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How to Play Charades

Puja Lalwani Mar 5, 2020
A very common entertaining game at parties, charades can be enjoyed by all age groups. If you are not familiar with the rules of this game, you wouldn't be able to enjoy it thoroughly. Here's all you need to know about the game of charades.
Charades can make for an extremely enjoyable game at a party or just when you are a group of people hanging out for fun. Though it's a game that most of us have played growing up, some of you may not be familiar with exactly how it is played.
The game requires you to enact the title of a movie, TV show, book, or song. The most important rule is, not to speak a word or even make a sound in the process of enacting what you have been asked to. While the rules are minimal, there are numerous tricks that can help you get better at playing it.

Basic Rules

Here's what you need to do when playing charades
  • Divide the participating group of people into two teams.
  • A person from one team is summoned to enact what the other team asks him to. This could be anything from the numerous above-mentioned topics.
While in some cases the group decides what should be enacted on the spot, others put down titles on small pieces of paper that are then folded, from which the player from the opposite team picks one.
  • The person will then enact this title for his team and they are required to guess it within a set amount of time.

  • If the team guesses correctly within the set time, it gets a point. There is no negative marking for not being able to guess a title correctly.

Steps Involved

When the person is down to enacting what he has been asked to, this is how he will go about the process.
  • The player will start by indicating what he is enacting. If it is a book, he will enact the opening and closing of a book. If it's a movie, he will enact looking through a video camera. If it is a song, he will enact singing. If it's a TV show, he will draw a square in the air to show a TV.
  • Next, he will give the number of words that are there in the title. This is usually not applicable for songs where the player gets down to miming the song immediately.

  • While enacting the title, the player will indicate one finger for the first word, two fingers for the second word, and so on, so that the team understands the sequence of words in the title.
  • The player may use any kind of action to depict what he is trying to say as long as it is acceptable to the group. He is not allowed to speak a word.

  • He can only indicate a 'yes' or 'no' by shaking his head.
  • Words may be broken down into syllables, may be enacted by using similar sounding words, or by enacting shorter or longer words.
These actions aid the guessing team to figure the answer quickly.

Simple Tricks and Tips

Here are some tips that seasoned players use to make their game simpler.
  • In order to indicate a word that sounds similar to the word you are trying to enact, hold your earlobe and lightly tug on it.
  • Indicate a chopping action to show that you are breaking the word down into syllables. Indicate the number of syllables by placing those many fingers on your forearm.
  • To depict the extension of a word, for instance, 'dancing' instead of 'dance', make an action like you are stretching something.

  • To depict a shorter word, put your hands close together as though pressing something.
  • To describe articles, pronouns, or any other smaller words, indicate small by bringing close your index finger and thumb.

  • If someone calls out the correct name, point to the person and nod your head.
  • If someone is close to giving the right answer or guessing the correct word, wave your hands as if showing 'next'. This will give the team members an idea of how close they are to the actual answer.
With the numerous ideas for charades, you can have a wonderful time miming, guessing, and laughing through it all at the silliness of the game. As you keep playing, you will get better at enacting the different titles that you get and lead your team to a quicker victory. Have fun!