How to Play Apples to Apples

apples to apples board game box

Imagine Apples to Apples as a flavorful recipe that combines creativity with wit, leaving a sweet taste of victory. As you place the cards on the table, you’ll soon realize that the game is not just about matching words but about understanding the subtle art of association. To truly master this game and understand how to play Apples to Apples, you must learn to navigate the nuances of your fellow players’ minds and predict their choices. So, what makes a card stand out among the rest? The answer lies in…

Setting up the Game

To set up the game of Apples to Apples, gather the cards and shuffle them thoroughly. The vibrant cards, each with a different word, are the heart of this engaging party game. Once shuffled, deal seven red apple cards to each player. These red cards contain nouns like “Puppies” or “Chocolate,” which players will use to match with the green apple cards.

Next, place the green apple cards face down in the center of the table. These cards feature adjectives like “Spooky” or “Magical.” Choose one player to be the first judge. This player will take the top green apple card and read it aloud to the group.

Now, the fun begins! Players must quickly select the red apple card from their hand that they think best matches the adjective read by the judge. The judge then decides which red card is the winner based on personal taste or humor. The player whose card is chosen earns a point, and the role of judge passes to the next player. Get ready for laughter and surprises in this ever-entertaining game of Apples to Apples board game.

actual cards from Apples to Apples board game

Gameplay Overview

Get ready to immerse yourself in the dynamic and interactive gameplay of Apples to Apples, where creativity and humor collide in a battle of wits and words.

In Apples to Apples, gameplay revolves around matching adjective cards to a noun card selected by a rotating judge. Here’s a quick overview to get you started:

  • Deal the Cards: Start by dealing seven red apple cards (noun cards) to each player and place the green apple cards (adjective cards) in the center of the table.
  • Rotate the Judge: The role of the judge rotates clockwise each round. The judge selects a green apple card from the center, and the other players choose a red apple card from their hand that they think best matches the chosen green card.
  • Judge’s Decision: The judge then decides which red card they find the most amusing or fitting. The player whose card is chosen earns a point, and a new round begins with a new judge.

Now that you understand the basics, get ready to engage in a hilarious and strategic wordplay showdown!

apples to apples board game cards
How to Play Apples to Apples Cards

Strategy Tips

Enhance your gameplay in Apples to Apples by strategically leveraging the cards in your hand to outwit your opponents and impress the judge. To excel at this game, consider the judge’s preferences and the current dynamics of the game. One effective strategy is to match the judge’s personality or humor style with your card choices. If the judge enjoys dark humor, play cards with a twist; if they prefer light-hearted options, go for funny or whimsical picks.

Another clever tactic is to pay attention to the cards played by your opponents. Try to anticipate their strategies and counter them by playing cards that disrupt their plans or steal their thunder. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of surprise. Sometimes, choosing a card that is unexpected or completely unrelated to the prompt can make you stand out and earn you the win.

Winning the Game: How to Play Apples to Apples

Maximize your chances of winning Apples to Apples by observing the judge’s reactions and tailoring your card selections accordingly. To secure victory in this fun and unpredictable game, here are some key strategies to keep in mind:

  • Understand the Judge: Pay attention to the judge’s preferences and sense of humor. Tailoring your card choices to match their style can greatly increase your chances of winning the round.
  • Think Creatively: Don’t always go for the most obvious or literal connection. Sometimes, a clever or unexpected pairing can catch the judge’s attention and earn you the winning vote.
  • Timing is Key: Consider the timing of your card plays. Sometimes, saving your strongest cards for the right moment can give you an edge over your opponents and secure a win.


Congratulations! You are now a master of Apples to Apples! You have honed your skills, outwitted your opponents, and dominated the game with your strategic brilliance. Now you are the ultimate champion of matching wits and words. Now go forth and conquer any Apples to Apples game that dares to challenge you! You are unstoppable, unbeatable, and destined for greatness in the world of party games. Applause and accolades await you, oh mighty Apples to Apples warrior!

To explore more trivia board games, consider reading about Best Deck Building Games or Best Board Games 2024.

How to Play Apples to Apples FAQ

Can Players Make up Their Own Rules or Variations for Apples to Apples?

Absolutely! You have the freedom to release your creativity and spice up the game with your own rules or twists. Embrace the power to design a unique experience that will keep everyone entertained.

Are There Any Official Expansions or Additional Card Packs Available for Apples to Apples?

Yes, there are official expansions and additional card packs available for Apples to Apples. These expansions can bring fresh and exciting content to your game nights, enhancing the fun and replay value.

Is There a Recommended Age Range for Playing Apples to Apples?

A recommended age range for playing Apples to Apples is typically 12 and up. This ensures players have the cognitive ability to understand the card comparisons and cultural references, making the game more enjoyable.

Can Players Create Their Own Custom Cards for the Game?

Absolutely! You and your friends can inject more fun into the game by creating your own custom cards. Get creative and tailor the cards to your group’s unique sense of humor and inside jokes.

Are There Any Online Versions or Apps of Apples to Apples Available for Play?

Yes, there are online versions and apps available for playing Apples to Apples. You can easily enjoy the game virtually with friends or strangers, adding a new dimension to the classic gameplay experience anytime, anywhere.

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