Let’s play Bananagrams


Have you ever heard of Bananagrams? You could say it’s the new kid on the block, maybe a fad or a passing craze. The addictive word game is simply bananas, it’s that good! This blog post will give you an overall description of the game and how it works. Bananagrams can easily be compared to scrabble, simply because of their aim is similar: to create words using little square shaped pieces, each with their own unique letter. The burning question then is, what is the difference? Read on to find out.

Invented by Abraham Nathanson, Bananagrams was made available to the public in January 2006.The beauty of this game is that both children and adults can play and the number of players can range from two to eight. Very versatile wouldn’t you say? Setup time is minimal and all you need are the lettered tiles and a little bit of imagination, that’s it.

Ready to play?

There are 144 tiles. Place them all facing down so that you can’t see the letters. Each player takes the same number of tiles; the exact number will depends on how many players are participating:

Two to four players – 21 tiles each

Five or six players – 15 tiles each

Seven or eight players – 11 tiles each


Any player can call out the word “split!”. This means all players need to turn over their tiles and start playing. The aim of the game is to arrange your letters to create as many words as you can. These words all need to be connected in an interlocking or intersecting manner (similar to the layout of crosswords). Words can be laid out vertically and horizontally, but not diagonally.


The first player who uses all the tiles must call out “peel!” When this happens, each player (including the player who yelled out the word) needs to remove one tile from the pile of remaining tiles, called the “bunch.”


If players encounter a letter that they no longer want, they can call out “dump!” to exchange one tile for three tiles from the “bunch”. This is allowed at any stage throughout the game.


Play goes on until there are less tiles in the bunch than there are number of players. The player who is able to use all their tiles to make connecting and correctly spelt words will call out “bananas!” A quick inspection of the winner’s words will be needed to ensure there are no made-up or misspelt words. For a word to be legal it must be easily found in any dictionary. If there are any incorrect or made-up words, that player will be declared a rotten banana and will be eliminated from the game. That player’s tiles (the rotten banana) are placed in the bunch and play is resumed.

Now you know how to play, if it sounds like something you might enjoy… get one for yourself and start playing. One thing is for sure, when you start playing Bananagrams, you won’t want to stop!