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Home > Popular Commercial Games > Card Games > Pictionary (Cards Only) Rules: How to Play Pictionary

Pictionary Cards
Rules: How to Play Pictionary Cards
(no game board)
as a Party Game, Drinking Game, Adult Game

Pictionary is a Popular Commercial Board Game distributed by Hasbro. It challenges teams of players to draw clues and guess at a secret code or secret phrase in order to advance around a game board. The first team to make it to the finish line wins.

Pictionary Game Cards

Fun Fact: a TV game show called “Win, Lose or Draw” was produced in 1987 with similar gameplay

Introduced in 1985, it has since seen multiple game versions catered toward younger players, themed play, and has even been translated into a TV game show format twice – once in 1989 and again in 1997.

The Pictionary Board Game (or its gameplay concept) continues to be a popular party game in the 21st Century, and for great reasons! Just form your players in 2 groups and start sketching away! Laughs and hollers guaranteed!

 
Standard Pictionary Game Board
A standard Pictionary Game Board
That you will NOT use!

About the Pictionary Game Cards:

Each Pictionary Game Card contains 5 Code Words or Code Phrases. The Codes are color-coded according to the subject / category (see chart below for reference).

Color Code Subject / Category Description
Red / Orange AP All Play All teams play the code phrase (all team picturists draw for their teams); whichever team gets the correct answer assumes control of the board
Green D Difficult Phrases that are difficult to sketch
Purple A Action This can be an event or an activity
Yellow P Person/Place/Animal
Blue O Object

Alternate Rules: How to Play Pictionary without using the Game Board

Using the Game Board can be fun for groups with small to medium number of players (3 to 16 players according to the game instructions).

However, for larger groups, we suggest using just the Pictionary game cards. Simply separate the players into 2 or more groups and play the game like charades except that the code phrase is drawn rather than acted out.

A great setting for this is in conference rooms or classrooms where you have a whiteboard or an overhead projector / LCD projector. To give you a better idea, you can use the following tools to aid your game:

Drawing a Lightbulb

Examples of tools to use for your Pictionary Game:

Drawing Surface Drawing Tool
White Board Whiteboard Marker
Chalk Board Chalk
Large Sketchpad Permanent Marker
Easel with clipped-together Manila paper Lumber Crayon (or various Dark crayons)
Overhead projector & Transparency Permanent / Non-permanent Marker
Graphics Tablet, attached to a Personal Computer with output directed to an LCD Projector / Big Screen Monitor Graphics Pen & Tablet
Bond Paper, with a PC Webcam positioned to capture the artwork and transmit to an LCD Projector / Big Screen Monitor Permanent / Non-permanent Marker
Bond Paper, with Digital Camera positioned to capture the artwork and transmit directly to a Big Screen Monitor Permanent / Non-permanent Marker

As you can see from the list above, there’s lots of ways you can set up your game of (“gameboard-less”) Pictionary. All that’s really needed is a way for the artist to draw and exhibit his artwork to everybody “on-the-fly”.

 

What’s Needed to Play A Game of (“gameboard-less”) Pictionary:

* Pictionary Cards (note: these can be bought separately or you can come up with your own phrases)
* At least 2 teams of Players
* Drawing Medium & Tool (see chart above)
* 1 Game Moderator
* A 1-minute Sand Timer / Hourglass (optional)

How to Prepare a Pictionary Game without using the Game Board: (FFPG Rules)

*You must have a game moderator who will oversee that all guidelines are followed – no cheating! – by the picturist and team members

*Divide your players into 2 (or more) teams

*Ask each of your teams to elect a team captain

*Ask your teams to write down their succession order for the role of picturist. Note: The role of Picturist rotates among all the members of the team.

*The game moderator and the team captains should take note the picturist sequence for all teams

*The team captains roll a die to decide which team goes first, second, and so on

 

Playing a Game of Pictionary without using the Game Board:

*The team picturist draws 1 pictionary card and rolls a die to determine which code phrase he should sketch. Refer to the table below:

Die Roll Code Phrase to Use
1 [P] Person / Place / Animal
2 [O] Object
3 [A] Action
4 [D] Difficult
5 [AP] All-Play
6 (none) Roll Again

If the Picturist rolls a 1, 2, 3, or 4, he uses the corresponding phrase above (see chart).

The Rules and Guidelines Listed below apply to the Picturist.

Rules and Guidelines for the Picturist:

[1] The Picturist is given 1 minute to sketch clues which would let his team mates guess the phrase.

