How To Play Mash: Mansion Apartment Shack House


How To Play Mash – Embark on the enchanting journey of playing MASH with our step-by-step guide. This timeless fortune-telling game, requiring nothing more than a pen and paper, lets you whimsically peer into your future. From picturing your dream abode to mapping out potential career paths and romantic escapades, MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) adds a touch of playful anticipation to sleepovers or casual gatherings. Delve into how to play MASH and experience the joy of lighthearted fun and imaginative exploration like never before.

What Is the Mash Game?

MASH is a fun game where you can pretend to predict your future. It’s a multiplayer game, and you can play it with friends. You list different life options like jobs, spouses, and places to live. Then, you use a special number to cross off options until only one is left in each category. This helps decide your “fortune.”

What Does M.A.S.H. Stand For In the Game? 

MASH is short for Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or House. It’s the main category about where you might live, but there are also other categories like spouse, number of kids, car, and job.

Mash Playing Time

Playing MASH is quick and easy. It usually takes about five minutes to finish all the steps. If you’re familiar with the game, you can even finish a round in just a minute or two.

Why Mash Is Fun?

Whether or not you believe in predicting the future, MASH is a super enjoyable game. It’s all about imagination and having fun. Life is unpredictable, and MASH gives you a playful peek into your future. It’s just for fun but can lead to silly and funny conversations. Playing with friends is a great game, especially during lunch breaks.

How To Play Mash On Paper

Get together with some friends and grab a piece of paper and a pencil or pen.

Playing MASH usually works best with two people, but you can include more if you want. Keep in mind that each person’s fortune is figured out one at a time, so you might have to wait for your turn. All you need is a piece of paper, something to write with, and a bit of imagination to come up with fun categories and choices.

Pick 4-6 MASH categories.

The name M.A.S.H. comes from the default category about where you might live, like Mansion, Apartment, Shack, and House. Besides that, choose 4-9 more categories (many people pick five more). Common categories include MASH (housing), Spouse, # of kids, Car, Place, and Job. You can also add other categories like pets, salary, spouse’s job, the first child’s name, and more. Feel free to pick categories that sound fun to you.

Choose Your Categories

Write down the categories you want to use. You can use our free printable template or just jot them down on any paper.

Begin by writing “M.A.S.H.” at the top of your paper to set the game’s tone. List the categories you like, making sure there’s enough room below each one for four options.

Fill in the Fun Choices

Now comes the exciting part: Populate each category with four choices.

Make it interesting by mixing positive options with a touch of humour. For example, in the “marry” category, you can choose two favourite celebrities, someone from school you have a crush on, and add a funny or playful choice.

Here’s where it gets even more fun: let the person receiving their fortune pick three options they like. The fortune teller can add a funny or less favourable choice for the fourth option. Alternatively, the fortune teller can create all four options.

Find your special number by drawing a spiral and counting the gaps.

If you’re the one having your fortune predicted, draw a spiral and stop when the fortune teller says to. Then, count how many gaps there are in the spiral. This number is your special number, and it’s essential for the next step, where you narrow down your choices.

Start eliminating options using your special number.

Playing MASH means saying goodbye to some fortune options. Start with the MASH choices and go through the other categories. Use your special number to count and then cross off the matching option. For example, if your special number was 5, you would count:

  • (M)
  • (A)
  • (S)
  • (H)
  • Category #2, Option 1, and then cross off that choice. It’s a fun way to see what your future might hold.

Keep counting to choose your options and cross off the ones you land on.

Use the same number you used for the last option you crossed off. Keep counting and cross off the options you reach. When you get to the last option in the last category, start counting from the top again. Just make sure to skip any options you already crossed off.

Circle the only option left in each category. 

Once there’s only one option left in a category, circle it. This circled option is your fortune for that category. Continue counting for the remaining options, leaving out the crossed-off and circled ones until each category has only one option left. Circle those remaining options.

Say your fortune out loud.

Now comes the fun part! Tell your fortune like a story. For example, if the circled items in each category are:

  • MASH: Mansion
  • Marry: Harry Styles
  • of kids: 10
  • Car: Taxicab
  • Place: Mt Everest
  • Job: Dog Walker says, “I’m going to marry Harry Styles, and we’ll live in a big mansion on Mt Everest with ten kids. I’ll drive a taxicab and work as a professional dog walker.” Enjoy sharing your unique and imaginative fortune.

Enhance Your Story 

Take the traditional MASH game to new levels by adding more details to your narrative. Introduce additional categories to craft a more intricate depiction of what may unfold.

  • Your desired college destination
  • Preferred area of study or major
  • Imaginative portrayal of your partner’s proposal
  • Projected age for tying the knot
  • Your envisioned wedding colour scheme.
  • Dream honeymoon location
  • Future residence in a specific city or locale
  • Career aspirations and desired job role
  • Anticipated annual income for either you or your partner
  • What type of pet do you foresee having
  • The chosen name for your future pet

For older kids and grown-ups waxing nostalgic, you might even include predictions about when and how your life will end. Surprising.

How To Play Mash Video Guide

How Do You Play Mash Without Pen and Paper?

Have you ever considered experiencing MASH without the usual pen-and-paper approach? If you possess an iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Android device, or even a Mac or Windows computer, the MASH app provides a digital alternative to the classic game. Say goodbye to paper and pens. The free version of MASH on our app introduces more than twice the categories featured in the conventional game described in the guide above, delivering an enriched and environmentally friendly experience.


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In conclusion, this guide has unveiled the delightful world of how to play MASH. With just a pen and paper, MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) allows you to whimsically explore your future. Whether picturing dream homes or envisioning career paths, MASH adds playful anticipation to gatherings. Dive into this lighthearted, fun, and imaginative journey like never before.


Q: What does the MASH game stand for?

A: MASH, abbreviated for “mansion, apartment, shack, house,” constitutes a classic pen-and-paper game cherished by children for many years. Dr. classifies it within the realm of ‘oracle’ or ‘fortune-telling’ games, underscoring its focus on predicting the future for the participants.

Q: Where did the MASH game come from?

A: According to some gaming experts, there is a suggestion that the game might have emerged from the utilization of those small origami fortunetellers. Intriguingly, this familiar childhood activity appears to be a universal experience, transcending geographical locations and occurring before the advent of the internet in our youth.