Game Shows Wiki
Ahmad Rashad
Tug of Words.jpg
Game Show Network: 11/8/2021 - 2/10/2022
Embassy Row/Game Show Enterprises (GSE)

Opening Spiel: Today, (insert first team) takes on (insert second team) in an exciting word game to claim the flag in this... TUG OF WORDS! And now, here's your host, AHMAD RASHAD!

Tug of Words is a new game show based on the playground game Tug Of War, that sees teams of two completing a series of word-clue questions.


Main Game[]

Two teams of two compete to answer word-clue questions correctly and pull the flag on the “tug of war rope” to their side, for the right to play for $10,000.

Rounds 1-2[]

Each of the first two rounds is played in two sets of turns. On each set of turns, each team will have 40 seconds to answer clues to word puzzles by changing a single letter in the word shown on the board. To start, the team in turn is given a choice of four words. After they choose a word, the clue to the next word is given, and the clock starts. On each clue, the team's job is to give the correct word by changing one letter in the existing word. Each correct word moves the flag one step towards their side.

In one episode, each turn in these rounds last 30 seconds, with a 10-second bonus added to a team’s time if they give five correct answers.

During a team’s turn, the two members must take turns answering clues, and they must wait for Ahmad to finish reading a clue before they can make their guess. A team member’s guess can’t be accepted if they speak out of turn or speak too soon, even if that guess is correct.

After each set of turns, the team with the flag on their side wins a physical flag. If the flag ends up back in the starting space after a set of turns, neither team wins a physical flag.

Round 1[]

Round one is played with three-letter words, and the team on the left goes first on the first set of turns, while the team on the right goes first on the second set of turns.

Round 2[]

Round two is played with four-letter words, and the team on the right goes first on the first set of turns, while the team on the left goes first on the second set of turns.

Round 3[]

The final round is played with five letter words and the team with the most flags earned in the first two rounds, will earn steps toward their side based on the difference between the number of flags they have earned. Otherwise, the on-screen flag starts in the middle space.

In this round, there are only two choices of words, but each team will have 45 seconds to play. On each word, two letters will be changed to a new by virtue of a clue. The team with the flag on their side at the end of this round wins the game, $1,000 and the right to go for $10,000.

If this round ends with the flag in the middle space, a tiebreaker word is played. In the tiebreaker, a five-letter word is shown, the two letters needed to be changed are highlighted, and a clue to the correct word is given. Whichever team buzzes in with the correct word wins the game. But if they buzz in with an incorrect word, the other team automatically wins the game.

Bonus Round[]

In this bonus, instead of single words, the bonus is played with two-word phrases and this time there are entire words to change either the first or second. A phrase is given followed by a clue, then the clock starts. As before, each correct answer moves one step, but this time, each incorrect answer or pass goes back a step. The object of the game is move the flag 10 spaces in their direction in 60 seconds or less. Doing so increases their winnings to $10,000.


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  • This is Ahmad Rashad's second game show despite not hosting one in 27 years since Caesars Challenge.
  • The title of the show is a pun of the children's game "Tug of War."
  • The title of the show relates to the category Change One Letter.
  • The show could be inspired by the British game show Chain Letters.
  • Tiger Electronics released a 1998 electronic handheld game called Tug of Words, using a similar tug-o'-war concept.


Format, Title by Shawn Kennedy


"We'll see you next time as two teams play for $10,000 on Tug of Words!" - Ahmad Rashad

YouTube Link[]

Full Episode