Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Balderdash Board Game. This is the classic party game of bluffing. There are many mistruths out there and it is up to you either be the one that can see through them or be the one that successfully tells them. Originally released in 1984, this simple title has been causing barrels of laughs for decades. The game is for 2 – 6 players at ages 12+. The rules for how to play Balderdash are pretty easy and should have you up and running in no time.
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HOW TO PLAY BALDERDASH – WHAT IS IT?
Balderdash, the classic bluffing game, has gone beyond hilarious. With outrageous, and unbelievable but true questions and answers that now include the Laughable Laws category, play the game that asks your friends to “call your bluff”. Each game card lists People, Words, Initials, Movies and Laws that you’ve probably never heard of and aren’t supposed to know anything about. But, that’s where the fun really begins, because you get to make up an answer that’s as silly or as serious as you want!
Now mix in the real answer and vote. You score points for guessing correctly and for bluffing the other players. So grab the bull by the horns and play Balderdash, the game that’s hilarious beyond belief! The object of the game is to make up answers that will bluff the other players. Earn points for fooling other players into believing your bluff as well as for choosing the real answer.
HOW TO PLAY BALDERDASH – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 60 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play Balderdash the popular bluffing party board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Put Out Game Board & Die
To kick off how to play Balderdash setup, start by putting the long rectangular game board in the center of the play area. There is a single six-sided die that should also be placed nearby.
2. SETUP | Player Get Answer Sheet & Pen
Each player needs to take one of the answer sheets to write on, as well as, a writing utensil of choice to fill it out.
3. SETUP | Give Out Player Markers
Each player chooses a marker in the color of their choice. Each player then puts this player token on the “start” space.
4. SETUP | Determine Starting Player
The final step of how to play Balderdash setup before getting into gameplay is to determine who will kick things off. Everyone rolls the six-sided die. The high roll will start first and this player is known as the “Dasher”.
5. GAMEPLAY | Dasher Rolls Die
A roll of the six-sided die will determine the category for the turn. There are five categories that correspond to each number. If the dasher rolls a “6”, that is a wild and the active player can choose any of the categories. Players write this category in the “question” section on their answer sheet.
6. GAMEPLAY | Other Players Make Up Answer
Every player besides the Dasher now secretly makes up an answer for that question and writes it in the “answer” section of their sheet next to the question. This is the key part of the game. You can be as silly or as serious as you want. Your overall goal is to fool other players, so be convincing.
7. GAMEPLAY | Dasher Writes Real Answer
While the nonactive players are writing down their made-up answers, the Dasher writes the real answer on their sheet in the “Answer” space next to where the question is written.
8. GAMEPLAY | Sign & Mix
When players are done, they sign their answer with their initials in the “name” space so people cannot initially see it but when the initial discussion is happening, but that can be confirmed after the fact. Mix these fake answers up with the real one.
9. GAMEPLAY | Dasher Reads Options
The Dasher reads all the options aloud for all players, making sure not to reveal the player who gave the answer.
10. GAMEPLAY | Players Choose Correct Answer
Moving around the circle clockwise, each player chooses the answer they think is actually the correct answer. The Dasher keeps track for proper scoring afterward. After everyone guesses, the correct answer is revealed.
11. GAMEPLAY | Move Pieces Based On Score
Depending on how people answer, points are awarded. See Scoring below for more details. After the correct answer is revealed, each player moves their player token forward on the track one space for every point they received.
12. GAMEPLAY | Landing On Double Bluff Space
A player moves one space on the board for every point earned. If a player lands directly on one of the Double Bluff spaces, that player then doubles his/her score for the next round. For example, if a player is resting on the Double Bluff space, then scores 3 points, his/her score is doubled to 6 points and he/she may advance 6 spaces on the board.
13. GAMEPLAY | Pass & Repeat
After this process takes place the turn ends. The Dasher role moves to the next player clockwise and the steps are repeated. This continues until the game ends.
14. WINNING | Reach The Finish Line First
In each round, the player directly to the DASHER’s left advances his/her mover first, followed by the remaining players in clockwise order. The first player to reach the “Finish” space on the board wins!
HOW TO PLAY BALDERDASH – KEY INFORMATION
- 1 point is given to a player for every vote his/her answer earned.
- 2 points are given to each player who correctly guesses the REAL answer.
- 3 points are given to the DASHER if no players guess the real answer.
- 3 points are awarded to any player who writes an answer very similar to the real answer.
2 PLAYER VARIANT
Alternate turns being the DASHER. Roll the die, draw a card and read from the corresponding category question. Before turning it over and seeing the answer, the DASHER makes up one of his/her own answers. Now turn over the card to read and copy the real answer. Read both choices, in similar fashion, to the guessing player. If the guesser votes for your bluff, you advance 3 spaces; if the guesser votes for the real answer, he/she advances 2 spaces. Alternate until you reach the “Finish”.
- 1x Game Board
- 336x Game Cards
- 1x Answer Sheet Pad
- 6x Movers
- 1x Die
- 1x Instruction Sheet
HOW TO PLAY BALDERDASH – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say you know how to play Balderdash. This is a classic party board game that is nearing on half a century of existence and still hold up today. This game of bluffing has players being creative to try and push their definition through. Through a variety of different topics, confidence and misdirection is how you are going to make your mark. A game perfect for any group of players, the laughs will keep on coming. The rules for how to play Balderdash are incredibly simple and easy to pick up.
I was skeptical when a friend of mine pulled this out, but Balderdash is one of the “old-timey” party games that really holds up. You’re really playing the room more than the game.
Couldn’t agree more.