[2] Teammates are encouraged to shout their guesses and the Picturist is allowed to acknowledge a correct guess by pointing at the teammate and nodding. This is the only gesture allowed to the Picturist.

[3] The Picturist is not allowed to makes sounds, hum tunes, or make any actions/gestures that would serve as clues to his teammates

[4] The Picturist is not allowed to point at any object in the room, or produce any object for use as a clue.

Standard Pictionary Sketch Pad

[5] The Picturist may only draw objects. He may not write words or use numbers / letters in his sketches, although he may use symbols. To illustrate, here are examples for your reference:
..[5.a.] Allowed: the Picturist may draw an unrolled piece of parchment and draw an ‘X’ on it in order to depict a “MAP”.
..[5.b.] NOT Allowed: the Picturist may draw a tube of toothpaste but he may NOT write the words “Colgate” on it to depict “Toothpaste”.
..[5.c.] NOT Allowed: the Picturist may NOT draw the stylized logo of “Coca-Cola” in order to depict “Softdrinks” or “Soda”

[6] If the team gets the correct phrase before time runs out, they earn 1 point. The turn then passes to the next team in sequence.

If the Picturist rolls a 6, he rolls again since there are only 5 phrases on a standard Pictionary Card.

(Optional) If the Picturist rolls a 5, we have 2 suggestions that you can follow:

[1] Do “All-Play”: If you have enough drawing tools such that you can have all of the team picturists working at the same time, then you can do a real “All-Play” round -- each team picturist starts drawing for his/her team and each team starts guessing at the phrase. Whichever team guesses the phrase wins the round. Furthermore, they get to play in the next round. This is a chance for any team to score 2 points in quick succession.

[2] Treat as just another phrase: You can choose to just treat the “AP” phrase as just another phrase. Let the team picturist proceed with drawing clues and let his team guess the correct phrase. Getting the right answer earns the team 1 point. Turn passes to the next team as normal.

Winning the Game:

You can Play until a target score is reached. For example, the first team to reach 5 points wins the game.

How to Play Pictionary as an Adult Party Game:

Pictionary makes a Great Adult Party Game! For gatherings like a Bachelor / Bachelorette Party, for example, you can make Pictionary into a naughty game on so many levels. Play it with naughty code phrases, or play it as a drinking game or as a strip game. Read on for our suggested rules and guidelines to Play Adult Pictionary now:

How to Play Pictionary as a Drinking Game:

Typically, you can play Pictionary using normal rules with the following add-ons: (You may use some or all of the optional rules below)
*Option: Whenever a team guesses their code phrase, all other teams take 1 drink per player
*Option: If a team fails to guess their code phrase, the members take a drink. Addtionally, the team picturist may take 2 drinks instead of just 1.
*Option: If a Picturist violates any of the guidelines, he takes 1 drink. Alternatively, the whole team takes 1 drink. Or, the team takes 1 drink and the picturist takes 2 drinks.
*Option: For games with more than 2 teams: The first team to earn the target score takes 1 drink. The next team takes 2. And third team takes 3 drinks, and so on.

How to Play Pictionary as a Strip Game:

This is great for Bachelorette Parties! Play using normal rules with the following add-ons: (You may use some or all of the optional rules below)
*Option: Whenever a team guesses their code phrase, all other teams each take off 1 article of clothing per player. Additionally: the picturist in that team can be allowed to retrieve 1 article of clothing. (Take note that the picturist role revolves among team members in each round of play.)
*Option: If a team fails to guess their code phrase, the members take off 1 article of clothing. Addtionally, the team picturist may take off 2 items instead of just 1.
*Option: If a Picturist violates any of the guidelines, he takes off 1 article of clothing. Alternatively, the whole team can take off 1 item. Or, the team takes off 1 item and the picturist takes off 2 items.
*Option: For games with more than 2 teams: The team to reach the finish line first takes off 1 article of cloting. The next team takes off 2 items. And third team takes off 3 articles of clothing, and so on.

Free Pictionary Game Cards,
Ready to Print and Play!

 

or, Learn More about the Classic Game of Quick Draw:
How to Play and Win Pictionary Board Game!

 

FREE Game Cards: Play Pictionary using our Game Cards

 

FREE Blank Game Cards: Make Your Own Pictionary Cards using our Blank Cards(Type1)(Type2)

 

or, Learn to Play Picture Charades: Find our Free Printable Picture-Charades Game Cards when you follow this link

Pictionary Game Card - Sample (visit www.fun-free-party-games.com to find more FREE Pictionary Game Cards ready to print and play)
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