This is a selection of games which can be played at home using basic equipment. All you get here are some rules so a little initiative may be required. Some of the games are similar to commercially available games which various enterprising souls have packaged up to save you time and trouble. In fact I once tried to market this whole set of games as a commercial package but nobody seemed interested so I swallowed my pride and decided to give them away instead....I hope you enjoy them!
The games are listed under the following headings: Main games menu PEN AND PAPER GAMES
Pen and Paper Games (light-hearted fun)
Main games menu
PEN AND PAPER GAMES
Players: 4 or more. Equipment needed: A pen & paper per team, the timer. Players divide into two teams. This is a drawing game. Both teams nominate a 'drawer'. The drawers leave the room briefly and decide what it is that they will draw. They return to the room, turn the timer over and begin to draw. The other players on each team try to guess what it is that is being drawn and the first player to guess it correctly earns points for their team. If it has been guessed before the sand runs through the timer, the team gets two points, if it is after the timer has run out, they get just one point. Note that the drawers change each turn. A game is over when every player on each team has had a turn at drawing. Main games menu
THE NAME GAME (also known as The Hat Game)
Players: 4 or more. Equipment needed: A pen & paper per team, the timer. Players divide into teams of two. Each player takes a small piece of paper and writes somebody's name on it - it can be a celebrity, a politician or anybody. Beneath the name are written four 'forbidden' words which are words associated with the name. The paper is then folded and placed in a bowl in the centre. Each team has one describer and one guesser. To start, the timer is turned and the first team's describer takes a piece of paper. He must try to describe the person on the paper to the guesser without saying the name on the paper or any of the forbidden words. If he succeeds before the timer runs out, the team gets a point. If he fails, the paper is folded and replaced in the bowl. Play continues until there are no more pieces of paper in the bowl. The winning team is the one with the most points.Main games menu
Players: 4 or more. Equipment needed: A pen & paper per team, the timer. This is played exactly as the Name Game except that songs are written on the pieces of paper rather than names and forbidden words. All teams have one hummer and one guesser. The idea is that on your team's turn the hummer will take a piece of paper and try to hum the song or tune to his team mate. When humming a player's lips must be wholly shut together. It is scored in the same way as the Name Game.Main games menu
BLUFF 'N STUFF (also known as The Dictionary Game)
Players: 4 or more. Equipment: A pen & paper per player and a dictionary. One player becomes the 'Chairman' for each turn. He takes the dictionary and finds a word that he does not know the meaning of. He announces the word to the other players who must compose a likely sounding definition for that word. The Chairman writes down the real definition. The Chairman then collects all the pieces of paper, shuffles them and reads them all out aloud twice. Each player (except the Chairman) must then guess which definition is the real one. A player is awarded two points for correctly guessing the definition and one point if another player mistakenly believes their definition to be the real one. The Chairman does not score. A game is over when all players have had a turn at being the Chairman and the winner is the one with the most points. Main games menu
SET A LETTER
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: A pen & paper for each player, the timer. All the letters of the alphabet should be written on separate pieces of paper, folded and placed in a bowl. Each player writes down a category on a small piece of paper and places this in another bowl. Categories should be broad such as animals, magazines etc., for reasons that will become apparent when you play. One category and one letter are taken from the respective bowls and read out to all players. The timer is then turned over and players have to write down as many things in the chosen category that begin with the chosen letter as they can before the timer runs out. Players then read out their lists in turn. Any player who has the same word as the one that has been read out must say so and all players with that word cross it off their list. Players score one point for each word that they alone have written down. The game ends when all the categories have been used and the player with the most points wins.Main games menu
HALF A MINUTE!
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: A pen and paper, the timer. The idea of this game is to talk for thirty seconds on a given subject. Each player writes down a subject, folds the paper and places it in a bowl. To start, the first player must take a piece of paper, turn the timer and begin to talk for thirty seconds on the subject. If they repeat a word, hesitate, or begin to say irrelevant things, any other player may challenge. To do this, a challenger knocks the timer flat and accuses the speaker. If a challenger is correct, then he gains a point and takes up the talking, turning the timer up again. If he is incorrect he loses a point and the speaker who was interrupted continues. Players gain two points for speaking when the timer runs out of sand. The game ends when all the subjects have been used. The player with the most points is the winner.Main games menu
FOUR TO WIN
Players: 2. Equipment: A pen and paper. Draw a grid on a piece of paper that is eight squares long by eight wide. One player uses noughts and another crosses. The winner is the first to get four in a row, whether it be vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Players make one move per turn and may only place their nought or cross on the bottom of the grid or on top of an existing nought or cross.
