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Catchphrase Rules: How do you Play Catchphrase?

Catchphrase is a unique word game that plays a lot like Charades where the goal of the game is get your teammates to correctly guess a word by providing clues. Using a specialized game unit, two teams play head to head to be the first to reach 7 points by correctly guessing words. 

Game Play

According to Catchphrase rules, you must have two teams. The teams do not need to be the same size, but it is easiest if you arrange seating so that each player is sitting next to a member of the other team to allow the game unit to be passed quickly from one team to the other. 

Pick a player to go first. That player should have the game unit. To start the game, press both “Team 1 Score” and “Team 2 Score” buttons at the same time to clear the scores. You may play the game using the default category, or you may scroll through the categories using the Advance button, stopping at the category you’d like to play in and then pressing the Timer button to start the game. There are 11 categories, including the “Everything” category, which uses all 10,000 words in the game. Your game’s rule sheet should provide a description of all of the categories. 

To start the game, press the “Timer” button. Once the Timer button has been pressed, you cannot select another category, nor see the scores. Pressing Advance will display the next word in the game. 

Once a word is displayed, the goal is to give clues that will allow your team to guess the word. Per Catchphrase rules, this can be verbal clues or physical gestures. As soon as the the word has been guessed, hand the game unit to the next player (on the other team). Do not press Advance. This allows the other team to see the word and verify it was correctly guessed. The next player presses the Advance button to reveal the next word, and provides clues to his or her team to allow the team to guess the word. 

There are three things you may not give as a clue: 
 1) A word that rhymes with the word.
 2) The first letter of the word.
 3) Part of the word (ie shoe for shoe horn)

If you are caught breaking any of these three rules, press the “Timer” button to shut off the timer. The other team automatically gets a point for that round.

When the buzzer sounds, this indicates the end of the round. Catch phrase rules state that the team that is not holding the game unit gets 1 point. That team also has one turn to guess the word and earn an extra point. 

How to Enter Points

To enter points, the losing team presses the other team’s button once. If the winning team guesses the word and earns an extra point, the losing team must press the other team’s button a second time. The first team to 7 points wins. You can press the “Time” and “Advance” button together to display the score if needed. The game will announce when a winner is reached.

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