twister rules

OBJECTIVE OF TWISTER: Place hands and feet on the colored circles as dictated by the spinner.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players

MATERIALS OF TWISTER: 1 Twister game mat, 1 Twister spinner board

TYPE OF GAME: Board game

AUDIENCE: Kids, Teens, Adults


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Ready to test your flexibility and balance? A childhood classic game you may have played with your friends and siblings both at school and at home is Twister. This aptly-named game involves maneuvering one’s body all around the mat as directed by the Twister spinner. While this seems like a pretty simple concept, there’s the added challenge of outmaneuvering your opponents! And that’s pretty difficult to do when everyone ends up twisted around each other, so try to keep your balance to win!

Whether you need a refresher course on how to play Twister or you’re playing for the first time, we’ve got you! Here are the game rules for Twister.


Setting up a game of Twister is super easy. Simply lay out the Twister mat on a flat surface – this can be inside the house or outdoors (just make sure it’s on a dry surface). To keep the mat from moving around, try placing some stones or books on the corners of the mat. 

Note: Before the game begins, all players should take their shoes off! While you can wear socks on the mat, as a top tip, you’ll be able to get more traction barefoot.


There’s no official rule stating the number of players who can play Twister, but the game works best with 2 to 4 players. If you do have more than 4 players playing, you can use the party rules. We’ll go over all the different Twister rules for the various numbers of players, as they slightly differ.


No matter how many people are playing the actual game, you will always need an extra “player” to act as the referee. This is the person who will spin the spinner and yell out the instructions. They will also supervise the game and catch anyone who falls out of balance.

If there is no third party that wants to act as the referee and you have at least 3 players, take turns acting as the referee for each round.


To begin, players must stand on the mat. Here’s a guide on where to stand at the beginning of the game, which depends on the number of players:

  • 2 players: The players stand facing each other on opposing ends of the Twister mat. Both players must put one foot each on the yellow and blue circles closest to the word “Twister” on their ends of the mat.
  • 3 players: Two of the players stand just like the 2-player formation and place their feet on the mat accordingly. The third player places their feet on the two red circles in the middle, facing the mat.
  • 4 players: In 4-player Twister, there are two teams of two. The teammates stand side by side on their side of the mat near the word “Twister.” They should be standing on all four of the circles closest to the end.


Now that everyone is set up, it’s time to play some Twister!


The referee starts the game by spinning the Twister board. The board is separated into four sections: Left foot, left hand, right foot, and right hand. Within each of these sections, there are four colored circles representing the colors on the Twister mat: red, green, yellow, and blue. 

Depending on where the arrow points at the end of the spin, the referee calls out the corresponding limb and color. For example, if the arrow lands on the yellow circle in the right hand section of the board, the referee would call out, “Right hand, yellow!”


And now for the fun part! According to the referee’s instructions, all players on the mat must put the corresponding part of their body on the specified colored circle. Keep in mind that players can only touch empty circles. So, if a circle is already occupied, go for another one! If two players go for the same circle at the same time, the referee may decide who went for it first and award that player the circle.

If all 6 circles of a particular color are occupied, the referee spins the spinner again.

Once everyone has placed their limb on the specified color, the referee spins again.


When playing in teams, teammates can share the same circle. However, teammates cannot put the same limb in the same circle.


Try to keep your balance when playing Twister! Once all limbs are on a circle (including the two circles players put their feet on at the beginning of the game), players cannot move their limbs. However, players may lift a limb to allow another player to pass through if needed – at the discretion of the referee, of course!

Besides that, the only reason a player would lift a limb from a circle is if the referee calls for that limb to be placed on a different color.

At some point in the game, if a player’s knee or elbow touches the mat, they are eliminated from the game!


The last player still on the mat wins!


There are a couple of different variations of Twister that you can play if you are tired of the original game. Since this game is incredibly simple, it allows players to be creative with the rules.


If you are a larger group of players with more than 4 (or 5, if players are taking turns acting as the referee), you can play a couple of different Twister party rules to get everyone involved!

  • Round Robin: Pair up into teams of 2. Each team plays a round with every other team. The team with the most wins wins the entire game!
  • Elimination: In an elimination format, pair up into teams of 2 and pick 2 teams to play against each other. The winner of this round plays another team. And so on until there is a winning team!


If you have no referee and you’re only two players, don’t worry; there’s still a way you can play the game. In this variation, one player calls out the limb, and the other calls out the color. Players take turns calling out the limb.


To play the drinking version of Twister, you’ll need a shot glass for each spot on the mat. Fill these up with a drink of your choice. Then, play Twister as you would normally play it, but whenever a player occupies a space with a shot glass on it, they must take a shot before they put their limb on the circle.

If you fall, you’ve got to take a shot as punishment as well!

Twister makes for a super fun college party game!


Do you want to beat your friends and family at Twister? Here are some of our top Twister strategies to help you win!

  • Wear comfortable clothing: You will be bent and twisted in all sorts of directions, so wear comfortable, loose clothing in order to make the most of your flexibility and movement.
  • Stretch beforehand: Some stretching goes a long way when playing Twister, as you can stretch out your muscles to loosen up.
  • Think about your opponent: Of course, the main goal is to stop yourself from falling but think about your opponent as well. Try to go for the circles that would make it more difficult for your opponent to balance – without compromising your own ability to keep all four limbs on the mat.


How Do You Win in Twister?

There are many strategies you can employ to win a Twister game. You can play aggressively by trying to take all the circles your opponents would want. Alternatively, you can try to keep as comfortable as possible by taking the most convenient circles on the mat when called.

Can Kids Play Twister?

Yes – absolutely! In fact, the game is marketed to children aged 6 and up. As long as the child is tall enough to reach the different circles and has the ability to balance, they should be able to play!

Is Twister a Good Party Game?

Twister is a great party game! This is a great kids’ party game, outdoor game, sleepover game, or even an adults’ party game – especially if you turn Twister into a drinking game.

Mia Kim