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Party games are a great way to break the ice when you’re hanging out with a new group, but they can also be a fun way to pass time and learn a few new things about your closest friends. Some games are a bit hard to explain or learn with a large group of (possibly inebriated) people, which is why card games are so popular. The rules are typically pretty easy to understand, and there are some card games that can accommodate large groups of people. Plus, they’re typically quicker to play than many board games.
Card games these days go way beyond the typical 52 card decks. While a classic set of Bicycle cards is worth keeping around, there are a lot of games that take the shape of typical playing cards but replace kings and queens with surly jokes and funny images. It’s worth noting that many of the most popular party card games, like Cards Against Humanity, aren’t really suitable for young children. We’ve rounded up a few different games that are suitable for different audiences and have unique styles of play. Some of them are best with very large groups, and others are good for up to 5 players.
1. Sushi Go!
A family-friendly card-drafting game, Sushi Go features cards with cute illustrations of different kinds of sushi. The cute art and simple play style make it suitable for young children, but the level of strategy required also makes it a great game for adults. Players attempt to build the strongest deck in their hand based on the cards they draw, and try to subvert other players’ strategies.
Pros: Fun game for families or at parties with cute artwork. The game requires strategic thinking, but it’s simple once you learn the rules, and the gameplay is quick.
Cons: Only for 2-5 players. Slightly more difficult to learn than the other games.
2. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is as much a staple in dorm rooms as Fireball whiskey. It’s based on the play style of Apples to Apples, in which players take turns judging each other’s submissions of cards to the center card. The difference is that the most outrageous, offensive, and absurd submissions are favored. It’s good for parties because it can suit many players, including even and odd amounts, and the rules take at most a minute to explain.
Pros: Funny, good party game, suitable for large groups and easy to learn.
Cons: Can lose replay value over time once players familiarize themselves with all the cards. However, expansion packs are available. Offensive humor, making it unsuitable as a family game.
3. Exploding Kittens Card Game
This game relies on having a sense of humor, but the standard version is still suitable for families. There’s also an “NSFW” version that uses more crude humor. Players take turns drawing cards, which include “exploding kittens,” which, if drawn, will cause the drawing player to lose and be out of the game. It’s not just chance, though. There are action cards that can be strategically played to harm other players or minimize your chances of losing.
Pros: Fun game for kids or adults, humorous and original artwork on the cards. Easy to learn.
Cons: Only 2-5 players. Cards are prone to fraying.