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How to Play Password and Start Unlocking the Fun

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Millions of people love watching game shows. There’s a reason why shows like The Price Is Right and Wheel of Fortune have been on the air for so long. It’s understandable why some television studios choose to create home versions of the games. Password was one such show that got the board game treatment. This party version of the classic TV game show lets you and your friends experience all of the fast-paced, word-centric fun at home.

The Simple Facts About Password

The Password home game closely follows the rules of the original Password TV show. Teams compete with each other, solving clues by using verbal hints. They also need to do so as quickly as possible to earn the maximum number of points.

As a whole, both versions of the Password game are nearly identical. The only notable difference between them is that the board game does not need a host to moderate the rounds.

The Rules for Playing Password

Password’s rules take some time to learn at first. That said, it won’t be long before you, your teammate and your opponents are all having fun and feeling clever by finding the passwords.

  1. The players split into two teams. For the regular version of the game, each team consists of two players.

  2. Once the teams are formed, everyone chooses who will be player A and player B on each team. These groups alternate between giving clues and guessing the answers.

  3. Each round begins by setting the Scoring Indicator Dial to 10. Player A on both teams must also take a Password Card and place it in their Magic Window Revealers.

  4. Everyone then agrees on which of the A players will go first. Once that is decided, they can give a one-word clue for the password.

  5. Player B gets one chance to guess the answer. If player B guesses correctly, their team wins 10 points.

  6. If player B does not guess correctly, player A passes the Password Card to the other player A. The score dial is turned down by one point, and the other team gets a chance to guess the password and win the round.

  7. The round continues until one of the teams correctly names the password. The score dial is turned down by one point every time someone fails to guess the password.

Game Rounds and How to Win

Each game of Password is five rounds long. The A players and the B players alternate between giving the clues and trying to guess the password. In the fifth and final round, the points for the password are doubled. Once everyone has finished playing all five rounds, the team with the highest combined score wins.

Game Pieces

Every Password game involves the use of four key game pieces.

  • Scoring Indicator Dial: This dial is numbered one through ten. You use it to keep track of the points that either team can win during a round.

  • Password Cards: These cards have the passwords printed on them. Each card has an A side and a B side for their respective teams. The passwords are obscured and only become visible when you insert a card into a Magic Window Revealer.

  • Magic Window Revealers: These are cardholders for the Password Cards. They have red screens at the top that can reveal a single password on a card.

  • Score Pad: This pad of paper has sections for player names, round scores and total scores printed on them. The game only comes with one pad. You can simply create handmade replacements when you run out.

Special Rules for Password Clue Givers

Players need to keep certain rules in mind while trying to give clues for passwords. Breaking these rules, either accidentally or intentionally, can result in penalties.

  1. Clues must be single words. Hyphenated words are not valid.

  2. You can use both common and proper nouns as clues.

  3. Do not use any form of the password in your clues.

  4. Hand signals or other charades-style motions are not allowed.

  5. You or the answering player may repeat any of the clue words.

  6. You cannot spell out any clue words.

Playing With Only Three Players

What can you do when you don’t have four players for a standard Password game? Can you still play? Absolutely!

For this version of Password, one player gives the clues while two players compete to guess the Password. During a round, the two competing players take turns guessing. The player who knows the password only gives one clue at a time. Both players make a guess from that single clue. The round ends once one of the competing players says the correct password.

Aside from having two players guess the password at the same time, the gameplay remains the same as the regular four-player game. There are still five rounds, and the fifth round’s points are still doubled. And, every time someone makes an incorrect guess, the score dial is turned down by one point. 

Add More Board Games to Your Collection

Password is a fun game night option for your friends and family. In general, board games are always reliable crowd pleasers. This is especially true for families. If you’re looking for more games to play with loved ones, browse these family board games that anyone can enjoy to find some good ones.


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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