M-A-S-H is the throwback party game you need to relearn

You know that point in your BFF hangout where it feels like there's nothing to do? You've already scrolled through each TikTok on your FYP, played every board game your fam owns and caught up on all the gossip.

M-A-S-H (which stands for "Mansion," "Apartment," "Shack" and "House") is a quick and endlessly fun on-paper game, which can both predict your future and cure any mid-kickback boredom. Remember those origami fortune tellers you and your friends would spend hours playing with in elementary school? M-A-S-H has almost the same vibe.

We're here to help you bring a little nostalgia to your next slumber party or '90s-themed soirée with this timeless and hilarious game. 


M-A-S-H is super simple, so we'll keep it short. Grab a few blank sheets of paper and some colorful pens or markers—just don't forget your imagination! 


Step one is a no-brainer. Write M-A-S-H in large letters across the top of your sheet of paper; this will become your M-A-S-H board. (Pro tip: The cutest M-A-S-H boards feature bubble letters or alternating colors.)

Next, you and your fellow players can select a few different categories to include. The most popular ones are Partner/S.O., Number of Kids, Job, Car and City, but feel free to get extra creative when coming up with these. Tbh, we'd probably add Number of Cats and Fave Taylor Swift Album to our personal M-A-S-H boards. 

Whoever is going first (i.e. whoever is getting their fortune told first) should pick two or three ideal options for each category. Maybe their dream spouse is Harry Styles or Rihanna. Maybe they've always wanted to live in San Francisco or Paris.

Fill in these potential options and secretly add one or two more to each category, without showing the person who's getting M-A-S-H-ed. 


Wanna elevate your M-A-S-H game to the next level? Try adding in some wacky or silly choices. Imagine if your bestie found out that they're going to be living in a treehouse and having 25 children! Or that, instead of getting a real car, they'll be forced to ride on roller blades for the rest of their life.

When you're putting down those one or two secret choices, write something totally unexpected or funny under each category to spice up the game. Maybe you even throw their crush's name under that Partner column...

The next step is to figure out your magic M-A-S-H number. There are plenty of ways to do this: you can have your friend roll a die, or you can use a random number generator on someone's phone.

You can also do things the old-fashioned way with the spiral method. Have one of the players—someone who's NOT getting their M-A-S-H fortune told—start drawing a spiral. The player getting their M-A-S-H fortune read tells the spiral-drawer when to stop, and then counts the number of spaces between the lines (aka the gaps) from one outward edge of the spiral to the other. For example, the spiral GIF above would give us a magic number of eight. 

Once you've created your board and determined your magic number, you're ready to predict the future! 



To play, start with the "M" at the top of the page and, moving clockwise, count each option until you reach your magic number. Then, mark off the option that you land on when you arrive at that magic number.

Let's say the magic number was eight; in this case, you'd cross off the eighth option on the page. Make sure you count the "M," "A," "S" and "H" as options to cross off. How else are you going to find out if your BFF is going to end up living in a "Mansion," "Apartment," "Shack" or "House?"

While you're eliminating options in all the different categories, you may want to keep the board hidden from the player whose fortune is being told so that you can do a ~big reveal~ of their future life once everything is crossed off. 

Keep moving clockwise around the page, marking out options when you get to the magic number. Repeat this process until only one option is left in each category. These final choices represent the M-A-S-H player's future!

Work your way down the M-A-S-H board and announce where the person being M-A-S-H-ed will live, who they'll end up with, how many kids they will have, etc.

Of course, we can't promise that all your wildest M-A-S-H fortunes will actually come true. But we think it's safe to say there will be some laughter in your future...

Loving this party game inspo? Check out these related stories:
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🎉 How to throw a karaoke night with your friends

Snap a pic of your M-A-S-H predictions and share with us on Instagram @girlslifemag for a chance to be featured!

Slider image: @hudsongreyevents
Top image: @seriouslyshannon


by Madelon Basil | 4/23/2023