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GOALS | RULES | CONTROLS | SCORING | STRATEGY | DID YOU KNOW?

Game Goals

Fill in all the letters in the phrase.

Game Rules

Hangmania is our version of the classic pen-and-paper game, Hangman. (The popular TV game show, "Wheel of Fortune", is also based on this game.)

You must solve the phrase by guessing letters from the alphabet. When you guess a letter that is in the phrase, all instances of that letter appear. To complete the game, every letter in the phrase must be filled in.

When you guess a letter that is not in the phrase, a body part will appear on the character in the gallows. Guess wrong six times, and the character is hung… and the game is over.

Some phrases contain numbers. If a phrase contains a number, the 10 number buttons will be active; otherwise they will be grayed-out.

A timer in the upper left corner indicates how much time you have left. If the timer reaches zero before you complete the phrase, the game ends. If you complete the phrase, you'll receive a time bonus based on how much time you had left on the clock.

Once per game, at no cost, you can Reveal One Letter in the phrase, using the button in the lower right corner. Note that this reveals only the blank you select - for example, if there are 4 T's in the phrase, and you use Reveal One Letter to reveal one of those T's, the other three will remain blank; you will still need to guess "T" to reveal them.

Phrases are divided into five categories: People, Places, Things, Titles, and Sayings. The category is displayed in the upper left corner. Each category has a different character who gets "hung".

  • "People" includes both individuals and groups (such as rock bands). It includes celebrities, artists, politicians, scientists, even fictional characters.
  • "Places" include cities, countries, geographical features like lakes and mountains, famous buildings, even heavenly bodies.
  • "Things" include machines, food, animals, body parts, household items, vehicles, sporting equipment, and many more.
  • "Titles" are titles of songs, books, movies, TV shows, plays, magazines, newspapers, comic strips, and even computer games.
  • "Sayings" include all sorts of famous proverbs, adages, axioms and clichés.

All phrases are graded for difficulty, using our proprietary technology. Everyone in a given tournament will receive a phrase of equal difficulty.

Free Hangmania tournaments select from a small pool of phrases, so if you play a number of free games, you'll start seeing phrases repeated. Big Money Hangmania tournaments select phrases from a much larger pool, so seeing a duplicate phrase will be a rarity.

Game Controls

Type a letter or click one of the letter buttons to guess that letter. Once a letter has been guessed, the associated letter button will be grayed-out, and can no longer be clicked or typed.

For those phrases which contain numbers, click one of the number buttons to guess a number.

To use the Reveal One Letter feature, click the button. A pointing hand will appear. Click the blank you want to reveal. Once you have used the feature, the button will be grayed-out.

Game Scoring

You get 1500 points for completing the phrase. If you partially complete the phrase, you'll receive a portion of those 1500 points. You really don't need to think about the formula determining the proportion of 1500, but for Hangmania mavens, here it is:

(Value of Revealed Letters * 1500) / (Value of All Letters)

The value of a letter is based on its rarity in English, so that a "Z" is worth more than an "E":

Letters
Z
Q, J, X
K
V
B, W
Y, P, G
U, M
C, F
L
D
H
S, I, R, N
O, A, T
E
all numbers

Points
20
18
15
13
12
10
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10

In addition to the points for completing the phrase, there is a penalty for wrong guesses. This penalty is 20 points for the first wrong guess, 30 for the second, 50 for the third, 75 for the fourth, and 125 for the fifth. (There is no penalty for the sixth wrong guess, since it immediately ends your game.)

Finally, if you complete the phrase, there is a time bonus based on how much time you have left on your clock. The formula is:

(Time Remaining * 500) / Time Limit

Examples:

littledebbie solves the phrase with 90 seconds left on the clock, making 5 wrong guesses. Her base score is 1500 - (20+30+50+75+125), or 1200. Her time bonus is (90*500)/180 = 250. Thus, her final score is 1450.

bigjoe solves the phrase with 120 seconds left on the clock, making 2 wrong guesses. His base score is 1500 - (20+30), or 1450. His time bonus is (120*500)/180 = 333. Thus, his final score is 1783.

foxymama fails to solve the phrase, making 6 wrong guesses. The total letter value of her phrase was 42, and value of the letters she revealed was 36. Her base score is (36*1500)/42 - (20+30+50+75+125), or 986. She gets no time bonus, so that is also her final score.

Game Strategy

The most common letters in English are more likely to appear in a given phrase, while the least common letters are less likely to appear. The most common letters are E, O, A, and T. The least common letters are Z, Q, J, and X.

Most people find it faster to type their letter guesses than to select them with the mouse.

Don't forget to use the Reveal One Letter feature - it doesn't cost you a thing! But don't forget - if you use it to reveal a particular letter, there may be other instances of that letter in the phrase, still unrevealed!

Most people find that the Reveal One Letter feature works best for revealing the first letter in one of the phrase's words.

Did You Know?

  • Hanging originated not as a form of capital punishment, but as a method of inflicting indignity on the already-dead body of a criminal. It was first adopted in England in 1214, where it was considered a replacement for more barbarous methods of executing criminals!
  • "Wheel of Fortune" debuted on January 6, 1975 with Chuck Woolery as the host. Pat Sajak became the host in December of 1981.

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