Guide to Playing Fishbowl Online and Offline

Fishbowl is an extremely fun game to do with larger groups, such as family gatherings, classrooms, or team building activities. It rolls exciting elements of Charades, Password, and Taboo into one. The goal of the game is to have your team guess the phrase or word you draw from the fishbowl. The more items your team can get within the allotted period determines your team’s score. It is easy to learn, ideal for all ages, and so hilarious – everyone will be in stitches!

How To Play

Game Requirements

  • Paper (torn into strips)
  • Pencils and pens
  • Fishbowl, box, hat, or any similar container
  • Timer (better to have one that sounds once the time is up)

Have each player think of three to five words or phrases. Ask them to write it on the paper strips. Let them fold it and put them into the fishbowl or any container you may have. Split the team into two, and you’re set to play the game!

Objectives of the Game

Each team will have one player draw a paper from the fishbowl. The said player will have his team guess the word or phrase written on the paper picked. A maximum of one minute is given for each turn. The challenge is that the method of providing clues varies depending on the round. A typical usually has three rounds: 1) Taboo, 2) Password, and 3) Charades.

Round 1: Taboo

Team 1 chooses a member to go first, and the selected player draws a paper strip from the fishbowl. The objective is to have his team guess as many phrases or words possible within a minute.

In the Taboo round, the player is only allowed to use words or sentences – motions and gestures are prohibited. Moreover, they are not allowed to use any of the words written on the paper strip as it is regarded as a ‘Taboo.’ The player must find a workaround in describing the or word phrase without hitting any of the Taboo words.

Should the player or the team deem that the phrase or word is too difficult, they may ‘pass’ and return the paper strip into the bowl. A team can use ‘pass’ once per round.

If the team gets the correct word or phrase, they will keep the piece of paper as it is essential in determining the scores in the game.

Once Team 1’s minute has finished, Team 2 gets their shot to guess as many phrases or words they can with the same duration. The process will repeat until the fishbowl is emptied of the paper strips.

Each paper strip collected by the team accounts for one point. Tally, the scores, bring back the paper into the fishbowl and off to Round 2!

Round 2: Password

The team that ended Round 1 and will be the first to go in Round 2. The only difference in this round is that players are only allowed to give a one-word clue or seemingly, a ‘password.’ Their memory must be sharp enough to remember the words used in Round 1.

Each turn will still be a minute. The player gets to pick a new paper strip if the team gets the correct answer. One ‘pass’ is still allowed per team.

Once all of the paper strips have been collected from the bowl, tally the scores again. Bring back all the clues in the container, and everything is set for Round 3!

Round 3: Charades

Same with the first two rounds, teams will take alternate one-minute turns and have their members collect as many strips as they can. In Round 3, however, the player is no longer allowed to speak. He needs to act out the words or phrases, like a mime!

This is the round where everything gets hilarious. All participants will surely have fun trying to act out traits, concepts, places, etc. Imagine those ‘bad actors’ in the team, who would have a hard time expressing themselves. This round may take much time but, all for the fun stuff.

After the last paper strips have been collected, tally the scores for the round and add those from the first two rounds. The team with the most points wins!

The same player that ended round 2 will begin round 3 with the remaining time left from the turn. In the third round, players will act out the phrase to get their team to guess correctly. The timer begins again, and the player draws a phrase to act out. Teams take turns until all the phrases are correctly guessed.

Some rules to remember:

  • Only the team whose turn is in can guess the word or phrase.
  • A team’s turn ends if they disobey the guidelines for each round.
  • Both teams can agree if passes are allowed or how many passes are allowed in the game.

Bonus Rounds

If time permits and you’d like to take the game and the fun into a new level, here are additional rounds you may consider.

  • Round 4: Use of sound effects in having their team guess the words.
  • Round 5: Pictionary or using drawings.
  • Round 6: Acting out the words or phrases under a light bedsheet.

How To Play Remotely

There is no excuse for playing this fun and fantastic game. Even if you’re far from your friends and loved ones, you can still connect to them and have a fun game night, perfect in killing boredom and isolation. Here are some sites or apps you can use to play Fishbowl remotely.

Same fun like the original one! The team with the most clues from the virtual fishbowl wins! You can quickly enjoy it with friends and family. It is free-to-play on iPhone!

FishBowl-Game is the virtual version of the hilarious guessing game, ideal for all ages! Just invite at least four people to play, jump on the video call, and start playing through rounds of Taboo, Password, and Charades.