Exploding Kittens Tournament

What's in Hoarder Squirrel's Cheeks? Reading Exploding Kittens Tournament 20 minutes

PAX Unplugged 2023

Let’s settle who’s best at avoiding explosions once and for all! Or, at least who at PAX Unplugged is best. Because there are a lot of people who aren’t here, turns out. They might be better than you. There’s no way of knowing, really.

Tournament Rules:

In this tournament, you get to do something never-before-seen in Exploding Kittens: you get to choose some of your starting hand and some of the cards in the Draw Pile.

Your starting hand will consist of 9 total cards: 1 Defuse, 4 cards of your choice, and 4 random cards from the Draw Pile.

Each player will choose 6 cards in advance from any version of Exploding Kittens (we’ll supply the cards). 4 of those cards will be included in your starting hand (your choice), and the other 2 cards will be shuffled into the game’s Draw Pile. This means you need to choose carefully — your chosen strategy could be the difference between exploding and winning the grand prize.

Rules for the 6 cards you can choose:

  • You can only choose up to 1 of each type of card.
  • Cards you cannot choose:
    • Exploding Kitten
    • Zombie Kitten
    • Imploding Kitten
    • Barking Kitten
    • Armageddon
    • See the Future x5
    • Alter the Future x5
    • Tower of Power
    • Alter the Future x3
    • Alter the Future (x3) [NOW]
    • Share the Future
    • Catomic Bomb
  • Cards you can choose, but:
    • Defuse
      You can choose an extra Defuse to add to the Draw Pile, but you CANNOT use it as part of your starting hand.
    • Streaking Kitten
      You cannot start with Streaking Kitten in your hand. If you choose to put the Streaking Kitten in the Draw Pile, we will add the additional Exploding Kitten to the draw pile, and that Exploding Kitten does NOT count against your total starting hand limit.
Other important things to know:
  • When you die, do not discard your hand or the Kitten that killed you
  • Dead players can play “NOW” and “Nope” cards but cannot come back to life
  • 2 and 3 card combos are valid
  • 5 card combo is not valid
  • The Cone of Shame will not be used (even if Reverse cards are in play)

The Draw Pile will consist of random cards from any version of Exploding Kittens, and we will provide those cards. Each player will contribute two of their chosen cards to the Draw Pile (keeping 4 in their hand) and then the Draw Pile will be shuffled.

After everyone has assembled their starting hands (9 cards total: 4 chosen starting hand cards, 4 random cards dealt from the shuffled Draw Pile, and 1 Defuse) the Draw Pile will be shuffled again with enough Exploding Kittens to kill all but 1 player, then the game will begin. The rules will be the same as Exploding Kittens: Original Edition unless otherwise mentioned above.

The winner from each game will advance to the semi-finals and then the finals.


Tournament Field Guide

Any card in this field guide has a chance of appearing in the game. Anything not outlined below will not appear in the game at all.

Exploding Kitten

NOT AVAILABLE FOR PLAYER SELECTION.
Will automatically be included in the Draw Pile.
Additional Exploding Kittens are only added if someone chooses to bring a Streaking Kitten.

You must show this card immediately. Unless you have a Defuse, you’re dead. When you die, put the kitten that killed you face up in front of you so everyone can see that you're dead, and put the rest of your cards face down in front of you.

 

Defuse

You can choose to bring a Defuse to add to the Draw Pile, but you CANNOT choose it for your Starting Hand.

If you drew an Exploding Kitten, you can play this card instead of dying. Place your Defuse in the Discard Pile.

Then take the Exploding Kitten, and without reordering or viewing the other cards, secretly put it back in the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like.

Your turn is over after playing this card.

Tool Tip: Want to hurt the player right after you? Put the kitten right on top of the deck. If you’d like, hold the deck under the table so that no one else can see where you put it.

 

Streaking Kitten


It cannot be part of your starting hand.
If you choose to put the Streaking Kitten in the Draw Pile, the additional Exploding Kitten that we add to the Draw Pile does NOT count against your selection limit.

While this card is in your hand, you can also secretly hold 1 Exploding Kitten without exploding.

BUT
If the Streaking Kitten leaves your hand for any reason, the Exploding Kitten in your hand will explode. You must defuse it or die.

If another player steals or receives an Exploding Kitten from your hand, they explode. They must defuse it or die.

