Taboo rules and how to play

Taboo is a small game of reflection and creativity that is played with a minimum of 4 players divided into 2 teams. The aim is to get your team to guess the word marked on the Taboo card, but without using forbidden words or words from the same family or diminutives. This is a game that sets the mood.


In the game box you will find : 

  • a game board
  • Taboo cards
  • two team pieces
  • an hourglass (you can use a stopwatch)
  • a buzzer.

Before you start

Place the player board in the centre, and place 1 token per team on the start square. Then form your teams as you see fit.

Decide which team goes first: heads or tails, amstramgram, etc. The team must then designate a player who will read the cards and make his friends guess them.

How the game is played

Start the timer or turn the hourglass over. The player on the team takes the first Taboo card and has to make his teammates guess the word on it. Be careful though: 

  • you may not use the forbidden words on the card
  • You may not use words from the same family.
  • Do not use diminutives of words

When the player manages to guess the words on the card without cheating and within the time limit, he/she gives the card to his/her team and takes another card. The team continues to play as long as time permits.

It is possible to skip a card and take another one if it is too difficult to guess. When a team is playing, the opposing team must check that the player is following the rules, and keep the buzzer in hand. If the playing team makes a mistake, the opposing team sounds the buzzer and gets the wrong card back. 

When the time is up, each team counts the cards won, then moves their piece forward on the board by the same number of cards. It is then the next team’s turn to play.

The rules of the board

On the game board, some squares are a bit special:

  • Double hourglass squares allow you to play with twice as much time
  • The one-to-one squares force the playing team to designate one player to guess the words
  • Blue squares where you have to guess a minimum of 3 words to move your team’s piece

End of the game

The game ends when a team manages to move its piece to the last square on the board.