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Exploding Kittens Rules: How Do You Play Exploding Kittens?

How Do You Play Exploding Kittens: Exploding Kittens Rules


Setup: Remove all four “Exploding Kittens” and all six “Defuse” cards from the deck.

Shuffle the remaining cards and deal four to each player.


Deal one “Defuse” card to each player. Each player will now have five cards.

Reinsert the “Exploding Kittens” with enough for every player, minus one. For six players, shuffle in five “Exploding Kittens.” For five players, shuffle in four. Etc.


Reinsert the “Defuse” card/s and shuffle the deck.


Exploding Kittens Game Play: Place the deck in the center of the table. Players take turns drawing a card from the deck. When players draw an exploding kitten, they die and are eliminated from the game. However, if the player has a “Defuse” card, the bomb-cat can be neutralized by discarding the “Defuse” card and placing the “Exploding Kitten” card back into the draw pile in the location of their choice (the deck does not need to be shuffled, and the player will know the location of the “Exploding Kitten” they placed in the deck). You may not look through the deck when reinserting the kitten.


Your Turn: Turns are divided into two parts: first, play “Action” cards. There is no limit (or minimum) to the number of action cards you can play on a given turn. “Action” cards perform certain actions in the game with the card detailing the specific action to occur on use. Second, draw a card and pray things don’t get messy–that is that a kitten does not explode. Once you draw a card, your turn is over.


Nope Cards: “Nope” cards can be played at any time, even on another player’s turn. These are counter cards that stop the action of another player. “Nope” cards can be played in response to other “Nope” cards, thus permitting the original action. “Nope” cards can be used to stop any action except “Defuse” cards and “Exploding Kittens,” but they cancel any other action. “Nope” cards can be used to block thefts (see below).


Bizarre Cat Cards: Some cards in the deck are bizarre cats, like “Taco Cat” or “Hairy Potato Cat.” You may use these cards when you gather a pair or three of a kind.

When you have a pair, you may play the bizarre cats as an action card, laying them down in the discard pile and then choosing a single card at random from an opponent’s hand.


When you have three of a kind, you get to name a card (think Go Fish) and the player of your choice must give you a copy of that card if it is in their hand. For instance, you might name, “Nope,” or “Defuse” in which case if the player you selected has the stated card in their hand, they yield it to you. If they do not have the card, tough luck. You’re a bad thief.


You can also forfeit the abilities of other cards and play them as a pair or set (three of a kind) to steal a card from another player. That is, if you have two or three copies of an action card, you can play it as a pair or set.


“Nope” cards can block thefts.


Winning Exploding Kittens: The last surviving player is the winner of the game. Players are eliminated when they draw an “Exploding Kitten” without a “Defuse” card in hand.

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