Heads Up vs Charades

Looking for a great ice-breaking game? Heads Up and Charades are some options that can’t be wrong. Such guessing games are commonly used for bonding a group of people and getting them to start talking to each other. These games are suitable for most types of audience. So, what are the differences between Heads Up vs Charades?

Below, you can find out more information about:

  • How to play Heads Up and Charades
  • The important differences between Heads Up and Charades
  • The recommended audience and number of players for each game
  • The gameplay experience of Heads Up vs Charades
  • Which guessing game that is generally more recommended

Heads Up: Overview

Heads Up has become really popular since it is played in the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It is a guessing game in which a player has to put a card on their head, and they have to identify the word or phrase on that card based on the hints provided by the other players. It is now available in physical editions as well as mobile apps. See also: HedBanz vs Heads Up.

Let us take a look first at the standard physical edition. It comes with a deck of cards (there are 200 cards in total), 6 headbands, 48 chips, a sand clock timer, and an instruction sheet. Heads Up is designed to be played by 2 – 6 players. According to the box, the game is recommended for ages 8 years old and above.

The cards have a rectangular shape. They are quite simple. There is no artwork or illustration. They simply show the words or phrases on plain background colors. Nevertheless, the cards seem to be quite solid and durable. The cards are not flimsy, and they don’t get bent or folded easily.

The headbands are adjustable to fit different head sizes. You need to wear a headband in order to hold the card on your head. Meanwhile, the chips are used to indicate how many cards that you need to guess in order to win the game. At the beginning, usually each player receives three chips, but this can be altered according to the game organizer to suit the occasion.

The Heads Up mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices. It can also be accessed via Alexa. When playing with the mobile app, you need to hold your smartphone above your head. Meanwhile, when playing with Alexa, you simply need to use speeches and voice commands.

Heads Up: How to Play

Although both Heads Up vs Charades are party guessing games, and they may appear to have many similarities, their gameplay and rules are still very different. In Heads Up, you can’t see the content of your card, and you need to guess it with the help of the other players. Meanwhile, in Charades, you are the only one who knows the content of the card, and you need to provide clues for the other players.

The gameplay of Heads Up is quite simple. At the beginning, each player wears a headband and picks three chips. Then, shuffle all the cards and deal one face-down to every player. The players must put the received cards on their headbands without seeing the words or phrases.

Now, you can see the other players’ cards, but you can’t see your own card. Choose a player to take the first turn. The play will progress in a clockwise direction.

In your turn, you get 60 seconds to ask yes/no questions to the other players in order to identify your own card. Once you are certain, you can guess the card.

If your guess is correct, you can remove one chip from your place and replace the card with another one from the draw pile. If your guess is wrong, you need to wait for the next turn and continue with the same card. However, if you give up on the current card, you may replace the card, but you should take another chip. The first player to get rid of all their chips wins.

Playing with the mobile app is slightly different. First, you need to select a category, and then put the phone on your head for the other players to see. The other players will give you various clues to help you guess what the screen says. When you guess correctly, you may tilt the phone forward, and you will get a point along with a new identity to guess. When you want to pass, simply tilt the phone backward to get a new identity without scoring any point.

Heads Up: Gameplay Evaluation

If we compare the gameplay of Heads Up vs Charades, there are several notable differences. First of all, although Heads Up is technically playable for children, it is generally more suitable for a more mature audience. This is because Heads Up contain cards with pop culture themes. Younger kids probably won’t be able to guess cards like “13 Reasons Why”, “Gabby Douglas”, or “Lana Del Rey”. However, teenagers and adults will find such cards really interesting.

Secondly, Heads Up is more suitable for a small group of people. The game can be played by six people just fine, but the game is not ideal for larger groups. This is because the players need to take turns asking for clues. If there are too many players, the game will become too boring, as it takes so long for a player to get to their next turn. For small groups, the game is totally great.

Thirdly, the replayability of Heads Up vs Charades is pretty good, but it will eventually become stale once you run through all the cards. The same thing goes for the mobile app, which has very limited words and phrases. Making new cards by yourself is possible, but not easy. Alternatively, you can purchase new decks or new editions of the mobile app.

Charades: Overview

Now, let’s take a look at Charades. This is one of the oldest and most common party guessing games. Most probably, you have ever played a form of Charades before. In modern Charades, each team chooses a person to see the card and provide visual clues, while the rest of the team should try to guess the card.

Originally, the game took a form of literary charades. A person would enigmatically describe each syllable of a word, or a complete word, while the group guessed. However, starting from the early 19th century, acted charades became popular in France. Instead of using enigmatic descriptions, the game used dramatic performances. Gradually, acted charades became the more popular version.

Most modern Charades nowadays are based on acted charades. Typically, a person has to mime clues without any spoken word. Depending on the number of players, multiple individuals may work together as actors while the rest try to guess. Both puns and visual puns are commonly used to hint a syllable or a word. Charades can be played by a minimum of two players, and suitable for both children and adults.

Charades: How to Play

Charades has been around for a long time, and is considered an informal game. As the effect, the rules may vary greatly from places to places. Therefore, it is recommended to clarify the rules of the game before playing.

When there are not many people, you can put them in a single group. Choose someone to take the role of the actor. Shuffle the cards, and give one randomly to the actor. Then, the actor must try to make visual clues for their team without revealing the card, speaking any word, or showing the letters with hand or body gestures. You may put a time limit for the group. In this single-group play, there is no competition.

When there are a lot of people, you can split them into groups. Each group chooses a person to act. Then, shuffle the cards, deal one to each actor. Next, the groups take turns to guess their actors. You can set a time limit for each turn. When the guess is correct, the group gets a point. At the end of the game, the group with the most points wins. In this multi-group play, there is competition between groups.

Charades: Gameplay Evaluation

Charades is a decent choice for any kind of audience. It is suitable for children, teenagers, and adults. You just need to adjust the words or phrases in order to suit the particular audience. Many charades decks are available in the market, some of which are intended for specific groups or age ranges.

For example, a deck for children usually contains common themes such as fruits, animals, and everyday objects. A deck for more mature audience may contain more difficult cards, pop culture themes, and many others.

Charades is commonly used for ice-breaking because it is very flexible and adaptable. You can play it with any number of players. As explained above, when there are few people, you can just put them in a single group. When there are many people, you can make multiple groups.

Perhaps the slight disadvantage is that Charades is a very common game. Most people know it. Even so, it is still a fun game, and the replayability is pretty good. The players need to be creative with their acts and guesses, and ridiculous acts are guaranteed to invite laughter. Not to mention that you can easily make your own words without using cards; simply whisper the words to the actors.

Heads Up vs Charades

BrandHeads UpCharades
Key features- Each player gets a card that they have to guess - The clues are provided by the other players - Ideal for a small group - More suitable for teenagers and adults - Relatively more difficult to make new cards- A person acts about a card for their group to guess - The clues are provided by a single person - Great for both small groups and large groups - Suitable for any kind of audience - Easy to make your own words or phrases

Best OfferSave Money Please click hereSave Money Please click here


For a small group of people, Heads Up is a good game. However, it is more suitable for teenagers and adults due to the pop culture themes. Charades, on the other hand, is more flexible. Charades is suitable for any number of players, and can be played with pretty much any kind of audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *