A friend of mine has introduced me to a game: “Bananagrams”.

It’s a rather fun game, and somewhat similar to scrabble. Another name for it is actually “Speed Scrabble.” Basically, all the tiles from scrabble go into the middle of the table (face-down), and there isn’t a board.

Tiles for Bananagrams

Bananagram Tiles

Each player then starts off with some number of tiles (twelve in our version.) Then each person tries to use their tiles to come up with as many connected words as possible. (Basically, imagine that you have your own small scrabble board in front of you.) More to the point, each person tries to use all their tiles. If someone does so, s/he shouts “peel”, and everyone takes a new tile.

Let me guess: Part of the purpose is to be as loud and obnoxious as possible when telling everyone to get a new tile?

How on Earth did you guess?

Alright, so it depends on who all is playing. There are some people who are so fast, they don’t have time to yell. Seriously. It’s like they’re just saying “Peelpeelpeelpeel…” over and over again. Those people are annoying.

Since you’re clearly not one of them, I’m not surprised.

How could you tell I’m not one of them?

You’re primarily writing this blog post in a monosyllabic vocabulary. With an occasional polysyllabic word to break up the monotony.

Oh. Good point.

Yeah, I’m not the best. But I have come up with a way to work against those wordier folks, though!

Oh? This worries me…

Yes. First, a bit more background. The game also lets you trade out tiles. You can put one of your tiles in the pile, and then take two more random tiles. Now, you can also put your discard tiles anywhere you choose. Also, you see, if someone calls “peel”, the players sometimes don’t look at where they take the tile from.

That makes it easier to damage other players’ tile selection. That way, if you get a harder to use word (like “Q”) you can put it in the area where the best choose from most often. That will sometimes slow them down, and may allow other players to catch up.

Even if that strategy doesn’t keep them from winning, it still can add laughter into the mix.

Anywho, I’ve found it to be a game that I surprisingly enjoy! I highly recommend trying it some time.

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2 thoughts on “Bananagrams!

  1. Elizabeth

    That strategy was quite effective on Friday! I’ll have to keep that in mind when playing a certain someone when he’s back in California 😉

  2. Marlene

    My favorite story from a similar game comes from a friend who really didn’t want to play. Peer pressure forced him into a game. We all thought he was a natural – he kept saying the equivalent of “peel peel peel…” It wasn’t until quite a number of rounds into the game that someone finally looked over at his “board” and realized that he wasn’t making words at all, just putting letters together randomly and watching us all scramble…


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