Blind man’s bluff is an old game of tag played with a blindfold. The person who is “It” tries to tag other players using their senses. The game can end when a new “It” is chosen or when all players are tagged. The game can be played in various ways, and it’s important to play in a safe area with a designated referee. The game has been popular since the Tudor era and continues to be played in many English-speaking nations with regional variations.
Blind man’s bluff is a form of tag that has been played since the Tudor era, and may be even older. Many people played some form of this game in their childhood, and adults sometimes play it too, especially at ice-breaking events. The blind man’s bluff is easy to learn and simple to play, and because it requires nothing but a blindfold, it can be played by anyone at any time.
In this form of tag, the person designated as “It” wears a blindfold. Depending on the variant being played, other players may be required to scatter and then stand still at the start of the game, or they may move at any point during the game. He attempts to tag players, using his senses to find them, and the game ends when a new It is chosen, or when all players have been tagged out of the game.
Many people play the blind man’s form of bluff which requires you to tag everyone. Others prefer to ask him to identify the tagged person; if it’s correct, that person becomes the new IT, while if it’s wrong, it remains until someone can be positively identified. In the variation where players stand still, they are typically allowed to squirm to avoid being tagged, as long as they don’t move their feet; when movement is allowed, all is well.
Because of the obvious dangers involved when someone staggers blindfolded, this game is often played outdoors in a large open area or large indoor room. Before playing the blind man’s bluff, it’s a good idea to clear the obstacles, and some people like to designate a referee who can shout a warning to him if an obstacle is spotted or if he strays too far from the boundaries of the game. Since the players can get involved in the fun, a referee is a good idea to keep it safe.
Numerous contemporary paintings and accounts from the Tudor era show that blind man’s bluff was a very popular game, especially among Elizabethans. Some form of the game may have existed prior to this point, but it became widely popular during this period in English history, spreading from there. Today, blind man’s bluff and its variations continue to be played in many English-speaking nations, with many communities developing their own unique regional rules to make the game distinctly their own.