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How to Play Jenga

By September 30, 2018October 7th, 2022Party Rental Resources
How to Play Jenga

Jenga has become a very popular game both at home and at any social gathering place, including pubs, recreation centers, and outdoor venues. The game was invented by Leslie Jones, a British national who grew up in Ghana in East Africa. Her family originally played the game with a set of wooden blocks that were among her five-year-old brother’s toys.

Rules To Play Jenga

The classic Jenga game involves 54 wooden blocks. Each block is three times longer than its width. The game begins when someone builds the tower. The tower should be built by stacking “all of the blocks in levels of three placed next to each other along their long sides and at a right angle to the previous level,” according to the Jenga site.

The person who built the tower goes first. The steps are then as follows:

  • Using only one hand at all times, take one block each turn from any tower level other than the one below an incomplete top level
  • Place the block at the topmost level of the tower
  • The next player’s turn begins after 10 seconds or whenever they touch the tower, whichever comes first
  • If a block is removed and not used, it must be replaced from where it was taken, unless doing so makes the tower fall

The game ends when a player’s move causes the tower to fall or a block to fall out of the tower (other than the one the player is moving).

There have been many different variations of the game. There is a “Throw-and-Go Jenga” that includes throwing a die as part of the game. Another variant is Jenga Truth or Dare, which is designed for adults and incorporates the game Truth or Dare into Jenga play. Another version is Giant Jenga, which stands over three feet tall.

Jenga's History

Some Tips

Jenga is a great game because it’s much harder than it looks. As you play Jenga, keep some of these tips in mind to give yourself a better chance of winning.

Be patient. Remember, you lose Jenga by making a bad move, not win it by being daring. Take your time and carefully consider each move.

Stay in the moment. Trying to devise a long-term strategy is unwise, because the blocks are irregular, which means every tower is different. Just think carefully about the current move.

Swap hands. You can only use one hand at a time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t swap hands if it will give you a better grip or leverage

Set it up. Sometimes, your move will allow you to place a block on top that makes the tower extra wobbly. That’s a smart move. Just remember, though, that if the other players manage to make their moves, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble when your turn comes around again.

Keep these rules and tips in mind when you play Jenga. But the main thing to remember is just to have fun! It’s a simple but challenging game that can provide hours of enjoyment.

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