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Pictionary Rules and Its New Version for Youngsters

Pictionary Rules
Bored out of your mind? Banish your boredom with Pictionary, a very popular board game. Play this simple game of drawing and guessing the next time you want to have bucket loads of fun.
Girija Shinde
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
The game of Pictionary, first released in 1985, was invented by Robert Angel and Gary Everson. Since then it has been a popular game for children and adults alike. While people often shy away from the game because it needs you to draw clues for your team, it is quite an easy game to play, and you definitely do not need to be Picasso to be a Pictionary virtuoso. All you need to have is a simple understanding of the rules of the game, and you will be good to go.
Playing the Board Game Version
If you own the board game that is sold by Hasbro, then your game would come with category cards, word cards, the board, a timer, playing pieces, paper pads, and a die. Before you start the game divide your group into two or more teams. Each team should have at least two players (one sketches and the other guesses during their turn). Each team is given a playing piece, a pad, and a sketch-pen.
The goal of the game is for each team to guess as many words, that are sketched, as possible, in order to advance on the board and reach the Finish slot.
Understanding the Cards
The board game comes with category cards. These cards are explained below.

A Action
AP All Play
D Difficult
O Object
P Person/Place/Animal

The cards that come with the board game are divided into these categories. Each square on the game board has a letter or a shape on it depicting the category that has to be drawn when a team's piece is on that square. For example, if a playing piece is on a square that has the letter A on it, the team's player picks a card from the category A and draws the word on the card.
AP/All Play
If you get a card that has the 'Play' symbol on it, then it denotes AP/All Play. This means that all the teams play to guess this word. One player from each team tries to sketch the word. This is done simultaneously.
How to Play
  • Place the playing pieces for all the teams on the Start square.
  • Select the picturist (the person who sketches out the word) for each team, for the first round. This person must change with every turn that the team plays.
  • To begin the game sketch the first word. The word should be an AP word so that all teams participate in the game simultaneously. The team that guesses the word correctly fastest, rolls the die and advances in the game.
  • The team that wins the first round continues. The picturist from this team selects a card. This card has to correspond to the category on which the team's playing piece is placed. He/she gets five seconds to examine the card.
  • Set the timer. The picturist starts sketching the word. The team can try and guess the word till they run out of time.
  • If the guess is correct, they roll the die and advance on the board. If the guess is incorrect, then the turn passes to the next team.
  • A team occupies the same square on the board till it does not identify a word correctly.
  • The first team to reach the Finish square and guess the word correctly, wins the game.
Things to Keep in Mind
  • The picturist cannot communicate verbally or physically during his/her turn. He/she also cannot sketch letters and numbers.
  • Decide how precise the answer should be before you start the game. For example, will it be allowed if a team guesses advance instead of advanced?
  • Teams are not allowed to have previously decided secret clues. This is considered to be an unfair advantage.
  • If the picturist does not know the meaning of the word, then the turn is forfeited, and the next team plays.
Playing the Popular Version
It is possible to play this game without owning a board game. In this version, all you need are paper pads/blackboard, pen/chalk, and a timer. You would play this game pretty much like you would play charades.
To guess as many words as possible sketched by the picturist till one team wins by reaching a pre-decided winning number or both teams decide that the game has outlived its fun quotient.
How to Play
  • Divide the group into two teams with equal players.
  • Pick the picturist. For every turn that the team plays, there has to be a different picturist.
  • Flip a coin to decide which team plays first.
  • Give the picturist from the team sketching first a word/phrase/movie (or any other theme that has been decided on) by the opposing team. Give him/her five seconds to think about the task at hand.
  • Set the timer. The picturist sketches the words. His/her team tries to guess the word in the allotted time. If they guess correctly, they win a point. If they lose, then the opposing team wins a point.
  • If the word is guessed correctly, then the turn passes to the opposing team. Otherwise, the same team continues to try and guess, this time with a new picturist.
  • The game ends when one team wins or the players decide to play a new game.

If you want a pictorial representation of how to play this game, you can refer to the illustration below.
Pictionary Game
A fun game that can be as complicated or as simple as you want to be, a round of Pictionary can be just what you need when boredom threatens.