pick two game

Pick Two! Game Rules

PICK TWO is the always-changing, ever- rearranging crossword game. Players draw letter tiles, building their own personal crosswords as fast as they can. Whenever players use all their letters they yell “PICK TWO” and everyone draws two more tiles.

The catch? These tiles must now be added to your crossword. The best part? You can always change your crossword by rearranging letters and even words to use up your tiles.

When the center pile of tiles is gone, the first one done wins the round.


  • 180 Letter Tiles
  • 1 Score Pad
  • 1 Pencil
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

The object of PickTwo” is to be the first player to use ALL your letters by building a crossword with the letter tiles.

Game Play

Place all the letter tiles in a center pile in the middle of the table. Make sure all the lettered sides are facing down.

Without looking at the lettered side, each player should select 8 tiles from the center pile and place them on the table in front of him.

When all players are ready, one player yells “GO”. Each player must quickly turn his tiles over and begin creating his own crossword (see Fig. 1).

The first player able to create a crossword using ALL 8 of his letters yells “PICK TWO”. Every player immediately stops playing and takes 2 more tiles from the center pile, then continues to build his crossword, now using ALL 10 letters.

Note: During the game, players are free to form NEW WORDS, to form LONGER WORDS, and to ELIMINATE words they have already formed.

In other words, players can REARRANGE their crosswords any way they see fit at any time.

Notice the word “AN” in Fig. 2 is changed to “AND” in Fig. 3 and then changed to “ANT” in Fig. 4.

The next player who is able to use ALL 10 of his letters in his crossword yells “PICK TWO”. Once again, EVERY player immediately stops playing and takes 2 more tiles from the center pile, then continues to build his crossword, now using ALL 12 letters.

This pattern of drawing tiles and building onto crosswords continues until no tiles are left in the center pile.

Note: When playing with 4 people, players will only be able to draw 1 tile each on the last round.

When the tiles in the center pile are gone, the next player to use ALL his letters yells “STOP” to end the round.

Every player now adds up the total number of points on the tiles that he did NOT use in his crossword. This score is recorded on the pad.

End of the Game

The winner is the player with the LOWEST total score after 5 rounds of play.

Additional Rules

The WILD tiles can be used to represent any letter the player chooses. Keep in mind that once a WILD tile has been used in a crossword, it can always be exchanged for the letter it represents should a player pick that letter up later.

All words are allowed, except for abbreviations, proper nouns, and words of a foreign language.

Decide before starting if you want to play with access to a dictionary or not, or if a dictionary should only be used to resolve disagreements after the round is over.

Should it occur that no player can successfully form a complete crossword with all his letters, a “PICK TWO” can be called if all players agree they are stuck. All players would draw 2 more tiles to move the game forward.

When the round has been stopped, all players must have their crosswords checked for correct spelling and word positioning, and to make sure only allowed words were used.

All letters used in error MUST be removed, including any letters joined to the main crossword by the incorrect word. The total value of these removed letters is added to each player’s score for that round.

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10 – 12

Take two scrabble

What to do with this activity?

This is a speeded up version of classic scrabble that your child might prefer. It uses the letter tiles from Scrabble, but not the board.

• Choose a space where you can spread out – either a kitchen table, or the floor.
• Give each player 7 letters but keep them face down until you are ready to start.
• Place all the other letters face down, but keep a couple of “u” tiles handy.
• When everyone is ready, each player turns over their own tiles and tries to form a word, or several words in a crossword shape.
• The first player to use all seven letters shouts “take 2” and everyone must then take two more tiles and try to form words, or add to words, in their own crossword.
• The individual crosswords can be dismantled and re-arranged by a player if it helps to use their letters.
• If no player can form a word, it can be agreed that each player can pick up two tiles to get the game moving again.
• If a player gets a “q”, they are allowed to take one of the “u” letters in addition to the two tiles picked up.
• Continue play until there are no more tiles left to draw. The player who creates the first complete crossword when the tiles run out is the winner.

Why am I doing this?

Playing is one of the most effective ways children learn. It builds your child’s concentration and thinking skills as well as building their skills in using numbers, seeing patterns and being able to group things together. Playing games with others helps their social skills and gives them a chance to practice things they have heard and seen.

How can I do more?

Playing games that involve words are great for increasing your child’s vocabulary. Games that involve dices and numbers help with maths and logical reasoning.

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Developed as part of the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011 — 2020
Department of Education and Skills

Help My Kid Learn is a project brought to you by NALA, the National Adult Literacy Agency ]]>