Bananagrams Rules – How to Play Instruction (Updated 2020)

Bananagrams is a word game that requires players to use all their tiles in spelling out words correctly. The game can be played with any age group and it does not need a lot of game components to play.

You can play the game with 2-8 players but if you would like to play it by yourself. There are ways to play this game alone.

Bananagrams Rules

The game rules are pretty simple and straight forward. To play the game you need your Yellow Bananagrams pouch.

You get 144 tiles in your pouch. Place all the tiles in the center of the table or your play area. These tiles are called the BUNCH.

Make sure that you play on a flat surface and tiles must face down. So players may not see the letters written on tiles.

Each player takes tiles from the Bunch. Let’s say if you’re playing with 2-4 players, then all the players take 21 tiles each.

If 5-6 players are playing, then all the players take 15 tiles each and in a 7-8 player game, all the players take 11 tiles each.

Here’s a table to understand it easily:

Players Tiles
2 to 4 – 21
5 to 6 – 15
7 to 8 – 11

How to Play Bananagrams (Gameplay)

After all the player takes their tiles from the BUNCH. Any player may Shout “Split”. It means to start the game.

As soon as the game start, each player tries to form words from the letters tiles they have. To form the words, players have to build them into crossword like the grid.

A grid must be horizontal or vertical like in Scrabble. The only difference is, in scrabble, you have a border around each square.

Once you create words from your tiles. You may arrange them as many times as you would like. The only goal is to make words before your opponents.

What to do, when you’ve used all of your tiles and need more tiles

When you have used all of your tiles and still requires more letters to form a word. You may draw a new tile from the BUNCH.

You can not just take a tile from the bunch. First, you have to shout “PEEL” to announce that you have taken a new tile.

When any player takes a new tile and shout PEEL. All the other players also have to take one tile from the BUNCH. It does not matter if they still have tiles remaining in their hand.

What to do, when you can’t make a word with a letter

This is one of the most common problems Bananagrams players face. Sometimes you stuck with a letter that does not form a word.

In this situation, players may shout “DUMP”. That means you are returning your one tile and taking 3 new tiles from the BUNCH.

Players may DUMP the tiles as many times as they want. As long as the BUNCH has 3 tiles.

How to Win Bananagrams

The first player to form words using all the tiles in a grid and shout “Bananas” wins the game.

After a player shouts “Bananas” all the players are allowed to check the words and challenge the player.

Just like in scrabble players can challenge if they feel the word is wrong or miss-spelled. You can challenge if they find one or more of the following words.

  • Proper Nouns
  • Abbreviations
  • Misspelled Words
  • Words not found in a common dictionary
  • Words not in accordance with any rules all the players have decided before playing.

If you found a mistake in another player’s word. You shout “Rotten Bananas”. That player is out of the game for making a wrong word.

Place all of his/her tiles back to the BUNCH and continue playing the game until one player form words with all of their tiles.

Stalemate – when all players not able to use all of their letters and the BUNCH is less than the players. Then, the player with the least amount of tile left wins the game.

Can You Play Bananagrams Yourself

Yes, you can play by yourself. It’s great for practicing words and gain some Bananagrams skills to use later with your friends.

You can play Bananagrams Solitaire Version, this requires only one player where you take 21 tiles and try to form words as fast as possible.

Play it once and note down the time you take to complete around. Then try to beat your time in the next game.

Other Ways to Play Bananagrams

Best Of…

Sometimes when you play the game it ends quickly. Someone completes the round before you even decide which word you want to form.

In that case, all the players agree to play the best of three or five rounds. The player who wins the most rounds wins the game.

Banana Bonanza

You may play this way when the number of players is more than recommended. Like playing with your classroom or family gatherings.

All the player does not have to sit together. Just give equal tiles to all the players and proceed with the game as usual.

After that, all players take a look at their tiles and decide three tiles to pass to the player sitting on their right. This is called PASS THE PULP.

Now, try to form words from the tiles, and remember you can not DUMP or PEEL in this version of the game.

The first player to Call BANANAS wins the game.

Banana Café

You may play this way when you have little time or you are watching in a restaurant.

Place the Bananagrams pouch on the table. Now, Each player only takes 21 tiles to face down and leave the remaining tiles in the pouch.

Play the game as usual exception of “PEEL”. You can DUMP but can’t PEEL in this version of the game.

The first player to use all their letters and shout “BANANAS” wins the game.

Banana Smoothie

You can play this way when you are in no mood to rush. To play this way, place all the tiles face down on the play area.

All the players get an equal amount of tiles and play the game as usual. But no use of “PEEL” or “DUMP”.

The first player to shout BANANAS wins the game. If the game ends in tie or stalemate, the player that has the longest word in their grid becomes TOP BANANA. If two player has the same amount of letter than play another round.

Bananagrams Party Edition

The game is exactly the same except you get extra 14 Bananagrams party tiles. Place these part tiles aside from the regular.

After all, the player takes their starting tiles, mix the party tiles with the BUNCH. Make sure all the tiles are face down.

When your or any other player shout PEEL and you draw a party tile. You have to use the tiles immediately.

What the Role of Party Tiles

There are only two-party files that affect you, the others affect your opponents.

Flamingo – This tile Gives you the power to make any player stand on one leg for that round.

Single-handed – you may use these tiles by placing it in front of any player. Now, that player may only use one hand to arrange his/her tiles.

Thief – These tiles allow you to take one tile from any of your opponents. This helps to slow your opponent and to get the desired tile. And if someone uses this tile on you. You must replace the tile before your shout PEEL.

Bombastic – there are two tiles like this. One tile does not give you any power, you need both the tiles to use their power. When you get both tiles in the same round. You may force an opponent to start afresh.

Time out – When any player uses this tile on you. You have to take a ten-second countdown. You do that by counting one banana, two banana,.. up to ten. At that time if someone shouted PEEL. You may take a tile but you can not use this on your old grid.

Spell it – When someone uses this tile on you. You have to spell instead of saying the word PEEL for the rest of the game.

The Re-gifter – This tile always you to hand over your three tiles to any of your opponents.

Take a lap – you may this is tile by placing it in front of any player. That player takes a round of the table.

Announcer – When any player uses this tile on you. You have to announce each tile you arrange on your grid.

Switcheroo– This tile gives you the player to Switch seats with any player.
Thumbless – you can force someone to not use their thumb for the rest of the game

The Shield – you can place it in front of you. It will protect you from the power of other player’s tiles except for Bombastic.

Pouch Head – You can force any player to wear the pouch until the round ends.

Party pooper penalty – when you found any player breaking the game rules. you can shout to him/her PARTY POOPER. And they must draw 2 two tiles from the BUNCH.