How Do You Play 20 Questions Over Text?

by Morgan O'Connor

Chances are good that you're familiar with the game "20 Questions." With today's technology, however, you no longer need to play this game only during long road trips and other potentially boring times with friends or family. Instead, you can play over text any time you wish. This can help you escape boredom even when you are alone, or simply provide you with a way of staying in touch with a friend to whom you have nothing in particular to say.

Step 1

Text your friend to ask if she wants to play "20 Questions." If she says yes, determine who will think of an item and who will try to guess.

Step 2

Answer any guesses your friend makes as soon as you can. Because a text game might be stretched out over more time than a current game, answering promptly will help her keep her train of thought and remember her suspicions.

Step 3

Ask questions clearly if you are the guesser. Using text-speak may make your meaning unclear. For example, if you wish to ask "Are you thinking of an animal, vegetable or mineral?" saying "an veg or min" might not be clear to someone not familiar with the game. If you are the person thinking of the item, expect to have to interpret some text-speak from your friend.

Step 4

Ask only one question at a time, and wait for an answer. This helps you stay clear on which answer goes to which question. Similarly, if your friend makes three guesses in a row, don't just say "Yes, no, no." If you received her texts in the wrong order, you may provide misleading information. Instead, clarify by saying something like, "Yes, usually indoors. No, not bigger than a cat. No, not usually brown."

Step 5

Offer to provide a hint if your friend gets bored or frustrated with the game. Playing via text may not be as interesting as playing in real life, and your friend may need a hint or clue to keep her engaged in guessing. Similarly, ask your friend for a hint if you are guessing and start to get bored with the game.

Photo Credits

  • Joe Madeira/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.