Guess Who – An Overview (Rules, Tips, Game Contents)

Game Summary

Guess Who is a strategic deduction game that was created in 1979. In this game, you are racing against your opponent to see who can determine which character is the secret person. Players start with 24 characters who could be the secret person and then take turns asking questions that will allow them to systematically eliminate characters from consideration.

The game is marketed as being for 6+, and from personal experience with my daughter, I believe 5-6 is around the right age to introduce this game.

Number of Players: 2 players

Time to Play: 15-20 minutes

Game Publisher: Hasbro

Game Contents

The game includes the following (based on the currently available basic edition):

  • 2 game boards (trays)
  • 48 face cards (24 for each player)
  • 24 mystery cards
  • 2 scorekeepers
  • instructions

Game Setup

Starting the game requires:

  • Giving each player a game board (if it’s your first time playing, you will need to place the character cards into the game board trays)
  • Making sure all character face cards are flipped up
  • Each player selecting a mystery character

Guess Who Rules

The youngest player goes first (or, at least that is how we have always played it).

Each turn, a player:

  1. Asks their opponent a yes/no question
  2. The opponent responds
  3. Based on the response, the active player flips down the character cards


  1. A player can guess their opponent’s mystery character card

Winning the game

The game ends on the turn a player makes an attempt to guess their opponent’s mystery character card. If that player is correct, he/she wins. If the player is incorrect, then their opponent wins the game.

List of Possible Questions You Can Ask (for classic version)

  1. Is your character wearing a hat?
  2. Does your character have facial hair?
  3. Does your character have a mustache?
  4. Does your character have a beard?
  5. Does your character have blonde (red, brown, black) hair?
  6. Does your character have blue (brown, black, green) eyes?
  7. Does your character wear glasses?
  8. Does the character have rosy cheeks?
  9. Does the character have thin (or thick) lips?

Game Strategy/Tips

  1. The typical strategy is to attempt a binary search. In other words, ask a question that will allow you to eliminate as close to half of your characters as possible.
  2. Another strategy is to take bold chances and aim for a much more lopsided result. If you want to get all technical, you can read the academic paperOpens in a new tab..

Gameplay Variants

Each player selects two mystery character cards instead of the normal one. This then requires you to simultaneously determine both characters; or you could do them sequentially but you give your opponent a significant advantage if they do theirs simultaneously.

Customizing Guess Who

If you want to create and print out your own Guess Who character cards, then I suggest checking out these directions over at InstructablesOpens in a new tab..

List of Guess Who Versions

Unfortunately, many versions of Guess are not easily purchased (e.g., from Amazon), but here is a list of some of the more recently released versions:

Guess Who? (classic)
Guess Who?: Star Wars
Guess Who?: High School Reunion
Guess Who? Super Hero Squad
Guess Who?: Finding Dory Edition
Guess Who?: Peppa Pig
Guess Who:? Littlest Pet Shop
Guess Who:? Sponge Bob
Guess Who:? WWE

Where to Buy Guess Who

I purchased our classic copy from AmazonOpens in a new tab., but you can also purchase from TargetOpens in a new tab. or WalmartOpens in a new tab..


Wesley Lyles

Wesley is a jack of all trades hobbyist. Though much of his spare time is spent playing board games (especially solo card games like Legendary), Hearthstone, Rocket League, and MLB The Show.e He also enjoys most sports, but pays way too much attention to baseball and football.

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