Ideas for Win, Lose or Draw

By Alice Moon
Win, lose or draw with family

The game Win, Lose or Draw works in a fashion similar to that of charades or Pictionary. Players divide into two teams. One person then selects a word, phrase or title and attempts to lead his teammates to the right answer by drawing picture clues related to the answer. Members on each side are given a set time limit to complete their half of the round.

Themed Games

Play your own themed game. If your group includes fans of literature, play a game based solely around book titles. If you’re movie buffs, try a game with only movie titles. Other themes may focus around words, phrases or titles from a specific time period. For younger children, you could create clues from cartoons or Disney characters, or build a game around educational material. Such games may include animals or numbers for smaller children, and countries or state capitals for older children.


Change the time limit on each round. If you have younger, inexperienced or poor players, extend the time limit to accommodate their play. If you have strong teams of experienced players, shorten the length of time given to draw the clues. This will increase the intensity of game play.

Blind Play

Draw the clues blindfolded. When the player sketching the clues is unable to see what she is drawing, the game has the potential for added silliness and moments of hilarity. Have the player read the word or phrase first, then approach the drawing board and don the blindfold. This can help level the playing field if you have a mix of good and bad artists.

Penalty Points

Lose a point for every incorrect guess. If you want to make the game tougher and quieter, and to force the players to hone their skills, have the opposing team keep track of incorrect guesses and subtract points for each one. You may need to alter the amount of points given for each correct guess to end the game with a positive score.

Alternate Sides

Switch sides within the round. Instead of allowing one side to play until time runs out or a correct answer is named, assign a random amount of time for each side to compete to guess each clue. Both teams should assign a representative to draw, then one side competes for 15 seconds. If the first team has not guessed the word, phrase or title, play moves to the other team. The second team can use the same drawings, add to them, or start its own. After 15 seconds, play passes back to the first team. The first team to guess correctly before the time assigned to the round expires wins the points.