Players: 4 or more. Equipment: A pen and paper. Players divide into two teams. Each team writes down either a film, book or song title. The first team to play nominates an actor who must collect a title from the opposing team. The actor then tries to silently act out the title so that his team will guess what it is. If a team guesses their actor's title correctly within a minute, they get a point. If they do not, then it is the other team's turn. The game ends when all the titles have been acted out and the team with the most points wins.Main games menu
WHO AM I?
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: A pen and paper.
Each player writes down a person's name on a piece of paper and passes it face down to the player on his right. Once a player has received a piece of paper he must close his eyes, lick the back of the paper and stick it to his forehead (without trying to see the name). Sticky tape be used if deemed necessary or more polite! He may then open his eyes again. Players take turns to ask one question trying to establish their new identity. The answers from other players may only be 'yes' or 'no'. The loser is the last person to guess correctly.Main games menu
CARD GAME JARGON AND GUIDELINES
Generally players take turns to be the dealer and the player to the left of the dealer will begin each round. Winning a 'trick' is when a player wins a round. A 'trump' denotes a card or suit that beats the others. In these games, aces are the highest value card, followed by King, Queen, Jack and then down through the numbers.Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: A pen, paper and the cards. The pack is dealt out fully so that each player has the same number of cards. Any left over cards are placed face up at the side. The player left of the dealer places a card on the table and others must do likewise using the same suit if they can. If they do not have cards of the same suit, they may put down any other card. When each player has put down a card, the person who has put down the highest card of the suit that was led wins the round, collects the cards and starts a new round. The only exception to this is when a heart is played by a player. A heart 'trumps' (beats) all the other suits. If several Hearts are put on the table, the highest one wins. The round ends when all the cards have been won and the scoring works as follows: Each player examines the cards that they have won and are awarded minus points for all the Hearts they have accumulated. The Ace is -15, King, Queen & Jack are -10, all the other Hearts are minus their face value. Additional the Queen of Spades is minus 15 and the Jack of Diamonds is plus 15. Therefore it is a good strategy to avoid winning Hearts wherever possible. Players agree a number of rounds before starting and the winner is the one with the most points at the end of the game.Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: Cards This game is likely too ruin the pack of cards for ever. The cards are cut to reveal a particular card and then shuffled. All the cards are dropped face up on the table. The winner is the first player to get the card out of the pack and off the table onto their lap. However players may only use their little finger to do so and any player using another other means is immediately disqualified.Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: Cards. Each player is dealt out ten cards. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table. One card from this pile is turned face up and the first player must place a card from his hand on top. This card must either be the same suit or the same number as the card already on the table. The next player must do likewise and so on. If a player does not have a card matching the suit or number of that on the table, he must take two from the pile and play passes to the next player. Various other rules apply to certain cards: If a player puts down a two, the next player must also put down a two or take two cards. If a black Queen is played, the direction of play changes. If a black Jack is played the next player must play another black jack or pick up three cards. If an eight is played, then the next person misses a go. Some variations differ in that if an eight is played, everybody must do something (e.g. stand on their chair, touch their toes etc.) and the last player to do so takes two cards. The winner is the first person to run out of cards.Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: A pen, paper and the cards. The dealer cuts the pack to reveal the 'trump' suit and deals seven cards to each player. Each player then declares how many 'tricks' he expects to win in the game. The total number of tricks declared may not total seven. The idea of the game is to win the number of 'tricks' that you have declared. If you win precisely that number of tricks, you gain that number of points. However if you win a different number of 'tricks' you work out the difference and lose that many points. For example, if you declare two tricks and end up with four, you lose two points. Play begins with the first player placing a card on the table. Others must follow that suit if they can, but if they cannot they may place any other card on the table including a 'trump'. The highest card of the suit that was led wins the 'trick' unless a 'trump' has been played in which case the highest 'trump' wins. The player winning the 'trick' starts the next round and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: Cards. The pack is dealt out fully amongst the players. The first player puts any numbers of cards face down on the table and announces what he has put down. He may say 'two Kings' for example - however he may be telling the truth or lying! The second player must either accuse him of cheating (CHEAT!) or play on. If the second player chooses to play on, the second player must put down cards and announce that they are either the same or one higher or one lower than the face value of the cards put down by the first player. (For example, if the first player put down "two Kings", the second player would have to put down Aces, Kings or Queens). When a player is accused of cheating correctly, he must take all the cards on the table into his hand. When a player falsely accuses another of cheating, the accuser must take the cards. The winner is the first person to get rid of all their cards.Main games menu
Contortion games involve physical movement and unusual body positions. It is suggested that only fit, supple people play these games. Players should be advised to warm up with appropriate stretches before playing and should not risk exceeding their own physical limitations in pursuit of victory. After all, its only a game…….
