Pictionary Game Rules and How to Play Guide

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In this article, I will introduce you to the basic rules of the board game Pictionary and show you how to play. The object of the game is to be the first team to reach the finish square and guess the final sketch correctly.


Layout the board and divide it into equal teams. Place the cardholder with all the cards of the same color facing the same direction and the dye and timer next to the board. Each team takes a pad of paper and pencil and chooses a playing piece and places it on the large all play start square. Each team chooses one player to be the first artist who will sketch the picture.


Team members take turns being the artist. Each time your team has to sketch a new word a new artist must sketch. The first card is drawn and all team’s artist looks at the all play word indicated by the four pencil symbol. When all the artists have seen the word the timer is turned and they begin to sketch simultaneously. Their respective teammates have one minute to guess. You have unlimited guesses.

Rolling dice

The first team to guess the word correctly rolls the die and moves forward that number of spaces. If it is the first turn of the gameplay continues clockwise. Otherwise, every time a team guesses correctly they roll the dice, move, then sketch again.

One minute

Whatever space you land on draw a card and your artist must sketch according to the word matching the colored space you are on. Whenever an artist begins drawing flip the timer. They always have one minute. If the timer runs out and the team has not guessed correctly then play passes clockwise to the next team.

Whenever you land on an all play square or have a word with it with the four pencils all play symbol next to it the word is shown to and sketched by an artist from each team. Each team tries to guess what their teammate is drawing within the time limit. The first to guess correctly rolls the die, moves, then take the next turn. If no one guesses correctly within the time limit then play proceeds clockwise.

Basic rules of sketch

From the current team, each team must always evenly alternate artists with each new sketch. An artist may not use ear for sounds like dashes for the number of letters in a word. Letters, numbers speak to teammates or use sign language. The first team to make it around the board to the finish square and then guess a sketch correctly wins. You do not need to roll an exact number to get to the final square. Also, it might be a good idea before starting to decide how precise an answer needs to be.

How to play Telephone Pictionary

Using small pieces of paper hand each player a stack of paper equal to the number of players playing. Each player needs a writing utensil. Every player numbers each sheet of paper on their stack one through the number of players in order to keep their stack organized.

Pick a theme

Pick a category or theme for everyone to follow. Everyone thinks of a phrase that fits the theme and writes it on their first sheet of paper labeled one. When everyone has written something down, everyone passes their stack clockwise. Each person has one minute to read the phrase to themselves, place the sheet with the phrase on the bottom of the stack, and draw a picture on the next sheet of paper that reflects the phrase just read.

Interpret the drawing

At the end of a minute, everyone should have something drawn on sheet number 2 that reflects the phrase written on sheet number 1. Everyone passes their stack clockwise. Everyone now has 30 seconds to interpret what has been drawn. Each player must now write a phrase on the next sheet of paper to what they interpret from the drawing. Remember to place the sheet with the drawing on the bottom of the stack before you pass it on.

No winners

This process of draw-write, draw-write continues until the stack makes it fully around the circle returning to the person who wrote the original phrase. Now comes the good part where each player takes a turn revealing to everyone what their original phrase was along with how the phrase molded and changed over time by showing each of the different drawings and interpretations. There are no winners, only fun and laughter.

How to play Pictionary – challenge

Some Pictionary games include a challenge variation die. All the normal Pictionary rules are the same but add these new rules.


At the start of your turn, you roll the challenge die. If you roll the pencil then there is no special challenge this turn. Whoever is the artist for the round, these are the conditions you must follow if you roll.

Offhand. Every artist must use his offhand to draw the picture. Using the hand you normally do not draw with.

Eyes closed. Every artist must draw with his eyes closed. No peeking or you forfeit the round. You can look up at the ceiling or put on a blindfold if that is easier.

One line. Every artist can only use one line when sketching. Once the pencil is lifted from the paper you cannot return it to draw more or you lose the round.

Two images. Every artist must draw two pictures from the card. One picture must be the one from the category you are on while the second is any of your choices. Your team must guess both pictures. If the category you are on is an all play then you pick the second category to draw and every team must draw the same two pictures. All other rules remain the same.

Pictionary Game on the Market

The board game Pictionary is on the market in many versions. The one that I refer to in this article I link to here:

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