,J,K clubs, full house A over 10, etc. In turn, each player names a higher poker hand he/she believes exists.
However, if a player feels that a higher poker hand does not exist or that the previous player's hand does not exist, he/she can challenge the previous player. Then, all cards are revealed and checked to see if the poker hand can be constructed. If so, the player who challenged loses; if not, the player who was challenged loses. The loser gets one less card in the next round, thus being penalized by seeing fewer cards. A player drops out of the game when he/she runs out of cards. The winner is the last remaining player.
Variant 1: Liars' Indian Poker
Liars' Indian Poker is played identical to Liars' Poker, except that player's cannot see their cards. Instead, each player places their cards on their foreheads such that everyone except themself can view their cards.
Liars' Indian Poker is presumed to be a good game to play when drunk.
Variant 2: Liars' Stud
In Liars' Stud, in every round, each player is initially dealt two cards face down. The game is played identical to Liars' Poker, except that on each turn a new card is dealt. Similar to 7-card stud, up to 5 extra cards are dealt to each player as follows: face up, up, up, up, down. If a player loses, then the first extra card is omitted; if a player loses twice, then the first two extra cards are omitted, etc. Additionally, if every player has lost at least once, then the first extra card is ignored, and similarly if every player loses twice or more. (This ensures that in every round at least one player will receive extra cards.) As expected, a player exits the game when their extra cards have been exhausted (after six losses).
Liars' Stud is the variant preferred by the QA crew.
- For reference, the order of poker hands is (lowest to highest): high card, pair, two pair, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, full house, four-of-a-kind, straight flush, royal flush. Precedence of suits is (lowest to highest): clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades.
- Note that, for example, high card 4 simply signifies that there exists at least one 4, even though it is not possible to construct a 5-card poker hand with a high card 4.
- The game can be played with wilds, if desired.
Liars' Poker was adopted from the Connecticut(?) ARML team's webpage, with the modification that allowed flushes to be called. Liars' Indian Poker and Liars' Stud are creations of the Queen Anne's crew at the University of Maryland. These variants were created on or about March 2000.