Best Adult Card Games for Parties 2018

We all know some of the simple card and standard games from our youth, but what about adult card games designed to add humor, fun and some playful controversy to your evening.

Everyone loves a good adult party and the chance to let their hair down, enjoy a few drinks and hang out with friends. But sometimes it’s nice to offer your guests more than just a chilled beer and a bowl of salted peanuts. They might have travelled a long way, cancelled other plans or have been looking forward to your bash for weeks – so it’s worth putting a bit of extra effort into making sure they remember the night and have a great time.

Do something different

Fancy dress, themed drinks and music are all good additions to make your party stand out for all the right reasons but party games are also a novel way to add another dimension to your evening – and card games, in particular, tick all the boxes. For starters, you don’t need to set aside a lot of space for most card games so you don’t have to sacrifice the ‘dance floor’ or drinks table in order to set up some entertainment for your guests. You just need a small table and a few chairs that can be tucked in a corner in the main party space. If you have a separate room you could use, you could even set up a dedicated games space and really go to town with a printed sign pinned on the door and a couple of different games laid out and ready to play.

Breaking the ice

Party games of any description are a really good way to get your guests mingling. If you’ve invited people who might not all know each other, a couple of rounds of the games featured in this article will break the ice and get conversations going. By the end of the party, Jed from accounts will be best buddies with John from the football club.

Card games and board games are also a useful deployment tool for big family gatherings. If you’ve got the whole extended family descending on your house over Christmas, get a couple of games in ready to bring out when tensions are mounting. We all know how things can get a bit heated when distant relatives are trapped indoors together for a couple of days but our game suggestions will ensure the banter stays low-key and everyone enjoys themselves. The kids can settle down with movies and chocolate while the adults play cards – everyone’s happy!

Let the games begin

So, you’ve got your party date in the diary, you’ve written up your invites and you’ve stocked the fridge with drinks and nibbles. Now, all you need to do is select the games that you think your guests will most enjoy. You can tailor you choices to your guest list – there’s a few more risqué games that might not be entirely appropriate for aunt Gladys but will have your work buddies howling with laughter. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that a couple of well-chosen games will make your party a night to remember.

We’ve given every game a difficultly rating – ‘Easy to master’, ‘Practise makes perfect’ or ‘Expert gamer’ so you can gauge the games that will work best for your party. Big events will probably be best suited to games that are really quick and easy to pick up, as everyone can have a go during the evening. If you’re looking for a game that will while away an hour or two after a leisurely dinner party, or keep the family from bickering on Boxing Day, then you might want to choose something a bit more involved.


Cards Against Humanity

Deck or board: Specialised deck

Difficultly: Easy to master

What’s it all about?

This game has elevated after-dinner card games into the spotlight in recent years, such has been its success. And it’s easy to see why – quick to master, simple to set up and no space required. It has adult themes so it’s definitely not one to leave lying around when the kids are still up.

How do you play?

This one’s ideal if you and your guests have had a few drinks, as you need to let your inhibitions slip and be prepared for a tirade of expletives and sexually charged responses. You play in rounds, with one person flipping a black card that contains a question, statement or query with blanks to fill. Other players choose from their dealt selection of white cards that contain random responses. The idea is to select the funniest response to the black card and the dealer gets to choose which they think best fits the bill. The winner of the round keeps the black card and the ultimate winner is the person with the most black cards once they’ve all been played.

Price $25 - Purchase on Cardsagainsthumanity.com


Spoons

Deck or board: Specialised deck

Difficultly: Easy to master

What’s it all about?

This game has elevated after-dinner card games into the spotlight in recent years, such has been its success. And it’s easy to see why – quick to master, simple to set up and no space required. It has adult themes so it’s definitely not one to leave lying around when the kids are still up.

How do you play?

This one’s ideal if you and your guests have had a few drinks, as you need to let your inhibitions slip and be prepared for a tirade of expletives and sexually charged responses. You play in rounds, with one person flipping a black card that contains a question, statement or query with blanks to fill. Other players choose from their dealt selection of white cards that contain random responses. The idea is to select the funniest response to the black card and the dealer gets to choose which they think best fits the bill. The winner of the round keeps the black card and the ultimate winner is the person with the most black cards once they’ve all been played.

