8 Tips and Tricks for Playing Hangman

Top basic tips for playing Hangman game with your friends and family.

As the name suggests, hangman is a game that portrays an image of a hanging man. While many believe that the game is a good way for kids to learn new words, some argue that the game is quite offensive. This, however, hasn’t stopped players of all ages from enjoying the game.

Hangman is a classic guessing game played between two or more players. One player is responsible for choosing the secret word then the rest try to solve it by guessing a letter. Each wrong guess brings you closer to getting hanged. The player with the secret word writes a series of dashes, each representing a letter in the solution. Initially, no further information is given about the secret word other than the length.

Hangman started off as a paper game but can now be played online as well. It's relatively easy to play and doesn’t have many rules or guidelines.

Some common hangman game rules include:

  1. Abbreviations, slang, and foreign languages are not allowed.

  2. You only get seven wrong guesses.

  3. If the host/puzzle giver misspells the word, he/she loses the game.

  4. The host/puzzle giver cannot change the word or phrase in the middle of the game.

  5. If the word/phrase is completed before the stick man, then the guessing player wins.

If you want to learn more about the game, this article has narrowed down 8 tips and tricks that might be helpful when playing hangman.

1. Choose one person to come up with the secret word.

To start, choose the person who comes up with the secret word. He/ she can be referred to as the host of the game. The host should pick a word that he/she can spell correctly. In a case where the host misleads the players with a wrongly spelled word, he/she automatically loses the game.

For more advanced games, the host is required to choose a lengthy secret phrase or sentence. Hints or categories can also be given to make the game easier for the players.

2. Start simple by using short words.

For beginner players, starting with a simple four-letter word will help you learn how the game is played. You might also pick up a few tricks along the way that might help you advance to the next level of the game.

3. Always start off by guessing vowels.

There’s always a 9 out of 10 chance that the secret word contains a vowel. Starting off by guessing a vowel such as ‘a’, ‘e’, or ‘i’ helps you narrow down what the secret word could be because at this point you already know how many letters the word contains.

4. Follow up the vowels with common letters.

Follow up the vowels with common letters like‘s’, t’, or ‘n’. In this game, you have to be strategic for you to win. You just can’t guess random letters if you’re playing to win (unless of course, you’re just a very lucky being).

5. Follow up common letters with less common letters.

You’ve now guessed two vowels and two common letters but you still haven’t figured out what the word is. To increase your chances, you can follow up with less common letters like ‘j’, ‘q’, and ‘z’. Although there is no guarantee that these less common letters will help you figure out the word or phrase, you should not ignore them because when you’re playing a guessing game it's best to exhaust all possibilities.

6. Once you get the hang of it, start using more difficult words.

You’ve now played a few rounds of hangman and you’re starting to get a hang of it. Instead of sticking to simple words, try and make it more challenging by using lengthy more complex words.

This will make the game more interesting and you can also choose to extend the chances given to the players to ten.

7. Pay attention to the other players' guesses.

If you’re playing as a group, be sure to pay attention to other players’ guesses. This will help you eliminate the letters you should stay away from.

8. Pay attention to the number of guesses you have left.

Use your guesses strategically. Don’t just blurt out random letters. If you want to win, you need to have a strategy in place.


Hangman is a great game for both kids and adults. If you want to grow your hangman skills, start with a simple game and slowly progress to the advanced levels. You’ll definitely pick up a few tricks along the way.

Published on 30 Oct 2022
Author: Maureen