Although most of us learned how to play Hangman when we were young, it requires strategy that can be further developed as an adult. (If you need a refresher on how to play, check out our post detailing the rules of the game). In this post, we give you some examples of good words to use in hangman and the reasoning behind our choices. We’ve also made three downloadable templates which you can print out and use to play.

It makes sense that it is harder to guess words with uncommon letters. As most people will guess vowels first, words with more consonants will be more likely to trick your opponent. (Most guessers will start from the nonsense phrase ‘ETAOIN SHRDLU.’ This is widely seen as a list of the most common letters in English).


Our first template is for the word ‘wristwatch’. If you fold on the center dotted line, you can have the opponent look at one side of the paper. This format might be helpful for younger players who may need help to remember spelling and can easily look at the other side to help them.

If you’d like to download the above template as a PDF, click here.


Our next example is one of the most difficult words to guess. You might not think that short words would be very difficult, but as ‘j’ and ‘z’ are low-down on the guessing list, ‘jazz’ is a good word for Player 1 to choose.

If you’d like to download the above template as a PDF, click here.

“More flies with honey”

If you want a different way of playing the game, you can use a phrase instead of a word. This relies on Player 2’s logic abilities; for example, there are only so many three-letter connective words in the English language. We’ve given you an example of a common English idiom in the above template. Download it as a PDF by clicking here.

If you need more words, check out this list of over 200 difficult hangman words.

If you want printable templates so you don’t have to draw them yourself, check out this post!