What Is the 20 Questions Game?

The 20 Questions game involves players asking 20 questions to try and guess what topic or object one of the players is thinking about. It is often played on long road trips or when waiting in line.

How to play 20 Questions:

  1. The first person thinks of a topic or item for the other players to guess. This person becomes the answerer. The topic usually falls into the category of person, place or thing.
  2. The first player has to ask a yes or no question, and the answerer gives the correct answer. If the answer to the question is yes, that player gets to ask a second question. If the answer is no, the next player gets a turn.
  3. The answerer keeps track of how many questions each player has asked on a tally sheet. Once a player gets to 20 questions, they have to try and guess the answer. If the answer is wrong, that player loses, if the answer is right, the player wins.
  4. Players can guess the answer at any time during the question round, but they cannot go beyond 20 questions.

Variations of 20 Questions:

In some games, players choose variants of the original game. Sometimes categories are set ahead of time and all topics must be related to those specific categories. Other times, players allow questions that require one-word answers besides yes or no. For example, a player could ask the answerer what color an item is, but the answer cannot be more than one word.