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🧐🤯😒 Jenga is a Parker Brothers game of skill and strategy. First, stack the wooden blocks to build a tower. Then, take turns moving pieces until the tower falls over. Try to keep your hand steady!
Part 1Part 1 of 3:Setting Up the Game
- 1Set up the tower. First, shake the Jenga blocks out onto a flat surface. Then, stack the blocks in sets of three until you have built a tower that is 18 blocks high. Each new layer of three parallel blocks should be rotated 90° along the horizontal axis from the last layer.XResearch source
- Your Jenga set should include 54 blocks. However, if you are missing blocks, you can still play the game! Just build the tower as usual.
- 2Straighten out the tower. Before you play, make sure that the structure is sturdy. The block layers should interlock so that the tower stands tall without any external support. Use your hands or a flat, solid object to smooth out the sides. Push in any pieces that jut out.Advertisement
- 3Gather players around the tower. Make sure that you have at least two players. Have everyone sit in a circle around the block structure. If you are only playing with one other person, then sit facing each other from opposite sides of the tower.XResearch source
- There is no strict maximum amount of players. However, it might be more fun with fewer people so that you get more turns.
- 4Consider writing on the blocks. This is an optional variation of Jenga. Before you stack the tower, write something on each block: a question, or a "dare," or some other directive. Then, shuffle the blocks and stack the Jenga tower as usual. When each person pulls a block from the tower, he or she must do the thing that is written on the block.
- Questions: When someone pulls a question from the tower, he or she must answer that question. Questions might be flirtatious ("Who do you most want to kiss in this room?), thoughtful ("When was a time that you felt small?"), or humorous ("What is your most embarrassing moment?")
- Dares: When someone pulls a dare from the tower, he or she must perform the action on the block. Dares might be anything from "Trade one item of clothing with the person beside you," to "Drink a shot of hot sauce," to "Make a scary face."
Part 2Part 2 of 3:Playing the Game
- 1Pick a person to pull the first block. This can be the person who built the tower, or the person with the next birthday, or the person who most wants to start.
- 2Remove a block. Carefully take one block out from any level of the tower except the top. Look for the block that is the loosest, or the easiest to remove, or that will least disturb the stability of the tower. You can push the block or pull the block, depending on the angle and the location in the stack.
- Remember: you can only touch the tower with one hand a time. This rule keeps players from holding the tower steady while they pull their blocks.XResearch source
- 3Place each pulled block atop the tower. The player that pulled the block puts it back on top of the tower to continue the pattern of layering-by-threes. Try to stack them neatly so that the tower stays strong. As the game goes on, the tower will grow higher and higher until it teeters, unstable, and falls.
- 4Play until the tower falls. The "loser" of the game is the person who makes the tower topple. Rebuild the tower to play again!XResearch source
Part 3Part 3 of 3:Strategizing
- 1Be patient. Do not rush Jenga! Carefully and intentionally take your time to pull the right block when your turn comes around. If you try to go too quickly, you will be more likely to topple the tower.
- 2Take the easy blocks. Gently poke your way around the tower to find the pieces that are safest to remove. Look for the loose blocks and the blocks that are already sticking out of the tower. Be careful as you go, and always keep an eye on the overall stability of the structure. Make sure to maintain the balance.XResearch source
- Each layer of the tower has three parallel blocks: two on the outside, and one in the center. If you go for a block in the middle, you will generally be less likely to set the tower off-kilter.
- Take blocks from the top or the middle of the stack. The blocks at the bottom of the tower can be hard to remove without dangerously destabilizing the structure. The blocks near the very top can be so loose that they pull other blocks apart with them.
- 3Push or pull. If you're taking a block from the middle, try gently poking it through the tower from one side. If you are taking a block from the outside edge, try pinching the ends between your thumb and forefinger, then wiggling the piece back and forth until it comes loose. Use a combination of tapping and wiggling to take out difficult blocks.
