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Are you in the mood to have some fun with your buddies on a game night? We know how that feels.
Simply grab your yellow banana pouch and enjoy an exciting time playing this competitive game of Bananagrams.
Bananagrams can be played by at least 2 players and up to 8 participants. It’s a fast-paced word game that is quite similar to both Scrabble and Boggle. It starts with 144 tiles.
These are to be spread out face down on a table.When you’ve upto 4 players, each participant will take 21 letters, face down.
When there are 5 – 6 players, each person will take 15 letters, while with 7 or more participants, each player will be assigned 11 letters.
Like Boggle, the gameplay here takes place quickly and doesn’t involve turns. In Bananagrams, like we’ve it in Scrabble, each player has to build his/her own interlocking grid of words until they’ve exhausted all of their letters.
Can you play the game all alone? We’ll find out in a bit. Let’s show you how to play Bananagrams.
Bananagram Rules & Strategies For Beginners
In a Bananagrams pouch, we’ve 144 tiles.
Lay down all 144 tiles on a flat surface and ensure that every tile is face down.
According to the number of players available, you’ll determine the number of tiles each player takes. These are the guidelines to follow:
- 2 – 4 players: 21 tiles are assigned to each player
- 5 – 6 players: 15 tiles are given to each player
- 7 – 8 players: 11 tiles are assigned to each player
Collect your tiles. Then, wait for a participant to yell “Split” so that the game can start.
At this juncture, all players will turn over their tiles and start to make words into crossword-like grids.
This works in a similar way to laying out and connecting words in Scrabble with horizontal grids stretching from left to right or vertical ones from top to bottom.
But unlike Scrabble, no board is available with designated points.
Instead of that, the object of the game is to lay out words and develop your free-form gridas fast as you can.
You’re allowed to rearrange words and re-construct your grid whenever you
The important thing is to work faster than your opponents in putting something together.
Some Terms to Note
If you’re looking to learn how to play Bananagrams, you need to be familiar with its jargon:
You yell “Dump” to take one of your tiles back to the pile. Here, the trade-off is that to continue play, you’ve to grab 3 more tiles.
When you’ve one face-up tile left, you can call out “Peel!” and each of the remaining players will pick up an additional tile out of the letters pile (also called the “Bunch”).
Winning the Game
In Bananagrams, the winner is that player who first forms words with all of their tiles in a connected grid and yells “Bananas!”
Bear in mind that a player can only yell “Bananas” as soon as the tile bunch has been reduced to fewer tiles compared with the number of players.
After a player has become victorious, the next thing is to inspect their grid and check if they’ve any of these unacceptable words:
- Proper nouns
- Misspelled words
- Words that aren’t in a standard dictionary
- Words that don’t comply with any other rules stipulated before the game (such as “did you every player agree to use 2-letter words?”)
If there’s a mistake, you’ll yell “Rotten Bananas!” and the offending player will now be expelled from the game.
You’ll return his/her tiles facedown to the bunch pile. And play will resume.
Unacceptable Words in Bananagrams
Part of learning how to play Bananagrams is identifying words that are not allowed in the game.
While this is quite obvious sometimes, at other times, you may find it all gets fuzzy, trying to make the distinction between words that are allowed and those disallowed.
So, it does help to state some specific rules.
A way to do this is to choose a standard dictionary (such as Merriam-Webster) as the governing word reference before starting the game.
Alternatively, if you’ve aScrabble dictionary, you can make use of it to serve as an expanded game-friendly word reference.
Better still, you can simply inputthe questionable word into this free online toolto know if it’s in the Scrabble dictionary.
Generally, you can’t make use of any words requiring a capital letter. And abbreviations aren’t allowed.
Further, you may elect to accept foreign words or not.
A common method to play is if you’re playing an English version of the game, only allow a foreign word if it can also be found in an English dictionary.
Also, the majority of players allow two-letter words. However, some die-hard word gamers don’t like accepting them.
The Pouch — What’s in It?
Earlier, we explained that there are 144 letter tiles in a pouch.
However, it’s useful to be familiar with the number of each letter the pouch contains. Thus, we offer you a breakdown of the letter distribution below:
Pro Tips to Play Bananagrams
Apart from being fast and creative with your word skills, to win games consistently, you’ll need to master a handful of other strategic tips.
We discuss these below:
For starters, keep in mind that during gameplay, the grid is flexible. This means that there’s no need to be too fixated on your present grid.
In case it isn’t working, rearrange things to improve it and start afresh during the game.
Every player will work on their grid at their own pace. And Bananagrams has no turns.
For this reason, you need to monitor your opponents’ grids.
Check to see if he/she is moving along quickly or struggling to build their grid.
Armed with that info about your competitors’ moves, you can adjust your own pacing accordingly.
You should also consider using those tricky letters as soon as you can. Try to utilize them so that you can form words quickly.
