How to play Exploding Kittens

Contents

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How it Works

In the deck of cards are some Exploding Kittens. You play the game by putting the deck face down and taking turns drawing cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten.

How to Explode

When that happens, that person explodes. They are now dead and out of the game.

How to Explode

This process continues until there’s only 1 player left, who wins the game.

The more cards you draw, the greater your chances of drawing an Exploding Kitten.

Basically

if you explode, you lose.

and you are full of incendiary loser sadsauce.


If you DON'T explode, you win!

and you are full of greatness. good job, buddy.


And all of the other cards

will lessen your chances of getting exploded by Exploding Kittens.

For Example

You could use a See the Future Card to peek at the top few cards in the Draw Pile. If that reveals an Exploding Kitten you could then use a Skip Card to end your turn and avoid drawing it.

Exploding Kittens Card Sample

SetUp

  • 1

    To start, remove all the Exploding Kittens (9) from the deck and set them aside.

    Exploding Kittens Card Sample

  • 2

    Now, look through the remaining deck and based on the number of players, use the following cards:

    2 - 3 players: Use only the cards WITH a paw print in the corner (44). Cards with Paw Prints

    4 - 7 players: Use only the cards WITHOUT a paw print in the corner (69). Cards without Paw Prints

    8 - 10 players: Use all of the cards (113).

  • 3

    Remove all of the Defuse Cards from the deck and deal 1 to each player.

    Insert any extra Defuse Cards back in the deck (if there are any).

Exploding Kittens Card Sample Defuse Cards

Each player starts with a Defuse Card; the most powerful card in the game. These are the only cards that can save you from Exploding Kittens. If you draw an Exploding Kitten, instead of dying, you can play the Defuse Card and reinsert the Kitten back into the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like in secret.

Try to get as many Defuse Cards as possible.

  • 4
    Shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards face down to each player. Everyone now has a hand of 8 cards total (including the Defuse Card).
  • 5
    Insert enough Exploding Kittens back into the deck so that there is 1 fewer than the number of people playing. Remove any extra Exploding Kittens from the game.

For Example

For a 4 player game, insert 3 Kittens.
For a 3 player game, insert 2 Kittens.

This ensures that everyone eventually explodes except for 1 person.

Exploding Kittens Card Sample

Note: For a 2 - 3 player game, the Exploding Kittens you insert will be the only cards that do not have paw prints.

  • 6
    Shuffle the deck, and put it face down in the middle of the table. Exploding Kittens Card Sample
  • 7
    Pick a player to go first. (Some sample criteria: most impressive beard, most intimidating odor, shortest spleen, etc.)

Taking Your Turn

  • 1

    Gather all 8 of your cards into your hand and look at them. Do one of the following:

Pass

Play no cards.

Exploding Kittens Sample
OR

Play

Play a card by placing it FACE UP on top of the Discard Pile and following the instructions on the card.

Exploding Kittens Sample


After you follow the instructions on the card, you can play more cards. You can play as many cards as you’d like.

  • 2

    End your turn by drawing a card from the top of the Draw Pile into your hand and hoping it’s not an Exploding Kitten. (This is different from most games in that you END YOUR TURN by drawing a card.)

    Exploding Kittens Sample
    Play continues clockwise around the table.

Remember

Play as many or as few cards as you’d like, then draw a card to end your turn.

Exploding Kittens Sample

Ending the Game

The last player who hasn't exploded wins the game.

You won't ever run out of cards in the Draw Pile because you inserted enough Exploding Kittens to kill all but 1 player.

Three More Things

  • A good strategy is to save your cards early in the game while your chance of exploding is low.
  • You can always count the cards left in the Draw Pile to figure out the odds of exploding.
  • There is no maximum or minimum hand size. If you run out of cards in your hand, there’s no special action to take. Keep playing. You’ll draw at least 1 more card on your next turn.

Example Turn

Exploding Kittens Sample Turn

Field Guide

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Exploding Kitten
9 Cards

You must show this card immediately. Unless you have a Defuse Card, you’re dead. Discard all of your cards, including the Exploding Kitten.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Defuse
3 Cards with
•  7 Cards without

If you drew an Exploding Kitten, you can play this card instead of dying. Place your Defuse Card in the Discard Pile.

Exploding Kittens Sample

Then take the Exploding Kitten, and without reordering or viewing the other cards, secretly put it back in the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like.

