The key to charades is to be as familiar as possible with the universal hand signals used in the game throughout the world. For instance the outstretched arm with the upright hand at the end means stop. Thumbs up means okay and thumbs down is always something negative. If you tap the top of your left wrist with one finger from your right hand then the word to guess has one syllable, two fingers means two syllables, and so on. Rubbing your stomach in a circular motion means hunger and covering your eyes with your hand means blind or no sight. Making a motion like you are throwing a ball means throw and shrugging your shoulders means uncertainty. Of course the most obvious signals are the ones where you simply point to something to represent what you are trying to say. Pointing to your foot to indicate foot or pointing at a light to indicate light. These charades should all be relatively easy for anyone to guess and these basic charades make the foundation for the game.
Then there are the charades that can have multiple meanings and can cause a guessing frenzy. Pointing to your ear can mean ear, or hearing, or ear lobe, or anything like that just like pointing to your eye can mean eye, or sight, or vision. Jumping up and down can mean jump or it can mean anger. Smiling can mean happy or smile. It is these potential multiple meanings that make charades so fun but at the same time so loud and frustrating. It is also these charades that seem to bring out the least amount of intelligence available in your teammate. Pointing to your smile can mean many things but if it did not mean teeth the first time your teammate guessed it then it won’t mean teeth the second, third, or fourth time they guess it either. This is the part of charades that has broken up marriages and caused friends to stop talking. The repeated incorrect guess and from the perspective of the clue giver it can be one of the most frustrating things about the game of charades. If it didn’t mean hat the first time you guessed it then what makes you keep guessing hat over and over? Many a charade battle has been fought over this.
Then there are the charade clues that seem impossible. Take for example an orange. Seems simple enough but think about trying to get someone to guess orange if there is no oranges around to point at and no one is wearing the color orange. Doesn’t seem as easy now does it? Charades is just as much luck as it is any skill to guess clues.