Learn to Play a French Game called "Le jeu du bac"

Monique Palomares wrote from France about a game she and her friends played when they were younger…

When we were children we would play "le jeu du bac" – also called "le petit bac". 

FYI Bac means baccalaureat, which is an academic qualification French students take at the end of high school. It’s the main diploma needed to go on to study at a university.

How to play "le jeu du bac":

Each player needs a sheet of paper with columns.  It’s agreed beforehand what the categories will be, for example, flowers, animals, towns, countries, names, brand names, etc. Make a column for each category and one column at the end for the score.  Write all the category names at the top.


Then you need to pick a letter. Someone can recite the alphabet in their head.  Then when another player says "stop" they say what letter they’re on. That’s the letter you’ll use.  Alternatively, you can write each letter on a piece of paper and pick one from a bag, or use Scrabble tiles.

Everyone takes turns picking a letter.  Let’s say the letter chosen is "R". Everybody writes as fast as possible the name of a flower beginning with "R" like "Rose". Then they write an animal – RhinocĂ©ros, a town – Rennes, etc.


The first player who’s found a word for each category says "stop".  Then each player says what flower they found, etc.  All words are given a point except for those used by more than one person – those are crossed out.

At the end everyone adds up their scores and marks it at the end of the line.  At the end of the game, everyone counts all their points. 

There should be a timer so people don’t spend too long on each turn, above all with letters with few words (like K, Q & Z). 

This game would keep us busy during recess in warm weather or during vacations. 

Le jeu du bac is stilled played in France. You can even play it online.

Thanks for explaining "le jeu du bac" to us Monique!

Mama Lisa

Monique works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World.

This article was posted on Monday, March 21st, 2016 at 4:33 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, France, French, Games Around the World, Jeu du bac, Languages. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Learn to Play a French Game called "Le jeu du bac"”

  1. Tinker Jack Says:

    This Game exists in Hungary, too. We call it: “Country, Town, Famous person”.

  2. Lisa Says:

    It seems it also exists as the board game called Scattergories.

  3. H'ava Will Says:

    Thanks for this lovely explanation. This game is a favourite to play in Saint Lucia. Some call it “The Naming game” or just “Name, Place”. We have a few variations:
    1. We don’t have any crossed out answers, we decide before the game the number of points same answer will get.
    2. The person who chose the letter is the one who says “Stop”. This person has to say stop whether he/she is finished or not, after too much time or the time allotted has passed.

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