Home > Family Classics > Pictionary


By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss

The drawing game of Pictionary is a family favourite down to one simple fact-it is a lot of fun. Pictionary was invented in 1985 and went on to become a best selling board game. Pictionary can be played with 3 to 16 players, though is usually best enjoyed with even groups of 4 to 8 players. If you had to describe the play style of Pictionary, you may suggest it is like the classic game Charades, but rather than acting out answers to your team mate, you must draw the answer without the aid of letters and numbers. This can lead to much hilarity.

Playing Pictionary

Playing Pictionary is simple; it is a matter of drawing images that should lead your team mate to the correct answer. Teams usually consist of two people, one is the drawer and one the guesser and this alternates with each throw of the dice. Pictionary is played on a board, with teams moving their piece along the board, each space on the board has a letter on it and this letter dictates which thing on the card chosen is to be drawn. Teams continue along the board until they fail to guess a word in the time limit allotted (usually via egg-timer), then the turn passes to the next team. The letters on the board are broken down thus and are fairly self explanatory:
  • P – Place, Person or Animal
  • O – Objects (usually inanimate things)
  • D – Difficult (hard words that are tough to draw)
  • A – Action (things like sneezing, skipping etc)
  • AP – All Play (these can be any words and have a special rule wherein everyone plays against the clock, rather than just the one team. The All Play is a lot of fun, though it can lead to cheating as all teams can see all other drawings)

Scoring in Pictionary

In Pictionary there is no ‘scoring’ as such. Winning the game is a matter of getting to the finish on the board. This is done by your team getting there first by guessing what each picture is correctly. That’s about all there is to it.

Pictionary Variants

Pictionary doesn’t really have variants as much as home rules. These are rules made up by the group of players playing prior to starting a game. These can be the inclusion of letters, roman numerals, drawing ears for sounds like pictures, slashes for letter numbers and the list goes on. Pictionary is however best enjoyed in its natural form.

Due to the popularity of the game, Pictionary is also available in a children’s edition, which includes simpler terms and words. If you aren’t able to buy a Pictionary set, you can simply play this game by making up the topics to draw and writing them on pieces of paper. Then stick them into a hat and simply choose. This works just as well and rather than moving around the board you can simply play to a certain number of rounds won. You can also make an adult version of Pictionary where you can have some more risqué subjects to draw.

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