The Rules

STEAL - The Rules

The fast-paced word building game of cunning, treachery and outright theft for 2 or more players! The more players…the more wild the game becomes, so 8 is possibly a sensible maximum limit!!


Setting up STEAL

Place all 150 tiles face down on a table, leaving a playing area in front of each player where their words can be assembled.


How to Play STEAL

Anyone can start by flipping over one tile. Play moves clockwise and each player quickly flips one letter (no peaking!). There is no advantage in being the first to flip!

The game really starts when at least three letters have been flipped, for the aim of the game is to form words of three letters or more.

Players continue to flip – quickly, every 3 seconds or so - until someone shouts out a word which can be formed from the available letters.

That player picks up the letters, assembles the word in front of them, and is the next player to flip.

The fun then starts. The target now is to STEAL the word(s) already formed by adding one or more letters to an existing word in order to form a new word: letters can be re-arranged as necessary. (eg TEA might become SEAT, which might become TASTE etc)

The flipping stops during the time it takes for a player, who has claimed a new word, to assemble the word in their playing area. However the ability to STEAL words never stops!!

In the previous example perhaps SEAT was shouted out and claimed only after the second T was flipped, and as that player assembles his SEAT, another player shouts out TASTE and steals SEAT before he has even completed assembling the word!

The set includes five special scoring letters (refer below), and one ‘joker’ letter (the mask). This letter can be used to replace any letter the caller chooses, and can be changed and changed again as it is stolen (always by adding one or more letters to the word). So REAL might be called out (using RE(mask)L, with the joker as an A )…add a C and the word called out might become CRUEL (with the joker changed to a U), and so on! 

Fast, furious and hilarious.

If two players correctly claim a word at exactly the same time, the last letter flipped is flipped back and mixed into the pile, and a different letter flipped.



Winning STEAL

Play continues until all letters are used up, or until no-one can think of a word which can be formed – or stolen - by using the remaining letters.

Each player then scores their own words:

1 point for the first three letters of a word, and 1 point for every additional letter. (so TEA scores 1 point, TASTE scores 3 points). You will quickly learn as word get longer, the harder they are to steal and the more points they earn.

There are five coloured letters: S,T, E, A, L. These are the most important letters in the set, and each letter doubles the score of that word!! These five letters therefore become the letters you really want to STEAL during the game!

EXCITING is a word which is worth 6 points.

EXCITING is a word which is worth 12 points (6 + 6)

TASTE is worth three points

TASTE is 9 points (ie 3 + 3 + 3)

DEP A RTM E NTA L would be a whopping 40 points (ie 10 + 10 + 10 + 10)

S T E A L itself wins the game!! …but has it ever happened?

The joker tile is counted as any other standard tile.


The winner is the player with the highest score!!



Word Rules:

No plurals ending in S, and no verbs ending in S.

No misspelled words.

No proper nouns.

No abbreviations.

Generally…if a majority of players accept a word…it is acceptable! It is a fast game and is best played without pedantic word arguments and dictionary checking! But each family can personalise the rules for word acceptability as they may choose.