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Official Exploding Kittens Rules

Exploding Kittens is a highly popular card game known for its strategic gameplay and whimsical artwork. Here's how to play:


The goal of Exploding Kittens is to be the last player remaining in the game without drawing an Exploding Kitten card.

2-4 Players (All ages)


1. To start, remove all the Exploding Kittens (3) from the deck and set them aside.

2. Remove all of the Defuses (5) from the deck and deal 1 to each player.

3. Insert the extra Defuse cards back into the deck.

  • Note: Defuses are the most powerful cards in the game. These are the only cards that can save you from exploding. If you draw an Exploding Kitten, instead of dying, you can play a Defuse and reinsert the Kitten back into the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like in secret. Try to get as many Defuses as you can.

4. Shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards face down to each player. Everyone now has a hand of 6 cards total (5 cards + 1 Defuse). Look at your cards but keep them secret.

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.

6. Shuffle the deck and put it face down in the middle of the table.


1. Turn Structure:

  • Play a card from your hand by placing it FACE UP on top of the Discard Pile. Follow the instructions on the card. Read the text on a card to learn what it does. After you follow the instructions on the card, you can play another card. You can play as many cards as you’d like. You can also PASS and play no cards.

2. End Your Turn

  • 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.

3. Defusing Exploding Kittens:

  • Defuse cards are the only cards that can save you if you draw an Exploding Kitten. They allow you to put the Exploding Kitten back into the draw pile anywhere you'd like in secret.

Winning the Game

  • Eventually, every player will explode except for one, who 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.


  • A good strategy generally 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.

That's the basic gameplay of Exploding Kittens! It's a fast-paced and unpredictable game that combines strategy, luck, and a healthy dose of humor. Enjoy defusing those kittens!

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