Learn how to play Heads Up 7 Up via our Seven Up game tutorial. Review the rules of Seven Up and find your next fun game at www.GameOnFamily.com. Game on!

How to Play Seven Up – The Classic Classroom Game that’s so easy!

Two Thumbs Up For Seven Up

Are you a teacher, active school parent, or any other adult who’s motivated to integrate fun cognitive development via classroom games? Then Seven Up, also known as “Heads Up 7 Up”, “Thumbs Up”, “7 Up” or “Heads Down, Thumbs Up”, is not only a game that can be played among all classroom sizes, but is super easy to learn and needless to say: super fun! Don’t just take our word for it, this game has been played in classrooms around the US since the 1950s, and perhaps even longer than that. If it can survive over half a century, then it certainly must be all the rave as they say, so without any further ado, let’s just right into the game tutorial!


This game is the perfect classroom game because all that’s needed are able bodies who are willing to play and tables/desks with chairs. That’s it, making it already ideal for school classrooms, or even the dining room table at home.

How To Play Seven Up

As mentioned previously, seven up is easy and quick to comprehend, which is yet another benefit of this classroom game.

  1. First, designate a handful of individuals (typically seven, but at least three) to act as your “pickers”.
  2. Turn off or dim the lights.
  3. Next, instruct all of your students except the pickers to place their heads down in the crease of the arms on their desk so that they can not see anything. Make sure they are not peaking!
  4. Finally, ask the students to stick their thumb up and hold it there (i.e. “Heads down, thumbs up!”), and you’re ready to begin a round.
  5. When a round begins, the pickers will move across the classroom, folding down random individual thumbs. We recommend that each picker fold down no more than three thumbs to keep the pace of the game. When they have selected all their individuals, the pickers will return to the front of the classroom and line up horizontally.
  6. Next, switch on the lights.
  7. The teacher/selected player then calls, “Heads up, stand up!”  The chosen individuals stand up if their thumb was placed down and have to guess which one of the pickers placed their thumb down.   If they are correct, the picker sits down and the winning individual takes their place. The individuals remain seated if they incorrectly guess the picker.
  8. After all guesses are announced, the round can be started all over again.

Time Required

Time required for each full round of seven up is all dependent on the classroom size. A typical classroom of twenty five students will probably require ten to fifteen minutes to play. There’s hardly any chance a single round can take half an hour, and some rounds can even be swept through in a matter of five minutes.


Not only is this game enjoyable, particularly by children, but it has numerous cognitive benefits as well. It helps to fine tune the listening and critical deduction skills within children as all senses of sight are omitted from the game. In brief, you just can’t go wrong with a game that’s both fun and psychologically beneficial!

Heads Up Seven Up Video Tutorial