5 Exploding Kittens Strategy Tips to Help You Play the Purr-fect Game

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If you’re like me, you enjoy a tense stand-off among friends in the anxiety-inducing game of Exploding Kittens. It feels like a game of chance — hoping that you aren’t the one fated to pull the next Exploding Kitten card without any way to defend yourself. 

But is this fun, kooky game simply up to chance… or is there an Exploding Kittens strategy that you can use to secure your crown as the winner?

You will be happy to know the answer is a resounding, yes! There are quite a few Exploding Kitten strategies that can help you win the game.

We have laid out five strategies that can leave you as the last kitten standing.

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Exploding Kittens Strategy

1. Keep As Many Cards in Your Hand as Possible

It’s easier to win Exploding Kittens if you have a big hand full of cards. You can build your defense against other players as well as against the chance of drawing the Explosive Kitten card. This defense tactic works because you will hand on to any Shuffle, Attack, Skip, Favor, and See the Future cards you draw. This strategy often allows you to turn the tides of the game when things become intense. 

Firstly, this defensive style of play makes sure that if another player uses 2 favor cards against you, there is a better chance you will have a spare card that means nothing to you if you give it up. If another player draws 3 favor cards, there is a better chance that they may steal something that you don’t need as well.

In addition, the more you draw, the better chance that you can find another defense card that can always come in handy if you were unlucky enough to draw the Exploding Kitten card more than once. 

2. Try to Take Cards from Other Players

Friends playing Exploding Kittens game

Geraldshields11 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

In your plot to stockpile as many cards as possible, you may not always want to draw from the deck as you risk drawing the Exploding Kitten card. This game strategy turns your attention toward your enemies instead. 

Try to get as many cards out of the hands of others and into your own as possible. If you do this, you do not have to take the chance of drawing the Exploding Kitten, and you decrease the defenses of the other players AT THE SAME TIME! How’s that for strategy?

The fewer cards they have, the smaller the chance that they can fend off your attacks when you go on the offense — and the less likely they are to fend off an Exploding Kitten card. You can do this using the favor cards you have stockpiled or by using your pairs and triples to draw from your opponent’s hands continuously. The more favor cards you draw that match those in your hands, the more you can keep stealing from the other players.

3. Play as Little as Possible

This strategy is for the defensive player who doesn’t want to risk drawing the Exploding Kitten card at all. If this is your case, you can try to minimize the amounts of times that you have to draw by using a Skip card to skip your turn. Another option includes using your Attack cards, these force the next player to draw your card and their own card. You can also use Nopes to stop shuffles and to preserve your card from thieves that may try to steal it. 

This strategy is all about survival. Making sure that you are the last kitten standing while your friends face the Explosion. So make sure that you hoard as many cards at the beginning of the game (when it is less likely that you will draw an Exploding Kitten). This strategy ensures that you will have options to decrease your involvement in the game when its tension levels explode near the end of the game.

4. Bluff, Bluff, Bluff

Friends playing a card game

Think like a poker player to give this strategy some legs. Keeping a straight face or making your friends and family nervous is a great way to psych them out. It’s all about throwing them off their games so that you are the only one on top. Bluffing comes in handy in two main scenarios: playing the See the Future card or when someone is stealing your card.

If you use the See the Future card, you have a chance to look at the top 3 cards of the deck. While this is not always the best move to make if you can’t exert any control over the future with the cards in your hand, if you use your See the Future card, do not waste the opportunity to freak out the competition. You can make them nervous by making grim faces or laughing when you see the cards to unnerve them or make them think that an Exploding Kitten is coming up.

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You can also bluff when it is time for someone to steal from your hand. You can guide them away from your Attack, Nope, and Defense cards, by changing the way you react as they hover over each card.

5. Save an Attack Card Until the End

When it is down to the final few cards in the pile, you have an extra high chance of drawing the Exploding Kitten card and losing the game. You want to make sure that your opponents are drawing more than you are so that they pull the Exploding Kitten instead. 

This is where an Attack card comes into the Exploding Kittens strategy. (Hopefully, you’ve been saving them!) Once you drop this card, your opponent has to play twice and it increases their chances of drawing the Exploding Kitten Card.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you always win in Exploding Kittens?

You can win as often as possible, through practicing these Exploding Kittens strategies. Another way to get the upper hand is to watch your opponents and find out their play style — whether offensive or defensive — and hone your personal strategy to match. 

Can you Nope an Exploding Kitten?

You cannot Nope an Exploding Kitten card or a Defuse card! Do not try to incorporate this into your Exploding Kitten strategy. If you do, you’ll lose!

What if you run out of cards in Exploding Kittens?

Keep playing! You will have to pick up some cards at some point when it comes to you. You can always try to rebuild your hand and play your strategy then!

Mark Coster, BSc(Hons) PhD MRACI CChem
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Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API