Classic Games Party Games

How to Play Balderdash Game

Unraveling the Fun of Balderdash: A Comprehensive Guide to the Game

Balderdash is a classic party game that combines creativity, deception, and hilarity, making it an excellent choice for gatherings, family game nights, and any occasion that calls for a good laugh. The game tests players’ ability to concoct believable definitions, answers, or explanations for obscure words, events, laws, and more, while also challenging them to decipher the real from the fabricated. Here’s everything you need to know to dive into the whimsical world of Balderdash.

how to play balderdash game

Understanding Balderdash Game and Gameplay

The essence of Balderdash lies in players’ abilities to bluff their way through rounds, convincing others that their made-up definitions or explanations are true, and identifying the actual answers amidst the falsehoods. The game is typically suited for 2-8 players, aged 12 and up, and offers a blend of creativity, wordplay, and strategy.


  • Game Board: A board to track players’ progress.
  • Category Cards: Cards containing real but obscure words, movie titles, acronyms, laws, and notable dates.
  • Answer Sheets: For players to write their bluffs and for the dasher (the player who reads the card for the round) to write the real answer.
  • Scoreboard and Pieces: To keep track of each player’s points.
  • Die: To determine the category for each round.

Setting Up the Balderdash Game

  1. Prepare the Board: Place the game board in the center of all players.
  2. Choose the Dasher: Decide who will be the first dasher. The role of the dasher rotates clockwise after each round.
  3. Distribute Answer Sheets: Give each player an answer sheet and a pen or pencil.

Game Categories

Balderdash features several categories, each offering a unique kind of challenge:

  • Words: Players invent definitions for unusual words.
  • People: Players concoct explanations about lesser-known historical or contemporary figures.
  • Initials: Players create meanings for obscure acronyms.
  • Movies: Players fabricate plots for movie titles that sound real but aren’t.
  • Laws: Players invent bizarre laws still on the books.
  • Dates: Players elaborate on significant events that happened on particular dates.

Playing the Game

Round Overview

  1. Roll the Die: The dasher rolls the die to determine the category and reads the corresponding prompt from the category card.
  2. Write Bluffs: Players write down their bluff answers, trying to make them sound as plausible as possible.
  3. Collect and Read Submissions: The dasher collects the answers, adds the real one, shuffles them, and reads them aloud.
  4. Guess the Real Answer: Players guess which answer they believe is the real one.
  5. Reveal and Score: The dasher reveals the correct answer. Players score points for guessing correctly and for each vote their bluff answer receives.


  • Correct Guess: 2 points for guessing the real answer.
  • Fooling Others: 1 point for each player who chooses your bluff.
  • Dasher Bonus: If no one guesses the real answer, the dasher earns 3 points.

Winning the Game

The game can be played to a set number of rounds or until a player reaches a predetermined score. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Strategies and Tips

  • Know Your Audience: Tailor your bluffs to the knowledge and interests of the other players.
  • Be Creative but Plausible: The best bluffs are those that are creative enough to be entertaining but plausible enough to be believable.
  • Pay Attention: Listening to past answers can give insights into the other players’ bluffing styles and help you make more informed guesses.

Balderdash is more than just a game of guessing and bluffing; it’s an exercise in creativity, a test of wit, and most importantly, a source of endless entertainment. Whether you’re crafting the most believable lie or deciphering truth from fiction, each round of Balderdash promises laughter, surprises, and a great time for everyone involved. So gather your friends or family, break out the Balderdash board, and let the hilarity ensue!

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