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3 Little Words Rules

The basic principle of '3 Little Words' is that ANYTHING can be described using only 3 words. For example, "Mouse Hunting Pet" is... CAT! A player studies an 'answer' on the cards, and tries to describe it in only 3 words. The other players try to guess the answer. The first player to get it right wins a point, and so does the asking player. First player to 20 points wins!

How to play
Choose one player to keep score using a pencil and paper, then roll the die to determine who goes first (play goes clockwise). The first player (the 'asking player') takes the top card from the deck, and rolls the die to select one of the 6 'answers' on the back of it. The asking player studies the answer and has to speak aloud 3 words that he believes describe the answer so the other players can try and guess it. (There are restrictions on what words may be used - see below).

It's 'first come first served', so speed counts. If a player makes a guess and gets it wrong, he must not help other players, and must remain silent until all the other players have either made a guess, or given up. If a player gets the answer right, both he and the asking player get a point.

If no player comes up with the right answer, or everyone gives up, the asking player can additionally reveal what the 'category' of the answer is (movie, thing, person etc) and the players can try again. If no one gets it right this time, the round is over.

If the asking player can't come up with 3 words, speaks aloud more than 3 words, or breaks the rules about what can and can't be said, he loses a point (it's possible for players to have negative scores), and the round is over.

At the end of each round, the asking player puts the card to the back of the deck and play passes to the next player.

Winning the game
The first player to 20 points wins. If a player has 18 points or more, he may no longer 'ask' questions, but can only answer, unless all players have 18 or more points, in which case he can once again take turns asking questions.

If 2 players reach 20 points simultaneously, a tie-breaker is asked by one of the other players. First correct answer wins.

What you can and cannot say


You cannot use any words which are in the answer.

If the answer was "Star Wars', you cannot use the words 'Star' or 'Wars'.

You cannot use derivatives or stems of words. So no plurals, no "ings", no "ed's".

If your answer included the word "Drier" you cannot use "dry", "drying", "dries" or "dried".

You cannot use people's first names, middle names or surnames.

You can’t use “Victoria Beckham’s Husband” to describe the answer “David Beckham". You could, though, say "Posh Spice's Husband". You couldn't use "Harrison Ford", or "Indiana Jones".

You cannot use other language translations or equivalents of any words in the answer.

If the answer was "Santa Claus", you couldn't use the French equivalent "Pere Noel"

You can't use 'sounds like' or 'rhymes with'


Frequently asked questions
Hyphenated words are always regarded as 2 words. For example, "double-barreled" is actually 2 words - "double" and "barrelled". Numbers are one word.

No hand signals, miming or sign language. No writing. No mouthing of words silently. No hinting of any kind including raising of eyebrows, or twitches of other body parts. The asking player may only answer "yes" or "no" depending on whether the answering player is correct or incorrect.

The answering player must get the answer exactly as written on the card (you can allow ‘the’ and ‘a’ if you like).


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