And 'Lingo' Was Its Name-O! — How Do You Play CBS's Newish Game Show?

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Feb. 1 2023, Published 10:32 p.m. ET

If anyone can take a game show that, at first glance, is just teams of people yelling words at a screen and make it interesting, that person is RuPaul. He's currently hosting the CBS revival of Lingo which, if we didn't know better, was just a more interactive Wordle. After all, why not capitalize on the online word game that swept the nation during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when our only connection was language?

But how do you play Lingo, the television game show? Here we go.

How do you play 'Lingo'? It's super fun.

Lingo is made up of two semi-matches featuring three rounds with two teams of two vying for cash with each guess. In round one, the two teams are tasked with guessing three five-letter words. Just like Wordle, quickness is key. If a team guesses a word right out the gate, that's referred to as a Golden Guess, and earns them \$5,000. If neither team guesses up top, they keep going, with the prize money growing smaller with each guess. If a team guesses incorrectly, the other team can shoot their shot. If both guess incorrectly then that word is out.

The next round is called Super Lingo because each team gets one word, but it's a 10-letter doozie. Similar to round one, if a team guesses on their very first try, they snag \$5,000. If not, the teams choose a Lucky Ball from one of two clear glass containers. The gold ball will add to the cash prize and the white ball will reveal a letter but will decrease the amount of money that can be won.

Finally, round three brings us to the Lingo Battle where the two players on each team are given a 5-letter word and a 6-letter word. This time the cash prize is doubled from what they could win in round one. As the players guess letters, a letter that isn't in the word will move that word over to the opposing team. The words will move back and forth as folks guess incorrectly, until they are solved. The third round consists of two Lingo Battles. In the event of a tie, we'll get one more Lingo Battle!

The winners of the two semi-matches then face each other in the Lingo Showdown! The ultimate prize is \$50,000, which they earn with a sort of speed round. Each team has to solve as many words as they possibly can in two minutes. The 5-letter words are worth five points and 6-letter words are worth 10 points. The teams can pass on words at any time and the team with the most points wins.

RuPaul loves being the host of 'Lingo'!

In a conversation with the always effervescent Rachael Ray, RuPaul talked about what it was like hosting a game show that's not Drag Race. "I love games," he told Rachael. "I love laughter and I love to play. Those are the things that keep me going." Watching RuPaul joyously guffaw his way through a game show is our primary reason for tuning in.

"Lingo is so much fun because it's the OG word game," he said. "It came a long way before these other word games."

Again, at first glance, it looks easy but looks can be deceiving. "Once you get in the studio as a contestant, it becomes a little more challenging," revealed RuPaul. Of course, RuPaul, an OG in his own right, would host another original.

Lingo airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.