TIN CAN ALLEY
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: Three sturdy unopened tins or drink cansA line is drawn on the floor behind which the first player stands. take two cans and hold them in his palms. Then he must rest the bottom of the cans on the floor in front of the line. His feet remain on the floor behind the line and he must take 'steps' with the cans away from the line. This involves lifting one hand/can and then the next and gradually moving the cans away from the line. The idea is to place one can as far from the line as possible and stand up again without ever touching the floor. Consequently players 'step' out on two hands/cans and awkwardly work their way back again with two hands gripping the other can. Other players then compete to try and place another can beyond the one that has already been placed, with the furthest winning. A player is disqualified for touching the floor but may make any number of attempts to improve on their position. Main games menu
TWISTED AND TANGLED
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: Pen, paper, dice. Write the numbers one to six on separate pieces of paper for each player. Gather up all the papers and scatter them at random face up on the floor. On the first round each player throws the dice and must put their left foot on the number that they have thrown. On the second round, it is the right foot but the left foot remains in place. On the third round it is the left hand with the feet staying in place. On the fourth round, the right hand and on subsequent rounds the order repeats. A player who throws a number and cannot reach it or falls must extricate himself from the tangled bodies and is out. He removes six pieces of paper. If a number is thrown and all the corresponding pieces of paper are already used, the dice is thrown again. The last player to be disqualified is the winner.Main games menu
No forfeits will be proposed here as each party will enjoy dreaming them up! It is generally best if forfeits are decided before the game starts to ensure fairness.
Players: 5 or more. Equipment: None The first player puts both his thumbs to his ears and wiggles his fingers. The players adjacent to him raise a single thumb to the nearest ear and wiggle their fingers too. The game now begins and the first player moves play to any other player by taking his thumbs from his ears and pointing at the chosen player with both hands. The people on either side of the first player lower their hands. The player to whom play has moved swiftly places his thumbs to his ears and wiggles his fingers. The people on either side of him do likewise the thumb closest to him. Play moves between players and forfeits are applied for hesitation and raising hands at the wrong moment.Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: 3 small objects per player (not provided).All players place their hands under the table and put between none and three objects in one hand. This hand is closed and held out above the table. Players then take it in turns to guess the total number of coins held in all the hands combined. When all the guesses have been made, everybody opens their hands and the total is counted up. If a player has guessed correctly, then he is out of the game and the others begin a new round. The last player out is the loser and has to undertake a forfeit. Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: One coin and a small glass (not provided).For this game you will need a coin and a small glass. A 1Op coin is best. Place the glass on a tough, robust surface. The idea of the game is to bounce the coin off the surface and into the glass. Traditionally this is an American game where the glass is filled with beer and when a player lands the coin in the glass, he nominates any other player to drink it. However when playing for forfeits, a number of forfeits are written on a piece of paper, folded up and placed in the glass. When a player lands the coin in the glass, he may nominate another player to unfold and do the forfeit. Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: A coin and a small glass per player. One large glass.This game is much like quarters. The large glass is placed on the table and the small glasses are placed in a circle immediately around it. The idea is to bounce the coin off the table and into a glass. The forfeits are written out on paper and placed in the large glass. If the coin lands in your glass you must do a forfeit. If you bounce the coin into the large glass in the centre, you can nominate any player to do a forfeit. Main games menu
SERGEANT MAJOR GENERAL
