How Do You Play It?

Mad Gab Rules: How do you Play Mad Gab?

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“Itsy Citing Foe Wall.”

The translation: “It’s Exciting For All.”

Such are the puzzles in the party game of Mad Gab. Teams try to puzzle out the proper phrase from a collection of words that otherwise mean nothing by themselves. The team that does it best wins.

Here are the Mad Gab rules.

Mad Gab Rules: Organizing the Game

Get the materials ready. Here’s what you need.

  • Mad Gab cards
  • A timer
  • A scorepad

Divide your group into two teams and decide how hard you want to work. Decide whether to use the puzzles on the orange side of the card, the harder ones, or the easier blue side of the cards.

Once the teams are set up and you have a comfortable couch to sit on, you’re ready to play.

Mad Gab Rules: Different Roles

There is one team with a person trying to guess the answer and one team giving the puzzle words in every turn of Mad Gab. There are multiple roles for each team and multiple ways for each team to score points. 

The Guesser – One player will get a chance to look at the puzzle and try and guess the answer. The best way to do this is out loud. Talk it out. Trying to solve it out loud makes it more fun for everyone else as well. It is also possible for more than one person on a team to act as the guesser if the teams are large enough.

You get until your time limit to solve up to three puzzles. If you solve three quickly, you have the chance to earn bonus points.

The Coach – A team member of the guesser will have a different role trying to help the guesser. The coach is allowed to look at the solution to the puzzle and to point the guesser in the right direction.

You can tell how to combine the given words, where to emphasize a particular syllable, or whether to speed up or slow down. You can not, however, give a correct sound or offer clues about the actual solution.

“It’s a baseball team,” is not a legal clue if the answer is The Dodgers.

The Stealer – There is one member of the second team, the team giving the puzzle who can score points for their team. This stealer is not allowed to look at the puzzle words or its solution. Therefore, they need to listen very carefully to the guesser’s attempts.

If the guesser runs out of time the stealer can try and guess the solution to one of the puzzles the guesser did not solve. They can guess only based on the sounds the guesser might have made while failing to find his or her own solutions.

The Scorekeeper – It is the scorekeeper’s role to help maintain discipline. They must keep the coach from giving illegal clues. They must also start the timer and yell, “STOP!” as soon as time runs out.

Mad Gab Rules: Scoring the Game

Guessing puzzles is fun, but it’s even more fun if you can win. Here is how your team earns points.

  • There is one point awarded for each puzzle the guesser correctly solves.
  • There is also one point for each puzzle the stealer solves which the guesser did not.
  • The guessing team also has the opportunity to earn bonus points. The Mad Gab timer has the numbers “3” “2”, and “1” written on it. It counts down through each number as the guesser tries to solve the puzzles. If the guesser solves three successfully while the timer is pointed at one of these numbers, his or her team earns that many extra bonus points.

After each round, make sure that the scorekeeper records what each team scored. A typical game of Mad Gab will go to 30 points. It is possible to choose a higher number for a longer game or a lower number if you might run out of time.

Regardless, have fun and keep gabbing.

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