Fong Fo: Competition Announcement

Ever since Fong Fo editor-in-chief Feng Weijing graduated middle school, he has been fascinated by liar’s dice. He even dreamed of becoming a professional dice player. Finally, in 2015, he and his friends held the First King of the Dice Cup in his hometown of Shunde. Dozens of top dice players vied for the title, which Brother Bin of Daliang Road surprisingly won. Unfortunately, the competition was suspended after its second tournament in 2016 and became a local legend in Shunde. In view of Fong Fo’s long-standing friendship with the art community, we are offering the spirit of Shunde’s King of the Dice Cup to Heichi’s Olympic Reveries. The competition announcement and rules allow us to share in its lofty goals:

“Liar’s dice is a very popular dice game in Guangdong, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and is often played in bars, KTV venues, and late-night eateries. In these locations, liar’s dice is a weapon and drinking ability is a bargaining chip in one “fight to the death” after another. The game involves both skill and luck. If we disentangle the game from the players’ alcohol tolerance, then liar’s dice is a pure contest that cannot be manipulated by status, money, or capacity for drink. By organizing this unprecedented liar’s dice competition, we hope to bring winners and losers, who are usually found in a bar amidst thumping bass and flowing alcohol, out into the public eye. We want the competition to become a stage, with rankings, statistics, and trophies to magnify the feelings of victory and defeat. The Cup could become a local league in Shunde, with every late-night eatery or club signing and training their own players. When league players are playing in those venues, young people will visit. When they are not playing, screens on the walls can broadcast games that are taking place elsewhere in town.”

About the Competition

The games take the form of old-school one-on-one liar’s dice. Players must begin with two, three, three. Players can ask to show and count. Players breaking the no-wild must double the bid, and stacked dice must be re-rolled. Don’t show off and don’t be vague: your bids are final!


Outdoor Elimination Round of 56
Best of 3

Outdoor Elimination Round of 28
Best of 3

Outdoor Elimination Round of 14
Best of 3

Indoor Elimination Round of 7 Winners + 1 Seeded Player
Best of 5

Indoor Elimination Round of 4
Best of 5

Battle for Third Place
Best of 5

Best of 5

The Champion is crowned King of the Dice Cup for the 20xx-20xx Season

About Liar’s Dice

The Chinese name “big talk dice” (daiwah) comes from the Cantonese pronunciation of the written term for  “lie” (fong waa). Liar’s dice is a dice game that is called “climbing higher” (bubu gaosheng) in Taiwan and “boasting” (chuiniu) in northern and central China. The game is most popular in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Games are simple and intense, requiring some technique, but luck plays a major role. This dynamic has made the game very popular. The sounds of shaking dice can be heard on most nights out.

How to Play
Both players place five dice in a covered dice cup. The game begins by shaking the dice. Players take turns bidding on their dice and the game ends when one player challenges the other to show their dice. If the actual count is lower than the bid, then the challenging player wins, and if the actual count is higher or equal to the bid, then the challenged player wins.

1. Players must begin with two, three, three.
2. Players can opt to show and count.
3. The bid must be doubled if the no-wild is broken.
4. Stacks must be re-rolled.
5. Challenges are permitted, but not double downs.
6. Moved or fallen dice will result in a forfeit.

Rolling: Like shuffling in poker or mahjong. The dice must be shaken in the cup to begin every round of the game.
Bidding: Like betting in poker. Players bid “X Ys” or “X no-wild Ys.”
Bidding No-Wild: 1s are wild, so they can become any number. However, if no-wild is called at the beginning of the game, then 1s are no longer wild.
Switching to No-Wild: If no-wild is not called at the start of the game, then no-wild can be called during the game, so that 1s are no longer wild.
Breaking No-Wild: When a player has already switched to no-wild, 1s once again become wild on the condition that the player doubles their opponent’s bid (e.g., three no-wild 4s becomes six broken 3s).
Challenge: Once the game has started, if a player does not believe their opponent’s bid, they may challenge the bid and compare the dice of all players to their opponent’s bid.
Blind: The game ends without showing the dice. (The designated player has the right to call a blind. If their opponent agrees, then the count will take place under the supervision of a referee.)
Two, Three, Three: Players must begin bidding from “two 1s,” “three no-wild Xs,” or “three Xs.”
Show and Count: Players do not have to re-roll if a player has a Sequence or Singles.
Sequence: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” or “2, 3, 4, 5, 6”
Singles: All five of the dice have a different number.
Stack: The shaken dice are stacked on top of one another. When all five dice end up stacked, this is called “a pillar to the sky.”
Fallen Dice: Dice fall off the table.
Moved Dice: A player changes the number showing on their dice in the middle of the game.

*Terms such as “double down,” “double down a drink,” “double down a dozen,” “re-double down,” and “re-re-double down” are not explained here because they are not used in this competition.

Translated from the Chinese by Bridget Noetzel.

Fong Fo is a monthly magazine that was launched in March 2013. With Fong Waiking as the editor-in-chief, Zhu Jianlin as the CEO, BUBU as the publisher, Ou Feihong as the advertising manager, and Ce Zhenhao as the brand ambassador, Fong Fo take on the form of general-interest magazine, attempting to catalyze the connectivity between various locales with a minimum budget, as well as archiving and inspiring the creative impulse of the reader-artists.

Bridget Noetzel is a translator, editor, and art consultant based in Hong Kong. She received a BA in both Chinese Language and the History of Art from Yale University. Since 2009, she has worked with galleries and artists in Beijing and Hong Kong, and she has translated and edited for major publications, institutions, and auction houses. In 2017, she co-founded the Asia Photography Project. She was the translator for Yi Ying’s history of modern Chinese art, entitled Art and Artists in China 1949-Present (Cambridge University Press, 2018).


平行奥运 Olympic Reveries

In tandem with the Tokyo Olympics, Heichi Magazine is hosting a parallel assembly of artist essays. Olympic Reveries emphasizes the cultural spaces opened up by sports and the illusion of spatiotemporal unity created by live broadcasts. We invited artists to extend the ideas of athleticism and national culture into their practices and speculate on real or imagined games that present values different from those of mainstream sporting events.

Photo of the final round at the Second King of the Dice Cup in Shunde, 2016

Published: 2021.08.02