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Guesstures Board Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Guesstures Board Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Note: The rules for Guesstures have changed a few times over the years. While the main gameplay has remained mostly the same, some things have changed. I will make note of the differences between versions of the game in the appropriate sections.

Objective of Guesstures

The objective of Guesstures is to work with your team acting out and guessing words to score more points than the other team.

Setup for Guesstures

  • The players will divide into two teams. If there is an odd number of players, one team will have one additional player. You can also choose to play cooperatively where there are no teams. If you choose to play cooperatively you just try to guess as many words correctly as possible.
  • Decide which team will start the game.
  • Place the Mimer-Timer in the center of the table.

Playing Guesstures

Guesstures is played over two rounds. Each round consists of the teams taking turns trying to get their teammates to guess words. For each round all of the players will play the role as the actor/clue giver once. If one team has less players, one of the players on their turn gets to be the actor/clue giver twice.

When it is your team’s turn you will choose one of your players to be the actor. This role will rotate to all of the players during the round.

Turn the Mimer-Timer so only the actor will be able to see the word side of the cards. Pull up the top arm of the Mimer-Timer and turn the knob clockwise as far as you can.

The current actor then draws four cards. In older versions of Guesstures players will use the easier cards for round one and the harder cards in round two. In newer versions of the game, players can choose which difficulty of cards they want to use.

Drawing cards in Guesstures
The current player chose to draw two easy, one medium and one hard card. They will have to decide which word on each card they will try to act out.

Picking The Cards to Use in the Round

After you have drawn the four cards, look at the words printed on them. Do not let any other players see what words are on the cards. Choose which word you want to use on each card. In the older versions of the game one word is harder than the other and thus is worth more points. In newer versions both words on the card are worth the same amount of points. The difficulty of the cards you choose determines how many points they are worth.

After you have chosen which words you are going to use, you need to decide what order you will place the cards in. The card closest to the hinge on the arm will drop first so you should place the word you think is easiest in that slot. The card furthest away from the hinge should be the word you think is hardest to guess.

Choosing which cards to play
The current player has decided to play the words glasses, robot, vampire, and tug-of-war. They will start with glasses.

When you are ready you will close the arm which starts the timer.

Acting Out the Words

Starting with the word on the card closest to the arm’s hinge, you will start acting out each of the words for your teammates. You goal is to get your teammates to guess the words as quickly as possible.

While acting you must follow these rules.

  • You cannot say any words or make any sounds.
  • Props are allowed. You can also point to body parts, people, or any objects in the room.
  • You can mouth words when acting. Mouthing the word you are acting out is not allowed though.
  • Any action allowed in classic charades is allowed. For example you can point to your ear to indicate “sounds like”.

As soon as you start acting your teammates can guess. The other team does not guess. Your teammates can guess as many times as they want, as there is no punishment of incorrect guesses.

Giving clues to your teammates in Guesstures
To start the round this player has to act out glasses. If one of the players are wearing glasses they can point to them. Otherwise they can use their hands to create glasses around their own eyes.

Grabbing A Card

If a player on your team guesses the correct word, you will grab the corresponding card from the Mimer-Timer as quickly as possible. Guessing a form of the word counts as correctly guessing the word (erupt counts for eruption). You want to grab the card before it falls into the Mimer-Timer. If you grab the card, set it aside as you will score points for it at the end of your turn. If it falls into the Mimer-Timer before you grab it, you won’t score any points for it.

Grabbing a card after your teammates guess it
The player was successful in getting their teammates to guess glasses. They will grab the card as quickly as they can before it falls. They will then start acting for the word robot. If there is somehow a robot in the room, they could point at it. Otherwise they should act like a robot.

Whether you grab the card or it falls into the Mimer-Timer, you will move onto the next card. You will act out this second card in the same way as the first card.

End of Turn

When either all of the cards have been guessed or have fallen into the Mimer-Timer, the current turn ends. You will move onto scoring.

When your turn is over you will score points for each of the cards you grabbed during your turn. Each card is worth the amount of points printed on it.

Cards successfully guessed in Guesstures
The current player was able to get their teammates to successfully guess glasses, robot, and tug-of-war.
Scoring points from the cards collected
This player completed two easy and one hard card. They will score five points from the cards.

You will write the points you scored on the Mimer-Timer in the corresponding section. Other versions have you write the score down on a piece of paper. Some versions of Guesstures have you score the cards you correctly guessed at the end of the game.

If you have one of the versions of Guesstures that includes the trophy, you can earn the bonus trophy if you do well on your turn. To earn the bonus trophy you need to have chosen at least two hard cards, and you need to grab all four cards during your turn. If you earn the trophy, you get to keep it until another player earns it on their turn.

Return all of the cards used on your turn to the box. The other team then takes their turn by choosing one of their players to be the next actor.

Winning the Game

The game ends when both teams have completed all of their turns in the second round.

Total up the number of points that each team scored during the game. If you are playing a version that has the trophy, if either team has the trophy at the end of the game, they score two points for it.

The team that scored the most points wins the game.

Guesstures FAQs

If you have any questions about how to play Guesstures, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

Components for Guesstures


The components for the game depend on the version of the game.


  • 320 Cards
  • Action Timer
  • Instructions


  • 378 Cards
  • Action Timer
  • Trophy
  • Instructions


  • 504 Cards
  • Mimer-Timer
  • Crayon
  • Instructions

Year: 1990 | Publisher: Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers | Designer: Jeffrey Breslow, Howard J. Morrison

Genres: Family, Party, Word

Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 4+ | Length of Game: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.

For more board and card game how to plays/rules and reviews, check out our complete alphabetical list of board game posts.