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The Word Game

Another pub game. You can choose the way you want to play this one. Either stay lucid, or don't!

Two or more players are needed. They take turns in clockwise rotation.

The first player says a letter. Each player in turn adds another letter to make a sequence.

The rule is that you must make a sequence of letters that will form the start of a word, but you must not complete a word.

If you are playing in English, it is a good idea not to start with A or I.

It is bad sportsmanship to start with X, Q or Z.

A player can challenge another player, if they have made a word, or if the sequence cannot start a word. If the challenge is successful, then the challenged player goes out of the game. If it is not successful, then the challenger is out.

If you do not have a dictionary to hand, then an agreement must be reached on dubious words. If at least half of the players agree that a word is correct then it is accepted. Proper nouns are not usually accepted as words.

After a challenge, or if a player resigns because they can't think of a valid letter, the play starts again with the remaining players, and the next in turn starts a new word.

Here is a brief example game with 5 players:

Round 1

  • Arthur says "B"
  • Bill says "R"
  • Clive says "I"
  • Donald says "N"
  • Edward says "I give up" and drops out

Round 2

  • Arthur says "H"
  • Bill says "I"
  • Donald challenges because "HI" is a word, and Bill drops out.

Round 3

  • Clive says "J"
  • Donald says "U"
  • Arthur says "L"
  • Clive challenges, because "JULY" is the only word he can think of, and that is a proper noun. Arthur says "JULIENNE" which is a correct word, so the challenge fails and Clive drops out.

Round 4

  • Donald says "R"
  • Arthur says "O"
  • Donald says  "C"
  • Arthur says "O"
  • Donald says "C"
  • Arthur says "O" and drops out because he has made a word.

Please note in round 4, Donald made the word ROC, but Arthur didn't notice. If no one challenges a word before the next letter is added, the player gets away with it! It is also possible to add a letter which cannot lead to a word - if you are very good at bluffing - but you won't often get away with that trick.

The Word Game
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