If you take any action causing you to play an Exploding Kitten from your hand into the Discard Pile, you explode. You must defuse it or die.

 

Attack (2x)

End your turn without drawing a card, and immediately force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. If the victim of an Attack plays this card on any of their turns, the attacks “stack” and their turns are immediately transferred to the next player, who must take the Attacker’s current and remaining untaken turn(s) PLUS 2 additional turns.

TOOL TIP: For Example: If the victim of an Attack plays another Attack, the next player must take 4 turns. However, if the victim completes 1 turn, and THEN plays an Attack on their second turn, the next player must take only 3 turns.

 

Targeted Attack (2x)

End your turn without drawing a card, and immediately choose any player (including yourself) to take 2 turns in a row. If the victim of an Attack plays any type of Attack on any of their turns ([LIST ALL TYPES OF ATTACK CARDS IN THIS GAME]), the Attacks "stack." (See the "Attack" rules for more details.)

 

Personal Attack (3x)

This Attack is played on yourself. Immediately take 3 turns in a row. Take your current turn as normal, then when that turn is over, it’s your turn 2 more times. If the victim of an Attack plays any type of Attack on any of their turns ([LIST ALL TYPES OF ATTACK CARDS IN THIS GAME]), the Attacks "stack." (See the "Attack" rules for more details.) 

 

Attack of the Dead

End your turn without drawing a card. Force the next player to take 3 turns for each Dead player. You cannot play this card if there are no Dead players. If the victim of an Attack plays any type of Attack on any of their turns ([LIST ALL TYPES OF ATTACK CARDS IN THIS GAME]), the Attacks "stack." (See the "Attack" rules for more details.)

Tool Tip: The more Dead players there are, the deadlier this card gets. Just don’t wait too long to use it or you might lose your chance.

 

Bury

Play this card, then end your turn by drawing a card. After looking at it, put it back into the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like in secret.

Tool Tip: This is great if you’re SURE the top card in the Draw Pile is an Exploding Kitten; not so great if you were wrong.

You cannot play this card if you have an I’ll Take That in front of you.

 

Catomic Bomb

NOT AVAILABLE FOR PLAYER SELECTION. Can only be included as a RANDOM CARD.

Remove all the Exploding Kittens from the Draw Pile so that everyone can see them. Then shuffle the Draw Pile and return all the Exploding Kittens face down on top.

Then, end your turn without drawing a card.

 

Clairvoyance [NOW]

Play this card when another player has played a Defuse. You get to watch where they insert the Exploding Kitten(s) into the deck.

NOW: You can play this at any time before an action has begun, even if it is not your turn. Dead players can also play this card.

Tool Tip: Think the player putting the Exploding Kitten card(s) back into the deck has a grudge against you? Watch them put the Kitten(s) back into the deck to be sure!

 

Clone

Play this card into the Discard Pile and it becomes whatever card is beneath it and adopts the rules of that card.

You cannot play a Clone on top of another Clone.

You cannot play a Clone when it is not your turn or if you are Dead—even if you play it on top of a card with the [NOW] symbol (because, at the time you played it, it was still a Clone and can only be played on your turn).

Tool Tip: You can play a Cat Card with a Clone to create a Pair and steal a card (because the Clone becomes the same card as the Cat Card you put beneath it). This only works if you are the player who played both the Cat Card AND the Clone. You cannot play a Clone on top of a Cat Card played by another player!

 

Curse of the Cat Butt

Pick a target player. That player must immediately make their cards CURSED by putting them face down on the table and shuffling them. The Cursed player is not allowed to look at any of their cards until they successfully draw a card from the Draw Pile without dying.

On their turn, if the Cursed player decides to play any cards, those cards must be picked randomly and played face up on the Discard Pile. If the card is playable, play as normal. If not, (a single Cat Card, etc.) the card is lost.

SEE ADDITIONAL RULES FOR CURSE OF THE CAT BUTT— 

 

Dig Deeper

Draw the top card from the Draw Pile, look at it, and decide if you want to keep it. If so, put it in your hand, and your turn is over. Otherwise you MUST draw the next card in the Draw Pile no matter what it is. Then, put the card you decided not to draw back on top of the Draw Pile.

 

Tool Tip: This card is a great way to mess with the heads of other players. If you decide not to keep the top card, everyone will worry about why you didn’t want it!

