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go back to About B

How to play

Watch this short video

…and this example


Learn how to set up the game, and you're ready to play!

Official Rules


Setup - Overview - Taking your turn - Example Turn - Card Quick Reference - Nope Cards - Stealing
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1. Remove all the Exploding Kittens (4) and Defuse cards (6) from the deck.
2. Shuffle the remaining deck and deal 4 cards face down to each player.
3. Deal 1 Defuse card to each player so that everyone has a hand of 5 cards total. Keep your hand secret
  Defuse Cards  These are the only cards that can save you from Exploding Kittens. If you play a Defuse card after drawing an Exploding Kitten, instead of getting exploded, you get to reinsert the Kitten back into the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like.

Try to get as many Defuse cards as possible.
4. Insert enough Exploding Kittens back into the deck so that there is one fewer than the number of people playing. This ensures that everyone eventually explodes except for one person.

Remove any extra Exploding Kittens from the game.
5. Insert the extra Defuse cards back in the deck.
 Two player variant   Put only 2 of the extra Defuse cards back in the deck. Remove the other 2 from the game.
 5+ player variant   Simply combine two or more decks to play with more people, just adjust the number of Exploding Kittens in the deck so there's always one fewer than the number of players. So, if you want to play with 9 people, insert 8 Exploding Kittens.
6. Shuffle the deck, and put it face down in the middle of the table. The shuffled deck is now your draw pile.
7. Pick a player to go first, (some sample criteria: whoever has the biggest beard, most intimidating odor, shortest spleen, etc.) and you're ready to play!
 Overview  You’ll have a deck of cards containing some Exploding Kittens. You play the game by putting the deck face down and taking turns drawing cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten.

When that happens, that person explodes. They are now dead and out of the game. This process continues until there’s only one player left, who wins the game.


if you explode, you lose.

If you DON'T explode, you win!

And all of the other cards will lessen your chances of blowing up.
 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.
 Taking your turn 
1. Play a card from your hand by placing it FACE UP on top of the Discard Pile, and following the instructions on the card. Or play no cards at all; that’s cool too.
2. After you follow the instructions on a card or play a Pair, you can play more cards. You can play as many cards as you’d like.
3. Finally, end your turn by drawing a card from the Draw Pile into your hand and hoping it’s not an Exploding Kitten.
(This is different from most other games in that you END YOUR TURN by drawing a card.)

Play continues clockwise around the table.
 Cards with no instructions on them 
Some cards don’t have any instructions on them. These cards must be collected and played as pairs. If you play matching pairs with no instructions on them, pick another player and steal a random card from their hand.
 Three more things 
  • You can count the cards left in the Draw Pile.
  • You won’t ever run out of cards in the Draw Pile, so there’s never a need to reshuffle.
  • 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 
1. You decide to play a See the Future card.
2. While viewing the 3 top cards, you see that the card you’re about to draw is an Exploding Kitten.
3. You decide to play an Attack card to end your turn and force the next player to take 2 turns.
4. But then another player plays a NOPE CARD which cancels your attack, so it’s still your turn.
5. You don’t want to draw that top card and die, so you play a Shuffle card and randomly shuffle the Draw Pile.
5. With the deck freshly shuffled, you draw the top card to end your turn and hope it’s not an Exploding Kitten.
 Or...  Instead of playing any actions from your hand, you can always opt to just draw the top card without playing anything. Playing a card on your turn is not required.
 Card Quick Reference 
 Exploding Kittens 4 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.
  Defuse 6 cards  If you drew an Exploding Kitten, you can play this card instead of dying.
1. Place your Defuse card in the Discard Pile.
2. 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.
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. Now the next player goes (unless you must take multiple turns).
  Nope 5 cards  Stop any action except for an Exploding Kitten or a Defuse card.

Imagine that any card (or Pair or Special Combo) beneath a Nope card no longer exists.

You can also play a Nope on another Nope to create a double negative Yup, and so on.

You can play a Nope card at any time before an action has begun, even if it’s not your turn.
  Attack 4 cards  End your turn(s) without drawing and force the next player to take two turns in a row. The victim of this card takes a turn as normal (play cards, then draw). Then, when their first turn is over, it’s their turn again.

(If the victim of an Attack card also plays an Attack card, their turns are immediately over, and the next player must take two turns.)

If you play an Attack card and someone plays a Nope on top of it, this means that you still have to draw a card and the next player does NOT have to take two turns.

Nope cards neutralize any cards beneath them, so it would be like the Attack card was never played in the first place.
  Skip 4 cards  Immediately end your turn without drawing a card.

If you play a Skip card as a defense against an Attack card, it only ends one of the two turns. Two Skip cards would end both turns.
  Favor 4 cards  Force any other player to give you 1 card from their hand. They choose which card to give you.
  Shuffle 4 cards  Shuffle the Draw Pile without viewing the cards until told to stop. This is useful when you know there’s an Exploding Kitten coming.
  See the future 5 cards  Peek at 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.
  Cat Cards 4 of each type  These can be collected as two or three of a kind and used to steal from other players. See below to learn how to steal.
 Two of a kind - blind steal  To steal a card, play any two of a kind into the discard pile.

For example, if you had two Tacocats, you could play them as actions and then choose a player. That player would hold up their cards and you'd take a card at random.

 Three of a kind - "Go fish"  Playing three of a kind lets you NAME the card you want, and the player of your choice has to give it to you.

If they don't have the card you want, you're out of luck, so be sure to keep an eye on who still has Defuse cards.

 Card Icons  You can play any card as two or three of a kind, as long as the icons in the upper left match.

For example, on each Shuffle card the artwork on the face of the card varies, but the icon is always the same. So, instead of playing the Shuffle cards as actions to shuffle the deck, you could play them as a pair and use them to steal from another player.
 Five different icons - Steal from the Discard pile  If you play any 5 cards that have different icons in the corners, 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!”)