three player rules for Taboo

Warning: This does use a calculator (like the one on your cell phone).

My older brother was visiting last night, and after he and I returned from the movies (Aa Dekhen Zara – not horrible, not super), he, my wife, and I sat down to play Taboo.  We devised this form of play, which was very fun.

Say we are sitted in a circle: Me, Bro, and Lady.  I am the first clue-giver.  The person to my left (Bro), flips a coin,* Lady calls, winner is the guesser.  Say my bro wins the coin toss.  For one turn, I give clues and Bro guesses.  At the end, if we have two points.**  We enter them in the scorecard like this:

Me Bro Lady
Give Guess Give Guess Give Guess
2 2    

We then proceed to Bro as the clue-giver.  Lady and I flip, winner guesses, etc.

After 6 rounds, everyone will have an equal number of “Give” entries (but not points) and roughly equal “Guess” entries, as below.

Me Bro Lady
Give Guess Give Guess Give Guess
2 2 1 5 2 2
5 1 3 3 3 2
2 3 0 4 2 2
4 2 2 4 4 3
3 0 1 7 7 1
3 2 2 3 7

Then you just take the total for each column

19 10 9 33 25 10

And divide by the number of entries

6 6 6 7 6 5

to get the per-hand average for each person:

3.2 1.7 1.5 4.7 4.2 2.0

SO in this hypothetical example, the winning guesser was Bro, who on average guessed 4.7 per turn, and the winning clue-giver was Lady, with 4.2 per turn.

* The reason for the coin flip is so that everyone gets to be paired with everyone else.

** The way I do scoring for Taboo – house rules – is as follows.  For every card that you and your partner get, you earn one point.  For every card you pass, you lose one point from that turn’s total.  For every card you mess up (ie, say a Taboo word), you lose one point from that turn’s total.  The minimum allowed for one turn is zero (ie, no negative points).


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