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How To Play 20 Questions: The Definitive Guide With Fun Ideas & Examples

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If you’re looking for an easy-to-follow explanation of how to play 20 questions, the popular conversation game, you’ve come to the right place!

Twenty questions can be played with two people or in a small group. It’s a great way to pass some time and socialize with friends.

This article will clearly outline the 20 questions rules. There’s also a section on how to win 20 questions in case you want to get a head start on your friends. In just 5 minutes or less, you’ll be ready to go after reading our quick and easy guide!

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also included plenty of 20 questions ideas to give you some inspiration. Thinking of a good person, place, or thing is what makes the game interesting! There are so many 20 questions examples to choose from.

The versatility of 20 questions make it a brilliant question game to play with friends and a good question game for kids if you’re a teacher and want to make class more interesting!

What Is The 20 Questions Game?

what is the 20 questions game

The 20 questions game is a simple conversation game that can be played with 2-5 people. You can play it in larger groups but it’s not as enjoyable. One person is designated as “the answerer” and starts by thinking of a person, place, or thing.

The group then asks up to 20 questions that have a “yes” or “no answer in order to determine what the answerer is thinking of.

How To Play 20 Questions

  • Play in a group of 2-5 people.
  • One person thinks of a person, place, or thing.
  • Optional: The person tells the group what category it is (person/place/thing)
  • The group then has to ask up to 20 yes or no questions to guess what it is.
  • If the group guesses incorrectly then it counts as one of the 20 questions.
  • Make sure you choose something the whole group is familiar with.
  • If someone guesses correctly, they win 20 questions and it’s their turn to think of something.
  • It’s best to start with general questions and gradually get more specific the more you play.

The 20 questions game rules are easy to follow!

You might also like: Two Truths and a Lie

How To Win 20 Questions

In order to win 20 questions, the questioner must guess the answer correctly within their 20-question limit. Here are some tips to help you win the game.

  • Start by asking general questions then be more specific.
  • In the beginning, try to ask questions where the chance of the answer being yes is 50/50. This means you learn as much as possible.
  • The best questions eliminate the most number of remaining possibilities.
  • Don’t ask questions that have subjective answers. This could lead to a misunderstanding if the questioner and answerer have a different view (for example, “Is it small?”).

Good Example Questions

  • Is it human-made?
  • Is it alive?
  • Does it cost more than $X
  • Is it larger by volume than a (insert specific item)?
  • Could it be found in a typical household?
  • Can I carry this object by myself?
  • Does more than one instance of the subject exist?
  • Is the subject famous?

Good Example Questions If It’s an Animal

  • Is it a mammal?
  • Can the animal fly?
  • Does the animal eat meat?
  • Is it bigger than a labrador?

Good Example Questions If It’s a Person

  • Is this person alive?
  • Is it a fictional character?
  • Is the person over 35 years of age?
  • Have I met the person?

Good Example Questions If It’s a Place

  • Is the place often crowded?
  • Is it a famous destination?
  • Is the place within a radius of 100 miles from our current location?

You might also like: This or That Questions

20 Questions Ideas

Here are some useful 20 questions ideas to use as the person, place, or thing when you are the “answerer”. These good objects for 20 questions will hopefully give you some inspiration. We’ve broken this section down into several 20 questions topics.

Good Object/Thing Ideas for 20 Questions

  • Lion
  • Whale
  • Snake
  • Frog
  • Eagle
  • Kettle
  • Train
  • Map
  • Pizza
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee
  • Ticket
  • Keys
  • Postage Stamp
  • Saxophone
  • Suitcase
  • Sand
  • Tree

Good Person Ideas for 20 Questions

  • Ex-presidents
  • Famous Actors
  • Famous Singers
  • Famous Sportspeople
  • Famous Historical Figures
  • Inventors
  • A mutual friend of the group
  • Authors
  • Characters In Famous Movies

Good Place Ideas for 20 Questions

  • Capital Cities
  • Train Station
  • Hospital
  • Airport
  • Famous Landmarks Such As The Eiffel Tower
  • Famous Landscapes Such As Niagara Falls
  • The South Pole
  • Mount Everest
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Trafalgar Square

Looking For More Question Games?

Hot Seat Questions – A fun game where everyone takes turns being questioned in the hot seat!

Truth or Dare Questions – Either you answer the question or you forfeit with a dare. Which one will you choose?

Never Have I Ever Questions – The classic party game that’s always fun and lively!

Best Friend Quiz Questions – See how well you know your BFF with this fun quiz!

21 Questions Game – Another fun game you can play with friends or your crush!

A photo of Tom who is the Co-Founder of Questions About Everything

Tom Stevenson

Co-Founder of Questions About Everything

Tom is a travel writer and Co-Founder of Questions About Everything. He grew up in the UK and enjoys spending his time traveling to new places, supporting Liverpool FC, and blogging about his adventures. He spent two years teaching English in Barcelona and frequently utilized question games and conversation starters as part of his lesson plans. As an EFL teacher, he took full responsibility for planning and delivering lessons, frequently employing creative and diverse questions to engage the children in conversation. Learn more about Tom on our About page.