Directions for Balderdash

By Andrea Reuter

The board game Balderdash is full of obscure and archaic words, but the game play centers on bluffing. The players secretly make up and write down their own fake definitions of the words, trying to invent meanings that sounds plausible enough to fool their friends. A player earns points in Balderdash not just by guessing the correct definitions, but also by persuading the other players to choose her incorrect definitions. Balderdash is a party game best played with five or more people.

Give a playing piece and a definition sheet to each person. Place the pieces on the game board's "Start" square. Roll the die once for each player -- the person with the highest score becomes the Dasher for the current round.

Take a card from the front of the box if you're the Dasher. Roll the die and read the word from the card that corresponds to the number you rolled. Spell the word for the other players. Copy the correct definition from the back of the card and write it on a definition sheet.

Invent a definition for the given word if you're not the Dasher. Write your initials on your definition sheet and pass it to the Dasher.

Read the definitions to yourself if you're the Dasher. Award three points to any player whose definition is the same or very similar to the true definition.

Read the definitions out loud in random order if you're the Dasher. Repeat the definitions as many times as needed, but do not read any definitions for which a player was awarded three points in Step 6.

Ask each person, starting with the one to the left of the Dasher and going clockwise around the room, to guess which definition he believes is the correct meaning of the word. Do not guess if you're the Dasher.

Write the initials of the player who guessed a particular definition in the "Score" section of the corresponding definition sheet.

Award one point to a player for each guess her fake definition received from another player and two points to each person who guessed the correct answer. Give three points to the Dasher if no one guessed the right definition. Move each player's token one space for each point earned.

Start a new round with the player to the left of the Dasher becoming the next Dasher. Continue playing until one person reaches the "Finish" space.

About the Author

Andrea Reuter has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from the New School. She has worked as a magazine writer and editor for such publications as "Diversion" magazine and "Original Logic Problems." Reuter currently writes articles about video games and consoles, board games and card games for various websites.