What is hangman, how to play and the game rules
Hangman is an easy game to play, but it’s still important to know the rules! (Note that if you are playing with younger children and don’t want to expose them to the violence of a hanging, you can replace the scaffold and stick figure with a snowman, as detailed towards the end of these instructions).
The first thing to do is to lay out the game on a piece of paper. This consists of the scaffold, as shown in the first image, and a series of blanks for the word or phrase. Player 1 is the one who picks the word, and Player 2 guesses. In our example, the word is “hangman.” If there were multiple words in a phrase or sentence, Player 1 would have to add spaces between each of the blanks.
If you’d like to download the above reference image as a PDF, click here.
Next, Player 2 starts guessing letters that might be part of the word or phrase. In the diagram labeled ‘2’, Player 2 has guessed the letter ‘A’. Because ‘hangman’ does have two ‘A’s in it, Player 1 would write the letter in its corresponding spot in the word.
Player 2 continues guessing. In diagram 3, Player 2 has guessed the letter ‘E’. ‘Hangman’ doesn’t have any ‘E’s, so Player one starts drawing the hangman (usually a simple stick figure) on the scaffold to the left. If you’re Player 2, keep this acronym in mind: ETAOIN SHRDLU. It’s hard to remember but it is the order of the most common letters in the English language.
The game continues in this way – if Player 2 guesses the word before the hangman is complete, they win. If Player 1 is able to draw an entire hangman (with variations as desired) before Player 2 can guess, they win!
If you’d like to download the steps 2-3 diagram as a PDF, click here.
Elizabeth Hampson is a freelance artist, graphic designer, and copywriter living in Edinburgh. Elizabeth received her Masters Degree at University of Edinburgh, She decided to stay in the Edinburgh, where she lives with her cat.
Elizabeth enjoys trying out new techniques and media in design and has enjoyed working with PrinterFriend.ly. Her media of choice is papercutting art, and quarantine forced her hand into starting a business selling her pieces. Check out Elizabeth’s full author bio profile here.