The Bananagrams manufacturer recommends a couple of variations. The first they call "Banana Smoothie", which they say is less hectic than the regular game. the players begin by dividing ALL the letters. There can be no peeling or dumping. Otherwise the game ends in the same manner as the standard rules, with the first player using all his letters declaring, "Bananas!"
There is also a variation to play in restaurants while waiting for service called "Banana Cafe". In this version, the players choose 21 letters. There is no peeling, but dumping is allowed. The extra tiles are kept in the bag.
The "Banana Solitaire" game begins with 21 letters. Only peel when needed. Play out all 144 tiles. You can also time yourself. This is a great way to prepare for play against others as it gives plenty of practice in integrating a single letter into a large board of tiles.
Having teams is another fun way to play Bananagrams. This requires a degree of coordination especially if there are more than two players on a team.
To handicap a player, make them begin with more letters, or better yet require them not to use two-letter words. The game, indeed, becomes more difficult when two-letter words are illegal for all players.
Another variation requires a player dumping a letter to do so face side up so no other player is confronted with the letter, while a player who can use it, might grab it on the next peel.
One of the nice things about Bananagrams is that it is flexible. Tailor your own variations!
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