I learned this game at a previous job where we’d take quick breaks to play a round. If you don’t have the actual Bananagrams game, you can use Scrabble tiles instead. There are lots of variations on the rules, so here’s how we play:
5-10 minutes per game
- Bananagrams or Scrabble letters
Put all of the tiles face down in the middle of the table. For a 2-3 player game, each player takes 7 tiles. For 4-6 players, each player takes 5 tiles.
- No proper nouns (ex: Seattle)
- Two letter words are okay
- Each player can swap out one tile from the communal pile once during the game
How to Play:
All of the players flip over their tiles at the same time. Each player works to rearrange their letters into a grid of words, similar to a crossword puzzle. Once someone has used all of their letters to make words, that person says “take two.” All players then take two additional tiles from the communal pile and are now working to incorporate those as well. This continues, with each player taking two whenever it’s called out, until the communal pile is empty. (Note: If there are fewer tiles than can be evenly distributed on the last “take two,” those tiles are not used.)
Once the communal pile is empty, the first person to use all of their letters is the winner.
After the winner is declared, the other players can challenge any words in the winning player’s grid they don’t agree with; settle the dispute by looking it up in the dictionary. If a word is determined to be illegal, the player with the lowest number of unused tiles is then the winner.
If you get stuck with difficult letters, try disassembling a few words in your grid and rearranging them. You can also try swapping out vowels for ones you might need. (For example, if you’ve already played “dog” but you could use the “o” in another word, you could swap the “o” for “i” to make dig.)
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