Exploding Minions
the rules

How to Play
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How it works

In the deck of cards are some Exploding Minions. You play the game by putting the deck face down and taking turns drawing cards until someone draws an Exploding Minion.

When that happens, that person explodes and they are out of the game.

All of the other cards will give you powerful tools to help you avoid exploding!
This process continues until there's only 1 player left who wins the game.


If you explode, you lose
If you don't explode, you win.

For Example

If it was your turn to draw, you could play a See the Future Card to peek at the top few cards in the Draw Pile before drawing.

If you saw an Exploding Minion, you could then play a Skip Card to end your turn without drawing a card instead of exploding.


  • 1

    To start, remove all the Exploding Minions (4) from the deck and set them aside.

  • 2

    If you are playing with 2 PLAYERS: Use only the cards WITH a Gru Tech symbol in the corner (31 cards). Remove the other cards from the game.

    If you are playing with 3 PLAYERS: Use only the cards WITHOUT a Gru Tech symbol in the corner (37 cards). Remove the other cards from the game.

    If you are playing with 4 or 5 PLAYERS: Use all of the cards (68 cards).

  • 3

    Remove all of the Defuse Cards from the deck and deal 1 to each player.

  • 4

    You will have some extra Defuse Cards, so put them back in the deck.

Defuse Cards

The Defuse Card is the most powerful card in the game. These are the only cards that can save you from Exploding Minions. If you draw an Exploding Minion, you can play a Defuse Card instead of dying. Then, reinsert the Exploding Minion back into the Draw Pile anywhere you'd like in secret.
Try to get as many Defuse Cards as you can.

  • 5

    Shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards face down to each player. Everyone now has a hand of 8 cards total. (7 cards + 1 Defuse). Look at your cards but keep them secret.

  • 6

    Insert enough Exploding Minions back into the deck so that there is 1 fewer than the number of people playing. Remove any extra Exploding Minions from the game.

For example

For a 4 player game, insert 3 Exploding Minions.
For a 3 player game, insert 2 Exploding Minions.

This ensures that everyone eventually explodes for 1 person.

  • 7

    Shuffle the deck, and put it face down in the middle of the table.

    (Be sure yo leave some space for a Discard Pile as well.)

  • 8

    Pick a player to go first.

Taking your turn

  • 1

    On your turn you can either:


Play no cards.



Play a card by placing it FACE UP on top of the Discard Pile and following the instructions on the card.

After you follow the instructions on the card, you can play more cards. You can play as many cards as you’d like.

  • 2

    After either passing or playing as many cards as you'd like, you will end your turn by drawing a card from the top of the Draw Pile into your hand and hoping it's not an Exploding Minion. (This is different from most games in that you END YOUR TURN by drawing a card.)

    Play continues clockwise around the table.


Play as many or as few cards as you'd like, then draw a card to end your turn.

Ending the game

The last player who hasn't exploded wins the game.

You won't ever run out of cards in the Draw Pile because you inserted enough Exploding Minions so that everyone will explode except for 1 player.

Three More Things

  • A good strategy is to save your cards early in the game while your chance of exploding is low.
  • You can always count the cards left in the Draw Pile to figure out the odds of exploding.
  • There is no maximum or minimum hand size. If you run out of cards in your hand, there’s no special action to take. Keep playing. You’ll draw at least 1 more card on your next turn.

Example turn

Field Guide

Exploding Minion
4 Cards

You must show this card immediately. Unless you have a Defuse Card, you're out of the game. Put this card and the rest of your unused hand face up in front of you.

3 With
4 Without

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

Exploding Kittens Sample

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

Exploding Kittens Sample

Your turn is over after playing this card

Exploding Kittens Sample

Want to hurt the player right after you? Put the Exploding Minion 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.

Attack (2X)
2 With
3 Without

Do not draw any cards. Instead, immediately force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. Play then continues from that player. The victim of this card takes a turn as normal (pass-or-play then draw). Then, when their first turn is over, it's their turn again.

If the victim of an Attack Card plays an Attack Card on any of their turns, the new target must take any remaining turns plus 2 more (e.g. 4 turns, then 6, and so on).

3 With
4 Without

Stop any action except for an Exploding Minion or a Defuse Card. It's as if any card beneath a Nope Card never existed.

Exploding Kittens Sample

A Nope can be played at any time before an action has begun, even if it's not your turn. Any cards that have been Noped are lost. Leave them in the Discard Pile.

Exploding Kittens Sample

A Nope can also be player on another Nope to cancel it and create a Yup, and so on.

See the future (3x)
3 With
4 Without

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.

2 With
2 Without

Shuffle the Draw Pile thoroughly. (Useful when you know there's an Exploding Minion coming.)

Draw From The Bottom
2 With
3 Without

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

Minion Character Cards
4 of each with
4 of each without

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

Exploding Kittens Sample
1 With
2 Without

Play this card onto 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.

If you draw an Exploding Minion and there is a Defuse Card on top of the Discard Pile, you can play a Clone Card as a Defuse Card to avoid exploding.

Exploding Kittens Sample

You can play a Clone with a Minion Character Card to form a pair and steal a card, but you cannot play a Clone on top of a Minion Character Card played by another player. (Because to use a pair of Minion Character Cards, you must play both of them.)