Updated: May 11, 2023

Five Finger Showdown Game Rules

You found our guide on how to play Five Finger Showdown.

Five Finger Showdown is a variation of Never Have I Ever and is a fun game to play with teams of any size. In this activity, you ask colleagues questions to learn about their backgrounds and interests. The purpose of this game is to break the ice and help colleagues make connections.

Five Finger Showdown is a fun get to know you game that you can play with your team. When planning this activity, you can use questions from these lists of have you ever questions and Never Have I Ever questions.


This article covers:

  • how to play Five Finger Showdown
  • how to play Five Finger Showdown online
  • playing Five Finger Showdown with large teams
  • Five Finger Showdown theme ideas
  • Five Finger Showdown question examples

Here we go!

Five Finger Showdown game rules

Five Finger Showdown is a great icebreaker because it needs no materials and little prep. Plus, you can play this game online or in person with small or large groups. Here are some rules and questions for Five Finger Showdown.

How to play Five Finger Showdown

Five Finger Showdown’s rules are relatively simple. If you have played Never Have I Ever before, then the process will seem pretty familiar.

To play this game:

  1. Before the game, curate a list of experiences folks may have had. For example, players may have gone scuba diving, owned more than three pets at once, or been to more than three foreign countries.
  2. Once the game starts, players will hold up one of their hands with all five fingers extended.
  3. The host will read off one prompt at a time.
  4. If a player has had that experience, then they will put a finger down.
  5. You can choose between two methods for deciding a winner. Either the player who puts all their fingers down first wins or the player with the most fingers remaining wins.
  6. Optionally, offer a prize to the winner.

If you are wondering how to play Five Finger Showdown online, then you need to take a couple of considerations into account. First, ensure all participants have their cameras turned on. It is important to see each player’s hand to determine the winner. Also, if you are playing with large teams, then you can utilize breakout rooms to ensure the host can see each participant. In that case, dedicate a host to each room to ask questions.

Overall, this is a great game to play before meetings, during workplace happy hours, or at conferences.

Five Finger Showdown theme ideas

To spice up this activity, you can write the questions based on different themes. This technique keeps the game fresh so you can replay it as often as you would like.

Here are some examples of themes you can use:

  • Mistakes you have made at work
  • Places you have traveled
  • Info about families and pets
  • Weird foods you have tried
  • Experiences from childhood
  • Hobbies outside of work

Utilizing themes makes it easier to come up with prompts and shakes up the game to keep it engaging.

Five Finger Showdown question examples

Thinking of topics for this game can be challenging, so here is a list of some prompts to get you started.

Put a finger down if you have:

  • Hit “Reply all” instead of “Reply”
  • Overcharged a customer
  • Broken dishes or appliances at work
  • Made an awkward spelling mistake in an email
  • Spilled coffee on yourself before a big presentation
  • Forgot about a project until right before the due date
  • Missed a meeting by mistake
  • Been out of the country
  • Been on a flight for longer than eight hours
  • Visited more than 25 US states
  • Bought a travel pillow at the airport
  • Road tripped for more than two days
  • Camped for at least a week
  • Had more than two kids
  • Bought a pet that is not a cat or dog
  • Are an identical twin
  • Look just like one parent
  • Eaten antelope
  • Eaten kangaroo
  • Eaten shark
  • Eaten mountain lion
  • Eaten raw oysters
  • Watched Sesame Street growing up
  • Learned to read by age 6
  • Learned a second language as a child
  • Went to preschool
  • Went to private school
  • Stayed up all night to finish a good book
  • Spent more than $1,000 on one hobby
  • Have a side hustle

Depending on how well you know your team, you can tailor these questions to their experiences and interests. These questions work well as icebreakers and conversation starters. Participants may find out they have more in common with colleagues than they realized!


Five Finger Showdown is a simple game to add to your team building rotation. This exercise is great because you can play in person or online with groups of any size. In addition, teams will communicate and get to know one another more personally. You can play this game for any length of time and surrounding any topic, so it works well for a recurring activity. Plus, the questions can get more detailed the better you get to know your team. Overall, Five Finger Showdown is a simple get-to-know-you activity that suits any group.

Next up, check out these articles on question games to play with friends and large group icebreakers.

FAQ: Five Finger Showdown game rules

Here are answers to common questions about Five Finger Showdown game rules.

What is Five Finger Showdown?

Five Finger Showdown is an adaptation of the popular game Never Have I Ever. The purpose of the game is to learn more about colleagues and connect over shared experiences.

Why should you play Five Finger Showdown with teams?

Five Finger Showdown is a great game to play at work because it requires minimal prep work and helps teams bond. This activity is great for departments that only interact occasionally or new teams that do not know each other well. Through this game, staff can learn unique fun facts about each other.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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