How to Play Fish Bowl

Fishbowl is a fun and easy game that you can play at any party or group gathering. It's great to either break the ice with people who are unfamiliar with one another, or even go in depth with close friends and family. Throughout the game, two teams will compete to guess phrases, created by each player, in three rounds that pose different challenges.


  1. 1
    Divide your guests into two equal teams. Then, pass out a piece of paper and a writing utensil to each guest.
  2. Image titled Aniston
    Have them each write down three words or phrases on the paper. The phrases can be anything they want them to be. Tell them to keep in mind that each player will have to guess these phrases at some point during the game.
  3. Image titled Bowl 6
    Once they have written down their 3 secret phrases, have them fold the papers and put them into the bowl.
  4. 4
    Do the first "Taboo" round. During round one, each team will have one minute to guess the phrases in the bowl using rules similar to Taboo. The team should choose a member to go first.
    • One at a time, each teammate will try to get his or her team to guess the phrase or word on the paper using words or phrases as hints, which cannot be any of the words on the paper. The current player giving hints will continue to try to get his or her team to guess until the timer stops.
    • Once the timer stops, pass the bowl to the next team and have them repeat the same thing.
    • Pass the bowl back and forth between teams until each phrase has been guessed.
  5. 5
    Do the second "Password" round. This next round will use the same rotation concept as the first. Place all of the papers back into the bow to restart. In this road, teammates will try to guess the paper phrases by having their chosen teammate give them a one word hint as a password to guess the phrase.
    • For example, if the paper says Jennifer Aniston, the player could say “Celebrity” or “Friends.”
  6. 6
    Do the third "Charades" round. In the last round, the person will need to act out with motions as hints for the phrase on the paper. They are not allowed to use any verbal aid whatsoever.
    • For example, if the phrase is “playing basketball” the individual can act out dribbling a ball or shooting it into the hoop. At the end of the round, whoever has the most points is the winner. Make it more competitive by adding in a prize for the winning team.


  • Have every team member tally how many phrases they have their teammates guess throughout the game. Then, total the tally for each team at the end to determine the winner.


  • Teams should be even. If you have an odd number of players, have one player on the team with more sit out each round.

Article Info

Categories: Party Games