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Game Components

  • Deck of cards
  • Rules Booklet


Remove all the Exploding Kittens 4 and Defuse cards 6 from the deck.

Shuffle the remaining deck and deal 4 cards face down to each player.

Deal 1 Defuse card to each player so that everyone has a hand of 5 cards total. Keep your hand secret.

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.

Insert the extra Defuse cards back in the deck.

Shuffle the deck, and put it face down in the middle of the table. This is your Draw Pile

Pick a player to go first. (Some sample criteria: most impressive beard, most intimidating odor, shortest spleen, etc).

Object of the Game

If you explode, you lose. if you don't explode, YOU WIN and all of the other cards

Game Play

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 off the top until someone draws an Exploding Kitten.

  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 top of 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.


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.


Defuse (6 cards)

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

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 negate it and create a 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.

Exploding Kitten (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.

Attack (4 cards)

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 cards, 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 2 turns).

Skip (4 cards)

Immediately end your turn without drawing a card. (If you play a Skip card as a defense to an Attack card, it only ends 1 of the 2 turns. 2 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 thoroughly and randomly without viewing the cards. (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)

Some cards don't have any instructions on them. These cards are powerless on their own, but can be played in Pairs or Special Combos.

If you play matching pairs with no instructions on them, pick another player and steal a random card from their hand.

Example Turn

You decide to play a see the future card.

While viewing the 3 top cards, you see that the card you're about to draw is an Exploding Kitten.

You decide to play an attack card to end your turn and force the next player to take 2 turns.

but then another player plays a Nope card which cancels your attack, so it's still your turn.

You don't want to draw that top card and die, so you play a Shuffle card and randomly shuffle the Draw Pile.

With the deck freshly shuffled, you draw the top card to end your turn and hope it's not an exploding kitten.

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