Two Truths and a Lie is a group "get-to-know-you" game that pits the wits of a player against a group of people. It is a fun way of breaking the ice at camp, in class, at a party or even in a business setting. The game goes quicker with small groups of up to 10 people and can be played by kids over the age of around 7 years and adults.
Setting up the Game
Get the players to sit in a circle and explain the rules. Each person will make three factual statements about themselves -- two will be true and one will be a lie. Typically, statements cover likes/dislikes, experiences, skills or habits. They can be common or unusual facts. Liking the color red is a common statement; bungee jumping off the Rio Grande Bridge is a bit more unusual. Give the group a few minutes to come up with ideas. If you wish, give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil so they can jot down their statements and keep score if you're playing a competitive version of the game.
Playing Two Truths and a Lie
Pick a person to take the first turn. He tells the group his three statements. The group then discusses the statements and decides which one is the lie. If the group does not agree on which statement to choose, have a show-of-hands vote. The player then reveals whether the group guessed correctly by revealing which of his statements was not true. Move on to the next player and continue until everyone has had a turn.
Two Truths and a Lie Strategies
Players use different tactics to try to hide their lies. For example, three mundane statements or three unusual ones are perhaps hardest to evaluate. Lies are typically harder to crack if the group believes that the player might be telling the truth; people find it harder to believe truths if they don't feel they can associate them with the player. For example, a young sporty-looking man may convince a group that he skydives, even if he doesn't, while the group may assume that a middle-aged woman doesn't look the type to skydive, even if she does.
Two Truths and a Lie Variations
Add a competitive element to the game by scoring it. If you're playing at a party, you can also give a prize to the winner. Award a point to players every time they correctly guess a lie and a point to players who fool the group. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game. Alternatively, try a different version of the game by playing Two Truths and a Wish -- here, players make two true statements and one they wish were true. If you have a small group and enough time, it can be a lot of fun to allow the group to ask players questions about their statements to help them work out the lie.
Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.