 

Draw from the Bottom

End your turn by drawing the bottom card from the Draw Pile.

 

Favor

Force any other player to give you 1 card from their hand. They choose which card to give you. 

 

Feed the Dead [NOW]

Choose any Dead player. All Living players (except you) must choose 1 card from their hand to give to the Dead player.

NOW: You can play this card at any time before an action has begun, even if it is not your turn. Dead players can also play this card, even on themselves.

 

Garbage Collection

Every player who has cards (including the player who played this card) must choose 1 card from their hand to secretly insert into the Draw Pile. Then, shuffle the entire Draw Pile.

Tool Tip: If you have an Exploding Kitten in your hand (see “Streaking Kitten”), you can use it as your chosen card when Garbage Collection is played.

 

Grave Robber

All Dead players with cards must choose 1 card from their hand to shuffle into the Draw Pile.

You cannot play this card if there are no Dead players.

Tool Tip: This is very useful near the end of the game when you need a better chance of avoiding an Exploding Kitten.

 

I’ll Take That

Play this card face up in front of another player. The next time they draw a card, they must secretly view and hand it to you, and then put the “I’ll Take That” Card in the Discard Pile.

If they hand you an Exploding Kitten, you must Defuse it or explode. Play continues as if that player had drawn a card and ended their turn.

You cannot play this card in front of a player who already has one in front of them.

Tool Tip: Useful when you’re sure a player is going to draw a card that you want!

 

Mark

Pick a target player. Randomly pick one of their cards and “Mark” it by returning the card to their hand facing out to the other players. The card is still part of their hand (and they can look at it), but it must stay Marked until it is played or stolen.

If a Marked card is stolen, it doesn’t stay Marked.

 

Potluck

Starting with you and going around the table in the direction of play, each player with cards must place a card of their choice face down on top of the Draw Pile.

 

Nope

Stop any action except for an Exploding Kitten or a Defuse. It’s as if the card beneath a Nope never existed.

You can also play a Nope on another Nope to negate it and create a Yup, and so on.

You can play a Nope at any time before an action has begun, even if it’s not your turn. Dead players can also play this card. Any cards that have been Noped are lost. Leave them in the Discard Pile.

You can even play a Nope on a Special Combo.

 

Raising Heck

Look at the bottom card from the Draw Pile, then decide whether you want to take it into your hand or put it on top of the Draw Pile. Regardless of your decision, this ends your turn.

 

Reverse

Reverse the order of play and end your turn without drawing a card. If there are only 2 players, this card acts like a Skip.

Tool Tip: If you play this card after you’ve been attacked, the order of play is reversed, but you’ve only ended 1 of your 2 turns.

 

See the Future [3x]

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and put them back in the same order. Don’t show the cards to the other players.

 

Alter the Future (3x)

NOT AVAILABLE FOR PLAYER SELECTION. Can only be included as a RANDOM CARD.

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and rearrange them in any order you’d like. Return them to the top of the Draw Pile face down. Don’t show the cards to the other players.

 

Alter the Future (3x) [NOW]

NOT AVAILABLE FOR PLAYER SELECTION. Can only be included as a RANDOM CARD.

Privately view the top 3 cards from the Draw Pile and rearrange them in any order you’d like. Return them to the top of the Draw Pile face down. Don’t show the cards to the other players.

NOW: You can play this card at any time before an action has begun, even if it is not your turn. Dead players can also play this card.

Tool Tip: “NOW” means you can play this card even when it’s not your turn. Is someone about to draw a card? Alter the Future Now. Did they just See the Future? Alter the Future Now, before they draw. However, you can’t play it in the middle of an action (like WHILE someone is shuffling the deck).

 

Share the Future (3x)

NOT AVAILABLE FOR PLAYER SELECTION. Can only be included as a RANDOM CARD.

Privately view the top 3 cards in the Draw Pile and rearrange them in any order you’d like. Show these cards to the next player before returning them to the top of the Draw Pile face down. Don’t show the cards to any of the other players.

 

Reveal the Future (3x)

Reveal the top 3 cards of the draw pile to ALL players, then put them back without changing their order.

 

Shuffle

Shuffle the Draw Pile until the next player tells you to stop.

Tool Tip: Useful when you know there’s an Exploding Kitten coming.

