It doesn’t matter how old you are; every party is automatically improved by playing a game. Party card games are purposefully designed to get players in the party mood. They’re filled with plenty of laughs and some light competition – perfect for getting your guests mingling without awkward icebreakers.
We’ve chosen a selection of the best party card games to recommend for your next shindig. Some of the best board games and best card games around are party friendly, but we’ve chosen ones with minimal rules to learn and that accommodate large groups easily. You can find even more suggestions in our list of party board games, too.
These are the best party card games:
- Black Stories
- Cards Against Humanity
- Exploding Kittens
Social deduction games are ideal for parties. They don’t have many rules, encourage a lot of talking, and encourage all your closest friends to betray each other. Werewolf is perhaps the best example of this genre. Some partygoers will secretly play as werewolves, murdering other guests in the game’s night phase and avoiding execution with clever deception. The other villagers need to suss out who the monsters are and kill them before they all become lunch.
Savvy board game fans may notice we’ve put a general term rather than a specific game name for this title. That’s because there are many versions of the game Werewolf. We’d recommend two for two different reasons.
The first is One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This is a chaotic-yet-compact social deduction game that only takes ten minutes to play – plus it comes with an app, so no one has to mediate and miss out on the game. The second is Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, which does need a mediator, but it can accommodate a slightly larger group more comfortably.
If you want a more laid-back game for your get-together, we recommend Black Stories. This is less like a board game, and more like a murder-mystery-themed game of 20 Questions. One player reads a strange scenario aloud – for example, ‘a man is found dead naked at the bottom of a cliff with a book of matches’. The rest of the players must deduce what occurred by asking yes or no questions.
There’s no question limit, and there are basically no other rules to follow. It may not sound like much, but Black Stories’ unique scenarios draw you in quickly. It’s the perfect wind-down activity for the end of the night or time-filler while your pizza arrives.
Cards Against Humanity
We’d better mention the party card game classic, Cards Against Humanity. Players take turns as the card tsar, who officially gets to decide what’s funny for the round. They’ll draw a black card and read out a question or an unfinished sentence, and everyone else must play a white card in response. You’ll all be fighting to win the card tsar’s favour, which means you’ll need to appeal to their sense of humour – only they can decide which black-and-white card combo is the funniest of all.
This is one of those games where people are laughing so hard, they often forget about scoring points altogether. If you’re planning to have alcohol at your party, it’s also suitable as a drinking card game.
Did you grow up playing games like Charades and Celebrity with your family at Christmas? Are you looking for a similar but far less same-y experience? Introducing Monikers.
This game has two teams racing to guess as many ideas described by their teammate as possible in a given time limit. The items described each round are the same, but it becomes increasingly difficult to get your point across. First you can say anything but the name on the card; then you can only use a single word; then you’ll need to charade your way to victory.
This box improves on the Celebrity and Charades formulas in almost every way. Never heard of the thing you need to describe? There’s a handy explanation on the card. Running out of ideas? Monikers is filled with unique (and sometimes) baffling prompts, and there are already a few expansions to pick up if you wear the first box out.
What if Russian Roulette: a) didn’t kill anyone at your party; and b) was filled with adorable cats? That’s the basic premise of Exploding Kittens, a simple-yet-addictive card game where you’ll compete to be the last player standing. Take turns drawing and playing cards, using kittens with special abilities to get out of trouble and sabotage your friends. As long as you can avoid the exploding kitten, you’ll be safe.
It’s important to note that the core Exploding Kittens game only allows five players, which might be a little small for your party. You can, however, get a Party Pack Edition which makes the game work for larger groups.