Original Rules for Taboo
If you have lost the original insert that came with your purchase of Taboo by Hasbro, we have a scanned copy for you here.
Also, if you enjoy playing Taboo and are looking for the best iPhone party game – try Other Words. Other Words is an app like Taboo.
1. SET IT UP
Split into two even teams. Sit like this (image of 3 versus 3, sitting in a circle 1-2-1-2-1-2) so you can keep an eye on each other.
Sort your cards and turn on the buzzer.
- Choose which side of the card to play this game (then use the other side next game to keep the Guess words fresh).
- Check that all cards are facing the same way.
- Put the stack on the table with your chosen side facing down. (You will flip the top card to play.)
- Turn on the buzzer by sliding the button on the back to the left. (Turn it off at the end of the game.)
Get your team to say the Guess word at the top of the card. But don't use any of the TABOO words in your description... that'll get you buzzed by the other team!
The word you want your team to say. (In the image the guess word is Spatula.)
5 Taboo words
The words you can't say. (In the image the 5 taboo words are: Cook, Kitchen, Flip, Food, Utensil.)
Example: "What you use to turn over an egg..."
One team guesses while the other team turns the timer and holds the buzzer.
On your team's turn to guess:
- Choose one player on your team to be the describer. Give them the stack of cards.
- The other team chooses a monitor to hold the buzzer and start the timer. The monitor peers over the describer's shoulder to see the card — if the describer uses any TABOO words, the monitor buzzes 'em!
- When the timer starts, your team's describer immediately:
- flips the top card.
- describes the top word on the side you've chosen to play without saying any of the TABOO words!
- puts any cards that get buzzed to one side.
- keeps flipping cards and describing new words for your team to guess.
- When the timer runs out, your team's turn is over. If you are in the middle of a card, put it at the bottom of the deck. Keep each card you guessed successfully. Give each card that you got buzzed on or skipped to the other team.
- Then it's the other team's turn. Note: Choose a new describer for your team every round.
WHEN TO BUZZ!
Buzz when the describer breaks any of these rules!
- Don't say any part of any word on the card! (e.g., you can't say "loop" or "hole" because the word is "loophole")
- Don't use sneaky plurals! (e.g., you can't say "feet" for "foot")
- Don't gesture or act!
- Don't make noises or use sound effects!
- Don't say "sounds like" — that's too easy!
- Don't use abbreviations! (e.g., don't say "TV" for "television")
HOW TO WIN
When all players have taken the same number of turns as the describer, the team with the most cards wins all the glory!