Family Feud Game Rules

Family Feud premiered in 1978 with host Richard Dawson, and it has been one of the longest-running game shows on television — there is even a Family Feud board game! The television game show is hosted by comedian Steve Harvey, as of the date of publication, and pits two families against each other to provide the most popular answers faster than the opposing team.

This article will cover the basic game rules, as well as the teams and other details involved with the Family Feud game. This is an excellent idea for a fun, collaborative group game, so give it a go the next time you’re with friends or family!


Each person who is participating will be on one of two teams. Each team will assign a team captain who will be the first person to answer, as well as the person who provides the group answer to a question once the play goes to the family for a final answer. The remaining players should decide amongst themselves the order in which everyone will play. Each team should also have some kind of team name to set one another apart. The customary number of people that are on each team is five, but this number can be increased or decreased as needed (the number of players on the two teams should be equal).


Players use an answer board for each survey question of the game. Each round can have a different number of answers on the board. The top answer is in the first slot, along with the number of people who gave this answer. The second most popular goes under the first, and so on with the remaining answers until the board is finished. An emcee is assigned to read the question and work the board. Players can use PowerPoint or other presentation software in a classroom or larger group setting. There should also be a scorecard for each team, to ensure everyone knows how many points their team has after each round.

Face-Off Rounds

The game starts with a one-on-one face off between a member from each team, in which they must try to give the top answer for the first question. For each round of the game, two members of each team face off to answer a question. Their goal is to provide the most popular answers to a question that was polled to 100 survey participants. The emcee for the game reads the question aloud and the players buzz in (using some kind of buzzer) when they think they have an answer on the board. The first player who buzzes in earns control of the question and can provide their answer first. The emcee announces if the answer is on the board and reveals the answer's position on the board. If the answer is the No. 1 answer, that player's team is the controlling team that gets to decide to pass or play the category. If the answer was not the No. 1 answer, the other person who was in the face-off gives his or her answer. Whichever team is responsible for the answer that is higher on the board gets to decide to pass or play. A new team member starts a face-off each time.

The Feud

Each member of the family that plays the round gives one answer at a time, trying to provide the correct answers for all slots on the board. If the answer is correct, it is revealed on the board. The team wins the round if it gives every correct answer on the board. If an incorrect answer is provided, the team gets a strike (the emcee can control some kind of strike indicator, like marking a big “X” on the scoreboard). If the team gets three strikes, the play passes to the other team, which gives a final answer after conferring with each other. A correct answer gives the team all of the points that have been earned by either team during the round.


Points correspond to the number of people who responded to the survey with the provided answer. For example, if 35 people gave an answer that a team member calls out, 35 points are in the point bank. Rounds one and two give players one point for each point in the bank while subsequent rounds are double points. The team that wins points for the most popular survey answers is the winning team. Whichever team gets to 300 points first can go on to participate in the bonus round.

The Fast Money Questions

The winning team selects two team members to participate in the fast money bonus round. This bonus round is triple points. One team member leaves so he or she won't hear the answers that the other team member gives. The emcee reads five questions to the first team member, who has 20 seconds to give answers. After time runs out, the emcee reads the questions and answers aloud. The second team member then plays the round with 25 seconds and must give a different answer — if he or she repeats an answer the first team member gave, they are not awarded points for that answer. If the team gets 200 points, they win the fast money round.

If you are running out of game ideas for you and your family/friends to play, turn yourselves into contestants for a night and play Family Feud!

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