Rules Of The Game – The Top 11 Mistakes Men Make When Approaching Women

Neil StraussNeil

A few readers on Facebook asked for “The 11 Commandments.” I told them I’d get them online for posterity, though of course they also appear in Rules of the Game. These are the guidelines for approaching that led to countless adventures during The Game, so I hope they do the same for you.

Since The Game, and the commercialization of the community, there has been a big push for “direct game.” However, it’s important to never be a guy who says he “only” does direct game or indirect game. As soon as someone says that, I know they’re an amateur. Different situations call for different approaches: If she’s already attracted to you, you can go direct. If she’s not yet attracted, go indirect and create attraction first. And remember, The Game is designed for approaching the highest-quality people in the room, the ones you formerly thought were out of your league—but you’ll soon find out after a little experience that they’re not. No one is.


  1. Don’t wait to approach her until she’s alone. Even if she likes you, her friends will soon drag her away.
  2. Don’t stare at her for more than three seconds before approaching. Hesitate, and you’ll either creep her out or psych yourself out.
  3. Don’t be afraid to approach just because there are men in the group. Chances are she’s with family, friends, or co-workers, not a love interest.
  4. Don’t open a conversation by apologizing. Phrases like “Excuse me,” “Pardon me,” and “I’m sorry” make you sound like a beggar.
  5. Don’t hit on her or give her a generic compliment. Instead, start a conversation with an entertaining anecdote or question, such as asking the group to suggest names for a three-legged cat or a store that sells 70s memorabilia. It may sound corny, but everyone loves to give an opinion.
  6. Don’t buy her a drink. You shouldn’t have to pay for her attention.
  7. Don’t touch or grab her right away. If she touches you, say, with a smile, “Hey now, hands off the merchandise.”
  8. Don’t lean in or hover over her. Stand up straight and, if the music’s too loud or she’s seated, simply speak up.
  9. Don’t initially ask what her name is, what she does for a living, or where she’s from. She’s bored of talking about the same things with every new guy she meets.
  10. Don’t focus all your attention on her when she’s with other people. If you win her friends over, you’ll win her.
  11. Don’t be afraid to disobey any of these guidelines once you understand them and why they exist.