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  • 4 Word Trays
  • 4 sets of letter cards-each set a different color and containing 40 cards
  • 36 Activity Cards
  • 1 Activity Deck Tray.
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

In this game, each player will select a secret word of up to 12 letters. Then letter by letter, the other players will try to guess It.

For each correct guess, a player will score points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Players may not use proper nouns, abbreviations, and words spelled with apostrophes or hyphens.


  1. Shuffle the Activity Cards and place them face down into one side of the Activity Deck Tray to form the draw pile.

  2. Each player chooses a set of letter cards. It's best to put the letter cards in alphabetical order and then to store them in the corner of the Word Tray.

  3. Each player thinks of a word to use In the game. A word may be no more than 12 letters and no less than 4. You may use a dictionary before the game begins.

    But you may not use one during the game- except to settle a spelling controversy once a word has been guessed. When you've got a word to use, keep it a secret.

    1. If the word has less than 12 letters, you may disguise its true length by adding dots-either before or after it, or both. You may not use dots in place of letters or in between letters.

    2. You may use up to 5 dots with your word.

  4. Place your Word Tray in front of you. Then, starting from the right-hand side, place the letter cards into the slots at the top of the tray. Your word should read backwards from left to right so that, when exposed, it will read correctly to your opponents.

  5. Select a scorekeeper. The scorekeeper will need a pencil and paper.

  6. Select a player to go first. Play then proceeds, in turn, to the first player's left.

Game Play

To start, draw the top card from the draw pile and read it aloud. Then place it face up into the other side of the tray to form the discard pile.

You and the other players must follow the card's instructions at the appropriate time. Then continue your turn as follows.

Begin your search for the letters in your opponents' words by asking any opponent if he or she has a particular letter or a dot.

  1. If your opponent answers "Yes", he or she exposes that letter or dot by turning the letter card around In its slot so that It faces the other players.

    If your opponent has more than one of that letter or more than one dot, he or she may choose which one to expose. But your opponent must never expose more than one letter or dot for each question.

    Example: Let's say your opponent's word is "treasurer" and you ask for the letter "r", Your opponent then would expose whichever "r" he or she prefers.

    Once your opponent has exposed your guess, you may guess again. You may question the same opponent or a different opponent. As long as your last guess was correct, you may continue to question any opponent.

    Note: Be cautious about asking for a dot! Because if you're wrong, you'll lose 50 points!

  2. When you guess Incorrectly, you must end your turn. The scorekeeper then adds up the point value for each letter card you've guessed and recorded it. It's important that the scorekeeper does this at the end of each player's turn.

    As soon as your score is recorded, your opponents take any of their own letter cards that you've guessed and slide them into place as shown below. Then the next player plays.

  3. You are not allowed to keep a list of letters or dots either you or your opponents have asked for.

Once your word is exposed, you still remain in the game and continue to take your normal turn.

The Interruption Huie. If you think you can guess another player's word, you may interrupt the game.-no matter whose turn is in progress. But you may do so only when the player's word has 5 or more unexposed letter cards.

To follow this rule, you must identify each letter or dot-one by one - in its proper sequence. If each guess is correct and the word is exposed you receive 100 bonus points (in addition to the point value for each letter card you've exposed). If you guess incorrectly, you lose 50 points

Activity Cards

  1. Take an additional turn.

    After an opponent says "No" to your question, draw another Activity Card and continue guessing until you guess incorrectly.

  2. Opponent on your left (or right) will expose a letter or a dot.

    Before you guess, the opponent indicated must choose any letter or dot and expose it. Even if your opponent has only one letter or dot left, he or she still must expose it.

  3. If you have a dot, expose it.

    Before you guess, you must expose a dot-if you have one.

  4. On this turn, guess a letter or dot. all opponents who have one must expose one.

    Apply this card to your first guess only-even If your turn includes more than one guess.

  5. If you guess a dot incorrectly on this turn, no points will be deducted from your score.

    If you ask for a dot on your first guess and you're wrong, you do not lose 50 points. But you still must end your turn.

  6. Double (or triple) the value of your first guess.

    If you ask for a dot on your first guess and you're wrong, you still lose only 50 points.

  7. Opponent on your left (or right) will expose the letter card of your choice.

    Before you guess, the opponent indicated must expose any letter card you choose. Even if your opponent has only one letter card left, he or she still must expose it.


Remember: The scorekeeper adds or subtracts the points players win or lose at the end of each player's turn.

  1. Whenever you expose an opponent's last hidden letter or dot, you'll receive 50 bonus points.

  2. No one scores if you draw an Activity Card in which you must expose a letter or dot.

  3. If you draw a card in which an opponent must expose a letter or dot, you receive its point value.

  4. If you misspell your word, you lose 100 points.

End of the Game

Sooner or later, only one player will be left with unexposed letters or dots. When this happens, each opponent has two turns (twice around in playing order) to guess those letters or dots.

During those final turns, all players-including the player with the unexposed word- continue to draw Activity Cards.

If, after two final turns, the player still has unexposed letter cards, he or she exposes them and earns the point value for each. The player also earns 50 bonus points for successfully hiding the word.

And if that player has 5 or more unexposed letters or dots in the word, he or she receives 100 more bonus points.

At the end of the game, the scorekeeper totals all points for each player. The player with the highest score wins the game.

Advanced Play Suggestions

For an even more challenging game of PROBE, try playing without the Activity Cards. We recommend this especially for groups of players whose word game skills are well'matched.

The 8-Player Game. If you wish, you and another player may play PROBE in this way:

  • Each player takes two Word Trays and places one tray to his or her right and the other to his or her left.

  • If you draw a card that Indicates an opponent on your left or on your right, your opponent chooses either the left or right tray and then you both follow the card's instructions.

  • When you ask for a letter or dot, don't indicate the left or right word. It's up to your opponent to expose the letter or dot from the word of his or her choice.

Exception: When you use the Interruption Rule, you must specify the word you wish to guess.

Probe as a Party Game

Twelve players may join in this exciting and unique party game. Use one PROBE set for every 4 players seated at a table.

At the end of each game, the two players with the high scores from each table move to another table. The player with the highest score at the end of the party is the winner.

For Easy Storage: Remove the cardboard platform from inside the package. Then if you wish, you can store each set of Letter Cards in the corner of a Word Tray.

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