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  • 6 head cards
  • 6 tail cards
  • 36 mid -section cards
  • 2 wild cards
  • Rulebook

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to collect the most cards by building snakes of all sizes.

How to build a snake

Every snake mid-section is a different color at each end. Each head and tail card is one color. To build a snake, match a color on one card to a color on another card.

The cards don't have to line up squarely but the colors must match. A whole snake includes one head, at least one mid-section (but the more, the merrier) and one tail.


Shuffle the snake cards. Place the stack face down on the playing surface and fan the cards out. Draw any one of the fanned cards and place it face up in the middle of the playing area. This is the starter card.

Start Slithering

The youngest player starts first. She picks one card from anywhere in the card fan and turns it face up. Do any of the card's colors match the starter card?

If so, place it next to the starter card with the matching colors touching. See the snake start to take shape? If the card doesn't match, lay it face up in the playing area to start a new snake.

Play continues clockwise, with each player drawing one card from anywhere in the fan and either matching it to a "snake-under-construction" or starting a new card if there is no color match.

For example: The starter card is a blue & green mid-section. The first player draws a green & yellow mid-section, so she places her card next to the starter card, green-to-green.

The next player picks a purple head. Because none of the cards in play are purple, he places the card face-up in a new location and starts a new snake.

Wild Cards

The rainbow-colored head and tail cards are wild. They can be placed next to any color mid-section for a match.

Winning a Snake

If you can place a head or tail card to complete a snake, you win that snake. Say "Hisss!" and slide it in front of you. The snakes you win form your snake pit. (Remember: a whole snake has one head, at least one mid-section, and one tail).

Combining two snakes into one

If you draw a mid-section card and one of its colors matches one snake-under-construction and its other color matches a different snake- under-construction, you can use that card to combine them into one gigantic snake!

You can only join two snakes-under-construction with a newly drawn card.

For example: You draw a purple and red mid- section. One snake-under-construction has an open red end, another has an open purple end. Use your purple and red card to join the two snakes.

End of the Game

Keep playing until all the cards in the fan have been drawn. Leave any unfinished snakes in the middle. Now, count the cards in your snake pit. The player with the most cards wins.

In case of a tie, the player with the longest snake wins.

Snake Tips

  • Snakes can get long and twisty, so choose a large playing area. You might have to change the position of some snakes-under-construction as they grow. Snakes don't like to fall off table edges!

  • You can make a snake longer from either end (as long as the colors match). But you can only add to the open end of a head or tail.

  • In Hisss, the longer the snake, the higher your score. If you draw a head or a tail, and have a choice of completing two different snakes, complete the longer one.

  • Running out of space? Stack the cards in your snake pit, but keep each snake's cards in a separate stack for scoring.

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