Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to play Perudo!
Perudo is a dice game for 2 – 6 players which mixes a blend of guesswork, bluff, and luck, but can also be tricky for new players to grasp, especially as the official rules can be hard to understand.
But fear not; in this guide, we will break down the rules, provide insight into winning strategies, and address common questions that you may have whilst playing Perudo.
Top Tip: If you don’t already own the game, you can buy Perudo online here.
Table of Contents
Perudo Game Setup
The classic Perudo set comprises 30 dice, 6 colourful cups (including a cup lid), and a cloth pouch.
Each player is given a cup and a set of 5 dice.
To start the game, each player rolls a single dice. The highest roll determines which player will start the first round.
The objective of Perudo is simple; outwit your opponents and be the last player with any dice remaining.
How To Play Perudo (Perudo Rules)
Bidding and Calling “Dudo”
All players simultaneously shake their dice in their cups and place them face-down on the table, concealing their dice rolls from other players using their cup. This concealed setup is the foundation for the bluffing and guesswork that define Perudo.
After peeking at their own dice, the first player makes an estimate (bid) of how many dice of a particular number exist, as a minimum, under all the cups on the table.
For example, a player bidding “five threes” is saying they are confident that there are at least five dice under all the concealed cups that are a three.
Moving clockwise around the table, each subsequent player must raise the bid. This must be done by raising the number of dice in the bid and/or the dice number.
For instance, a bid of “three fours” can be followed by “four fours” (increasing the number of dice) or “three fives” (increasing the value of the dice).
There is no limitation on how high players can increase the bid, so “three fours” could be followed by “nine fours”, to speed up the round and increase the pressure on the next bidder.
The “Dudo” Call
As each player increases the bid, there will be a point where the current player feels they are unable to increase the bid, as the current bid is likely too high once all dice are revealed.
Instead of placing their own bid, the player can instead challenge the last bidder by calling “dudo” (Spanish for “I doubt”).
When “dudo” is called, all players reveal their dice.
If the total number of dice showing the bid number is less than the bid, the bidder loses a dice. Otherwise, the player who called “dudo” loses a dice.
Dice lost are placed in the pouch, keeping the total number of dice in play concealed.
The One Dice (“Aces”)
This is where things get a little more complex!
Ones, known as “aces,” serve as wild cards and can represent any number. So, if you bid “nine fours,” you’re predicting that there are at least nine dice showing either the number four or an ace.
A unique twist in Perudo is the ability to bid specifically on aces.
If you decide to switch the bid to aces, you are able to lower the number of dice in the bid to halve the previous bid number.
For example, a bid of “six fives” can be followed by “three aces”, or any other bid higher than half of the previous bid.
Fractions are rounded up, so “thirteen sixes” would need to be followed up by a minimum of “seven aces” (13/2 = 6.5, which is rounded up to 7).
Once the bidding has transitioned to aces, the following player can continue to increase the number of aces or switch back to regular numbers by doubling the aces bid +1.
For example, “five aces” could be followed by “eleven twos”, but not “ten twos”.
Players can only transition to bidding on aces, as players are not allowed to open a round with an aces bid.
An Example of a Perudo Game Round
Let’s observe an example game with 6 players:
- Player 1 begins the bidding with “ten fours”
- Player 2 counters with “ten sixes”
- Player 3 ups the number of dice in the bid to “eleven twos”
- Player 4 increases the bid further to “thirteen twos”
- Player 5 moves the bidding to aces, calling “seven aces” (remember the minimum is half the current number, rounded upwards)
- Player 6 brings the bidding back to regular numbers, bidding “fifteen twos” (again, the minimum here is double the aces call +1)
- It’s now back round to Player 1, who increases the bid to “sixteen twos”
- Player 2 returns the bidding to aces, calling “eight aces”
- Player 3 can now raise to nine aces, or make a call of seventeen dice, but doesn’t feel confident that either will be accurate, and so decides to call “dudo”
After revealing dice, it turns out there are only seven aces in total. Player 2, having made the last bid, loses a dice.
End Game Scenarios and the “Palafico” Round
Once a player is down to their last dice, they are declared “palafico”, and players enter a special “palafico” round.
In this round, aces aren’t wild, and the other non-palafico players can only raise the number of dice during bidding, not their value.
For example, if the current bid is “three fives”, another player could raise it to “four fives” but not “three sixes”.
The palafico player has an advantage here, as they can change the number of dice or the value, so in the above example they could change “three fives” to “three sixes”.
Additional rules to “palafico”:
- The palafico round only applies once per player. If a player with one dice survives the palafico round, players don’t continue playing a palafico round.
- The special rules that apply to the palafico player during a palafico round also apply to any other players who have been palafico previously.