Exploding Kittens Sample

Want to screw over the player right after you? Put the Kitten right on top of the deck. If you’d like, hold the deck under the table so that no one else can see where you put it.

Your turn is over after playing this card.

If you have an older version of the Party Pack it will not include these cards.
Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Attack (2x)
4 Cards with
•  7 Cards without

Immediately end your turn(s) without drawing and force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. The victim of this card takes a turn as normal (play-or-pass then draw). Then, when their first turn is over, it’s their turn again.

If the victim of an Attack Card plays an Attack Card, their turns are immediately over, and the next player must take any remaining turns plus 2 more; e.g. 4 turns, then 6, and so on.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
See the Future (3X)
3 Cards with
•  3 Cards without

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and put them back in the same order. Don’t show the cards to the other players.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Alter the Future (3X)
2 Cards with
•  4 Cards without

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and rearrange them in any order you’d like. Return them to the top of the Draw Pile face down, then continue with your turn.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Shuffle
2 Cards with
•  4 Cards without

Shuffle the Draw Pile without viewing the cards until told to stop. (Useful when you know there’s an Exploding Kitten coming.)

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Draw from the Bottom
3 Cards with
•  4 Cards without

End your turn by drawing the bottom card from the Draw Pile.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Favor
2 Cards with
•  4 Cards without

Force any other player to give you 1 card from their hand. They choose which card to give you.

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Nope
4 Cards with
•  6 Cards without

Stop any action except for an Exploding Kitten or a Defuse Card. Imagine that any card beneath a Nope Card never existed.

Exploding Kittens Sample

You can also play a Nope on another Nope to negate it and create a Yup, and so on.

Exploding Kittens Sample

You can play a Nope Card at any time before an action has begun, even if it’s not your turn. Any cards that have been noped are lost. Leave them in the Discard Pile.

You can even play a Nope on a Special Combo (below).

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Feral Cat
2 Cards with
•  4 Cards without

Use as any Cat Card (any of the cards with no instructions on them). This card cannot be used as a non-Cat Card (Shuffle, Double Slap, etc).

Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Cat Cards
3 of each Card with
4 of each without

These cards are powerless on their own, but if you collect any 2 matching Cat Cards, you can play them as a Pair to steal a random card from any player. They can also be used in Special Combos.

If you have a newer version of the Party Pack it will not include these cards.
Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Double Slap
3 Cards with
4 Cards without

End your turn without drawing a card and force any other player to take 2 turns in a row.

This is not the same as drawing 2 cards in a row! The target of this card should take their first turn (play cards and/or draw). When their turn is over, it’s their turn again.

If the targeted player plays a Slap Card in return, they pick a player to take ALL remaining turns (4 turns, then 6, and so on). Play always continues from the targeted player.

If you draw and defuse an Exploding Kitten during a series of turns, you must continue taking your remaining turns after you reinsert the Kitten.


Triple Slap 1 card with paw, 1 without

Triple Slap works the same way as Double Slap, but adds 3 turns instead of 2.

If you have a newer version of the Party Pack it will not include these cards.
Exploding Kittens Card Icon
Reverse
4 Cards

Reverse the order of play and end your turn without drawing.

If you play this card after you’ve been SLAPPED, the order of play is reversed, but you’ve only ended 1 of your turns.

Special Combos

(Read this after you've played your first game)

Two of a Kind

Playing matching Pairs of Cat Cards (where you get to steal a random card from another player) no longer only applies to Cat Cards, it now applies to ANY cards in the deck with the same title (a pair of Shuffle Cards, a pair of Skip Cards, etc).

Exploding Kittens Special Combos

Three of a Kind

Exactly the same as Two of a Kind, but you get to name the card you want from the other player. If they have it, you get to take it. If not, you get nothing.

Exploding Kittens Special Combos

Five Different Cards

If you play 5 different cards (any 5 cards with different titles), go through the Discard Pile to take any single card you’d like. (Grab the Pile quickly to choose your card so that you don’t get “Noped!”)

Exploding Kittens Special Combos

STREAKING KITTENS

Streaking Kittens and Exploding Kittens can not be used with the 5 Card Special Combo. This means you can't use either of them in your collection of 5 cards, nor can you remove either of them from the Discard Pile.

Why? Because it breaks the game. Don't break the game...the game loves you.

X

Does your Party Pack have
Attack Cards?

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Exploding Kittens Card

Does your Party Pack have
Slap Cards?

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Exploding Kittens Card