5 Games You Can Play With Only Pen and Paper



This game doesn't have points either, but it will certainly keep a carful of kids occupied -- or entertain nostalgic adults, for that matter. The goal of the game is no small matter: It's to see into the future.

First off, the first player (the "fortuneteller") writes M.A.S.H. at the top of the paper. Those letters stand for mansion, apartment, shack and house. He or she thinks of a few categories: spouse, number of kids, job, type of car -- really, anything that might indicate the prospective life of the player. (Movies starred in? Years of unemployment?)

For each category, the first player solicits at least three choices from the second player -- if you want, you can leave one spot for the fortuneteller to add in an idea. When all the spots are filled, the fortuneteller will begin to draw a spiral. When the second player says stop, the fortuneteller will count the rings across the circle.

Starting from the M.A.S.H. at the top, the fortuneteller will count each entry, eliminating every fifth choice. He or she will continue until only one choice is left in each category, and at the end the fortuneteller will read your "fortune," culled from the remaining selections.

Related Articles


  • Collinger, Zachary. "How to play M.A.S.H." Grandparents.com. 2011. (May 24, 2012) http://www.grandparents.com/gp/content/activitiesandevents/games/article/mash.html
  • Fischer, Jessica. "Paper and Pencil Games." Lifeasmom.com. 2011. (May 24, 2012) http://lifeasmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/A-Simpler-Season-Paper-Pencil-Games.pdf
  • McLoone, Jon. "25 Best Hangman Words." Wolfram Research Company. Aug. 13, 2010. (May 24, 2012)
  • Pen and Pencil Games. "Consequences." Papg.com. (May 24, 2012) http://www.papg.com/show?1TXW
  • Scrabble Blog. "Three popular word games." Scabblepages.com. Aug. 2, 2011. (May 24, 2012) http://www.scrabblepages.com/blog/words/three-popular-word-games/
  • University of Alabama Birmingham, Computer and Information Science program. "Tic Tac Toe." (May 24, 2012) http://students.cis.uab.edu/chemdoc3/history.html


How Khet Works

How Khet Works

Khet is a strategy game like chess, except with lasers. Learn about the board game Khet in this article.