Card games are an easy, portable way to bring the fun to wherever you are, but a standard deck of cards can get old pretty quickly. That’s why we’ve decided to look for the best card games for adults.
We’ve found that best games are appropriate for the group you’re playing with and can be played over and over and still be fun. And while raunchy adult card games may be all the rage these days, rest assured that there plenty of games for adults that don’t require you to air out your dirty laundry. Keeping all of the different factors in mind, we’ve handpicked our favorite card games for adults available online.
Top 10 Best Card Games for Adults to Buy Online
Some games are more appropriate for large parties of friends, while others are great for intimate nights in with family. Think about where you’re most likely to want to play before making your choice.
1. Cult Following: The One True Game
Best for Fans of Cards Against Humanity
This game plays like Cards Against Humanity in that players have to impress the judge–except in this game, players have to make a pitch for their cult. The judge (“recruit”) asks a question based on the card in their hand and cultists have to imagine responses.
Reviewers write that it pokes fun at religion without being offensive to any particular religion. It involves no (outright) sexual content, so it’s safe to play with the whole family–granted they have the right sense of humor for it.
|Number of Players||3+ (more is better)|
Best Quick Cooperative Game
In this game, players work together to repair a malfunctioning spaceship in five minutes or less. It gets increasingly loud and increasingly silly as your team encounters one complication after another.
Reviewers write that this game makes a fantastic warmup for game night and that it’s just as fun as it is challenging. Naturally, it’s also super enjoyable for older kids.
|Best for||Families, smaller get-togethers|
|Number of Players||3-6 (up to 9 with expansions)|
3. The Mind
Best Game for Groups that Know Each Other Well (or Want To)
The rules of the game are simple–place everyone’s cards down in order from least to greatest. The catch: no one is allowed to speak. The Mind requires you to silently figure out who has which cards and learn to read each other’s minds (or eye movements).
Reviewers write that this is a great game for groups that know each other well but may be too slow for kids. It requires a fairly quiet environment, though there are playlists to accompany the game online that add significantly to the experience.
|Best for||Families, close friends, nights in|
|Number of Players||2-4|
4. Lost Cities
Best Game for Two Players
This strategy game for two has you competing to earn points while exploring the ruins of ancient civilizations. It combines strategy, luck, and a little bit of gambling, which makes it fun without being too heavy.
Reviewers write that it has incredible replay value and that you can play it over and over without it feeling tired. It’s quick to learn and can be played in 20-30 minutes. Older kids should also find it fun.
|Number of Players||2|
5. The Voting Game
Best for Laughs Among Close Friends
In this game, players are assigned a number and everyone holds all of the other players’ numbers. When a Q card is drawn, players use the numbers to vote for who they think is most likely to fulfill that card.
Q cards include prompts like “Whose standards drop the most after a few drinks?” and reviewers note that this is definitely an Adult party game to be played with close friends.
|Best for||Close friends|
|Number of Players||5-10|
Best Lightweight Strategy Game
In this game, your government has been destabilized by an uprising and you play as a government official attempting to take control in the government’s weakened state. It’s a game of bluffing, manipulation, and bribery to be the last one standing.
Reviewers write that this is a quick, fairly simple game that even board game geeks appreciate. It’s small and unobtrusive enough to carry to a cafe and only takes 10-15 minutes to play a full game–though you’ll probably want to play it again after.
|Number of Players||2-6|
7. Fk. The Game
Best Game to Play After a Couple Drinks
In this seemingly simple game, all you have to do is state the background color, text color, or swear word printed on a card–but it uses what’s known as the Stroop effect to make things extra difficult.
Reviewers write that it’s a hoot to play at parties (particularly with a little bit of alcohol to slow the senses), though you may walk away feeling a little stupid for not knowing your colors.
|Best for||Parties, pub game night|
|Number of Players||3-8|
Best High-Stakes Competition Game
If you’re looking for a high-stakes competitive game to play with your (possibly soon to be ex-) friends, this is the game for you. In Munchkin, players compete to kill monsters and pick up magical items, sabotaging each other along the way.
Reviewers write that although it takes a while to learn and get comfortable with, this game quickly becomes a favorite. Just note that once you really get into the gameplay, things can get pretty brutal.
|Best for||People who don’t keep grudges|
|Number of Players||3-6|
|Replay Value||Expansion packs, spin-offs|
9. Ravine: A Crafty and Cooperative Card Game
Best Cooperative Strategy Game with a Few Laughs
In this cooperative strategy game, players survive a plane crash and must work together to forage for food, build shelter, and survive–before madness sets in. It plays as a typical survival game, and the madness cards add a few laughs.
Reviewers write that it’s a light play that’s fast-paced and easy to learn. However, because there are only a certain number of madness cards, once you’re familiar with all of them, it can lose some of the fun.
|Number of Players||3-6|
10. Pick Your Poison, NSFW Version
Best Adult Party Game for Large Groups
This game is basically Would You Rather with an adult twist. Two random cards are set up as your options to choose between, players vote, and those in the minority have to out themselves. Be aware–some of the options are quite…creative.
Reviewers write that this game is great for large groups as it moves pretty quickly and requires little space or setup. However, some of the cards can be considered highly offensive, and this definitely isn’t a game to play with any member of your family.
|Number of Players||3-16|
How to Choose a Card Game for Adults – Buying Guide
There are a ton of great card games available, and finding the right one for you is largely a matter of figuring out when you’re going to play it and whom you’re going to play it with.
Find a Type of Game to Match Your Preferences and the Situation
Card games span a huge range of genres, appropriateness, and play styles. Narrowing down the type of game you’re looking for is the first step in finding the right one for you.
Do you want to come away from the game feeling smarter or dumber? Are you looking for a super involved strategy game? Or one that requires you to share uncomfortable facts about yourself with your friends? Or maybe trivia games are more your style.
It’s also important to match the type of game with the group that you’ll be playing with. After all, there are probably some games that you’ll love to play with your best friends but might shy away from choosing for a dinner night with the in-laws.
Pick a Game that Fits the Number of Players
Before making your choice, think about when you’ll be most likely to play the game. A lot of card games are party games that are more fun with more players. If that’s your goal, then choosing should be fairly simple.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping to play with a more intimate group or even as a couple, it’s important to look for a game that not only accommodates fewer players but is optimized for a lower number.
Hand-Held vs. Play Surface
While most card games simply require you to hold your cards in your hands, some strategy-based games or games that that are more complex might require everyone to have their cards down on a shared play surface.
If a game requires a surface, it might be harder to play on a road trip, at a house party, or in a more public location, so be sure to keep this in mind when making your choice.
Customizable Games and Expansion Packs Add Replay Value
Who doesn’t want to get their money’s worth out of a purchase? Many card games–especially the ones where you reveal your deepest, darkest secrets–get old quickly (Seriously, who wants to play 100 rounds of Never Have I Ever with the same people?).
But one of the perks of card games is that they’re flexible, and many times, the rules can be varied to either breathe new life into the game or the tone down the difficulty level if participants are a bit inebriated. Expansion packs will also help extend the life of a game.
Looking for Other Thing to Do During Friday Game Night?
We admit it–we got super excited when researching these games. They all seem super engaging and cleverly made, and we want to share them with you and your friends.
Card games are an easy way to have fun with just about anyone–as long as you take preferences and appropriateness into account. But with a little bit of forward thinking, you’re bound to find a good fit.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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