How to Play Big Booty

Three Parts:Learning the GameLearning VariationsHaving Fun

"Big Booty" is a traditional clapping and chanting game that challenges people not to break rhythm or get tongue-tied. It goes by many other names, including “Big Buddha” and “Zuma Zuma,” and is a great icebreaker or party activity, particularly for kids. Read on to learn how to play “Big Booty” and some of its many variations.

Part 1
Learning the Game

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    Gather your participants in a circle. You can play with as few as three people, but no more than fifteen as it may be difficult to hear each other in too large of a group. Explain the game to them beforehand.
    • Because this is a more complex group activity, make sure that everyone understands the rules and answer any questions they might have beforehand. With that being said, participants will likely learn best after watching or participating in a few slow rounds.
    • If some people already know how to play, have them do a quick game for demonstration purposes.
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    Establish the roles of the players. Besides one person, who is designated as “Big Booty,” everyone else is responsible for having a specific number. Big Booty is responsible for beginning the game and the goal of the game is to become the next Big Booty by making it to the end of the game.
    • There are no set rules for who gets named as the first Big Booty. You could have people volunteer or play another game, such as Rock, Paper, Scissors, to determine who gets to be Big Booty first.
    • After deciding who is Big Booty, each person gets a number. The person standing directly next to Big Booty (on the left or right side is up to you) is “Number One,” and the person on the opposite side of One becomes “Number Two” and so on until every person in the game has a number.[1]
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    Establish the clap and chant. Though this part will eventually feel completely natural, it may take a while for everyone to learn to coordinate their clapping and chanting. If participants have a hard time following along at first, slow it down and demonstrate each movement and chant until everyone can follow along.
    • The body movements are a simple combination of “Pat, clap, snap, clap” which consists of patting your thighs with both hands, clapping your hands together, snapping your fingers, and clapping again. Big Booty should begin this pattern at a moderate tempo, about one second for each movement.
    • Once Big Booty establishes the rhythm, everyone in the group should join by patting, clapping, and snapping simultaneously.
    • Once everyone has learned the clapping part, add in the chanting. The song goes as such: "Big booty, big booty, big booty, oh yeah!" in rhythm with each bodily movement. The body movements and singing should correspond as such: Pat - "Big booty", Clap - "Big booty”, Snap - "Big booty", Clap - "Aahhhh yeah!"
    • Once both the clapping and chanting have been established in a good rhythm, have Big Booty begin the game and everyone follow suit.
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    Add the numbers into the chanting. This step is when the game really starts as the rest of the group is responsible for keeping the rhythm going while calling their numbers. Each person who is called upon to sing must sing their own number followed by the number of the person they’d like to go next (or Big Booty).
    • For example (the bold indicating the emphasis that the singer should make): All: "Big booty,” Big booty,”Big booty,” oh yeah!"
      • Big Booty: "Big booty,” number seven!" (said with a single pat and a single clap).
      • Number Seven: "Number seven, number three!" (said with a single pat and a single clap).
      • Number Three: "Number three, number eight!" (said with a single pat and a single clap).
      • Number Eight: "Number eight, "Big Booty!” (said with a single pat and a single clap).
    • All this is to be said in time with the given patting/clapping tempo; note, however, that anyone who doesn’t want to sing can just as well state the numbers instead. The key is to not disrupt the flow of clapping and chanting.
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    Continue singing until someone makes a mistake. When someone makes a mistake by disrupting the rhythm, they are “out” and must leave the circle. When someone leaves the circle, everyone keeps the same number and must remember which ones are no longer an option to call out.
    • Common mistakes include the following: Falling out of rhythm (usually because they didn't realize their number was called), taking too long to respond, accidentally talking during the chant when it is not their turn, calling out their own number, or picking the number of the player who just picked them (ex: if Number Five picks Number Three and Number Three picks Number Five again, Number Three is out).
    • When someone makes a mistake, the rest of the group can say “Oh snap” or “Aw shucks” before resuming the game. However, make sure that the person who is “out” isn’t made to feel bad for their mistake as this game is all about having fun together.
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    Have Big Booty resume chanting. After the loser leaves the circle, Big Booty must begin the chanting and hand movements again and the remaining members should join in again to avoid getting out.
    • The leader should wait only a few seconds before starting a new round; this gives people less time to become familiar with their numbers, and keeps the momentum of the game going.
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    Play until there is only one survivor. This survivor becomes the new Big Booty for the next round and everyone else gets a new number according to where they are standing in the circle.
    • This game can take a long time to finish, especially if everyone is already familiar with the rules. Learning some variations to add in if the game drags on too long can be a fun way to speed things up.

