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Bananagrams Cheat Sheet: Winning Tips & House Rules
by Meredith Eisenberg, Bananagrams   |   November 11   |   0 Comments
When Abe Nathanson and his family invented Bananagrams, they had no intention whatsoever of trying to sell it!  The family just wanted to create a game that all ages and skill levels could play together.  It had to be simple, fast and easy to play anywhere!  In short, it had to “aPEEL” to many different audiences.

Depending on the number of players, there are great ways to customize the game to your group and make it even more fun and engaging.  Since its launch, we’ve heard from hundreds of fans who love the game and have even created their own “house rules.” 

We decided to compile some of our favorite rules and tips for winning the game, and share them with all of you!

Game-Winning Tips:

• Starting with one long(er) base word uses up more tiles, but also helps you avoid “gridlock”

• Don’t spend too much time thinking about a tough letter!  “Dump” it and take three new tiles – chances are it will be easier to fit them into your grid anyway.

• Try to think of a few 2- or 3-letter words for all the letters you have difficulty placing (for me, it’s always K’s and C’s!)

• If you often find you’re having trouble with “gridlock,” try building your words like a staircase, so there are lots of spaces to continue building off of.

• Also, don’t ever be afraid to completely rearrange your letters mid-game, and start all over!  Many, many games have been won this way.

Extra Challenges:

If you’re already a Top Banana, try adding in an extra challenge!

• Have your group pick a theme that all words have to fit into (e.g. Thanksgiving, animals, etc.)

• Instead of starting with the regular number of tiles, have everyone start by taking only 5 or 7 each – it’s much more difficult than it seems!

• Make a rule that no 2-letter or 3-letter words are allowed

“House Rules”:

Pick your favorite, or give them all a try!

• If it’s not a real word, but it is really funny, it still counts!

• Whenever a player yells out, “peel,” everyone rotates around the table, musical chairs style!

• Try “chenanigrams” – once a player yells, “Bananas!” everyone else picks one word from their grid to act out like charades.

• For younger players, try turning over the harder letters such as J, Q, X or Z, so their blank side is facing up.  Then use these as wild tiles in the game!

For more suggestions and ways to play, visit our website at  Also, we always love to hear new ideas!  If you’d like to share yours with us, please email

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