How to Play Bananagrams - Instructions For Getting Started
Welcome to the bunch! Here's how to get started.
BANANAGRAMS is a labor of love, grown out of a passion for wit, wordplay and silliness... We hope you enjoy playing it as much as our family enjoyed creating it!
Short on time? Watch our 'How to play Bananagrams' video or print our pdf instructions here.
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Setting Up Bananagrams
Place all 144 tiles facedown in the center of the table. These form the BUNCH.
Each player now takes their ‘STARTING TILES’ from the BUNCH:
2-4 players: Start with 21 tiles each
5-6 players: Start with 15 tiles each
7-8 players: Start with 11 tiles each
How To Play Bananagrams
Object: Be the first to use all your letters.
To start, any player calls out “SPLIT!” Everyone simultaneously turns their tiles faceup and races to arrange them in their own intersecting word grid... Words must read left to right horizontally, or top to bottom vertically. You may rearrange your grid at any time, and as often as you like.
Whenever a player places their last faceup letter in their grid, that person calls out “PEEL!” Every player—including the one saying “PEEL”—then takes another tile from the BUNCH.
At any time during the game, you may call out “DUMP!” and put one of your letters back, facedown in the BUNCH. However, you MUST take three more tiles in exchange! This has no effect on other players and there’s no limit to the number of times you may DUMP.
When the BUNCH is depleted to fewer tiles than number of players, the first person to use ALL their letters in a connected word grid and call out “BANANAS!” wins that hand and is declared TOP BANANA!
Other players may now inspect the winning grid. If it contains a misspelled word, proper noun, abbreviation or other unacceptable word, the other players call out “ROTTEN BANANA!” and that player is out of the game. The ROTTEN BANANA’s letters are returned to the BUNCH facedown. Play resumes for the other players until one of them calls out “BANANAS!”
Other ways of playing Bananagrams
“Best of...” BANANAGRAMS is fast and fun! Sometimes, it’s over before you’ve had your fill... If that’s the case, play the ‘best of’ three or five hands. Whoever wins the most games is TOP BANANA!
Banana Smoothie - for when you’re in no mood to rush
Place all the tiles facedown on the table.
Keeping them facedown, divide them equally among players.
Play the regular BANANAGRAMS game, BUT with no peeling or dumping.
The first player to use ALL their letters and call out “BANANAS!” wins! If the game ends in a stalemate or tie, the player with the longest word in their grid becomes TOP BANANA. If you have the same number of letters in your longest words... Play another hand!
Banana Café – great for playing while waiting in restaurants
Put the BANANAGRAMS game on the table, leaving all tiles in the pouch.
Each player takes 21 facedown tiles from the pouch.
Play BANANAGRAMS the usual way, with dumping, BUT no peeling.
The first player to use ALL their letters and call out “BANANAS!” wins the game!
Banana Solitaire - for when you need a little alone time
Place all the tiles facedown.
Take 21 tiles and play as usual.
Try to beat your own best time using all the letters—or try to make as few words as possible! This can be a relaxing way to hone your BANANAGRAMS skills.