For instance,if you’ve a“Q” in your bunch, adding “I” gives you “QI”, which is a 2-letter word, meaning “vital energy that is held to animate the body internally, according to Merriam-Webster’s.
That takes us the next pro tip: learn those obscure (and sometimes weird) 2 and 3-letter words.
If you master this strategy, it can be a deciding factor in you winning games.
Also, practice by playing lots of Scrabble. Doing this will help improve your word game vocabulary, hone your grid building skills and speed.
FAQs about How to Play Bananagrams
Who’s the inventor of Bananagrams?
This game was invented by the late Abe Nathanson. When he was 79, Nathanson, who was a graphic designer based in Rhode Island, was enjoying a game of Scrabble with his grandsons.
And he thought it would bring more fun to play an “anagrams game so fast it will drive you bananas.”
Can I play Bananagrams by myself?
Yes! Though it’s a fun game that’s best played with 2 – 8 players, you can surely practice your wordsmithery skills and whirl away time by playing this game alone.
Playing the solitaire version of Bananagrams will give you a lot of fun. Here, you’ll play with 21 tiles and aim to beat your own time.
Ensure you keep the tiles face down and strive to replicate a real game as much as you can.
Can Bananagrams be considered a bar game?
This game is clearly great for families. As a matter of fact, it’s perfect every age within 7 – 107.
Apart from that, Bananagrams is also a fascinating bar game. In fact, it’s among the best bar games out there.
More interestingly, it’s suitable for almost all venues. To enjoy some drinks with your pals, you can lay out the tiles and play an exciting game of Bananagrams.
You can even play it in the park, while on a trip, or while relaxing at work.
You can also play the “Cafe” style of this game by drawing from the pouch rather than dumping out the tiles on the table. There’s no dumping in this variant, only peeling.
Am I allowed to slightly change the rules to speed up play or make the game easier for beginners?
Of course! Other than playing by the traditional rules, you can try adaptive play to make things easier while learning the ropes or speed up gameplay.
How can I teach people to play Bananagrams?
The rules of Bananagrams are pretty easy to pick up. You’ll find the full instructions in your Bananagrams pouch.
Better still, you can downloadthem as well. You can also usethisvideo.
Wrapping up today’s post on how to play Bananagrams, this game can be fun and exciting to participate in with your buddies.
Simply follow the instructions and rules of the game and be ready to have a great time!
How many bananagram tiles do you start with? ›
The BANANAGRAMS pouch is placed on the table. Each player takes 21 tiles from the pouch. Players then proceed to play the regular game with “dumping” but NO “peeling”. The first player to use all his/her letters says “BANANAS!!!” and is the winner.What is the difference between Bananagrams and bananagrams Party Edition? ›
The general concept of the game is similar to the original, uses tiles and the same “peel” process. The difference is Bananagrams Party Edition includes party tiles that change the game up! Before you begin the game, review each of the abilities of the party tiles so everyone knows what happens if they get one.How do you play Bananagrams single player? ›
As a solo game, you play Bananagrams the same way as you would in a group – use your tiles to create your crossword, and the game is over when all of the tiles are used. It's still a race against the clock – you are just trying to beat your own best time instead of finishing before your opponents.Can you play Bananagrams with 2 people? ›
You can play Bananagrams with a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 8. For 2-4 players, draw 21 tiles each. For 5-6 people, draw 15 tiles each. For 7-8 people, draw 11 tiles each.Can I use proper nouns in Bananagrams? ›
Proper nouns are NOT acceptable. Any available dictionary may be used. If all words are acceptable, that player is the WINNER. If any word in the grid is found to be unacceptable, that player becomes the ROTTEN BANANA and is OUT OF THAT HAND.How is Bananagrams different from Scrabble? ›
A Bananagram pouch holds 144 tiles, which are used to form words in a Scrabble-like formation — but without a board. A game out of Rhode Island is fast becoming a major player in the board game industry. Bananagrams is an anagram puzzle built for speed — think of Scrabble with no board or complicated scoring.What is the longest word you can make in Bananagrams? ›
"Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism" is an unusual word because of the double "pseudo". It looks like a double negative, but it's really not.How many Z are in a Bananagrams? ›
2: J, K, Q, X, Z. 3: B, C, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y. 4: G. 5: L.What age group is Bananagrams for? ›
My First Bananagrams: Multi-Award Winning Kids Spelling Board Game For Ages 4+What words Cannot be used in Bananagrams? ›
The only real difference is that the inclusion of any word in the chosen dictionary shouldn't be a problem. Two definite rules regarding Bananagrams acceptable words are: Proper nouns cannot be used. Any available dictionary will work for the game.
