6 Tips for Winning Car Games

Why should you take my advice on this topic? What makes me an expert? If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re bored and looking for something to do, or it’s because you’re trying to find some good free car games to play with your friends. Either way, I can help you out! I may not be the best driver in the world, but I have spent quite a bit of time playing car games—I think that gives me plenty of perspective to pass along! Here are six tips that will help you win at any car game!

1) Pairs

One of my favorite car games to play with my kids is Pairs. It’s an easy game to learn and you don’t need many cards to play. There are several variations on how to play, but here’s one that we like: 1. Put out 10 pairs of cards face down (for each player), two by two, in a line along with any other cards left over. If there are no more pairs after drawing cards three times (20-30 seconds), shuffle your leftovers back into your deck.

2) Spoons

Playing card games while driving is actually a lot of fun, but it can also get confusing when you’re trying to follow rules while navigating traffic. That’s why I usually just play spoons with my friends in my car. You probably haven’t heard of it, but it’s pretty easy to play. When you have three people playing, each player gets five spoons on their side of the table (cards work too if you don’t have actual spoons). The first person picks up one spoon with one hand and passes two spoons with their other hand to another player across from them. Then they pass two more with their opposite hand.

3) 20 Questions

20 Questions is an easy way to have a quick conversation. One person picks a word, and then it’s up to others to ask yes or no questions to find out what it is. The simplest version has everyone asking yes or no questions. But you can make things more interesting by requiring people to use interrogative pronouns (who, whom, whose) in their questions, or adding a timer that limits how long each person can ask a question. This game works best if you think up some categories of words—for example words related to pop culture topics like movies and music—and choose them randomly at the start of each round. Play 20 Questions at your next party as an icebreaker!

4) Charades

The first one is called car charades. You want to play with one word. If it’s a two-syllable word, make sure it’s something easy to spell. For example, you could make your team name goat milk—that would be pretty easy to spell out. Then, if someone is miming goat milk, that doesn’t count as spelling it out because they’re only using one of those syllables. The first person acts out an action that’s related to their word—for example, if they have to mime goat milk, they might pretend to open a bottle of water and put some on their face or pretend to take some medicine and swallow it.

5) Heads Up!

In a recent study, researchers observed people playing Heads Up! and found that those who were more likely to focus on one another instead of their cards lost about 70% more often than those who won all or most of their games. It may seem obvious that you should focus on your partner’s face, but our natural tendency is to look at a person’s hand when they put it down to signal a card. Try not to do it—you’ll enjoy yourself more and probably lose less!

6) Telephone

When you’re playing a free game, such as I Spy or 20 Questions, make sure to include your mode of transportation in your questions and answers. For example, ask: How many wheels do we have? What color is our vehicle? Who sits behind us? Do we have a car phone? Do we get excited when we go fast or slow? When we start our engine … You get the idea. Kids love feeling like they know things their friends don’t—and also love thinking about how they can win at all costs.

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