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How To Play Scattergories: Scattergories Card Game Rules

Overview

Scattergories is a fun game for social gatherings such as parties, family occasions and so on. The game is suited for people aged 13 and above. It is a word game that involves players making lists of answers that all begin with the same letter. Players are awarded points for answers that appeared only on their list. If you have an answer that someone else has on their list, that answer does not count and no point will be awarded for that answer. The rules of the game are simple as you will learn below. Fast-thinking and creativity are skills that will help you excel in this game. The player who has the most points at the end of the game wins.

Objective

Score the most points at the end of the game.

Scattergories Game Rules

All the players must stop writing once the timer runs out. 

Answers must fit the category and also begin with the rolled letter for the round. 

Answers that appear on more than one player’s list attract 0 points.

Articles (A, An, The) do not count as part of an answer and so will be ignored if at the beginning of an answer.

An answer cannot be accepted more than once in the same round.

An answer can be challenged and in this case, its acceptability will be subjected to a vote. The majority wins.

All the players are allowed to vote on the eligibility of an answer including the player whose answer is being challenged. If a vote ends in a tie, the vote of the challenged player is removed so the tie can be broken.

If a letter is rolled twice in the same game the letter is discarded the second time and the die is rolled again.

Number of Players Needed

Minimum of two players but up to 6 can play the game. The game can be played in teams if more than 6 players are involved but the teams must be even.

Equipment

6 folders

6 clip strips

6 pencils

20-sided die

Die rolling board

48 category cards

1 answer pad

Timer

Setting Up

The 48 category cards are separated into 6 sets of Lists that are numbered from 1 to 16. This means that each set has 8 cards. Each set of category card will be placed in a separate folder, along with an answer sheet and a pencil.

How to Play Scattergories

At the start of the game, each player picks a folder. A game of scattergories is played in 3 rounds and all the rounds are played in the same way. At the beginning of each round, the players decide the list number that will be used for that round. Each player then brings out that list from their folder. One player rolls the letter die on the die-rolling board and announces the rolled letter. The rolled letter becomes the key letter for that round. It will be the first letter of answers supplied by the players.

Only 20 letters of the 26 letters of the English alphabet feature on the die used for playing Scattergories. The missing letters are Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z. A three-minute countdown is started on the timer and the players quickly fill in the first column of their answer sheets within that time. 

Answers must fit the category and also begin with the rolled letter for that round. For example, if the letter K was rolled, players must supply only answers that start with K. Once the timer runs out, all the players must stop writing. The answers will be reviewed and scored following the guide below.

Scoring Guide for Scattergories

Each player will take turns to read out their answers while the others cross out any matching answers on their answer sheet. The remaining answers are then reviewed to confirm if they are acceptable. The rules guiding acceptability of answers are as follows;

  1. Answers must begin with the rolled letter for the round.
  2. Articles (A, An, The) do not count as part of an answer and so will be ignored if at the beginning of an answer. For example, if the movies category was selected and the letter C was rolled, the movie “The Chronicles of Riddick” is an acceptable answer. “The” in front of Chronicles does not count. If the category remained the same and the letter T was rolled instead of C, “The Chronicles of Riddick” would not be an acceptable answer. This is because “The” would still not count. 
  3. An answer cannot be accepted more than once in the same round. If an answer has been accepted once, it cannot be accepted again in the same round even if it were correct.
  4. When answering with a name, either the first name or the last name may be used first. For example, if you are supplying names of US Presidents and the rolled letter is D, you can say Donald Trump. If the rolled letter is T, you can give your answer as Trump Donald and it will be accepted.
  5. The legality of a player’s answer can be challenged by an opponent. If this happens, a vote will be taken to determine if the answer is acceptable. Every player is allowed to vote including the player whose answer is challenged and the majority decision is final. If the vote ends in a tie, the vote of the challenged player will be struck off so that the tie can be broken.

Once all the matching answers have been struck out and all the challenged answers resolved, the remaining answers are scored. A player receives a point for each answer left on their answer sheet. The players will each sum their scores for that round and record it. 

The next round begins after and is played in the same way. Note that if a letter is rolled twice in the same game i.e. the letter is rolled in two rounds, the letter is discarded the second time and the die is rolled again. The game continues until the third round is concluded after which the total scores for each player is tallied. The player who has the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Winning the Game

The game is played in 3 rounds and the player with the highest point total at the end of the third round wins.

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