Games for Deaf People

3d tic tac toe game board image by Brent Walker from

Deaf people like playing games as much as anyone else. However, it can be hard for deaf people to participate in many popular games due to the need to hear what's going on during the game. There are a lot of games that don't require you to hear anything in order to play, and these are great games for deaf people.

Checkers and Chess

Both checkers and chess are great games to play with deaf people. Checkers and chess don't require much talking and interacting other than what takes place on the board, so as long as both players know the rules of the games.


Scrabble is another board game where all the action takes place on the board. As long as all the players can see the tiles then there isn't much need of verbal communication.


Foosball is an exciting and fast-paced game that doesn't require speaking. The players are focused on the game at hand and don't need to pay attention to anything else going on.


Pool is a social game with simple rules and a mellow, quiet atmosphere. Playing pool requires only eyesight and coordination, so deaf people will not be at all inhibited.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Although jigsaw puzzles aren't exactly a game—there's no winner or loser—they resemble a game in that people get together to share in an experience. Once again, to do a puzzle you just need patience and concentration; hearing has nothing to do with it.


Stratego is a two-player strategy game resembling capture the flag. Stratego requires high levels of concentration, and a quiet environment is preferable.

Sign Language–Based games

There are a number of games that incorporate sign language and were designed to help deaf people learn and practice sign language. See the resources section of this article for more information on these games.


About the Author

Ariel Phillips is an editor and writer living in Portland, Ore. He has written for "n+1 Journal" and "The Rumpus Magazine," among others. He maintains an interest in a variety of subjects, including art, culture, the environment, media, the sciences and sports. He earned bachelor's degrees in art and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Photo Credits

  • 3d tic tac toe game board image by Brent Walker from