- The palafico round doesn’t apply when there are only two players left in the game.
Once a player has lost all their dice, they exit the game.
The player to their immediate left starts the next round, and the remaining players continue the rounds until only one player, the winner, retains any dice.
The “Calza” Rule (Optional For Advanced Players)
For players who are looking to add an extra layer to the game, try introducing the optional “calza” rule.
With this rule, a player who believes the last bid to be precisely correct can call “calza”. For instance, after a bid of “eleven threes”, if you think there are exactly eleven dice showing a three or an ace, you’d call calza.
Once invoked, the bidding ends immediately, and the dice are unveiled.
If the exact number of dice aligns with the bid, the player who made the calza call can retrieve an additional dice from the bag. However, if the call is incorrect, they lose a dice.
One thing to remember: a player’s dice count can never exceed the initial five.
The catch with this rule is that any player except the player whose turn it is to bid can call calza.
Calza is also not applicable to a palafico round or when there are only two players left.
How To Win at Perudo
Perudo combines bluffing, probability, and strategy. Here are refined tactics to bolster your chances of victory.
Always remember how many dice are in play
The aim of the cloth bag is to hide the number of dice which are in play, but it should be easy for players to keep a count of how many dice are in play by paying attention.
Each player starts with five dice, so the starting number is 5 * [Number of players].
Once you know how many dice are in play there are two things to remember:
- The maximum dice count: If another player loses track of the number of dice and makes an impossible bid, e.g. calling “eleven threes” when there are only 10 dice on the table, then you can safely call “dudo”, knowing you will be correct.
- The statistical average for a given number: The probability of a regular dice number (excluding aces) being rolled is 1 in 3. This means if there are 30 dice on the table, a call of “ten fours” is statistically probable, but any number higher than the statistical average begins to become less likely. Use this knowledge to your advantage, as you decide which bids can be considered safe, and which are likely to be inaccurate.
Play aggressively with aces
Aces, being wild, are powerful. If you peek under your cup and spot a high number of aces, you can afford to bid aggressively during that round, knowing that the aces will count towards any number you choose to bid on.
This aggressive style of play may bait your opponents into calling “dudo” on you, even when your call stands a high chance of being accurate.
Jump raise the bid with purpose
I like to think that every bid in a round of Perudo fits somewhere into the following 3 zones:
- The “safe zone”: A call so low that it’s almost impossible to be incorrect, and opponents will never question it, e.g. “three twos” when there are 20 dice on the table
- The “risky zone”: Any call that’s on or just over the statistical average, e.g. “six fours” when there are 15 dice on the table (the statistical average would be 5 in this scenario)
- The “dudo zone”: A call that’s so unlikely that an opponent is most likely able to call “dudo” and be correct
When you make a bid in the safe zone, you relinquish control of the bidding and may find that by the time the bidding gets back to you again, you’re forced to place a bid in the “risky zone”.
While there are still a large number of players in play, you can avoid this by jump raising to the end of the “safe zone”, that way another player will likely be called out before the bidding gets back to you.
For example, if you are Player 2 when there are currently 5 players with a total of 21 dice in play:
- Player 1 calls “two fours”
- You could easily call “three fours”, but instead jump the bid to “six fours”
- Your bid is low enough that none of your opponents will call “dudo”, but Players 3, 4, 5 and 1 all have to make a bid before it returns to you
- The chances are that “dudo” would be called before the bidding gets back to you
Frequently Asked Questions about Perudo
What are the origins of Perudo?
Perudo, often referred to as “Liar’s Dice,” has its roots in ancient South America, particularly in Peru. It is a game that blends elements of bluffing and probability, making it a staple in many cultures throughout history.
How many players can play Perudo?
Perudo can be played by 2 to 6 players, making it versatile for different group sizes.
Can a player have more than five dice in Perudo?
While a player starts with five dice, through the “calza” rule, it’s possible to gain a dice. However, no player can possess more than five dice at any given time.
In a Palafico round, can players other than the palafico change the number during the bidding?
Only a player with a single dice left, who has previously been palafico, can change the number in a subsequent palafico round. For instance, they can bid “two fours” after a bid of “two threes”. The next players then have to follow the new number.
Are aces always wild in Perudo?
In most rounds, aces act as wild cards and can represent any number. However, during a Palafico round, aces are not wild.
What happens when only two players are left in Perudo?
When down to two players, the game remains intense. Palafico rules are set aside, so even if both players have only one dice, numbers can still be changed during the bidding, and aces remain wild.
What games are similar to Perudo?
“Bang! The Dice Game” and “Yahtzee” are similar to Perudo, and involve a mix of dice and/or bluffing. If you’re looking for further suggestions then see our 7 Dice Games Similar To Yahtzee article for more inspiration.