Price FREE - If you have a deck of cards!


MindJob

Deck or board: Specialised deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

This 18+ rated card game becomes more amusing the more your guests have had to drink, as it messes with your head – and a fuzzy head isn’t a clear-thinking head.

How do you play?

There’s three simple rules but don’t be fooled – it’s a lot harder than it sounds! If your card has black text, you call out the card background colour; if your card has coloured text, you call out the text colour; and if your card has a swear word, you call out the word (unless it’s the F word, in which case you go by the first two card rules. Your brain wants you to call out the words but it’s the colours that count here. Cards are dealt out, word-side down and players take turns to flip their cards and call out the correct colour or swear word – a correct call means your card goes in the middle of the table; call our incorrectly and you pick up the whole stack.

As it’s just a small box with a deck of MindJob cards, this one’s great for travelling or pulling out of your bag when you’re out in the pub, or at a friend’s house.

Price $20 - Check out Mindjobgame.com


Catan

Deck or board: Specialsed deck and dice

Difficulty: Expert gamer

What’s it all about?

We’ve labelled this as ‘expert gamer’ but it’s not really too difficult to master; you might just want to be sober, at least for the instructions, as there’s a few things to take in before you can begin to play. This is a slower-paced strategy game so get your thinking caps on and settle down for an intense race to occupy the mystical island of Catan.

How do you play?

Based on the longer-length Catan board game, the card version is a travel-friendly version of the game, with just as much strategy and thought power required in order to beat your opponents. The game is based around six resources (these are wood, grain, wool, bricks, gold and ore) and the aim is to purchase villages and roads during the game, in order to build up further resources. Cards are rotated during play, in order to match them to corresponding resources and these are linked to build up a player’s infrastructure.

 Price $49 - Check out catanshop.com 


Beer Snap

Deck or board: Regular deck

Difficultly: Easy to master

What’s it all about?

Everyone knows how to play ‘snap’ so this is a great game for bringing out during a party or after a meal, as it doesn’t require any complicated explanations. Use it as a drinking game or to make after-dinner drinks more interesting!

How do you play?

In case you need a recap on the rules of snap, here goes: a deck of cards is dealt between two people. The players take it in turns to place a card in the middle of the table and keep going until one of them places a card of the same value as the previous card on the pile. Whoever shouts ‘snap’ first keeps the cards and the aim is to win the whole deck. Beer snap is essentially the same but the loser of each round takes a sip of their drink. Obviously, the more sips that are taken, the less likely they are to be on top mental form so it can quickly descend into hilarity.

Price FREE - If you have a deck of cards!


Taboo

Deck or board: Board

Difficulty: Easy to master

What’s it all about?

This is an absolute classic that will elevate your party to a higher level as teams battle it out to win the game. It’s really simple to pick up the rules and you play around a table, sitting on sofas or crouched on the floor – so ideal for any party space.

How do you play?

Cards are dealt and one player from a team has to describe the word on their card to other team members, without using any of the taboo words or phrases to describe it. Sounds easy right? With the one-minute timer ticking and your brain doing somersaults, you’ll be saying taboo phrases left, right and centre. The team with the most guessed words in the minute wins the round.

  Price $15 - On Amazon.com


Spit

Deck or board: Regular deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

Despite the name, there’s no actual spitting involved in this fast-paced card game. It’s a game for two players but the whole party can get involved as games are quick and exciting.

How do you play?

The cards are dealt face-down between the two players and should be split into five piles of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 cards. The top card on each pile is turned face up. Leftover cards are placed in a pile in front of each player. The game starts and both players turn over a card from the leftover pile and put these in the middle to create the ‘spit’ stacks. The aim is to move the face-up cards (one at a time) onto the ‘spit’ stacks but you can only do this if a card goes up or down consecutively by rank – so a three could be topped by a two or four. Then the next card would have to follow this one and so on. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner.

 Price FREE - If you have a deck of cards!


Draw What?!

Deck or board: Board

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

Think X-rated Pictionary and you’ll be go some way to understanding the basics of this adult-themed party game. Clear away the dinner plates and make some space, as this board game comes with a whiteboard for drawing and you’ll want to make sure everyone has a front-row seat.

How do you play?

