How To Play ‘Password’?

The 'Password' game

Table of Contents

So… you think you can read other people’s minds? 

Well, if your answer is ‘yay’, then you will definitely rock the ‘Password’ game! If it’s a ‘nay’, you can still count on your guessing skills and you’ll do just fine. Just give it a try next time you’re with your friends. The fun is guaranteed!

Materials and equipment

The ‘Password’ game can be played anywhere, anytime. That’s because you only need 1 item to get things going: a list of words. Take some:

  • Slips of paper
  • And something to write with

Now, you can create your list in various ways. 

  1. Using a word generator is the most common method. Since you’re reading this article, you’re definitely connected to the Internet, so things couldn’t be easier. To help you, even more, we came up with a few websites to inspire you. Check out the following sources: 
  1. Selecting the words on your own is also an option. You can use inside jokes to make things funnier. 

Make sure to write down every word on an individual piece of paper. These will become the ‘passwords’ for the game.

There is no such thing as a specific number for your word list. Depending on how much time you have got for this game, you can come up with as many ‘passwords’ as you want.  

Skills and abilities

Some might say that the ‘Password’ game is only about guessing. Actually, there are other skills required: 

  • Focus. You must pay attention to the interaction of the other players as well. They might be using facial expressions or voice inflections.
  • Memory. You should be able to remember the previous clues to figure out what the ‘password’ is.
  • Strategic thinking. Come up with clues that are relevant only to you and your teammates (Eg. inside jokes). This way, your hints won’t be of much help to the opposing team.

Players and purpose

This is a great choice for teens and adults. It can be played outdoors or indoors, during team buildings, camps, or holidays. Also, if you’re a newbie in a group, this could be a fun activity to get to know each other.

  • The ‘Password’ game requires 4 players, split into 2 teams of 2. This would be the best-case scenario. 

However, we help you figure it out even if there are more or fewer players involved. The idea is that you should be split into even-numbered teams.

  • One player on each team gets to know the ‘password’. Then, they try to get their teammate(s) to guess the word first by taking turns giving one-word clues.

The purpose is to gain points by guessing the words written at the beginning of the game.

Rules for choosing the ‘passwords’ and the clues

  1. Both ‘passwords’ and clues must be one-word items. 

2. Hyphenated words are not allowed. (Eg. six-pack, old-fashioned, empty-handed). 

*Note: If a team challenges a ‘password’ as being hyphenated or made of 2 words, it must be looked up. The team that is right gets the point for that round.

  1. Proper nouns are not allowed as passwords (Eg. John, Oreo, Asia), but they can be used as clues. (Eg. You can say ‘Shakespeare’ for the password ‘playwright’).

4. No part or form of the ‘password’ can be used as a clue. (Eg. You can not say ‘water’ for ‘waterfall’, ‘science’ for ‘scientist’). It does not matter if the clue is derived from the ‘password’ or not. (Eg. You can not say ‘monk’ for ‘monkey’).

5. Rhyming words are not allowed as clues (Eg. If it has already been mentioned ‘animal’ as a clue and the ‘password’ is ‘monkey’, you can not give ‘donkey’ as a hint).

6. Charades are not allowed. You can not use pantomime or hand gestures when giving a clue. 

*Note: You are however allowed to use voice inflections or show facial expressions when giving a hint. (Eg. You can shout ‘loud’ to get ‘yell’ as a response).

  1. You can repeat clues.

8. You can link a clue to previous ones. (Eg. ‘score’, ‘player’ and ‘teams’ can be 3 separate clues linked together to get ‘game’ as a response)

9. You are not allowed to spell the clues. 

*Note: Come up with good synonyms for the ‘passwords’ to provide the best clues possible.

‘Password’ game: Rules

  1. Every team consists of two players. Let’s say for example that we have Justin and Kim, playing against Carol and Andrew. 
  1. One player on each team gets to read a ‘password’. Let’s say it’s ‘laptop’. 
  1. Justin and Carol go first. Justin starts by telling his teammate, Kim, a clue for the ‘password’. He could say ‘device’. Given this one-word clue, Kim might answer with a one-word guess: ‘phone’. 
  1. Since she is wrong, now it’s Carol’s turn to give a hint to her teammate, Andrew. Carol could say ‘keyboard’, to which Andrew might answer with ‘computer’. Wrong again. Now it’s Justin’s turn again. 
  1. The play goes back and forth between the two teams, as many turns as it takes until someone guesses the ‘password’. The lucky ones get a point, then they switch roles and start another round. 
  1. In the end, the team with the higher score wins.

Make sure to clarify the rules of the ‘Password’ game with everyone beforehand. Hopefully, this will avoid eventual squabbles that would kill all the fun. 

How to play ‘Password’ for 3 players?

The rules for choosing ‘passwords’ and clues remain the same. The only thing that differs in this version is that a player gives hints, and the other two compete in guessing the ‘password’.

  1. Players no. 2 and 3 receive a clue at the same time.
  1. Each of them has to make a guess. If they don’t have anything in mind, they may pass.
  1. After both come up with a guess, player no. 1 tells them if they were right or wrong. The one who got it right gets a point. If no one manages to get it right, they are given another clue.
  1. Make sure to switch players and roles at the end of each round. 

If you’ve enjoyed our presentation of the ‘Password’ game, take a gander at other fun activities on eTeamBuilding!

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