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  1. To start, remove all the Exploding Kittens 9 from the deck and set them aside.

  2. Now, look through the remaining deck and based on the number of players, use the following cards:

    2-3 players: Use only the cards WITH a paw print in the corner (44).

    4-7 players: Use only the cards WITHOUT a paw print in the corner (69).

    8-10 players: Use all of the cards (113).

  3. Remove all of the Defuse Cards from the deck and deal 1 to each player.

    Insert any extra Defuse Cards back in the deck (if there are any).

    Defuse Cards

    Each player starts with a Defuse Card; the most powerful card in the game. These are the only cards that can save you from Exploding Kittens. If you draw an Exploding Kitten, instead of getting exploded, you can play the Defuse Card and reinsert the Kitten back into the Draw Pile anywhere you'd like in secret.

    Try to get as many Defuse Cards as possible.

  4. Shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards face down to each player. Everyone now has a hand of 8 cards total (including the Defuse Card).

  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. Exploding Kittens Card Sample

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

Taking Your Turn

Gather all 8 of your cards into your hand and look at them. Do one of the following:

  • I. Pass

    Play no cards.

  • II. Play

    Play a card by placing it FACE UP on top of the Discard Pile and following the instructions on the card.

    After you follow the instructions on the card, you can play more cards. You can play as many cards as you'd like.

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 games in that you END YOUR TURN by drawing a card).

Play continues clockwise around the table.

Remember: Play as many or as few cards as you'd like, then draw a card to end your turn.

End of the Game

The last player who hasn't exploded 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.

Three More Things

  • Try saving your cards early in the game while your chance of exploding is low. You can count the cards left in the Draw Pile to figure out the odds.

  • 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.

  • Some cards don't have any instructions on them (Cat Cards). These cards must be collected and played as matching Pairs. If you play matching Pairs of Cat Cards, pick another player and steal a random card from their hand.

Field Guide

Exploding Kitten

You must show this card immediately. Unless you have a Defuse Card, you're dead. Discard all of your cards, including the Exploding Kitten.


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.

Your turn is over after playing this card.

Double Slap

End your turn without drawing a card and force any other player to take 2 turns in a row.

This is not the same as drawing 2 cards in a row! The target of this card should take their first turn (play cards and/or draw). When their turn is over, it's their turn again.

If the targeted player plays a Slap Card in return, they pick a player to take ALL remaining turns (4 turns, then 6, and so on). Play always continues from the targeted player.

If you draw and defuse an Exploding Kitten during a series of turns, you must continue taking your remaining turns after you reinsert the Kitten.

Triple Slap

Triple Slap works the same way as Double Slap, but adds 3 turns instead of 2.


Immediately end your turn without drawing a card.

(For example, if you play a Skip Card in response to a Double Slap Card, it only ends 1 of the 2 turns. Playing 2 Skip Cards would end both turns).


Reverse the order of play and end your turn without drawing.

If you play this card after you've been SLAPPED, the order of play is reversed, but you've only ended 1 of your turns.


Shuffle the Draw Pile without viewing the cards until told to stop. (Useful when you know there's an Exploding Kitten coming).

Draw From The Bottom

End your turn by drawing the bottom card from the Draw Pile.


Force any other player to give you 1 card from their hand. They choose which card to give you.

See The Future

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.

Alter The Future

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and rearrange them in any order you'd like. Return them to the top of the Draw Pile face down, then continue with your turn.


Stop any action except for an Exploding Kitten or a Defuse Card. Imagine that any card (or Pair of Cat Cards 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. Any cards that have been noped are lost. Leave them in the Discard Pile.

Cat Cards

These cards are powerless on their own, but if you collect any 2 matching Cat Cards, you can play them as a Pair to steal a random card from the other player.

They can also be used in Special Combos (below).

Feral Cat

Use as any Cat Card (any of the cards with no instructions on them).

This card cannot be used as a non-Cat Card (Shuffle, Double Slap, etc).

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