There’s plenty of fun to be had with Dixit, although depending on the box that you have, you may only be able to play it with a certain number of people…but which player count is right for you?
The base game of Dixit is a 3-6 player game, but if you have the big box version of Dixit Odyssey, you can play it up to 12 players.
The Dixit Experience
If you haven’t played Dixit yet, the basic gist of the game is that there will be a storyteller each round, and they will declare a card from their hand with a vague hint while the other players also try to match that hint with one of their cards, with the storyteller aiming to have their card be figured out by at least one player, but not everyone, with the main draw of the game being the wonderfully illustrated cards with surreal imagery, making the vague hints needed even more vague by way of the artwork alone.
I feel like most board gamers will have at least experienced Dixit at least once in their board gaming life, and for good reason, as Dixit is easily one of the most accessible party games in board gaming, so much so that multiple publishers already had their own take on the basic ingredients of the game and turning it into something else, like turning it into a cooperative experience in Mysterium or adding a social deduction element to it in Detective Club.
4-6 Player Dixit
You may be curious as to why I’m skipping the 3 player count, but this is because playing it with 4-6 players is considered the normal way to play Dixit, with the majority of the rule books written under the assumption that you’re mostly playing it with that many players.
So with 4-6 players, you will always have 6 cards at the end of each turn, take voting tokens equal to the number of players at the start of the game, and the non-storyteller players always play only one card each round.
That being said, since the game’s rules were mostly written with 4-6 players in mind, this is the sweet spot of Dixit in terms of player count, and most games will be a breeze to play in terms of game length and rules complexity, never lasting longer than it needs to be while also still being very easy to teach.
3 Player Dixit
So how does the 3 player version differ then?
The thing is, Dixit doesn’t quite work as magically with 3 players, but will still provide a fun time if you really can’t convince one other person to play it with you, and each player will then always have 7 cards at the end of each turn.
But the other major difference with playing it with only 3 players is that the game will kind of act as if you’re playing with 5 players, and it does that by having all players get 5 voting tokens each, and all non-storyteller players now play two cards per round instead of just one.
This means that each turn, 5 cards will always be revealed despite there only being 3 players in the game, with each non-storyteller having two cards each and the storyteller only having one.
Despite the storyteller playing less cards, however, the game doesn’t actually teeter into the favor of the non-storyteller players simply because the scoring of Dixit relies on the mechanic of the storyteller trying to sneak their card into the territory of being borderline identifiable with their clues, and since there are 5 cards revealed in a 3 player game instead of just 3 cards, odds are it will still be hard for the other players to identify which card is the storyteller’s while also providing enough tension for the storyteller to provide the right clues.
7-12 Player Dixit
If you were able to get the big box version of Dixit Odyssey instead of the regular Dixit box, you can expand your player count up to a staggering amount of 12 players, which is a rare treat in board gaming, especially since most board games tend to skew towards a maximum of 4 players.
As for differences, there’s actually very few, with most of the game playing the same way as it does as the 4-6 player count, with each player getting two voting tokens each this time and a slight difference in how scoring is done.
For the most part, you usually would forget to use both voting tokens, because the game does provide you an extra point if you were able to correctly guess the storyteller’s card while only using one voting token, acting as an incentive, but with 7-12 players, there would be far more cards to choose from, turning the game into more of a tricky conundrum.
Of course, you can always use both voting tokens to double your chances of guessing the storyteller’s card correctly, but since each player only has one card each, it’s more likely that you’ll be giving points to the other players instead.
But the game also prevents a deluge of points being inadvertently handed to the other players, because playing with 7-12 players actually allows a maximum of 3 points even if their card gets more than 3 votes.
The rules for Dixit Odyssey actually includes two other variants, one called Dixit Party for 6-12 players and one called Team Dixit for 6, 8, 10, or 12 players, but both are actually quite fiddly when it comes to their rules, with Dixit Party introducing an element wherein the similar votes gets more points but the storyteller can prevent other players from getting them, and Team Dixit being a watered-down team based version of the base game.
You’re free to explore both of them on your own, but we’ve found both variants lacking, especially with how easy it is to play regular Dixit.
The bad news is that, even though playing Dixit with 7-12 players is still fun, the massive amount of cards to choose from each round bogs down the playing time, which may also be the reason why future printings of Dixit ditched these variants altogether and kept the player count to a maximum of 6.
Dixit Till Dawn
The magic number of Dixit’s player count will always be 4-6, despite Dixit Odyssey’s best efforts to expand the player count, although playing it with 3 or 7-12 players still works just because the underlying mechanics of the game is so easy to grasp, but you may find the 7-12 player count being a tad bit longer and more tedious to keep track of than playing with 3-6 players.
The Dixit Party and Team Dixit variants never clicked with our playgroup as great ways to play the game as all they add are additional finicky rules that feel hamfisted in an attempt to mix up the formula, which Dixit never really needed in the first place, because all it ever really needed was more cards with surreal artwork and wonderful colours to expand the magic of playing Dixit, but you’re definitely free to try them at your own pace.
Fun out of 5
No matter which way you play Dixit with any number of players you can gather around the table, though, you’re bound to have a great time piquing around how your friends think and how they interpret the beautifully vague artwork of cards that is present in every Dixit box.