I came up with the following party game and am very excited about it.
You don't have to be the best speller; you just have to know who is.
The object of the game is to be the player with the most money at the end of the game. The game is played over several rounds of betting.
The game starts with each player getting betting cards, a money envelope, and a pad to write on. The first round begins with each player being dealt 3 letters and 7 letters being placed face down in the middle. Each player will reveal 2 of his 3 cards to all of his players. The letter cards are just a letter with points on it.
Players all have betting cards that they will play to show who they think will have the highest scoring word. The word points are determined by the points from the letters used in the word. First each player places any money they want to bet into their envelope. The amount is locked in and can't be changed. The betting will be done in phases as the middle letters are revealed. A player places his betting card down at the letter when he made the bet. The sooner you make a bet the more the payout. Players have the option to change who they bet on, but not how much they bet.
Once all betting is done players must write a word down. They can use the 7 letters in the middle and the 3 letters they were given. Players cannot use other player's letters. The player with the highest scoring word gets a bonus and each player that bet on him wins. Every other player loses their bet. Players collect their money and reshuffle the letter cards for a new round. The player with the most money after all the rounds wins.
Possible Changes and Component Ideas
I think one possible addition would be some actions during the betting phases where players can pay to take actions. Some of these include looking at another player's bet, seeing their hidden letter, etc.
For the components, I was thinking of having players write their words on a check like pad. For betting, I was looking to go with a poker chip like token. It feels like a half bank half casino theme so that will hopefully form into a more coherent idea later.
Right now the letters I have resemble Scrabble tiles,. I was just happy that the game should work with using about half the amount of letters in a Scrabble game.
That's the game. A light word game that involves betting. Let me know what you think.
Play games. Always.