Twister (Game): Official Rules (Per Hasbro) with Pictures

play a twister on the grass. Hands on yellow
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In case you don’t already know, Twister is a fun physical skill game that requires good balance and where body parts are used as playing pieces. It was initially known as ‘Pretzel’, and it has been around for more than half a century. If you’re looking to know more about the rules of Twister, you have come to the right place! 

Twister Rules – according to Hasbro, the makers of the game:

After whirling the spinner, the referee calls out the body part and color where the arrow points to. Then, accordingly, players must place, on the mat, that body part on that one color. Continue, until only one player is “standing”. 

The rules of Twister are reasonably straightforward and easy to follow. They include specific instructions on how to set-up, play, and win the game. Best of all, it can be played both indoors and outdoors (with two or more people), and all that is required is a flat surface and the mat and spinner that come with the game!

If you’re more of a visual learner, below is a short clip that explains how to play Twister.

Video Source: Howcast / YouTube

Now, let’s explore this fun party game further. We will discuss the rules in more detail below as well as explain some other interesting facts, including who invented it, how to win at it, and the different variations of it! So, if you’re ready to learn more about the game of Twister, then let’s get started!

A Brief Intro to Twister:

Twister was invented by Charles Foley and Neil Rabens decades ago, in April of 1966. It was one of the first games to use body parts as pawns or playing pieces. Over 3 million copies of the game were sold in its very first year of release! It is currently marketed and sold under the Hasbro/Milton-Bradley label.

The Official Rules of Twister (Game)

Begin by finding a flat surface such as lawn, patio, or floor. Once you decide where to play, the rules of the game include the following:

How to Set-up the Game 

Setting up the game is very easy. The four necessary steps are:

  • Place the mat face-up on a flat surface.
  • Have each player remove his or her shoes and place them to the side (out of the way). Or, use the shoes to anchor the corners of the mat to keep it smooth and straight.
  • Choose one person to be the referee. This person is not a player. He or she is responsible for spinning the spinner, calling out the moves and monitoring the game.
  • Position yourself correctly on the map according to the number of players, be it 2, 3 or 4 people (see below).

For a 2-player game, have each person face each other on opposite ends of the mat next where the word ‘Twister’ is written. Place one foot on the blue circle and the other foot on the yellow circle. 

american friends play twister game outdoor
AS photo studio / Shutterstock.com

For a 3-player game, have two players face each other once again on opposite ends of the mat, placing one foot in the blue circle and the other foot in the yellow circle. Have the third player face the middle from the red-circle area of the mat and place one foot on each of the two red circles in the center. 

For a 4-player game, make two teams of two and have each team face each other on opposite ends of the mat. Each player stands beside his or her teammate with each foot on a circle so that all four circles closest to the word ‘Twister’ on the mat are covered.

How to Play the Game

Now comes the fun part! The six key steps to playing Twister include:

  • Start the game by having the referee spin the needle on the spinner and call out the colors and body part that the arrow is pointing to. An example would be ‘right-hand red’ in which all players place their right hand onto the red circle closest to them.
  • Players must follow the directions given by the referee and place the appropriate body part into the specified color ring that is vacant (or empty). The only exception to this rule is when playing a 4-person game in which participants of the same team can cover the same circle. 
  • Players with their hand or foot already in the circle of the called-out color must relocate it a different circle of the same color that is vacant. There can never be more than one body part in any colored circle at any given time unless you are playing in teams of two.
  • Players who reach for the same circle must await the ruling of the referee, who will determine which one got their first. The slower player must find another empty circle of the called-out color.
  • Participants can’t remove their hands or feet from the circles unless the referee allows it, following each new spin. The one exception to this rule states that you can remove your hand or foot to let another player pass by if you announce it to the referee beforehand and then replace it immediately afterward.
  • If by chance, all six circles of a called-out color and covered, then the referee must spin again until a different color pops up.

How to Be Eliminated from the Game

Friends playing twister
Elena Nichizhenova / Shutterstock.com

Eliminating players one at a time is the key to winning the game of Twister. Being eliminated from the game includes the following:

  • Any player who falls, removes their body part from the circle without permission or touches the mat with their knee or elbow is removed from the game immediately.
  • A player can eliminate him/herself is he/she feels a new position is too hard to do.
  • In a 2-player game, the fallen player is out, and the remaining player wins. In a 3-player game, the fallen player is out, and the remaining two players continue the game until one is eliminated, thus making the remaining player the winner. In a 4-player game, if one player falls or touches the mat with a knee or elbow, the team is out, and the other team wins.

How to Win the Game

Winning the game involves being the last player on the mat and avoiding elimination. The best ways to improve your chances of winning the game of Twister include:

Stretching beforehand. It is important to limber-up before playing, especially if you’re not used to bending your body into unnatural positions. Warming-up the muscles in advance will enable you to hold the poses longer, thus increasing your chances of winning! 

Children play a twister on the grass
Lana Iva / Shutterstock.com

Staying balanced. To win the game, you need to outlast the other players. Keep your balance with your feet planted firmly on the mat and not too far apart. As well, maintain your center of gravity and do not lean too far over. Keep your movements as close to your torso as possible to retain stability.

Staying close to your opponents. Try to place your hand or foot as close to your opponents as possible with each new move. This will reduce the number of circles they can easily access, forcing them to reach out further and likely causing them to lose their balance. 

Outlasting your opponents. If you are loose and limber, stay close to your opponents and retain your balance, you will likely outlast the other players and win the game! Remember also to be patient, play fair, and have fun. Part of winning is being a good sport, having a laugh and enjoying the company of others.

Variations of the Game

Twister can be played in a variety of ways to suit different social situations. These include the following:

2-Player Game without a Referee

This version of Twister is played without the spinner. One player simply calls out the body part while the other player calls out the color and then each move accordingly. Players alternate between calling out either the body part or the color and continue on in the same manner until one is eliminated.

Blindfolded Twister

Blindfolded Twister game
Everything You Need / Shutterstock.com

This version is similar to classic Twister except that each player is blindfolded and must play entirely by touch and memory. The referee calls out the moves and the players must fell around the mat to find the right color (with their hands or feet) based on texture and shape.

Round Robin

This version is played with multiple people forming several 2-player teams in tournament style. Each team plays all other teams, keeping track of both wins and losses. The team with the most wins overall wins the tournament.

Elimination Game

This version involves multiple 2-player teams. Each team plays the others, with the losing teams dropping out until only the top two winning teams remain. These last two teams play each other until one is eliminated, leaving the last team standing as the winner.

All in all

hands on twister game
IhorL / Shutterstock.com

The game of Twister is, arguably, one of the best party games around! It is so much fun to play, either indoors or outdoors and only requires a flat surface and the game-specific mat and spinner! So why not get your family and friends together for a fun game of Twister! Everyone is sure to have a blast! Good luck!