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Countdown Board Game Rules

For 2 or more players
Ages 8 to adult


Countdown Board, Countdown Clock, Countdown Pad, Set of 100 Letter Cards, Set of 14 Number Cards, Set of 30 Conundrum Cards, Filter Sheet and 2 Pencils.


Lay the board out on the table. Each player is given a sheet from the pad and gets hold of a pen or pencil. The letter cards are separated into two individual piles, vowels and consonants. Each pile is shuffled thoroughly and placed by the side of the board. Players might find it helpful to use a piece of blank paper to assist them.


he youngest player begins by choosing the first set of nine letters by calling out either vowel or consonant. The player to their left places each chosen letter from the top of the relevant pile, one at a time as called, from left to right, onto the nine spaces provided on the board. At least three vowels and at least four consonants must be chosen. The player choosing the letters then starts the Countdown Clock. All players have thirty seconds to come up with the longest word they can. They write this word onto the space for the first letter round on their Score Sheet.

After the thirty seconds is up all players compare words. The player with the longest word wins the number of points equal to the number of letters in their word.

Each of the nine letters can be used only once when compiling words.

If a nine letter word is achieved the score is doubled to eighteen points.

If more than one player has the joint longest word then these players all score. These scores are written in the adjacent Round Box on these player's Score Sheet and are then added to their Total Score Box.

The nine used Letter Cards are removed from the board to form a discard pile.

The player to the left of the youngest player now chooses their set of letters for the second letters game with the player to their left placing the letters on the board.

Two more Letters Games are played in the same way with the turn of choosing and placing of letters continuing to move in a clockwise direction.


The player to the left of the next player choosing cards takes the four large numbers cards and mixes them up before placing them face down on the table. This player also shuffles the twenty smaller Numbers Cards and places them in a separate pile on the table. This player then writes down in secret a three digit target number in the Target Box on their Score Sheet for Round 5.

The player choosing now selects a combination of six Number Cards. They may choose any combination from a) no large numbers/six small numbers or b) four large numbers/two small numbers. These numbers are picked up and placed onto the six spaces provided on the board by the player to the chooser's left. This player then reveals the Target Number they have written down. The other players write this number in the Target Box on their sheet. The person that chose the number now sets the Countdown Clock.

Each player has thirty seconds to try and reach the target number using any or all of the six numbers just once by means of any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

After the thirty seconds has elapsed the players declare how close they got to the target score. All players who achieved this target, score ten points each, with the other players not scoring. If no player has reached the target then the player/s who are closest score seven points if that number is within five of the target or five points if it is within ten of the target. Numbers more than ten away from the target do not score.

Rounds continue with four more Letters Games followed by another Numbers Game then three more Letters Games followed by a third Numbers Game.

Both sets of Number Cards must be reshuffled and reset before each new Numbers Game.


The fifteenth and final round is the Countdown Conundrum. The next player to handle the cards takes out the top Conundrum Card from the Conundrum Pack and places it with the word Countdown face up on the space provided on the board, in full view of the players. The player whose turn it is to choose the cards sets the timer before turning over the Conundrum Card.

The first player who thinks they know what the Conundrum is, pushes the switch to pause on the Countdown Clock. This player then picks up the filter sheet provided and uses it to read the answer disguised on the Conundrum Card.

If they are correct they let the other players see and score ten points.

If they are incorrect they replace the card Conundrum side up and restart the Countdown Clock by pushing the switch to the on position for the remaining players.

If no one correctly identifies the Conundrum when the Clock runs down then the Conundrum is revealed and nobody gets the ten points.

Extra conundrums are available on our website .


The player with the highest cumulative score after the fifteen rounds have been completed is the winner.