The game is fun to play and even popular Hollywood celebrities like Katie Perry and Ellen love playing the taboo board game.
Let us guide you through this simple step-step process on how to play taboo and acquaint yourself with the rules necessary for effective play.
- 504 Cards
- Card Holder
Object of the game
Win the game by helping your team score more points by guessing words. Remember No Taboo Words.
Starting the Game
To start the game, you first need to prepare the game for play.
- Dividing up players
Try as much as possible to evenly divide players into two teams. Also take into consideration the skill level, gender, age, and relationships into consideration when matching up players.
- Match male versus females
- Old and young people
- Mix up skilled and unskilled players to level up the playing field.
- Don’t pair family members together.
- Loading cards into the holder
Now, fill the cardholder with cards with the green side down first. After that, switch to purple.
Place the buzzer and timer within easy reach of all players.
Once everything is set, it’s time to start the game.
To make the guide easier to digest, let’s choose some made-up names for the two groups. Team Falcon and Team Amber.
Given that, follow these steps:
- The First team say, Team Amber, will choose one of its members to become their first clue-giver who sits facing the cardholder with the timer close to him/her.
- Team Falcon’s team members will sit either beside or behind Team Amber’s clue-giver to see how he or she is playing the game. Team Falcon controls the buzzer.
- The clue giver’s team members are however not allowed to see the cards so they don’t sit behind or beside their clue giver. All they do is shout out their guesses.
- After this turn, the teams change sides and Team Falcon will choose a clue-giver with the same rules.
- Teams will alternate choosing new clue givers and guessing words until every player takes their turn.
- After exhausting the green side of the card, flip to the purple side.
Now let’s start playing.
The clue giver draws a card, places it on the easel, and gives as many clues to his or her teammates to help them guess the correct word.
On every card are the main word and an additional five words known as Taboo words you are not supposed to say to your teammates.
When he draws the card and gives the word, the timer is set on as he tries to give clues to his members.
Here are some simple rules to follow when giving clues.
- The clue giver is not supposed to give any form of the word printed on the card.
For example, if the guess word is Book, you cannot say words like Story, read, text or pages.
- Abbreviations and initials are not allowed.
- You cannot use hand gestures to give clues to your team members. For example, you cannot create a hand gesture for filling the pages of a book if the guess word is “Book”.
- Sound effects are also not allowed. Making sounds to help your players guess the correct word is not permitted.
- You can also not use words such as “sounds like” or “rhymes with” to connect guess words to other words.
Remember, team players can guess as many words as possible without any penalties.
Scoring a point
Points are awarded when the clue giver’s team members correctly name the guess word. The clue giver keeps the card on the easel, draws a new card, places in front of the other correctly guessed cards and the process continues again.
The number of points the team scores is equal to the number of correctly guessed words in the easel.
Losing a point
You only lose points when you are buzzed or pass a card. Meaning a card that cannot be guessed by your team players. Points lost are awarded to your opponents.
Let’s talk about getting buzzed and passing a card.
This is how to get buzzed and therefore how to avoid losing points.
During gameplay, the opposite team members closely watch the clue giver listening for either taboo words or other rules pertaining to clue giving.
If a taboo word is used, the opponent pushes the buzzer, explains the reason why and the clue giver will place that card in the discard pile.
The number of cards in the discard pile will be awarded to the opposing team.
A new card is picked and the process goes over and over again until the timer rings.
Passing a card
You can also choose to pass a card if you find that your team is spending too much time on one card or if you can’t seem to give an adequate clue for it.
If a card is passed, it is placed in the discard pile, counted after your turn, and the points awarded to your opponents.
End of the game
When all players have had their turn becoming a clue-giver, all the points on the scorecard are totaled and the team with the highest points wins the game.
However, if there is a tie, one more turn is taken to determine the winner.
Youtube Video Tutorial
Video tutorial on how to play Taboo step-by-step
Over To You
If you, however, don’t own the game yet, pick it up here on Amazon.