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  • 20 Questions'9 Game Cards (300)
  • Playing Pieces (6)
  • Red 20 Questions Chips (20)
  • Blue "Free Guess" Chips (5)
  • Game Board
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

To correctly identify well-known people, places, things and years through a series of clues. The first player to reach FINISH wins the game.

  • People

    People may be living or dead, male or female, real or fictional. Animals with personalities, such as Arthur, and cartoons, such as Bugs Bunny, are in the PEOPLE category.

    This category includes groups of people, such as The Beatles or the St. Louis Cardinals. Occupations, such as fireman and plumber, also appear in people.

  • Places

    Geographic locations such as oceans, countries, rivers, and planets are In the PLACES category, along with man-made and natural places.

  • Things

    Objects that are not alive, items that do not belong in the other categories and concepts, such as gravity, are THINGS. This category also includes animals, holidays and literature.

  • Years

    The cards in this category include memorable events that took place in a specific year.


Each player chooses a playing piece and places it at START on the game board. Place the red and blue chips along the edges of the game board.

Open the 20 Questions card decks, shuffle the cards and place the stack, with the 20 Questions logo side face up, where everyone can reach it.

Game Play

The Reader: The youngest player goes first by selecting a card and saying, "l am a____(Person, Place, Thing or Year)" as shown at the top of the card.

This player becomes that Person, Place, Thing or Year for this round, and is known as the Reader. The Reader should not show the card to any other player.

Getting a Clue

There is one Person, Place, Thing or Year on each card. Each card has clues numbered 1 through 20.

The player on the Reader's left (the Guesser) announces a number between 1 and 20, then covers that number on the board with a red chip.

The Reader reads the clue with the same number that the Guesser chose.

All the clues that the Reader reads in this round are from the same card and pertain to the same Person, Place, Thing or Year.


On each turn a player must choose a clue before guessing. After listening to the clue, the Guesser has 10 seconds to guess the Reader's identity.

When the Guesser guesses correctly, the Guesser and the Reader determine their score (see Scoring, below) and move their playing pieces accordingly. The current round is over, and the player on the Reader's right becomes the new Reader.

When the Guesser guesses incorrectly, play continues in a clockwise direction. The player on the Guesser's left becomes the new Guesser, chooses a number, covers it on the board, listens to a clue and guesses.

Play continues until a Guesser correctly guesses the Reader's identity. At any time, players may request that the Reader read all of the clues already chosen. There is no penalty for incorrect guesses.


Each 20 Questions card has a value of 20 points. All 20 points are divided between the Reader and the correct Guesser.

The Reader receives 1 point (moves forward 1 space) for each number that Is covered with a red chip. The Guesser receives 1 point (moves forward 1 space) for each number that Is not covered.

Example: If the Guesser correctly guesses the Reader's identity after 16 clues, the Guesser moves ahead 4 spaces, and the Reader moves ahead 16 spaces.

If the Reader reads all 20 clues and no player guesses correctly, the Reader scores all 20 points, the current round is over and the player on the Reader's right becomes the next Reader.

Special Instructions on Cards

In addition to clues, cards contain special instructions.

  • Take a "One Free Guess Anytime" Chip (Blue Chips): The Guesser guesses immediately without receiving another clue, and then takes a blue chip, if one is available.

    Players who have collected these chips may play them before the start of another player's turn, and then guess before the Reader reads another clue. Free Guessers who guess correctly move in the same way that other correct Guessers move.

    Players who use a Free Guess Chip before their own turn still play their upcoming turn. More than one Free Guess Chip may be played on a turn. After playing a Free Guess Chip, players return it to the edge of the board.

  • Lose a Turn: Play passes Immediately to the next player. The current player may not guess.

  • Move Ahead and Move Back: The Guesser moves the number of spaces mentioned on the card, then guesses without hearing another clue. No player may be moved back from Start.

  • Move to the Next Bonus Space: The Guesser moves forward to the nearest Bonus Space, then guesses, but does not play a Bonus Round until the card in play is correctly identified. Players already past the last Bonus Space on the board do not move, but still guess.

  • Choose Another Player to Move: The Guesser may move any player's piece except their own.

  • Guess Now and Pick Another Clue: This allows the Guesser a free guess before choosing a clue. After the free guess, the Guesser chooses another number, listens to the clue and guesses again.

Bonus Round

when players end their move on a Bonus Space, they play a Bonus Round. To play a Bonus Round, the Reader chooses the next card from the deck, and identifies it as a Person, Place, Thing or Year.

The Bonus Player announces any 5 numbers, one at a time. The Reader reads the clues as they are chosen. The Bonus Player may guess after hearing any number of the 5 clues, but may only guess once during the Bonus Round.

If the Bonus Player correctly guesses the Reader's identity after just one clue, the Bonus Player moves ahead 10 spaces. If the Bonus Player needs more clues, scoring is as follows:

  • 2 clues = 8 spaces
  • 3 clues = 6 spaces
  • 4 clues = 4 spaces
  • 5 clues = 2 spaces

When players land on a Bonus Space during the middle of a turn, the Reader continues with the card in play until a player guesses correctly then starts the Bonus Round. The Bonus Round ends if the Bonus Player chooses a "Lose a turn" clue.

The Bonus Player moves on "Move ahead" and "Move back" clues, then the Bonus Round continues. The Reader does not move during a Bonus Round.

End of the Game

The first player to reach finish wins the game. Players need not land exactly on finish to win.

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