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How to Play Hangman From Anywhere With Friends

laptop showing hangman with friends

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Game nights with friends, family and co-workers have gradually become common online events. Remote work and moving to distant locations have encouraged the need for digital alternatives to traditional get-togethers. This shift in how we interact brings challenges, such as what activities we can do together over the web. Luckily, many classic party games are still good options. Hangman is one such game. If you need help figuring out how to play hangman online, keep reading.

The Basics Everyone Needs to Know

You, your friends and family members can enjoy a lot of games online that are usually meant for in-person play. A good example is Scattergories, which many people don’t even consider as a viable online game option. Sometimes, the rules need to be modified to make the games work over the internet. 

Whether you want to play hangman on Zoom or anything else, this is why everyone first needs to agree on the game’s details. This is especially true in games where “house rules” may apply. A lack of communication can easily sour everyone’s fun.

  • Know how many wrong guesses are allowed per turn. Players may have different opinions for how to play hangman in this regard. Wrong guesses add pieces to the hangman drawing. Once the drawing is complete, the game is over. But, how many pieces are there? Five? Six? Make sure everyone agrees how complex the drawing is supposed to be. That determines the difficulty.

  • Know the categories the words will come from. It’s better to narrow down the theme for each puzzle’s answers. Try to stick to common topics such as history, geography and entertainment. You can even break down the themes even further into subcategories. One example is narrowing down “history” to “European history.”

  • Determine which words are valid. Make sure everyone agrees on what type of words are allowed in your game of hangman. Try to avoid using slang and other made-up words. Also make sure that everyone knows to only use English words. 

Necessary Hangman Equipment for Online Play

Typically, a video call is the way you’ll be playing hangman with friends online. You and everyone else need to know how to coordinate with each other and confirm that you all have the necessary equipment.

  1. Everyone needs to have a computer or mobile device. It’s also better for all players if everyone has a strong internet connection.

  2. Everyone will need to create an account with your preferred digital meeting site if they don’t already have one. 

  3. It’s best if you all have microphones and speakers (or headphones). Figuring out how to play hangman only through a text-based chat system can be difficult and confusing. 

While no one needs to have a webcam for video, it can help with keeping track of who is speaking and whose turn it is to play.

How to Play Hangman on Zoom

One of the most common video chat platforms is Zoom. So, learning how to play hangman on Zoom is a natural and convenient fit. The general rules are essentially the same as a traditional game of hangman. That said, there are some important details to keep in mind if you want to play over a Zoom video call.

Pick a Drawing Program

The first step in knowing how to play hangman on Zoom is picking a drawing program. That’s how everyone will be able to see the shapes and letters on their screens. Zoom has a built-in whiteboard function you can use. Or, you might consider other options like Microsoft Paint, Google Jamboard, or even Adobe Photoshop.

Share Your Screen

Once you know what drawing program or tool you want to use, share your screen with everyone else in Zoom so they can see it. 

If you aren’t going to use the Zoom whiteboard function, make sure your drawing program is open. When you are in the call, press the Share Screen button. A window will appear with a list of your open programs. Select your preferred tool. Zoom will automatically share it with everyone else.

Manage the Game

Once the screen is viewable by everyone, the player whose turn it is can create the hangman puzzle, adding in each part of the puzzle and each letter as the game progresses. 

If you are using Zoom’s whiteboard function, all you need to do is click and drag on the screen with your mouse to draw shapes. If you’re on a mobile device, you slide your finger across the screen in exactly the same way.

Play More Hangman the All-Digital Way

If hangman is one of your favorite simple games to play, there are plenty of other ways to play aside from on Zoom. Explore an abundance of websites that offer various versions of the classic word game. Check out our list of the best sites to play hangman online, either alone or with nearby friends.


Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.

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