Players: 8 or more. Equipment: None Players should be sitting round a table. The first player is the General, the player to his right is the Major, the next on the right is the Sergeant, the next is 'one', then 'two', then 'three' and so on until you reach the player on the General's left who is the 'dunce'. The object of the game is to become the General. The General starts each round by saying "General" and then somebody else's title or number - "General, two" for example. In this case it is then number two's turn and he must say his number and then pass it to somebody else - "Two, four" for example. It is then number four's turn and so it goes on. Players may not move play to the people either side of them, (for example "two, three" is not allowed). Nor may they send it back to the person who moved it to them, ("General, two" could not be followed by "two, General"). If a player does either of these things or hesitates unduly, he becomes dunce. All the players between him and dunce move along a seat and he takes the dunce's seat. The General then starts play again. If a player goes to the dunce's seat twice, the General at the time can nominate a forfeit.Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: None The first player says a word and the second player must say a word beginning with the last letter of that word. The next player uses the last letter of that word to begin his word and so it goes on. You may not hesitate for more than an instant or use a word that has already been used. If you do, you must face a forfeit.Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: None. Players take turns to make a conversation, each saying one sentence at a time. The first player begins his sentence with an 'A', the second with a 'B', the third a 'C' and so on through the alphabet. Any player who hesitates for more than a couple of seconds loses and is out. If forfeits are being played, the player stays in the game but has to do a forfeit.Main games menu
MONSTROUSLY SILLY GAMES
Players: 6 or more. Equipment: None Each player chooses an animal and selects an action and noise to represent an impression of it. Before playing, ask all players in turn to make their noise and do their action. The first player begins by doing his impression followed by that of another player. This second player must then do their own impression followed by another player's. Play goes on in this fashion. Any player who laughs loses or must do a forfeit. Hint: Be adventurous with your animals for best effect and decide on new animals after a few rounds. Main games menu
Players: 5 or more. Equipment: A cork with one end burnt black (not provided). Players number off in turn such that the first player becomes "Ibble Dibble One", the second "Ibble Dibble Two", the third "Ibble Dibble Three" and so on. Here a new bit of jargon needs introduction, a 'dobble' is the mark made on your face when you go wrong later in the game. The idea is to say your number, the amount of dobbles on your face and then pass it to another player stating his number and the number of dobbles on his face. For example the first player may choose to start by passing to the third player in which case he would say: "Ibble Dibble One with no dobbles, to Ibble Dibble Three with no dobbles". The third player may then choose to pass to the second and would say: "Ibble Dibble Three with no dobbles to Ibble Dibble Two with no dobbles" and so play goes on. There is no order for turns. When a player becomes tongue tied and says it wrong, he must make a small mark on his face with the cork and then has a 'dobble'. If it is player four, he would become "Ibble Dibble Four with one dobble". Main games menu
Players: 5 or more. Equipment: None. Every player nominates a vegetable for themselves. In this game you must talk without showing your teeth which means pronunciation is difficult. Choosing vegetables that are hard to pronounce under these circumstances will add hilarity to the game (try 'creamed swede' for example). The first player says his vegetable followed by another player's. That player says their own vegetable followed by another player's and so on. At no time can any player show their teeth, so even if somebody laughs, they must cover their mouths. Players lose (or suffer forfeits) for showing teeth and hesitating for too long. Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: None The first player says "one", the second "two", the third "three" and so on. Play goes round the table counting like this, but instead of saying "five" players must say "fizz". Instead of seven they must say "buzz". All numbers divisible by five become 'fizz' and all divisible by seven become 'buzz'. Additionally all numbers containing a seven become 'buzz' (e.g. 17, 37, 76). Any player getting it wrong is out and the last remaining player is the winner. Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: 5 Dice, pen and paper. Draw up a score sheet as follows:
CATEGORIES PLAYER 1 PLAYER 2
35 Bonus if
63 or higher
THREE OF A KIND
FOUR OF A KIND
FULL HOUSE (25)
SHORT STRAIGHT (3O)
LONG STRAIGHT (4O)
The idea is to score as many points as possible in each category. The first player rolls all five dice. Depending on what has been thrown, the player may choose either to score against a certain category or try to improve by rolling any number dice for a second time. Then the decision is repeated and the player may either score or roll for a third and final time. Then he must score regardless of the dice values that have been thrown. Players must score on every turn and can only score once against each category. Once a player has scored, it is the end of their turn. The dice pass clockwise to the next player. Play continues until all categories have been scored. Then the points scored are added up and the player with the most is the winner. SCORING: The score sheet looks a little daunting but don't be put off, it's simple! For the upper categories (ones to sixes) you score the value of the relevant dice. So for example if you have three twos, your score in the twos category is six (disregard the other dice you have thrown). If your total score for the upper category is 63 or over, you qualify for a bonus of 35 points. The categories in the lower half of the sheet are scored as follows:
