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Pictionary Board Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Pictionary Board Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Objective of Pictionary

The objective of Pictionary is to draw pictures and guess what is drawn to help your team reach the final space before the other team.

Setup for Pictionary

  • Remove the Category cards from the rest of the cards.
  • Place the card boxes where all of the players can reach them. Some versions of the game have kid and adult cards so you should use the cards corresponding to the group that is playing the game.
  • Place the timer where everyone can see it.
  • The players should divide into two teams.
  • Each team takes an erasable board, marker, category card and colored mover. Older versions of Pictionary use paper and pencils instead of the erasable boards. Place your mover on the start space.
  • Roll the die to determine who starts the game. The team that rolls the highest starts the game.
  • Before the game begins, players should decide how close players need to be to the words/phrases in order for it to be considered a correct guess.
Setup for Pictionary

Playing Pictionary

To start your turn you will look at the space that your playing piece is currently on. This color determines what category you will draw this round. Choose one of the players from your team to be the Picturist. This player draws one of the cards and looks for the word/phrase that corresponds to the color that their team’s move is currently on.

Determining which word to draw
The red team is on a blue space. The current Picturist will have to draw a “Singer”.

If you are playing with younger players and your version of the game has children’s cards, you will choose one of these cards. Read the category at the top of the card to the other players.

Flip over the one minute timer. The Picturist has one minute to draw the word/phrase from the card that matches the color of the space that their team’s playing piece is on.

Drawing the current word in Pictionary
The current Picturist has tried to draw a “Singer”. Their teammates try to guess the word before the timer runs out.

The Picturist has a lot of leeway in what they draw. They can directly draw what is written on the card or they can draw something related to the word. They can even choose to break the word into syllables to try and help their teammates guess the word/phrase.

When drawing they must follow these rules though:

  • You cannot draw ears or “sounds like” in order to try and guide your teammates to guess the word.
  • You cannot draw dashes to indicate the number of letters in a word.
  • Letters or numbers cannot appear in your drawing.
  • You may not speak, make sounds, or use sign language to communicate with your teammates.

Results of Round

The current round can either end when the timer runs out, or your teammates guess the word.

If the Picturist’s teammates guess the word/phrase before the timer runs out, they will roll the die. They will move their playing piece forward the corresponding number of spaces. Multiple playing pieces can be on the same space.

Rolling the die
After correctly guessing the word that was drawn, the die is rolled. The team gets to move their playing piece forward three spaces.

They will then take another turn. They will choose a new player to be the Picturist. The new Picturist draws a card and tries to draw the corresponding word for their teammates.

This will continue until the team fails to guess the word before time runs out. The team could end up rolling the dice and moving their playing piece multiple times before their turn ends.

A team’s turn ends when they fail to guess the word before time runs out. They will pass the die to the next team. That team takes the next turn.

All Play space

All Play Round

When a playing piece lands on an All Play space, the players will play a special round. All of the teams will play in the round. Each team chooses a Picturist. A player draws a card. All of the Picturists look at the word that corresponds to the color of the space that the playing piece landed on.

Once all of the Picturists are ready, flip over the timer.

All of the Picturists draw the word for their team at the same time. The first team to guess the word correctly wins the round. They will take the die and roll it. They will move their playing piece forward the corresponding number of spaces and then take another turn.

If time runs out and no team guesses the word, the die is passed to the next team in the same way as when a team fails to guess their word. This next team takes a normal turn.

Wild space

Wild Spaces

If your team lands on a wild space, you will pick a Picturist. The Picturist draws a card and looks at all of the words. They can choose any of the colors to draw on their turn.

Winning Pictionary

The teams will keep taking turns until one has reached the last space on the board. You do not need to reach the final space by exact count.

When you reach the final space, all of the players will play an All Play round. This round is played the same as a normal All Play Round.

Winning Pictionary
The red team has reached the final space on the gameboard. They have won the game.

If a team other than the team on the final space wins the round, the die is passed to the team that guessed the word. If no team guesses the word in time, the die is passed to the next team who takes their turn. The team on the final space needs to wait until their next turn in order to have another chance to win the game.

Should the team on the last space be the first to guess the word, they win the game. They can only win the game in a round that they initiate on their own turn.

Pictionary FAQ

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

Components for Pictionary

Pictionary Components

The components depends on the version of Pictionary. Listed below are the components for the 2019 version of Pictionary.

  • 200 Cards
  • 4 Category Cards
  • 2 Erasable Markers
  • 2 Erasable Boards
  • Game Board
  • 2 Movers
  • One Minute Sand Timer
  • Die
  • Instructions

Year: 1985 | Publisher: Hasbro, Mattel, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Pictionary Inc, Western Publishing Company | Designer: Rob Angel

Genres: Drawing, Family, Party

Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 3+ players | Length of Game: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Light-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.

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