 

Shuffle [NOW]

Shuffle the Draw Pile until the next player tells you to stop. 

NOW: You can play this at any time before an action has begun, even if it is not your turn. Dead players can also play this card.

Tool Tip: A great way to use this card is right after someone plays a See the Future but before they draw a card!

  

Skip

Immediately end your turn without drawing a card.

Tool Tip: If you play a Skip as a defense to an Attack, it only ends 1 of the 2 turns. 2 Skips would end both turns.

 

Super Skip

Immediately end your turn without drawing a card. If you’re supposed to take multiple turns, end them all.

Tool Tip: This is useful when you’ve been attacked.

 

Swap Top and Bottom

Swap the top and bottom cards of the Draw Pile without looking at the cards.

 

Cat Cards - 4 of Each Type of Card

These cards are powerless on their own, but if you collect any 2 matching Cat Cards, you can play them as a pair to steal a random card from any player.

They can also be used in Special Combos.

 

Feral Cat

Use as any Cat Card. This card cannot be used as a non-Cat Card (Shuffle, Attack, etc).

 


SPECIAL COMBOS 

Two of a Kind

Playing matching pairs of Cat Cards (where you get to steal a random card from another player) no longer only applies to Cat Cards. It now applies to ANY pair of cards in the deck with the same title (a pair of Shuffle Cards, a pair of Attack Cards, etc.) Ignore the instructions on the cards when you play them as a Special Combo.

Three of a Kind

Exactly the same as Two of a Kind, but you get to name the card you want from the other player. If they have it, you get to take it. If not, you get nothing. Ignore the instructions on the cards when you play them as a Special Combo.



Curse of the Cat Butt [Extended Rules]

CURSED Exploding Kitten

If you draw an Exploding Kitten (and don’t have a Streaking Kitten), that does not count as successfully drawing a card. You must now play cards without looking at them until you play a Defuse. All non-Defuse cards played are lost without any effect. After successfully defusing the Exploding Kitten, you can return to non-Cursed play. 

If you play an Exploding Kitten while Cursed, you explode immediately and must defuse the Exploding Kitten without looking at your cards, or die. 

If you’re the most unlucky person in the world and play an Exploding Kitten while trying to defuse an Exploding Kitten, you must defuse each of them before continuing.

CURSED Favor

If you play a Favor while Cursed, you may look at the card you receive before turning it face down and shuffling it into your hand on the table. 

CURSED Mark

If an opponent Marks you while you are Cursed (or if you become Cursed while holding a Marked card), the Marked card must remain facing the opposite direction from the rest of your hand until it is played or stolen.

CURSED Three of a Kind

If an opponent plays the “Three of a Kind” special combo on you while you are Cursed, find the card requested (if you have it), give it to them, then put your cards back on the table face down and shuffle them.

CURSED Garbage Collection

If Garbage Collection is played while you are Cursed, you must pick a card to contribute without looking at your cards. After you have made your selection, you may secretly view the card (so that if you’ve accidentally given up a Streaking Kitten and you’re left with an Exploding Kitten in your hand, you can try to defuse it).

CURSED Barking Kitten

If you play a Barking Kitten while Cursed, follow the same rules as if you had played it normally. If a Barking Kitten is played and a Cursed player has the other Barking Kitten, they must now play cards face down until they play a Defuse. All non-Defuse cards played are lost without effect. After successfully defusing, that player can return to non-Cursed play.

If you have a Barking Kitten face up in front of you and become Cursed (or play one when Cursed), keep the Barking Kitten visible to all players.

In all cases, after resolving the Barking Kittens, both players may look at their new hands to see if they now have an Exploding Kitten without a Streaking Kitten that must be defused.

CURSED I’ll Take That

If an I’ll Take That is played on you while you are Cursed, you may look at the card you draw before giving it away as usual. Then you will become Uncursed because you have successfully drawn a card (even if the card you gave away was an Exploding Kitten). If you are Cursed and receive a card from an I’ll Take That, follow the rules of playing a Favor while Cursed.

CURSED Potluck

If Potluck is played while you are Cursed, you must pick a card to place on the Draw Pile without looking at your cards. After you have made your selection, you may secretly view the card (because if you’ve accidentally given up a Streaking Kitten and you’re left with an Exploding Kitten in your hand, you must defuse it or die).