Sheriff of Nottingham is an exciting and social game where players compete to get the most money, legally or illegally. One player is the sheriff, and has to decide whether or not they are going to trust that the players are telling the truth. Below are some tips for bluffing and some tips for when to bluff.
How to Bluff. In this game, bluffing is the most important aspect. While it is possible to win without any contraband (I’d say that happens 33% of the time), the other 67% of the time the person who wins is almost entirely honest, however the 3 contraband they sneak through pushes them above everyone else, securing the win. When bluffing, there are a few strategies you can try. If the sheriff is very good at reading peoples’ faces, then you should attempt to keep a straight face, which will force them (without any help from facial expressions), to assess whether or not a blind guess it worth it. More often than not, they will pass on you. If the person is a risk-taker, there’ not much you can do except not lie to them. If the person is questioning you, you should (if you lied) do exactly what they ask, so as to give them no clue to what you’re doing, or (if you told the truth) throw in a few giggles and a smile to make them think that you are having a hard time keeping your facial expressions in place. If the person is about to let you pass and you told the truth, attempt to get them to check your bag so that you get the extra coins. Lastly, don’t be afraid to accept bribes. However, if they ask for 5 coins, which is a high price, and you say yes, they may decide to inspect you because they know that you have a lot of contraband in their since you need to make a profit margin after the 5 coins, and therefore will ruin your plans. Only accept reasonable bribes and never reveal just how much contraband you have in your bag.
When to Bluff. There are a few times where you want to bluff. They are as follows:
1) When you are being honest. The reason why is that if you fake them out then you get the extra coins in addition to the coins you already get for your goods.
2) When you have a LOT of contraband. If you are down by a lot of points, you’ll often put in way too much contraband in a bag. My advice is to put 2 of one type (turkey for example) in a bag along with 4 contraband, and play it off to the sheriff as only 2 contraband, so that they will accept a lower bribe.
3) When you are the sheriff. I know that this one sounds odd, but it’s true. When you are the sheriff, you want to bluff to players and either act like you are interested in a bribe or that you already have enough money to win and are going to inspect them unless they tell you what’s in the bag. Either one pays greatly as you will learn if they have contraband or not.