How to play Taboo?

In this article, I will introduce you to the basic rules of the board/card game Taboo and show you how to play. The object of the game is for your team to score the most points.


Place the buzzer and timer within easy reach of all players. Fill the cardholder with cards green side down first. Once you’ve finished with the green side switch to the purple. Divide the players into two teams, alternating teams each round. One player is the clue giver and holds the tray of cards so no one on their team can see. Flip the timer. The clue giver turns over the first card and sets it on the easel. The clue giver now says words, not sound effects nor gestures to get their team to guess the word at the top of the card. The other words on the card are taboo. The clue giver is not allowed to say any of the taboo words listed on the card. The clue giver is not allowed to say any form of any word on the card such as abbreviations past present or future tense initials spelling and letters sounds like or rhymes with smaller words of a compound word. As the clue giver gives clues their teammates guess as much as they want until the timer runs out. When they guess correctly the clue giver draws a new card and places it in the easel. The clue giver may pass on a word and place it in a discard pile. If at any point during the guessing the clue giver uses an illegal clue or taboo word the opposing team who is monitoring the clue givers cards sounds the buzzer. The clue giver discards the card to the discard pile. At the end of the timer, the clue givers team receives one point for each card in the easel. An unfinished card in the easel counts for zero points. The opposing team scores one point for each card in the discard pile. Mark these scores on a score pad. Gather up all the cards in the easel and discard pile and set them aside. Switch teams and repeat until every player has been the clue giver once. If teams are uneven then some players may need to give clues twice. After every player has been the clue giver tally up the points and the team with the highest score wins.

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