Blind mans bluff (also called blind man’s buff) is one of the oldest party games known as it can be traced back to circa 500 BC in China.
The basic game is similar to ‘tag’ but the person trying to tag the others is blind folded. A large room without many obstacles is ideal for this game (although it can be played out doors).
Before looking at the many variations of this game a word of caution to anyone invited to a party and asked to put on a blind fold so that they can ‘hit’ others and be hit. These variations are usually a party trick with ‘you’, being the unsuspecting victim. The trick usually begins with a genuine demonstration of the blind folded game, for example two people trying to hit each other on the head with wooded spoons in their mouths. After the game has been played ‘correctly’ a few times the ‘victim’ is selected and his opponent takes off his blindfold and commences to whack the victim over the head repeatedly (to the amusement of the others). Variations of these party pranks pre-date Victorian times and not surprisingly ‘boys’ usually played them.
Zombie blind mans bluff (which could be used at a Halloween party) is played by having the quests dress up as zombies (nothing too scary). It begins as the original game with a single person being blind folded (this is the first zombie). When the first zombie ‘tags’ another guest that guest becomes a zombie and joins the others (that are blind folded) trying to tag the remainder of the quests until all the quests have become zombies.
Other basic variations of blind mans bluff include the blind folded individual(s) trying to navigate a series of obstacles, for example some up turned plastic beakers. Half the guests being blindfolded and the other half shouting to the blind folded guests. Instructions such as “Susan there is a beaker in front of you about six inches” are shouted out.
Not the above variation (of guests navigating through a series of obstacles) is also a good opportunity for a party prank. Have the blind folded guests see the obstacles then (when they are blind folded) remove all the obstacles so the guests are being navigated through a clear area. In order to hide the noise of the beakers being removed the quests can be gently spun around a few times whilst first blindfolded (this is also done if the game is played properly). If you play this party prank variation have the unsuspecting team shout out instructions first to the blind folded group, that is play the game correctly first. Then switch teams and remove the obstacles so the blind folded individuals are tricked. If you have girls and boys in the party split the teams into girls and boys and have the boys being tricked (or visa versa if you think it appropriate).
On a side note I remember being tricked by the above game some 50 years ago and I am certain today’s kids will also be tricked and find it highly amusing. The advantage today is the whole trick can be video taped with blind folded kids, later seeing themselves, carefully picking their way through a maze of non-existent objects.