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How to Play Tell Me Without Telling Me Party Game: Rules and Instructions

How to Play Tell Me Without Telling Me Party Game: Rules and Instructions

Objective of Tell Me Without Telling Me

The objective of Tell Me Without Telling Me is to get your teammates to guess the words/phrases on the cards while following specific rules.


  • Shuffle all of the cards to create a draw pile.
  • Split the players into two teams.
  • Choose a team to start the game.

Playing Tell Me Without Telling Me

Teams will take turns playing a round of Tell Me Without Telling Me. When it is your team’s turn, choose someone on your team to be the clue giver. The players on each team should take turns playing as the clue giver.

The clue giver takes the die and rolls it. What the player rolls on the die determines the rules they must follow while giving clues to their teammates. See the Die Rules section below for more details.

When the clue giver is ready, they will flip over the timer. They will have until the timer runs out to try and get their teammates to guess as many cards as possible.

Draw a card from the top of the stack of cards. You will then try to give clues to your teammates following the rules from the die roll.

If your teammate correctly guess what is written on the card, place the card in your score pile. You will score one point for it at the end of the game. Then draw another card and try to get your teammates to guess what is on it. 

Earning a card
The current player got their teammates to guess what was on the card. They will collect the card for scoring at the end of the game.

Should you violate the rules from your dice roll while giving clues, you should discard the card immediately. You can then draw a new card and start giving clues for it.

End of Turn

Your turn ends when the timer runs out. If you were currently giving clues for a card, the other team gets one guess to try and steal the card. If they get it right, they take the card and add it to their score pile. Otherwise you will discard the card.

Play then passes to the other team for the next round.

Die Rules

The Tell Me Without Telling Me die has three different options on it. Each option is present on two sides. Depending on what you roll on the die, it will impact how you can give clues to your teammates during the round.

Rolling Show Don't Tell on the die in Tell Me Without Telling Me

Show Don’t Tell

If you roll the Show Don’t Tell side of the die, you cannot speak or make sounds. You must act out what is on the card. You can use props if you want to.

Show Don't Tell example for the word Lightsaber
For this round the player rolled Show Don’t Tell. Their first card has the word Lightsaber on it. This player will have to act out using a Lightsaber where their teammates will guess the word.
One Syllable die roll in Tell Me Without Telling Me

One Syllable

In a One Syllable round you can only say words that have one syllable. You can say any words except those on the card. If you say any word that is two or more syllables, you must discard the card and draw a new one.

One Syllable example
For this round the player rolled One Syllable on the die. Therefore they have to try and explain Outer Space only using words that are one syllable. For example they could say something like “where stars are.”
Free Style die roll in Tell Me Without Telling Me


When you roll the Freestyle side, you can say any words as long as it is not printed on the card. You are not allowed to use any gestures.

Free style example
For this round the player rolled Free Style on the die. For this card the player could say something like: “everyone knows your name.”

If you want to add more challenge to the Freestyle rounds, you can decide to use a variant rule. If you chose to use this rule you can use any word (not on the card), but you have to freestyle rap anything you say.

Winning Tell Me Without Telling Me

You will keep playing rounds until both teams have played seven rounds.

Each team counts up how many cards they acquired in the game. Each card that a team guessed correctly during the game is worth one point. The team that scored the most points, wins the game.

If there is a tie, both players pick one player to be their clue giver for the tiebreaker. One final card is drawn and the die is rolled. Both clue givers give their teammates clues at the same time. Whichever team guesses the card first, wins the game.

Tell Me Without Telling Me FAQs

If you have any questions about how to play Tell Me Without Telling Me, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

Components for Tell Me Without Telling Me


  • 400 Cards
  • Die
  • Sand Timer (Approximately One Minute)
  • Instructions

Year: 2021 | Publisher: Spin Master Ltd

Genres: Party, Word

Ages: 18+ | Number of Players: 4+ | Length of Game: 20-30 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate

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Monday 1st of January 2024

Also, can you say a form of the word? If it’s disgusting, can you say disgust or disgusted?

Eric Mortensen

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

The rules don't address how close of a word that you can say when describing a word. Therefore you can play it however your group prefers.

In your example I probably wouldn't allow disgust or disgusted since they are just different variants on the word you are trying to get the other player to guess. In most similar party games, the rules specifically disallow using such similar words. I would suggest not allowing words that are different tenses of the clue word.

If all of the players agree that these type of words should be allowed though, I see no reason why you couldn't use them.


Monday 1st of January 2024

If you don’t know what the word is, are you allowed to pass the card and go on to the next one? Or do you have to struggle through the card?

Eric Mortensen

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

This is something that isn't specifically addressed in the rules. Therefore you can handle it however the players want to.

I personally would say that you can skip cards that have a word that you don't know. When we played the game this is a house rule that we used. While it isn't specifically mentioned in the rules, I think this is the right way to handle it based on the spirit of the game. I don't see the point in wasting a round with a word that the clue giver doesn't even know. Players would just be stuck waiting for the round to end.

Since it is technically not in the rules, it probably isn't an official rule. If you have someone that is strict follower of the rules, you could technically purposefully break one of the rules for the current round and this would force you to draw a new card. This would be a way to get around a word that you don't know.