Part 2
Learning Variations

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    Get the basics down. There are many variations to this game and they are all fun and can change things up or add a new challenge to the game. However, all games take time to learn and Big Booty in particular requires coordination and patience as you are not only singing and moving your body but doing this in sync with a bunch of other people too!
    • Go through at least a few slow practice rounds of game until everyone gets it. Some people may pick up the rules of the game quickly while others will struggle at first.[2] Be patient and make sure everyone understands the rules of the game.
    • Don’t make fun of anyone. The whole point of the game is to have fun, not to make people feel bad if they aren’t catching on at the same pace.
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    Learn some simple variations. Some variations of this game are more of a little twist, while others are more complex and require learning several different rules at once. Starting with some simple forms will be easier for you and the other players and you can collectively work up to more complex versions later.
    • For example, to build momentum and create more of a challenge, the person named “Big Booty” can gradually increase the tempo as the game goes on.
    • Another variation is to have people replace the numbers by the number of times a person says “Big Booty.” For instance, "Number Three" passing the turn to "Big Booty" would say "Big booty, big booty, big booty" instead of "Number three, big booty." This makes the game more challenging because it the person whose turn it is has a harder time remembering everyone's number.
    • For a real challenge that doesn’t include any further rules, simply double the underlying tempo, so instead of one beat per phrase, there are two beats. For example:
      • Pat "big", pat "booty"
      • Clap "big", clap "booty"
      • Pat "Big", pat "booty"
      • Two claps with no words
      • Pat "oh", pat "yeah"
      • Two claps with no words
      • Pat "big", pat "booty"… and so forth
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    Learn some international variations. There are many fun variations of this game from other parts of the world and learning them could also be useful if you are ever traveling or meet foreigners and want to play a fun icebreaker or bonding game.
    • For example, a Korean alternative is to give each person a name and action instead of numbers. After choosing a theme (for example, superheroes), everyone picks a name and related action (ex.: Spiderman; holding out wrists to shoot “spider web”). Ideally, each name and action can be played out over 2 beats. For simplicity, saying one's own name is omitted: on beats 1 and 2, everyone does the patting and clapping motion without chanting. On beats 3 and 4, the person singing gives the name and performs the action of the next person while everyone else does a left snap and a right snap to keep the tempo. Instead of being kicked out, players who make a mistake are usually playfully punished (for example, drumming on the back), and the game is resumed.

Part 3
Having Fun

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    Be a good moderator. If you are the one teaching others how to play this or if you suggested the game, do your best to keep the peace, especially if people start getting frustrated or angry at each other.
    • Understand and remind others that the game is not really about winning or losing. Those who are “out” aren’t really losers. After all, if no one ever made a mistake, the game would never end and others wouldn’t get a chance to become Big Booty!
    • Don’t be bossy. If you notice someone making a mistake, don’t yell at or criticize them in front of everyone. Instead, gently point out their mistake and let them know how to do it right in a way that is non-confrontational and compassionate.
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    Be open to new versions of the game. Understand that there are many different versions of this game and that there is no one “right” way to do things. After all, Big Booty is basically just a bunch of people chanting and clapping together for the sake of fun.
    • If, for example, you are trying to play Big Booty in another country, you should go along with their rules, even if they are different from what you remember. This is a great way to be respectful and open to others.
    • Be as patient with yourself as you are with others. If someone suggests a variation and you find yourself struggling to keep up, don’t get frustrated or upset. Ask for others to demonstrate or clarify until you can comfortably do the variation and have fun too!
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    Find other ways of making the game fun. Icebreaker activities such as Big Booty are great because they are so versatile. This game can be great for children’s birthday parties but can also be used as an icebreaker to get people comfortable with each other in a variety of settings. Come up with some creative solutions to make this activity even more enjoyable!
    • For example, agree to do a certain number of rounds of the game, with the last Big Booty designated as the ultimate winner. Offer a small prize for the last Big Booty to add a fun, competitive edge to the game.
    • Another option is have Big Booty wear a silly hat or costume. Having an element of silliness will help the participants loosen up and not take themselves or the game too seriously.


  • This game is best played outdoors, especially if it’s a big group playing together. It can get pretty loud and you want everyone to have enough space to comfortably move in the circle.


  • Some people may not like being called "Big Booty" and for them you can change it to "Big Beauty" "Big Cutie" or sometimes used with children "Big Boata".

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