How to Play Dixit

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An overview of  how to play Dixit, a simple storytelling board game with surprising depth.

How well do you know your friends? Want to test that?

Dixit is a straight-forward game to learn, making it great as a party game.

The list of rules is short and easy to remember.

Despite its simple design, playing a good game of Dixit is a complex exercise for your mind.

Learning how to play Dixit involves trying to get into the heads of the other people at the table.

It will test just how well you understand the ways your friends think.

A great pick-up to start building a collection of games, Dixit can be played over and over again.

Every game will be different even with the same group of people!

And you will want a group to play it, preferably at least 4, so keep that in mind.

If you’re ready to learn more about this excellent storytelling party game and how it works – read on.

How to Play Dixit: Set Up, Rules and Instructions

What’s in the Box?

Dixit

  • 1 Game Board: A scoring track for your points. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • 84 Image Cards: These whimsically designed cards are the main focus of the game. They provide the images you’ll be basing sentences on as the storyteller.
  • 36 Voting Tokens: These are used to vote on image cards each round. Each player gets 1 of these tokens per player in the game.
  • 6 Wooden Rabbits: These are the scoring tokens for each player, to be used on the game board. Whenever you score points in the game, hop your token up the track that many spaces!

Prologue: Goals of the Game

  • Players: 3-6
  • Play Time: 30 minutes

The point of Dixit is simple. Gain the most points, and you win. Getting those points is not always straight-forward!

Each round, every player will have a chance to be the Storyteller.

They’ll be trying to get the other players at the table to guess which card is theirs based on a sentence.

There are two major problems for the storyteller:

  1. You choose your card and your sentence first, after which everyone else throws their cards in. Other Players have a chance to choose a card that may also fit your story if you’re too vague!
  2. If you’re too on the nose and everyone at the table guesses your card, you also score nothing!

Storytellers have to find the perfect balance of obvious but not too obvious when they choose a sentence for their card.

This means that, to be most successful, you have to be tuned in to how the other people at the table are likely to vote based on your sentence.

Can you come up with something some people will guess, but not everyone?

Setting the Stage

Dixit

Setting up for a game of Dixit couldn’t be easier!

Place your game board on the table.

Let each player choose a wooden rabbit as their scoring token.

Each player puts their token on the space marked “0” on the scoring track.

Unused tokens go back in the box.

Shuffle up the 84 image cards. Deal out a starting hand of 6 cards, face-down, to each player.

Place the remaining image cards in a face-down deck, to the side. This will be used as a draw pile.

Finally, distribute the appropriate number of voting tokens to each player.

Every player should get 1 token per player in the game, including themselves.

For example: In a 4 player game, each player gets 4 voting tokens.

That’s all there is to it. You’re ready to get this party started!

Determining the First Storyteller

There’s no coin flipping to determine who takes the first turn in Dixit.

Instead, when set-up is complete, have all players pick up their hands and look at their image cards at the same time.

The first player who is able to come up with a sentence for an image card will go first. You have to speak up to claim this right, so be quick if you have a good sentence in mind!

Whoever spoke up first is storyteller for this turn. They say the sentence they have decided upon out loud to the table, and place their image card face-down in front of them.

A sentence is a loose term in Dixit.

It could be just a single word, or even a sound that you associate with the image like the “woosh” of rushing water for a waterfall.

You could create a sentence of your own, or reference a popular quote that you think fits the image somehow.

The description could be obvious, like something pertaining to a visible feature on the image, but you can get as abstract as you like.

Be careful not to get so abstract nobody can guess your card, though!

At this point, every other player will choose an image card from their hand to also place face-down in front of the storyteller. This is a chance for some trickery.

If you’re one of these players, you’ll want to try to pick a card that the storyteller themselves might have used that sentence to describe.

If you can fool others into voting for your card with a convincing choice, you’ll score some points!

Voting on Image Cards

Dixit

The storyteller waits for everyone else to put an image card face-down in front of them.

Once this is done, they shuffle these image cards and place them down one at a time in front of them – now face-up.

The storyteller should do this so the cards form a line with their images facing the other players, so everyone can easily see the cards.

It’s time to vote!

Grab your voting tokens unless you’re the storyteller; the storyteller sits out the voting round for their own image.

The card furthest to the storyteller’s left is considered number 1 for voting and so on moving up to the right (the next image to the right is 2, then  3, etc.).

Think you know which image card belongs to the storyteller? Place the number token that corresponds with that image card face-down in front of you to make your guess.

You can’t vote on your own image card, and yes, it will be obvious.

When everyone has put down a voting token, flip them all face-up. Place the voting tokens on the image cards they voted on to count more easily.

Time to score the round.

How to play Dixit in 3 minutes

The Results Are In: Scoring the Vote

There are a few ways for a round to resolve, based on how the votes fall.

If everyone finds the storyteller’s image, the storyteller was too obvious and is awarded 0 points. Everyone else walks away from the round with 2 points to show for their efforts.

If nobody guesses the image, the same result occurs! No points for the storyteller for being too abstract or vague and 2 points for the rest of the table.

As you can see, you have to walk a very particular line as the storyteller!

In all other cases, where some but not all players have guessed correctly, the storyteller nets 3 points for each vote on their image card.

The players with correct votes also get a share, with 3 points of their own each.

It’s in your best interest to guess the card correctly!

As an additional bonus for the other, clever players – you can steal 1 point for every vote your image card gets when it isn’t your turn as storyteller.

Starting a New Round

When a round of Dixit is finished scoring, every player draws a new card to bring their hand back up to 6 cards. The new storyteller for next round is the player to the left of last round’s storyteller, continuing in this clock-wise direction for future rounds.

Each round will consist of those same basic steps.

The storyteller selects an image card from their hand and uses a sentence to describe it.

The other players put down image cards they think could fit that sentence.

Everyone votes on which card they believe belonged to the storyteller, and points are tallied accordingly.

This continues until the deck has been drawn through. Whoever has the most points at the end, wins!

Other Ways to Play

The rulebook offers a couple variant rule-sets; one is for adapting the game to work with 3 players, the other is a suggestion meant to inspire other alternate rule-sets.

3 Player:

If you want to learn how to play Dixit with 3 people, it’s going to need some adjustments to work.

For a 3 player game, every player will draw hands of 7 cards instead of the usual 6. When the time comes for other players to put down cards, after the storyteller’s choices, they will both put down 2 cards instead of just 1.

This means you’ll have 5 cards to vote on during the voting round – 1 from the storyteller, 2 from each other player.

When only one of the two players voting finds the storyteller’s card, both that player and the storyteller score 4 points instead of 3.

Mimes or Songs:

The storyteller can create a mimed gesture or a short song to describe their card.

This expands options for play, and might give some of your creative friends more space to show off!

Stretching Your Creative Muscles

On Sale

Dixit is a fantastic game for pulling together a group of friends for a something quick. Easy to learn, not long to play, and high on the social element: it’s perfect for parties!

It also gives you a chance to stretch out and flex your creativity.

This does mean that the game relies on everyone being invested to have a good time.

You’ll want to make sure you have a good group of people for best results!

When everything is working the way it should, with everyone coming up with unique and creative ways to describe their image cards, Dixit is an absolute blast.

It’s great fun coming up with clever ways to have only some people at the table figure out your card.

Correctly guessing which card was the storyteller’s is quite a rush, as well! It’s a puzzle every time, where the key lies in how well you can think like the person acting as the storyteller.

So if you’ve got a group of creative friends, bring this with you to your next party – it’s sure to be a hit!

Top Image Credit: Yoppy @ Flickr