Three and Four of a kind, and Chance - you score the total value of all the dice you have thrown. Anything can go in the chance category. For the other lower categories you score the value shown in brackets on the score sheet. A Full House is three dice of one value and two of another. A Short Straight is four dice in numerical in order (for example 1,2,3,4 or 3,4,5,6). A Long Straight is five numbers in order and a Yatzee is five of a kind. If you fail to roll dice that suit a category in which you have yet to score, you must score nil against a category of your choice. Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: 5 dice. Each player has three lives. You lose a life when you lose a challenge (see below) and you are out of the game when you have lost all your lives. The winner is the last person left in the game. The first player rolls all the dice, hiding them from the other players. He then says what is being passed to the next player. This is not necessarily the truth. The second player must decide whether to accept or challenge. If the dice are accepted, the second player may throw any number of dice again, telling the other players how many are being thrown. The second player must then say what is being passed to the next player. This must be an improvement on what he received (see below). The next player can choose to accept or challenge. Play continues like this until a challenge arises. This happens when a player does not believe that the dice he is being passed are what the passer said they are. Once challenged, the dice must be revealed and a life is lost by the loser of the challenge who then restarts by shaking all five dice. SCORING: The following scores are listed in ascending order of importance: A Pair, Two Pairs, Three of a kind, A Full House (three of one kind and two of another), Four of a kind, Five of a kind. Additionally, higher numbers within these groups improve on lower numbers so for example a pair of sixes improves on a pair of fours. Note that because three of a kind improves on a pair, two sixes is worse than three ones. Main games menu
Players: 3 or more. Equipment: 5 dice, pen and paper for scoring. The idea of the game is to be the first player to reach a cumulative score of 123. On each turn a player may shake the dice as many times as he chooses. During a turn the value of the dice on every throw are added to the values of previous throws. Consequently the score increases with each throw. At any stage a player may decide to end their turn voluntarily. At this point the score that he made in the turn is added to any scores that have been made in previous turns. However, if a player throws dice with a combined value of seven, he loses the score that has been built up over that turn. It is the end of his turn and the dice are passed to the next player. If a player throws a double six he loses all the scores that have been built up through the game and must begin again from zero. Main games menu
Equipment: 2 Dice. Players: 2 or more. This is an old game which is particularly popular in the US. It is often a gambling game, but can equally easily be played for fun which is the version shown here. The first thing to learn is the scoring:
If the combined value of the dice rolled is 7 or 11 it is a 'natural.
If the combined value of the dice rolled is 2,3, or 12 it is 'craps'.
Any other number becomes that players 'point'.
Each player starts with three lives. Players gain a life for each win and forfeit one for each loss. The winner is the first player to reach seven lives or the only player with lives left, depending on the other player's fortunes. The first player throws the dice. If a 'natural' is thrown, then he wins immediately and can choose to throw again or pass to the next player. If a 'Craps' is thrown, then he loses immediately and the dice pass to the next player.
If a player throws 4,5,6,8,9 or 1O it becomes their 'point'. When this happens the player must keep throwing until either he throws the same number again (in which case he wins and may play on or pass) or he throws a seven (in which case he loses and must pass the dice on). No other numbers count when a player is throwing to repeat his point. Main games menu
Players: 2 or more. Equipment: 3 dice, pen and paper. Take one dice and set it aside as the forfeit dice. Decide upon six forfeits and allocate them to dice numbers. The first player rolls the remaining two dice and presents them to the next player who must take them and guess whether he will roll a higher or lower number. He then rolls and if the guess was correct, the dice pass to the next player who must declare higher or lower and so on. However if a guess is incorrect the player must look at what he threw and guess and throw again until correct. If a player is wrong twice in a row, he must throw the forfeit dice. When the value thrown is the same as the previous one, the last player to throw must roll the forfeit dice and pick another player to do the forfeit. Main games menu
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