Scattergories Rules


  • 6 Folders
  • 6 Clip strips
  • 1 Answer pad
  • 20-Sided die
  • 48 Category cards
  • Timer
  • Die-rolling board
  • 6 Pencils

Object of the Game

Quickly fill out a category list with answers that begin with the same letter. Score points if no other player matches your answers. To win the game, score the most points.


Separate the category cards into 6 sets of List #1 through List #16.

Have the players decide a way to record their notes. This can be paper, slate and stylus or digital.

The game is played in 3 rounds. To play a round, do the following steps in order:

  1. Each player takes a folder. Decide which List # you want to use, and clip the card onto the folder so that it is facing you. Make sure each player is using the same List #.

  2. Set the die-rolling board on the table. One player rolls the letter die on the board and calls out the rolled letter. The rolled letter is the key letter that will be used in this round of play.


  3. Choose a timer. We recommend digital timers as sand timers are inaccessible. Set the timer for 3- minutes. Now the round begins!
  4. All players quickly fill in their chosen form of writing. Answers must fit the category, and must begin with the key letter. See Rules for Acceptable Answers. (These rules also appear inside each folder).


  5. When the timer stops, all players must immediately stop writing.

  6. Scoring the round: Players, in turn, read their answers aloud. Players mark their own answer sheets by marking acceptable answers that do not match any other player's answers. Continue reading answers until all 12 categories have been marked. Then score 1 point for each of your marked answers. Record your score at the top in a convenient manner.

  7. Starting a new round

Roll a new letter, start the timer, and continue playing, using the same category list you did in the previous round. Fill in the next column with your new answers.

Note: if the same letter is rolled twice in a game, reroll the die for a different letter.

End of the Game

After 3 rounds have been played, all players total the 3 scores on their answer sheets. The player with the highest score wins!

In case of a tie: The players who tied play one more round with a new letter. The player with the highest score in that round is the winner.

Rules for Acceptable Answers

  • The first word of your answer must begin with the key letter.

  • The articles "A", "An" and "The" cannot be used as key letters. For example, "B" is the key letter for the "movie title", A Beautiful Mind; "P" is the key letter for the "book", The Pelican Brief.

  • The same answer cannot be given more than once in the same round.

    For example, you cannot answer Gary for A BOY'S NAME and for U.S. Cities.

  • When answering with a proper name, you may use the first or last name, as long as the key letter is the first letter of your answer. For example, if the key letter is G and the category is PRESIDENTS, your answer could be George Bush or Garfield, lames.

  • Creative answers can be acceptable. For example, if the category is SPICES/HERBS and the key letter is P, you could answer Posh. But if one player challenges the answer, the group must vote on its acceptability.

Challenged Answers

While answers are being read, other players may challenge their acceptability. When an answer is challenged, all players (even the challenged player) vote on whether the answer is acceptable. Players who accept the answer give a thumbs-up sign. Players who do not accept the answer give a thumbs-down sign.

In case of a tie, the challenged player's vote does not count.