Is Qi a word in Bananagrams? ›
Here's the list to remember – make sure to at least remember 'qi' (doesn't need a 'u'), 'ax' (worth 9 points) and 'za' (it's common to have a spare 'a').Can you rearrange letters in Bananagrams? ›
You may rearrange your grid at any time, and as often as you like. Whenever a player places their last faceup letter in their grid, that person calls out “PEEL!”Why is it called Bananagrams? ›
After marathon sessions experimenting with various permutations of word games (and subjecting extended family and friends to hours of testing), the Nathansons finally came up with BANANAGRAMS. The name originated from Abe declaring, “This anagram game will drive you bananas!” – hence Bananagrams!How many tiles do you start with in Bananagrams with 2 people? ›
Everyone then takes tiles from the bunch and puts them in front of them, face-down. The number of tiles you take depends on the number of people playing: 2-4 People: each player takes 21 letters. 5-6 People: each player takes 15 letters.How long does a game of Bananagrams last? ›
Bananagrams is a word building game where players draw letters from 144 tiles and try to form words as fast as possible. The first player to use up all their tiles and shout “Bananas!” wins. Bananagrams can be played with 2 – 8 players and each game takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes.Is OK a word in Scrabble? ›
"OK" is now OK to play in a game of Scrabble. The two-letter word is one of 300 new additions to the latest version of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which Merriam-Webster released on Monday. Other words that you can now play in a Scrabble game include macaron, facepalm, emoji, puggle, and ew.Can you use Scrabble pieces to play Bananagrams? ›
Perhaps this is obvious to many, but I wanted to hop on here and confirm that we've been playing Bananagrams with Scrabble tiles, and with no problems.What is the number 1 longest word? ›
In that case, what's the longest word in the English language dictionary? It's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.Is za a valid Scrabble word? ›
About the Word:
You may be surprised at the slang found on the tournament SCRABBLE board: BRO, HOMEY, and YO are all accepted words. ZA is the most played word containing the letter Z (and the only playable two-letter word with the letter Z) in tournament SCRABBLE play.
- Create a backbone. Try to create the longest word possible as early in the round as possible. ...
- Don't be scared to shuffle all your tiles mid-game. ...
- Two-letter words are gold. ...
- No dumping. ...
- Go rhyme-crazy to switch out letters fast.
How do you spice up Bananagrams? ›
Try to beat your own best time in using all 144 letters, or try making as few words to use all 144 letters. This can be a relaxing way of honing your Bananagrams skills. Advanced players could create their own versions by limiting the acceptable words to a special category, such as animals, food and drink, etc.What is the goal of Bananagrams? ›
Addictively simple, and simply addictive, BANANAGRAMS is the fast and frantic word game enjoyed by millions! Players and their opponents aim to use all of their letters to build a word grid in a race to the finish. The first player to use all of their tiles is crowned "Top Banana"!Does Bananagrams help with spelling? ›
Bananagrams are a great tool for helping kids vocalise and spell things they see around them. Get kids active and involved with their surrounding and spell out what you they can see.Can you use animal names in Bananagrams? ›
This can be a relaxing way of honing your Bananagrams skills. Advanced players could create their own versions by limiting the acceptable words to a special category, such as animals, food and drink, etc.Is Xi a valid Scrabble word? ›
Yes, xi is a Scrabble word!
Xi is a valid Scrabble word.
- Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters) ...
- Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters) ...
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters) ...
- Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters) ...
- Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)
The letter distribution is as follows: 2: J, K, Q, X, Z. 3: B, C, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y. 4: G.Is Bananagrams a 2 player game? ›
You can play Bananagrams with a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 8. For 2-4 players, draw 21 tiles each. For 5-6 people, draw 15 tiles each. For 7-8 people, draw 11 tiles each.What age is Bananagrams appropriate for? ›
My First Bananagrams: Multi-Award Winning Kids Spelling Board Game For Ages 4+What age is bananagram for? ›
BANANAGRAMS requires no pencil, paper, or board, and comes in a small portable banana-shaped pouch that's perfect for ages 7 and up —at home or on the go. What's Inside? Download Instructions.
How many C's are there in Bananagrams? ›
|B a n a n a g r a m s||S p a n i s h B G|
Distribution of Letter Tiles in Bananagrams.
Perhaps this is obvious to many, but I wanted to hop on here and confirm that we've been playing Bananagrams with Scrabble tiles, and with no problems.Can you use proper names in Bananagrams? ›
Proper nouns are NOT acceptable. Any available dictionary may be used. If all words are acceptable, that player is the WINNER. If any word in the grid is found to be unacceptable, that player becomes the ROTTEN BANANA and is OUT OF THAT HAND.How many people can play bananagram? ›
Bananagrams is a word building game where players draw letters from 144 tiles and try to form words as fast as possible. The first player to use up all their tiles and shout “Bananas!” wins. Bananagrams can be played with 2 – 8 players and each game takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes.