The Newbies Guide To Cards Against Humanity

Ellen playing Cards Against Humanity with her guests, Nicole Richie and Derek & Julianne Hough

They call it “A card game for horrible people.” "But, I'm not horrible you say? Well, if you aren't a horrible person already, after playing this game, you soon will be.

When I first played the game I'd never heard of it and neither did most of the rest of the group who played that night. But, it's simple rules made it as easy to pick up and learn how to use as a fidget spinner. And, the game is very entertaining to play too! I played with a group of nine people so I think it would be best played with a group of four or more. With less than four people I don't really think you would get the same energy out of the game as if, say, it was played with six people. I have to warn you too. This game isn't for the light-hearted and I'd say it's not one to play with children either. While some people may be offended by the subject matter in the cards, as long as the group you are playing with are relatively open-minded and can put judgment aside to play the game for what it is, you'll get a healthy dose of kicks and screams of laughter.

What is it?

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for people 17 years and up. It’s a game that contains 550+ cards. The cards are split between black and white cards (460 White cards and 90 Black cards). The black cards contain fill-in-the-blank statements while the white cards contain a series of responses the cardholder can choose from to fill-in-the-blank to the black card.

Who Invented it?

High School Kids. Well, they are not high school kids anymore. But, that's right, they were when they brought their idea to life. Inspired by the earlier Apples to Apple's card game, high school alumni Ben Hantoot and Max Temkin created the now infamous Cards Against Humanity. The two financed their card game through a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign which they launched in December 2010. A campaign that becomes as popular as the Fidget Cube campaign and even more so than the fidget pen campaign. They set the funding target to $4,000 which they hit within the campaign's first two weeks.

How to Play

First of all, if you’ve ever played Apples to Apples you’ll pick this up very quickly. It’s very similar.

Here’s how it works. There are Black Cards and there are White Cards. At the start of each round, one chosen player (The Judge) will select a Black Card from the stack. On these cards will be a phrase or question that needs to be answered/completed. This is where white cards come in. Players have 10 White Cards, which they use to complete the Black Card's question(s)/blank(s). After each player (besides The Judge) has chosen the best White Card in their hand to go with the Black Card, all players turn their White Cards into The Judge. From here, The Judge reviews the White Cards and decides his/her favorite pairing of the White and Black Cards. The player who played the Judge's chosen White Card gets a point (if that matters to your group) and the gameplay starts all over.

  • The Judge plays a Black Card that says: "Life for the Native Americans was forever changed after the white man introduced them to ____________."
  • All players (exc. the Judge) choose a White Card.
  • After everyone has chosen their White Card, the Judge reviews the responses: "Smallpox Blankets", "Drinking Alone", "A Can of Whoop-Ass", and "Take-Backsies"
  • (Before you read these and think I'm an awful person, these are actual White Cards that I have seen played on the aforementioned Black Card)
  • The Judge chooses "Drinking Alone" and the player who picked this White Card wins the round.

Here’s a PDF version for the set of rules and how to play.

What People are Saying

“This game is great fun, but keep in mind that there are some edgy / racy / raunchy / explicit / graphic / vulgar White and Black cards. In fact, that's the point.”

“Played it with friends at a BBQ and it was a huge hit... Game is played with fairly simple instructions, each round one player picks a black card and shares it with the other players, the other players each get (3) cards from the white deck and answer with their funniest card... the funniest add on to the black card wins that round... WOULD DEFINITELY not recommend playing around children though, the cards are funny, however not intended for little ones.”

"My Husband and I have played it with our son quite a few times and it made us all sit together and just laugh so hard that we snort and end up having some very interesting conversations. Yes, the game is politically incorrect and does have some sexual context but so does everything on TV and on the internet these days. Anything that keeps my teenager talking to me and feeling comfortable speaking with us about odd or uncomfortable things is a win in my parenting handbook."

Where to Buy

Some big and local retail chains supply the fully boxed version but not all will have the variants that have since emerged. For instance, the Cards Against Humanity Green Box, Red Box, Blue Box, the expansion packs, the Bigger, Blacker Box and more. To get the game for yourself, you can find it at other online retailers and of course from the CAH online store. When I shopped around, I found that Amazon have some of the best prices on the original and the other variations. Amazon also free shipping and occasionally have good deals on the game. You can check out the latest deals and discounted prices from Amazon here.

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