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20 Helpful Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Win at Charades!

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

people playing charades in office

Charades is fun and exciting…but it’s not quite so fun if you’re not winning. If you are tired of getting your ass kicked at Charades, now is the time to turn the tables and start winning. Easier said than done, right? Not really! If you know a few tips and tricks of the Charades-playing trade, you can win, time and again.

Playing Charades is not a game of chance. In fact, you can prepare for Charades by carrying out a few basic exercises in your everyday life. Whether you just want to win the next family Charades night or want to become a respected champion in your social circles, knowing some tips and tricks can help.

Something that I have discovered along the way is that some people are better at Charades than others, merely because of what they do in their work lives and spare time. For instance, I once played Charades with a Sign Language interpreter, and she seemed able to communicate as well as guess far easier than anyone else playing the game. This is because her lifestyle allowed her to practice non-verbal communication regularly. That’s food for thought, isn’t it?

If you would like to find out about the below-mentioned tips and tricks of Charades, simply read on. Below I delve into how these tips can improve your Charades skills and ensure that you become the next Charades champion in your social circles. 

Friends playing charade, a word-guessing game

20 tips, tricks, and strategies to win at Charades:

1. Be a strategic team picker.

When it comes to choosing teammates, jump at the opportunity. You want to choose people you know and have communicated with before, as you will have a general understanding of their communication style. 

2. Know the rules.

If you do something wrong during a round, the opposing team will jump at calling you out, which will delay the game and lose you points. Make sure that you and your team members are fully aware of, and familiar with, all of the game rules

3. Keep a clear head.

If you know that you are going to play Charades and you want to win, try to avoid over-indulging in alcohol before you get started. Without a clear head, you are going to communicate sloppily and may incorrectly act out the clues. The clearer the head, the more chance there is of winning. 

Non-alcoholic version of Heineken 0.0 beer
Borimat Praokaew /

4. Stay calm – do what needs to be done.

I have learned from experience that staying calm is the best way to get the clue understood and guessed. Don’t get carried away and over-excited. Keep the acting simple, slow, and calm. 

5. Move along promptly.

If you start acting out a clue and your team seems lost and unable to guess, don’t keep trying the same thing over and over. Be ready to move on quickly to try a different angle and a new way of acting the clue out. 

6. Get right out of your comfort zone.

If you are a little bit shy and don’t like the spotlight being on you, you are going to hold back and that makes for problematic Charades playing. When playing Charades, get out of your comfort zone. Be silly and be outrageous – everyone is in the same boat and playing the same game, so there is no room for holding back.

7. Brush up on your general knowledge regularly.

Charades games have categories that clues are drawn from. If you don’t know your music, movies, TV, books, and so on, you might struggle to understand the clues. And it might be even harder to get the team to guess what the word or phrase is. Brush up on your knowledge in each category, just to be on the safe side. 

8. Let your team know promptly if they are on the right track.

When acting out a clue, your teammates will be shouting possible options at you. As soon as someone is on the right track, point directly at them and point at your nose. Keep rolling your arms to encourage them to continue developing that line of thought. 

Family Playing Game Of Charades As They Celebrate Christmas At Home 2

9. Talk to people regularly and observe their communication styles.

Learning different communication styles is a great way to prepare for playing games like Charades. Try to talk with and communicate with people often. Pay close attention to their communication style. Watch how people gesture and use body language to drive the point of their verbal message home. Make a note of their facial expressions and hand movements. By becoming more aware of how people use non-verbal cues to communicate, you can become better at playing Charades.

10. Opt for association if the guessing is hard.

If the actual word or phrase is hard to guess, try to act out something that the team will be able to associate with that word. For instance, if the movie title is a hard one to guess, try to communicate the lead actor’s name, which they can then associate with the movie.

11. Predetermine game signals.

Using signals in a game of Charades is the norm. These are fairly standard, but before you get started with the game, take your team aside and go over these with them. If they know all of the signals they can use, your team will have more wins. 

12. Get the basics out of the way quickly.

If you are playing with any newbies to the game, make sure that they understand the basics of the game immediately. Don’t just think that they can watch and learn. An impromptu lesson before the game starts is absolutely acceptable.

Close-up of person explaining about charades

13. Know your audience and cater to it.

You might have noticed that how you communicate with your cousin, who is the same age as you, is completely different to the way you communicate with your father or your much older aunt. Chances are that the generation gap leaves plenty of room for communication break downs. If you want to play Charades to win, make sure that you act out in a way that speaks to your specific audience. 

14. If it’s hard to act, go for a “sounds like” options.

Don’t consistently try to act out a difficult clue. If you can think of something that the clue sounds like, opt for it every time. It’s an easy way to get a round won quickly. 

15. Practice in your spare time.

You might think it sounds weird to practice Charades in your spare time, but it’s really not. When you encounter a word or phrase and you have a moment, give some thought to how you would act that word/phrase out in a Charades game. If you can’t think of anything, Google some possible actions you can try. The more your brain starts thinking in this manner, the easier it will become to act out non-verbal clues. 

16. Always think of possible non-communication opportunities.

While you are reading a book, watching the TV, or socializing with friends, always give some thought as to how you would communicate your point without saying anything. Keep thinking in this way. 

17. Never lose your cool.

Family practicing yoga exercises, keeping it cool

If you are the person that gets upset and throws a tantrum during a group game, chances are that you won’t be invited to many parties in the future. Remember that while you want to win, Charades is a game to be enjoyed and should be fun. If one of your team members is bad at the game, shrug it off. Don’t make a “thing” of it. 

18. Opt for easy over clever.

You might be tempted to show off your shiny new non-verbal communication skills just so that your cleverness can be realized, but don’t. If there is an easier way to deliver the message and help your team win, go for it rather than trying to be clever. 

19. Choose a style/type of Charades you are good at.

With so many styles of Charades available, there are bound to be some that you are good at and some that you aren’t. Some types of Charades are Telephone Charades, Partner Charades, and Free for All Charades, and so on. 

20. Have fun playing the game.

The most important tip that I can give you is to have fun. The more relaxed you are and the more fun you have, the easier the game will be. 

Last Word

Playing Charades is all about the fun…for most people. If you are anything like me, it’s all about the winning. If you want to brush up on your skills and make sure that you win more frequently, consider the pointers above. 

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.