Online Balderdash - Rules - Part 1

Rules last updated in December 2002.

These are the adapted rules from Absolute Balderdash for play in If you have played Balderdash in person but not this online version, please read the rules over, as there are differences from the in-person game.

You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in online Balderdash.

Object of the game (as taken from the original rules)

Absolute Balderdash is not a test of one's knowledge. In fact, players are not expected to know the real answers to any of the questions in the game. The main objective is to make up answers that will bluff other players. Points are awarded for fooling other players, as well as for choosing the real and often unbelievable answer.

Playing the Game (adapted for the newsgroup)

Part 1 - Answering

A list of items will be posted to and emailled to the mailing list. There are five categories - Words, People, Initials, Movies, and Dates. In this first round, each player emails a plausible sounding answer for each item.


Words: Plumbum

Each player emails their own made up and NOT RESEARCHED possible definition for this word.

Your answer might be something like..."archaic term for one who crushes fruit with a part of their body and not by mechanical means"

Similarly, you answer the other categories in the same email:

People: Arnold Gingrich

Your answer might be something like: "Newt Gingrich's great uncle, known for money laundering scandals."

You'll want to make up an answer that explains who this person was and why they're at all notable.

Initials: S.M.A.

Simply come up with words to fit the acronym, no explanation of the words needed. In this case, your answer might be something like : "Small Mothers' Association."

Movies: The Mysterious Mr. Wong

This one is a little tougher...come up with a plausible sounding movie plot, summarized into a sentence or two. You can write more than that, but keep in mind these come from a small card, and, knowing that, others might not vote for a very lengthy answer.

Your answer for this category might be something like: "Politically incorrect comedy from 1959 focusing on an inept Chinese immigrant as he tries to mingle into American culture."

Dates: September 8, 1983

For this category, make up an important sounding event that may have happened on that date. It might be a strange news report, an international event, or some record was broken that day.

Your answer might be something like: "The first annual conference of Native Chiefs of North America is held in Phoenix, Arizona."

Please remember these important rules when submitting answers:

1) EMAIL your answers to KaCee; do not post answers or discuss the items or categories in the newsgroup, as this might spoil your own chance of getting votes later. Be sure to NOT 'reply to all' when answering or the round may be discounted, and if this happens enough, you will be barred from the game.

2) DO NOT RESEARCH your answers. Don't search on the web, look up words in the dictionary, or flip through your movie book. Imagine you are playing with the other players seated in the same room as you wouldn't be allowed them to go looking up spellings or definitions or other facts, so you are on your honour not to do so at any point during the game.

3) When submitting your answers, submit them all at all five categories answered in one email. You have at least a week to submit your answers, so there's no rush to complete them right away if you don't have time. You MUST play all five categories, or NONE of your answers will be included.

4) Except in rare circumstances, once you've submitted your answers they cannot be changed. If you find later you've misspelled a proper name or something like that, most of the time it's too late. Check your answers carefully, but remember that you may not use dictionaries or other assisting devices. You are on your honour not to do this.

5) Only 25 players are allowed per round, on a first-come, first-served basis. If the maximum is reached, KaCee will send out a notice as soon as possible to all players.

6) KaCee will send a confirmation email within 48 hours of receiving your entry (unless otherwise stated at the beginning of the round). If you do not receive a confirmation email, you should assume your entries were NOT received and you should resubmit them. Always keep a copy of your entries, should this or other email problems occur. KaCee is not responsible for lost entries.

7) KaCee has the right to refuse answers on the grounds of prejudice, obscenity, or other problem as she deems necessary.

Once the week for answering is over, the dasher will compile all of the submitted answers into one master list. Also in this list will be the REAL answer from the card. This list will be posted and voted on in Part 2.

Other possible questions from Part 1:

1) Hang on a sec, what if I happened to know the right answer to one of the categories?

A: Then say so when you submit your answers. If it matches what's on the card, you get three points automatically, and DON'T vote in that category during Part 2. If it doesn't match, the dasher will let you know in email, and you can continue to play. If you don't think you know the right answer but the answer you make up is actually correct (this is VERY rare, and usually happens with Initials), the dasher will still give you the three points and notify you that you were right.

2) What if you say the answer isn't right, but I really really really know it is?

A: This has been debated before many times, and it seems the usual consensus is to follow what the card says. The right answer for game purposes must be the answer on the card, or close enough that KaCee can reasonably decide it matches.

3) news server seems to be down a lot, and I don't seem to be getting the category posting in time to play. What do I do?

A: See the main Balderdash page for information on how to get on the mailing list. This list is sent out at the same time as the post. Mailing list recipients get only the first part of the round unless they play, so you don't have to worry about being spammed with extra stuff.

4) I say it's easy but I'm not very creative and I think my answers suck. Should I bother to play?

A: YES! You'd be surprised how many plausible answers are ignored and weird wacky ones are voted for. Even if you think your answers aren't so good, as long as other people vote for them, you get points. For all you know, the other answers submitted might sound even sillier.

Part 2 of the rules

Balderdash is a trademark of Gameworks Creations, formerly under license by Parker Brothers and Canada games, now under license by Hasbro. No written permission has been obtained for this online play, but I do legally own a copy of the game, and as far as I know no written permission is required for that.

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Page last updated December 4, 2003.

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