There’s an impressive 375 cards featuring cheeky words or phrases so there’s no chance you’ll run out of themes any time soon. You’ll need at least four players as the game is based on teams. Each team will get a card to draw or act out and, if guessed correctly, you’ll move along the board where you can miss turns or double your distance. It will push your drawing and guessing skills to the limit and should definitely not come out of the cupboard if you’re entertaining easily offended friends.

Price $29.95 - Check out Drawwhatgame.com 


Crazy Eights

Deck or board: Regular deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

Invite your guests to play a good old-fashioned after-dinner card game. It might take a round or two to pick up but it’s worth persevering as, once everyone knows the rules, you’ll be playing it all night.

How do you play?

The aim of the game is fairly simple – you’re trying to be the first player to get rid of all their cards. The dealer hands out 5 cards to each player and the rest are stacked in the middle of the table. The dealer then turns the first card and places it next to the stack and play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Check your hand and see if you have any card matching the colour, number or suit of the upturned card – if so, add it to the upturned pile; if not, take a card from the deck. As the name suggests, eights are crazy cards and these can be placed over any card with the player changing to a new suit, if they like, before play continues.

Price FREE - If you have a deck of cards 


Drunk, Stoned or Stupid

Deck or board: Regular deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

Invite your guests to play a good old-fashioned after-dinner card game. It might take a round or two to pick up but it’s worth persevering as, once everyone knows the rules, you’ll be playing it all night.

How do you play?

The aim of the game is fairly simple – you’re trying to be the first player to get rid of all their cards. The dealer hands out 5 cards to each player and the rest are stacked in the middle of the table. The dealer then turns the first card and places it next to the stack and play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Check your hand and see if you have any card matching the colour, number or suit of the upturned card – if so, add it to the upturned pile; if not, take a card from the deck. As the name suggests, eights are crazy cards and these can be placed over any card with the player changing to a new suit, if they like, before play continues.

Price $16 - Check out the website 


Bullshit (Cheat)

Deck or board: Regular deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

As the name suggests, this card game is all about faking it, so the best actors and liars at your party are going to be the ones to beat. You just need a standard deck of cards (with the Jokers taken out) so it couldn’t be simpler to set up and you can play at a moment’s notice and in any location. Up to ten players can join in, so it can be a card table set up in a snug, or clearing the dining table for a full after-dinner gaming session.

How do you play?

The cards are dealt evenly between the players and the person with the two of clubs starts the game by placing this card, plus any other twos they hold, down in the centre of the table. But here’s the fun part – they can lie completely and put down anything they like. The next player must place down any ‘threes’ they hold, the next any ‘fours’ and so on.

If you can sniff out a liar at ten paces then you’ll do well at this game, as any player can be called out when they’re laying down their cards. So, if you think the person putting down ‘three sevens’ might be faking it, call out ‘bullshit’ and the player must pick up the number of cards they just placed down. If you called correctly – and they were indeed bullshitting – they take back the cards; make the wrong call and you get to keep the cards. As the aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards, you need to be pretty sure when the lies are being told. One sure-fire way to catch a cheat is if you’re holding a couple of fours, fives or sixes yourself and they call more than could possibly be left in the pack.

Price FREE - If you have a deck of cards


Exploding Kittens

Deck or board: Specialised deck

Difficulty: Easy to master

What’s it all about?

Apparently, this is the game of choice for anyone who likes kittens and explosions…but whatever your likes, this is the perfect party game, as it will get everyone giggling.

How do you play?

Up to nine players take it in turns to pull a card from the pile that you place in the centre of the table. You keep going until someone gets an exploding kitten, which means instant explosion and that player is out of the game. But, if the player happens to have landed a ‘defuse’ card on a previous go, they can stop the kitten exploding and so remain in the game. 

Price $29.99 - Check out the website explodingkittens.com 


Buffalo

Deck or board: Specialised deck

Difficulty: Practise makes perfect

What’s it all about?

It’s a word association game that’s a sure-fire win for a party as the rounds are quick and you can involve lots of people in each game.

How do you play?

Cards are split into two piles and one card from each pile is turned over at a time. Players need to link the words on each card to come up with people or characters that the words describe. Players keep the cards of correct guesses and the winner is the person with the most cards once each pair has been turned. Simple but effective!

Price $18.95 - On Amazon.com



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