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How To Play Bananagrams

Updated on November 23, 2011

What Is Bananagrams?

Bananagrams is a fast and fun word game that requires no pencil, paper or game board. All you need is a table for a fun and entertaining game of word play.

The name Bananagrams came from the saying “The anagram game that will drive you bananas!”

The object of the game is to arrange one's tiles faster than opponents and be the first to cause the pool of unused tiles to be exhausted.

The tiles come in a banana-shaped package made of cloth. Bananagrams is a must have game for your game library. It is one of the top ten best travel games and it has been listed as a best-seller among toy and gift sellers. Anyone who loves word games will love the game, Bananagrams. It makes a perfect birthday or Christmas gift.

Bananagrams is a game for 2 to 8 players and can be played by ages 7 and up.

How To Play Bananagrams

Start the game by unzipping the Bananagrams bag and dump the letters out onto the table. Flip all of the 144 tiles face-side down and push them together into what is called a "bunch".

Each player draws a number of tiles depending on the number of people playing the game:

  • For 2-4 players each player draws 21 tiles.
  • For 5-6 players each player draws 15 tiles.
  • For 7-8 players each player draws 11 tiles.

As soon as all the players have drawn their required number of letters any player says, "Split!" This lets the players know to begin flipping the letter tiles over and creating words.

The words created must connect and intersect in a manner similar to a crossword much like the game "Scrabble". When a player uses up all of their letters, they announce, "Peel". At that time all players must draw another letter. Players can rearrange their letters as often as they want to, even letters they have already placed to form a word. If you draw a "Q" and you need a "U" that is in the middle of another word, it can be moved out and used as long as the resulting recombinations form words.

Play goes on until there are less tiles in the bunch than there are number of players in the game. The first person to use all of their remaining letters yells, "Bananas." This person is the winner of the "hand" if all of their words are determined to be legal.

The other remaining players now check out the "winning" hand. Each word is checked to see if they're correct. A legal word is one that is found in a dictionary that everyone agrees upon. No penalty is charged for challenging a player's word. If an illegal word is found in the played "hand", that player is declared a "rotten banana" and is out of the hand. His tiles are then returned to the bunch, and play is resumed as before.

Each hand may be its own game or players may choose to keep track of the number of hands won and play to a certain number of winning hands. Decide on this point before the game is started.

Bananagrams is a fast moving game. It is much faster than Scrabble and it is quite addicting once you start playing.

How To Play Bananagrams
How To Play Bananagrams

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