Guide to Playing Taboo Online and Offline

Taboo is a great party game that tests your communication skills by preventing you from saying some of the words you want to use. If you’re the type of person who finds wordplay fascinating, you’ll enjoy this game. There is a list of forbidden words that you must stick to achieve your goal of having your teammates guess the word you are describing.

A new player can pick up the rules of Taboo in a matter of minutes. Follow these guidelines to have a great time playing Taboo, whether you’re doing it in person or online.

What Is Taboo?

Lots of laughter can be had while playing the Taboo game. In the game of Taboo, you are not allowed to use blatant hints.

One misconception is that you can only play Taboo between two people. You can play the game with just two people, but it’s much more enjoyable when more people are involved.

The Parker Brothers, who were the creators of Monopoly, originally published Taboo. But now Hasbro is publishing it.

It’s a guessing game with an interesting twist! In this game, one player must explain a word to the others.

family playing charades

However, there are some forbidden expressions that they must never use. In that case, it’s time to carry on to the next word. That’s a point down for the players.

You’ll be up against a ticking clock in Taboo, making things exceptionally tense. The game of Taboo is guaranteed to be a hit at any party or game night.

Components of the Game

When you unbox a Taboo set, you will find the following contents:

  • 450 Taboo game cards
  • One sand timer
  • One buzzer
  • Taboo game rules and instruction sheet

Classic Taboo games included a scorepad and a stand for displaying the cards. Choose the 2011 release of Taboo if you need an old-school experience badly enough. This version’s card content is better suited for older players.

Game Setup

Splitting a group of six or more people into two teams, with A and B as the team designations, is standard procedure in Taboo plays. Team A places all 504 cards in the cardholder and chooses one member to act as the Clue-giver. This player hides the first card from his teammates by hiding the cardholder.

The clue word is printed at the top, and the prohibited words are listed at the bottom of the clue card. Now, the clue-givers have one minute to get their team to guess the word on the card without using any of the forbidden words. If Team B hears a forbidden word, they must sound the buzzer, forcing Team A to discard the current guess card.

The game will go on until the clock hits zero. Team A earns one point for every card in their pile, which grows as their members correctly guess clue words.

Draw trading cards from the deck

Taboo Game Rules and Gameplay


When the game starts, Team A’s clue giver selects the top clue card from the deck and displays it on the easel. The goal of the clue-giver is to help the guesser identify the Guess Word on the top of the card by providing a detailed description.

To the right of the Guess Word is a list of five forbidden words. These words are clearly off limits for the clue giver to use.

The clue-giver begins dropping hints as soon as the clock starts ticking, and the other players on their team call out their best guesses. You can make as many guesses as you like. Until time runs out, you should play as many cards as possible.

If a card looks too challenging, you can put it in the discard pile and move on. Moreover, if Team B witnesses the giver using inappropriate words or body language, they are to sound the alarm. If team A gets buzzed, they lose points and have to discard the failed card.

Switching Roles

When it’s time for a new clue, the teams switch roles until each member of both teams has had a chance to give and receive one. When you have finished playing with the face-down cards, flip them over.

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

Guidelines for Hint-Giving

  1. No clues may contain any part of a taboo word, including its abbreviation.
  2. The giver of a clue may not make any noises or gestures to convey the word.
  3. Any card may be passed over by a clue giver at any time, though it will be added to the discard pile.
  4. As soon as time is called, the final card is taken out of play instead of being discarded.

How to Score?

Each card is worth exactly one point. Your team must correctly guess the word to score a point and move on to the next card.

A point is deducted from your score if the clue giver decides the card is too difficult and passes. If a clue-giver thinks a word is too hard or would take too long to guess, for instance, that person can toss out the card, but their team will lose a point.

When you get buzzed, the opposing team gains a point. This effectively ends the turn and the card. You must place the card on the discard pile, and the opposing team will now act. 

Winning the Game

After each member of both teams has had a turn providing a clue, the team with the most points at the end wins. If your team has the most points, you win Taboo!

woman in white shirt sitting on chair

How to Play Taboo Online?

You and your pals can play this game online via any video conferencing application that allows screen sharing and video calling, including Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and many others. For the first time, even long-distance friends can join in on the fun.

To play Taboo with your friends online by going to, you can create a Zoom meeting and invite them. Split into two groups and take turns showing each other the forbidden words on the screen.

Timer and answers are provided on the website. You can start the game at any time by clicking the play button.

The Taboo board game is available for purchase at many different stores, both online and off, and you can also play the game online at If you follow this guide, you’ll soon be laughing it up with your friends. Remember to keep your wits about you, speak quickly, and avoid swearing or offensive language.