free hangman game

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Playing The Hangman Game



How to play the hangman game

This set of instructions will outline playing the traditional two-player hangman game where there is a gallows and stick-man drawn to represent each failed guess. If you do not like such morbid imagery, you can substitute any drawing for the gallows/stick-man combo. Spiders are the most common alternative.

hangman game playing

You will need: 2 people, 1 piece of paper and one pen or pencil

Player 1 thinks of a secret word or phrase.

Player 1 draws a gallows and a row of dashes, one dash for each letter in the word. If there are multiple words, make sure a space is visible between the dashes where the words seperate.

Player 2 now begins guessing letters. If the letter is in the word or phrase, then player 1 fills in those blanks. If not, player 2 draws part of the hang man's body and writes the letter off to the side so it isn't guessed again. The body parts are usually drawn from the head outwards (Head, body, arms, legs).

When player 2 thinks they know what the word is, they can use a turn to take a guess. A correct guess wins the game, and an incorrect guess means player 2 draws another part of the hang man's body. When the entire body has been drawn, player one looses and the hang man game is over.


Follow along with this sample game:

gallows picture
Player 1 selects a two-word phrase and draws the playing field.


hangman head picture
Player two guesses the letter 'S'. There are no S's in the phrase, so the head is drawn and the letter 'S' is written off to the side to show that it has been guessed.


hangman gallows picture
Player 2 guesses the letter 'M'. There is one M, so the blank is filled in.


hangman body picture
Player 2 guesses the letter 'T'. No T's either, the body is now drawn and the letter T is written next to the S.


hangman arm picture
Player two guesses 'R'. What bad luck! No R's either. An arm is drawn along with the letter R.


hangman getting hanged
Player 2 guesses 'A' . 2 A's! They get filled in.


hang man game
Player 2 guesses 'N'. 2 N's as well! They get filled in.


hangman game won
Player 2 thinks he knows the answer and uses this turn to take a guess. "Hang Man". This is the correct answer, so player 2 wins this game. Simple, huh?


Some additional comments:

The number of incorrect guesses allowed is up to the players. If you want to allow more guesses you can draw hands, feet, and facial features. Whatever your imagination can bring forth.

Before beginning the game, you can specify a catagory for the word or phrase, for example: Places, People, Sayings, etc..

When a player looses, he or she remains the 'guesser' for the next game. When a player wins, he or she gets to think of the next word and swap places.

You may also write the alphabet out across the bottom of the page and cross off letters as they are guessed instead of writing them down when they are guessed.

For some added fun, the winner of the game could issue an order to the looser. Something simple like retrieving a beverage or repeating a tongue twister.


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