Word on the Street Game Rules and How to Play Guide

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Word on the street

In this article, you can read about the basic rules of the game Word on the Street and learn how to play. The object of the game is to be the first team to pull eight letters off your side of the board.


Set up the board in the middle of the table and divide the players into two teams who sit on either side. Make sure the category cards are all the same directions as this will be what everyone plays with. The blue side is more challenging than green. Place the category cards and timers on one end. And, place all the letter tiles on their corresponding positions in the center of the board.

Word on the Street Gameplay

Teams alternate taking turns. On your team’s turn draw a category card and the opposite team flips the timer. You now have 30 seconds. Read the category aloud, brainstorm possible answers to single words that fit that category.

Pick one of those words and begin to spell it. One person then pulls letter tiles toward your team as each letter is spelled in that word. If at any time the timer runs out, your team must stop wherever you are and end your turn. Place the category card back in the tray it is now the other team’s turn.

Words allowed

The word you’re allowed to use is any single English word. Capitalization doesn’t matter and it may only be hyphenated if it’s part of a name. Such as, in and out or zeta-jones.

Additionally, the plurality and tense of a word must match the context of the category. If your category is pizza topping you could say olives but not pineapples because it is generally written as pineapple when listed as a pizza topping. Cooked is an acceptable answer for something you did today but for something you do with an onion you don’t ‘cooked’ an onion you ‘cook’ an onion.

Compound words are also allowed. The opposing team may challenge your word if they think you spelled it incorrectly, chose two words instead of one, didn’t choose a real English word, or if your word doesn’t fit the category.

If the spelling is incorrect, move back all the tiles after the spelling error. If the spelling is correct, then the challenging team loses their next turn. Also, if the challenge is about a word being multiple words, or not being a real word, and is proved to be incorrectly played, then all the letters return to their previous position. Otherwise, the challenging team loses a turn.

Challenging a word

If a team challenges you on the word fitting into a category, then you must give an explanation as to why you think your word is appropriate. If the majority of players reject the explanation, then all their tiles return to their previous positions. Then you end your turn. Lastly, if there is a tie for rejecting the word, then the word is rejected. Next, the team restarts its turn with a new category card. Each letter is moved one space towards your team for each time it appears in a word.

Once you move the first letter of a word, you may not change your word. Your team must spell the word aloud as the tiles are moved one at a time by one person. Once a letter is moved off the street it has been captured. It may no longer be moved when used in a word. It remains visible there until the end of the game.


The opposing team is allowed to try and sidetrack the current team by saying words allowed during the brainstorm. They may say completely wrong words or short unhelpful words. Remember, the spirit of the game is, to be honest, and have fun not to be obnoxious. There are letters not present on the board. You may use them in a word you just don’t move a tile when doing so. The first team to get 8 tiles off their side of the board wins.

There is also a game version called Word on the Street Junior that is played very similarly.

Word on the Street on the Market

There are a few versions of the game Word on the Street available on the market. I leave the link to the game that I refer to in this post.

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