5 second game rules

How to Play 5 Second Rule Game Rules

Check out our easy to understand explainer videos and guide on the 5 second rule game rules. Find out about 5 Second Rule.

Players: 3 to 6 | Game duration from: 30 mins | Game Complexity:

What is the object of 5 Second Rule?

Pick a card, read the topic, and start the timer! In five seconds players have to name three things that fit the topic. In this fast-paced party game, players get tongue-tied, funny answers fly out, and laughter follows. 

How do you setup 5 Second Rule?

Place cards go into the card box
Cards have the same colour facing the front and draw end
Card box and timer are positioned in the table centre
Players choose and place their pawn on the board’s START
Each player gets:
2 PASS ON cards
2 SWITCH cards
The youngest player is the Hot Seat player and starts first. Play proceeds clockwise

Step by Step How to Play 5 Second Rule

Pick a topic and start the timer. In five seconds players have to name three things that fit the topic.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Pick card and start timer

5 second rule rules - Card

Player on the Hot Seat player’s right draws card, reads it aloud and starts timer.

Hot Seat player answers correctly

The 5 second rule game rules - Timer

Hot Seat player provides 3 answers within 5 seconds (indicated by timer)
If Hot Seat player answers correctly, they move one space forward on board

Hot Seat Player does not answer correctly

If Hot Seat player is not able to answer all 3, next player on their left tries to provide 3 answers in 5 seconds. Next player cannot use previously provided answers.
This continues in a circle until a player provides 3 answers in 5 seconds. This player will move one space forward on the board.

No one answers correctly

If play reaches original Hot Seat player and no one has provided 3 answers in 5 seconds, the Hot Seat player moves one space forward on the board 
Player to the left of the original Hot Seat player becomes new Hot Seat player and starts with new different card. Play continues as above.

Winning 5 Second Rule

Players progress on the board until they reach FINISH. 1st player to reach FINISH wins the game.


Special 5 Second Rule Cards

Special cards can be played by the Hot Seat player. There are 2 types of cards: Pass On and Switch. When playing special cards, Hot Seat player must call out “Pass On” or “Switch” immediately AFTER hearing their question.

Pass On Cards

  • Question is passed to the player on the left of the Hot Seat player
  • If player on the left gives 3 correct answers, they move forward one board space 
  • If player fails to give 3 correct answers, the original Hot Seat player moves forward one board space
  • If Pass On is used,  the question does not get passed on around to the next player

Switch Cards

Hot Seat player can change for a new question when using the SWITCH card. When used, a new card is drawn.

Danger Zone space

If a player moves to this space, they must provide 3 correct answers on their next turn or next attempt (when someone has answered incorrectly). If they don’t give 3 correct answers, they miss a turn/attempt to answer any question. 

When you need to miss a turn, place your pawn on its side. After the missed turn, place pawn back upright. 

5 second game rules - Danger Zone

5 Second Rule FAQs

Who starts first in 5 second rule?

The youngest player is the Hot Seat player and starts first. Play proceeds clockwise. In subsequent games, winner of the previous round starts.

What are pass and switch in 5 second rule?

Pass results in the question being passed to the player on the left of the Hot Seat player. If answered correctly, player moves 1 space forward. If not, the Hot Seat player moves 1 space forward. With Switch, the Hot Seat player changes and draws a new question.


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