- 4Place pulled blocks to keep balance. Notice which way the tower is tilting after you have removed your block from the stack. Then, carefully arrange your block on top so that the extra top-heavy weight won't send the tower toppling down.XResearch source
- Alternately: if you think you can get away with it, try placing your block on the weaker "leaning" side so that it is that much harder for the next player to pull a block.
- 5Play to win. If you care about the competitive aspect of the game, then you don't want the tower to fall on your turn. Try planning out your moves to destabilize the structure so that it will topple on someone else. Remove important pieces from near the bottom of the stack, and generally try to pick the best piece that you can.
- Try to be a good sport. Respect other players, and do not go out of your way to mess them up while they're taking their turns. If you make the game less fun for everyone else, then they may not want to play with you again!
- QuestionCan I stack the Jenga blocks any way I want?Community AnswerYou can, but don't do it in a way that there are gaps or the blocks are all aligned in the same way as this makes it more likely to fall down. It's recommended that you do it the normal way as in continuing the way it was stacked to start.
- QuestionDo the subsequent layers created on top of the Jenga tower have to contain three pieces?Community AnswerNo, the layers you create on top of the Jenga tower do not have to contain three pieces, but layers with fewer than three pieces will not create a sturdy foundation for subsequent layers.
- QuestionHow can I win Jenga?Community AnswerIf the opponent has made the tower fall, you have won. Take the loosest blocks and align them properly.
- QuestionIf I put a block on top and it falls 2 seconds after I place it, am I the loser?Community AnswerYes. The rules also require that the tower should stand for 10 seconds after your turn, or at least until the next player moves. The last person to take a block before it topples is the loser.
- QuestionCan I steady the tower with a finger while pulling out a block with same hand?Community AnswerYes, as long as you are only using one hand. You can take as much time as you want as well.
- QuestionIs the loser of the game required to rebuild the Jenga tower?Community AnswerNo, the loser is not required to rebuild the Jenga tower, but feel free to make that a rule in your game if you want to (as long as everyone agrees).
- QuestionIf another block comes out while removing the block you were touching, but the tower doesn't fall. Is that the end of the game or only when the tower tumbles?Community AnswerThat would be a violation, as the rules imply taking one piece at a time. The consequences can be discussed among the players.
- QuestionWhat happens when you have played all possible pieces and the tower has not fallen?Community AnswerYou keep going or you call it a tie.
- QuestionCan I take blocks from the top?Community AnswerUnfortunately you cannot, due to regulations of Jenga, otherwise everyone would start from the top and work their way down until they finish the blocks, making the game pointless.
- QuestionAm I allowed to move multiple blocks, but only pull out one?Community AnswerNo, you are only allowed to move the block you are trying to remove. If you start by moving one block and then decide to remove another block, the first block must be moved back into place.
- Most of the time, the blocks in either the middle or the outsides are loose, take those first! If you try to take a block that is not loose, the chances are you will make it fall.
- Try to get the blocks in the middle so there is a lower chance of the tower falling.
- Remember that you are not allowed to take a block from the top layer.
- The name of the game, Jenga, comes from the Swahili word for "to build."XResearch source
- Avoid playing on a glass table! It might not stand up well to a bunch of falling blocks.
Things You'll Need
- A set of Jenga blocks
- People to play with (unless you play solo)
About This Article
Jenga is a competitive puzzle game played with blocks that are stacked on top of one another to make a tower. The aim of the game is to remove blocks and place them on top without knocking the tower over. You can play with anywhere from 2-10 players. To play Jenga, first lay 3 Jenga blocks together to make a square-shaped base. Then, stack 3 new bricks on top of the base with that are perpindicular to the first layer of bricks. Repeat this process until all 54 pieces have been placed into a tower. Then, have one player volunteer to go first. The starting player removes a single block and places it on top of the tower to start a new row. Players are not allowed to pull a block from the top 3 rows, or use more than 1 hand to remove their block. Once the starting player places their block, the player sitting to their left goes next. Keep playing like this until one player knocks the tower over. Whoever pulls the block that causes the tower to topple over or accidentally knocks the tower over loses! If you want to learn how to use strategies to win at Jenga, keep reading the article!