How to Play 20 Questions



How to Play 20 Questions

Three Methods:

20 Questions is a classic game that has been played since the 19th century. To play 20 Questions, one person thinks of an object and the others playing can ask 20 questions in an effort to guess what it is. This can be a great game for long, boring car trips, study halls, or as a vocabulary expansion game for language learners.

Steps

As a Guesser

  1. Establish the rules.Each person plays a slightly different variation of 20 Questions. Know who you're playing with, what rules they adhere to, and come to an agreement.
    • The questioner generally gives the category forthright; however, he/she has two options:
      • Is it an animal (alive and breathing)? A vegetable (does it grow?) Or mineral (isn't alive, doesn't grow, comes from the ground)? This version can be a bit tricky as one object can fit a couple different categories (like a leather belt).
      • Is it a person, place, or thing? This variation is much more straightforward, though it opens up more abstract ideas, like "San Francisco."
    • The players can establish whether or not the object must be in sight. This is better for shorter games or those with goldfish-like attention spans.
    • Some players are kind enough to volunteer a guess at the end of the 20 questions asked if the object has yet to be determined. Sort of a "Hail Mary" type of thing.
    • Responses can be a straight "yes" or "no" answer, or include adverbs like, "usually," "sometimes," or "rarely."
    • Someone must keep track of the number of questions asked. This is usually whoever has their hands free to hold up the appropriate amount of fingers.
  2. Build your questions from previous answers.The game is started and you have no idea how to guess. Going from "Is it bigger than an elephant?" to "Does it smell better than a skunk?" is not going to help you. Start big and get smaller.
    • Begin with a general question, like "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" If the answer is yes, ask another along the same pattern ("Is it bigger than a refrigerator?"). When you get a no, stop. Go along a different route (color, etc.) until you can combine two pieces of information.
  3. Don't get too specific.Starting out with narrow questions will just guarantee you a handful of head shakes. Think bigger, broader questions (at least to start with) to get a yes, leading you on the correct path.
    • For example, a question such as "Does it involve technology for communications, entertainment or work?"is a carefully thought out question. If yes, you can narrow it down from there. If no, you have eliminated a whole bunch of possible prospects.
  4. Take only educated guesses.Your second question should not be, "Is it a goat?!" Unless you can read the other person's mind, this probably isn't going to happen. Only guess when you have a pretty good idea.
    • That being said, once you start getting nearer to the 20 mark, save a couple rounds for guesses. Each one counts as a turn! And if you've absolutely no idea by number 16 or 17, shoot away.
      • If you had no idea because the object at hand was the questioner's pinky toe on their right foot, that is grounds for an objection. Speak up! That's unfair game play.
  5. Finish the game.If you won (guessed the object within 20 questions), it's time for vengeance! It's now your turn to choose an object and your partner guesses.
    • If you didn't guess the object in 20 guesses, think about your questions and start guessing in a second game. Now that you know how the other plays, how can you change your strategy?

As the Questioner

  1. Go over the rules.Sometimes each player has grown up knowing a slightly different set of game play. Outline the basics before you start thinking and guessing.
    • What kind of categories does the questioner start with? Will you have to start or will the guesser ask?
      • Choose between the following: animal (it's alive and breathing), vegetable (it grows), and mineral (it's not alive and comes from the ground)orperson, place, and thing. AVM can lead to technicalities (is a wooden table a vegetable or a mineral?) but PPT opens up the entire world (the Seattle Space Needle).
    • Does the object have to be in sight? In the room? Or anywhere?
    • Will you allow a final guess as a sort of 21st question?
    • Are answers strictly limited to yes/no, or do they include "sometimes," "usually," or "rarely?"
    • Who's keeping track? Are you monitoring their questions or are they monitoring their own?
  2. Think of an object.It's best to go outside yourself a bit and think of an object neither party has on the brain. Pick an object that both parties are familiar with and is improbable but definitely not impossible.
    • Do not pick your younger sister's diary she hides under her bed. There is no way the guesser will ever get that. It's just not fun.
    • If you're obsessed with Star Trek, don't choose Star Trek. If Garfield wants to fool Odie, he's not going to choose lasagna. Pick something your partner doesn't expect--especially if it's a friend who knows you well.
  3. Give accurate answers.If you don't know the answer to a question, you may make a guess, but let them know you're not entirely sure. Don't lead them down the wrong path.
    • Don't think too much. If they ask you, "Is it bigger than a refrigerator?" don't reply, "Maybe? What size refrigerator are you referring to?" Think in standards. If you don't think too much, you'll stay on the same page.
  4. Deem a winner.On the 20th question (and remember: guesses count!), the game is over. If they haven't read your mind, you win! Time to fool them again.
    • If they did guess the object, hand them over the rights to be the questioner. Hopefully they'll be as nice to you as you were to them.

20 Questions Examples

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    Jyothi drew 12 line segments within a circle from the center to 12 points on the edge of the circle. What is the difference between the lengths of all the line segments?
    Top Answerer
    Each line segment is a radius of the circle. Each radius has the same length.
    Thanks!
Ask a Question
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Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • Don't choose an object you know very little about. You'll be unable to respond to questions accurately.
  • Don't choose an object that is too easy to guess or impossible to guess. It ruins the game and leaves both parties unhappy.

Warnings

  • If you choose an object that is darn near impossible, be ready for your friend to choose an object for you that is darn near impossible. In 20 Questions, what goes around comes around, my friend.

Video

Quick Summary

To play 20 Questions, one person should start by thinking of an animal, plant, or object. Once they have decided, everyone else will ask yes or no questions to guess what it is. When guessing, build your questions from previous answers. For example, you could start by asking about size, like "Is it bigger than a refrigerator?" and then follow up with more questions like "Is it bigger than an elephant?" until you know the size. After you know the size, move on to different questions, like color or use. If you guess in the answer in in less than 20 questions, you get to be the one who answers questions next round!

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Date: 19.12.2018, 05:33 / Views: 35285