How to Play Fishbowl

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Fishbowl Rules & Instructions




  • 2 teams of 3-8


  • Paper to write clues on
  • Pens
  • A container (like a fishbowl)
  • A timer

Additional Setup Notes

  • Each player should write three clues on strips of paper, fold them in half, and deposit them in the fishbowl
  • With fewer players, it may be fun for everyone to write more than three clues
  • Clues can be people, places, things, or actions; be creative!

The objective of fishbowl is for your and your team to correctly guess as many clues as possible in three different rounds.


The objective of fishbowl is for your and your team to correctly guess as many clues as possible in three different rounds.


Once everyone has written their clues and one team has been selected to go first, one member of that team will stand to give hints. In the first round, they are allowed to use as many words as they want, but cannot say what is written on the slip of paper they draw from the fishbowl. The team has one minute to guess as many clues correctly as possible. One pass can be allowed if you want. When the minute is up, count the slips to determine the score, then it will be the other team’s turn to do the same thing. Teams alternate, having a new person give clues until all of them have been guessed.

After the first round, take all the clues and put them back in the fishbowl. In the second round, the person giving hints is now only allowed to use a single word as a hint. Pay attention! Remembering what the clues were from the first round is incredibly useful! Teams alternate until all the clues have been guessed again.

For the third round, the team members giving hints must do it by playing charades.


Once all the clues have been used in the third round, tally the scores from all the rounds. The team with the most correct guesses, wins!

Fishbowl Variations and Alternate Rules

Fourth Round: If you want to keep playing and add even more challenge, try adding a fourth round where the hint giver must do charades with a sheet over their head. Can you guess what they’re doing if you can’t see them?

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