- Designate one player (the guesser) to cover her ears while the other players (thinkers) think of a person, animal, or thing familiar to all the players.
- The guesser then uncovers her ears and asks yes-or-no questions to help her guess what the thinkers are thinking of.
- Choose one thinker to keep track of the number of questions asked. If you like, give the guesser twenty counters (pennies, beans, or paper clips).
- Each time the guesser asks a question, she gives a counter to the thinker.
- When the guesser runs out of counters, the game is over.
- The guesser may try to guess the person, animal, or thing at any time. If she's right, she remains the guesser for the next game. If she's wrong, the guess counts as one question, and the game continues until she guesses right or until she has asked twenty questions.
- If she doesn't guess right within twenty questions, the thinkers reveal the person, animal, or thing, and a different player gets to be the guesser for the next game.