What are Never Can Tell Games?
Never can tell games are great to keep groups thinking and entertained. These never can tell games are great for campfires or just to have a low key activity if your group needs a break from high energy activities. The name explains it all you never give away the answers to any of these games (Not Ever!). The best part of these never can tell games is watching participants figure out the “trick” to each of the games and once they do figure it out they are able participate in the telling of the game.
Original Black Magic
- This never can tell games requires 2 people that know the “trick”
- Explain that you and your partner can “read each others mind”
- Someone who is picked goes out of earshot of the group
- An object is picked to be the correct object
- The person comes back and is asked to guess the correct object when it is pointed out.
- The correct object is always the object named after something black
- A simple finger game
- Start on your pinky finger and move towards your thumb.
- While pointing at each finger say:
“Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Whoops (Sliding between your index and thumb) Johnny, Whoops, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny”
- The trick can be any of the following
- Folding your hands at the end of the game
- Clearing your throat before you start
- Say K or OK before you begin
- The game begins with you pointing out a number of objects.
- “There are 5 trees over there”
- Then you ask a question
- “How many tress are there?” – 5
- The answer is the number of words in the question at the end of the phrase.
- So if you asked “How many?” the answer would be 2
Click! Who’s in the picture?
- You form a “picture” with your fingers and point it at someone and say “click”
- Then you say “who’s in the picture?”
- The first person to speak after you say “who’s in the picture” is the person who is in the picture
Variation: Bang!…..Who’s dead?
- The exact same game as above but using your fingers like a gun
- The person who speaks first after the last bang is the person who is dead
Are These Sticks Crossed?
- Get 2 sticks or objects and place them in a crossed or uncrossed position
- Then ask if they are crossed
- The trick to this game is that whether or not the actual sticks are crossed doesn’t matter. It is actually if the persons legs are crossed that is facilitating the game.
What Number do You see?
- Similar to “Are these sticks crossed?”
- Get multiple sticks to use.
- Place them into a pattern
- Then ask “What number do you see?”
The Trick to this one is that after you have positioned the sticks your hold a certain number of fingers out on your leg or in a fairly inconspicuous place so that the answer isn’t obvious. The number of fingers that you’re holding up is the answer. So 4 fingers then answer would be 4.
Variation: Acted out Numbers
The same never can tell games as “What number do you see” except that you choose participants from the group that will let you “form” them into numbers. This never can tell games is especially fun with younger children because they are active participants in it and also one of my go to games when I need to fill some time.
Snaps is one of the most difficult never can tell games you can play. If you get a group that are really good at never can tell games throw this one at them. I’ve heard from several outdoor center/summer camp staff members that it took their entire childhood at summer camp to figure this one out!
- Have someone who knows the game go out of earshot.
- Have the audience choose a word to be the “Answer”
- Call the person back to the group
- Start by saying either” This is the game of snaps” Or “this is not the game of snaps” before each sentence
- If you start with “This is the game of snaps” then the first letter or each sentence you say begins to spell a word.
- If you begin with “This is not the game of snaps” the sentences that are said have no meaning and are designed the throw off participants from figuring out the anwers.
Example: “This is the game of snaps.” (Snap your fingered a few times for a distraction) Good thing I brought a water bottle. Are you going to bring your water bottle? My Water bottle is red. Ever wonder why they make red water bottles?
The answer to this round of snaps would be “Game”
If there are several words that you are trying to figure out. Start each new word with “This is the game of snaps”.