The Best Adult Card Games, According To Game Experts

Unsure how to talk to people after two years inside? Experts share the best conversation-starting card games to break the ice.
<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Indie-Boards-and-Cards-COU1IBC/dp/B00GDI4HX4?th=1&tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Coup" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Indie-Boards-and-Cards-COU1IBC/dp/B00GDI4HX4?th=1&tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Coup</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Charty-Party-Absurdly-Charts-Visualization/dp/B07QVB2VGQ/ref=asc_df_B07QVB2VGQ/?tag=griffinwynne-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=366338325499&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6780628663419215642&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007303&hvtargid=pla-841967846087&ref=&adgrpid=77662697953&th=1&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Charty Party" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Charty-Party-Absurdly-Charts-Visualization/dp/B07QVB2VGQ/ref=asc_df_B07QVB2VGQ/?tag=griffinwynne-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=366338325499&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6780628663419215642&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007303&hvtargid=pla-841967846087&ref=&adgrpid=77662697953&th=1&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">Charty Party</a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Incohearent-Adult-Party-Game-What/dp/B07QSCQMXV?tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Incoherent" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Incohearent-Adult-Party-Game-What/dp/B07QSCQMXV?tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=62a1ff48e4b06169ca87bad7%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">Incoherent</a> are three adult card games recommended by gaming experts.
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Coup, Charty Party and Incoherent are three adult card games recommended by gaming experts.

Are you unsure how to talk to people at a party after spending two years inside? Do you get overly competitive about absolutely everything? Do you love inside jokes and weird referential humor that only makes sense in a specific context and otherwise could be seen as distasteful? Sounds like you need to play more adult card games.

For Vanessa Davies, chief strategist and co-owner of PhD Matters, the maker of the adult card game Life’s Potluck Buffet, playing games at parties or social events can help break the ice and relieve any lingering social nervousness.

“Even in the best of times, honest and meaningful interaction between humans is difficult without a structured activity,” Davies told HuffPost. “Playing games with each other can alleviate social anxiety because the game provides a framework for social interaction.”

When it comes to more conversational card-based games, you likely know about Apples To Apples and the more R-rated Cards Against Humanity. Matt Hendricks, owner of Thirsty Dice, a board game cafe in Philadelphia, explains that rotating games like these resonate with players because the goal is to impress individuals each round, instead of objectively winning.

“The card-based ‘rotating judge’ game genre gained a lot of traction because of how easy it was to get into,” Hendricks told HuffPost. “It pushes players to empathize with the judge who is picking the winning card. Like most great games, this design recognizes it’s not about the cards, board, or pieces — but the players you are with.”

To maximize the fun and ease back into socializing, browse the adult card games ahead, recommended by Hendricks and others experts — along with a few reviewer-approved picks of our own.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

1
If you’ve memorized all the Cards Against Humanity prompts
Like Cards Against Humanity, Cheer Up! is an easy, fuss-free pick-up card game that you can play with a large group, said Tom Schenck, a sales associate, game educator and Dungeon Master at The Philly Game Shop. Yet, putting three cards down for every answer instead of just one gives more opportunities to get creative (and inappropriate) with your answers.

"Cheer Up! is a very popular one, I like it more than Cards Against Humanity," Schenck said. "The cards that you play [put down for the prompt], are constructed out of three different cards, so it doesn't have the same repetitiveness like Cards Against Humanity can have once you've played it a bunch of times."
2
For players that love a visual aid
Statistics nerds, rejoice! For a visual card game based on connecting prompts to not-actually-scientific line graphs, Schenck recommends Charty Party. “[This is] one of my favorites,” Schenck said.
3
For putting your mouth where your meme is
Instead of sharing funny memes and TikToks on social media, What Do You Meme? lets you laugh about internet jokes offline. Put down your phone and find the best-suited prompt for internet-trending visuals. This game is "a great way to unplug in familiar territory,” Hendricks said.
4
For people who aren't into “game-y” games
There's no winner or loser here, just a stack of questions prompting serious, silly and sentimental group conversations. Though you might start by answering the direct question written on each card, the hope is that you'll organically move to other related — and unrelated — topics. Reviewers say it's a great way to get the conversation started, or go deeper, whether in a small group or even on a date night.

"Everyone likes a good debate!" wrote reviewer AnUrbanMa. "We played this game for a date night activity, and my husband got into it. It's perfect because you only get ten minutes, so you're forced to keep it moving, and no one can take the answers personally. The questions are excellent; they're current, provocative, and unpredictable."
5
For fast-paced fun and lots of lies
Schenck says Coup is one of The Philly Game Shop's best-selling adult card games. "A game lasts maybe 15 minutes," he said. "It's been around a long time, it's really fast, and it's fun because it's just about lying and bluffing to each other."
6
For TikTok fiends
Like What Do You Meme, the customer-favorite Tell Me Without Telling Me brings the joy of the internet to real life. Styled after the TikTok meme, this game gives you a prompt with a word you're not allowed to say, inviting you to act or talk around it. Reviewers say it's laugh-out-loud funny and totally topical.

"The creators did not hold back on this game!! It’s creative, smart and full of adrenaline once you get started," Amazon reviewer Jonathan & Jose said. "The packaging is perfect and easy to store everything back into place, the timer makes your adrenaline pump and the NSFW deck… WATCH OUT! The creators went there!! It’s AMAZING! 100 out of 5 stars! The rounds are perfectly timed and the deck keeps things speedy and interesting. This is a must-have to bring out to parties and drink along to. You’ll learn new things from your teammates you didn’t think they would know (wink) haha!!"
7
For role-playing game lovers
Though it takes a little more explaining and involvement (i.e. you likely won't play this when you're tipsy and only half paying attention), Schenck says The Crew is a more intense crowd-pleaser for competitive people that love games. "It's more complex," Schenck said. "Imagine if you had to play Uno, but you ... couldn't tell people what you had in your hand."

A cooperative game where you need to work with the other players to win, The Crew demands you be quick, strategic and creative. It gets harder as more round go on, so the intensity increases through the night.
8
Incohearent - A "Guess The Gibberish" Game
Per Hendricks, this phrase-guessing game has been a big hit at the Thirsty Dice. If you love that Instagram story filter where you're given a gibberish phrase that you have to say out loud, this is the game for you. It's light and quick and not too intimate, so it's great for bigger parties or hanging out with new friends you're still getting to know.
9
For astrology buffs
The rotating style of games like Apples To Apples or Cards Against Humanity encourages players to play to the given judge, Hendricks said. Rather than finding "the best" or "the funniest" answer in general, you're trying to find the answer the specific judge will love.

This intentionality goes two-fold with "What's Your Sign" a game with a rotating judge and astrology sign-themed prompts asking the players to match the sceneries to the zodiac.

Reviews say it's a welcome, horoscope-inspired take on fill-in-the-blank games.

"If you're a fan of games like Cards Against Humanity and astrology, this game is perfect for you," wrote reviewer Becca Meier. My roommate and I were crying laughing at some of the cards we played. It's a fresh take on a classic game style, and once quarantine times are rolled back, I'm definitely going to bring this to every party I go to!"
10
If you love trivia night at the bar
For a more laid-back vibe where being nonsensical is encouraged, Schenck suggests Race To Stupid. It's another round-table game where everyone writes intentionally wrong answers to trivia questions, hoping to get the most laughs. "It's in the vein as Cards Against Humanity, but not the same," said Schenck. "It has different sorts of prompts for creating conversations.”
11
A grown-up "Never Have I Ever"
Find connections between your friends and create a judgment-free space to share embarrassing stories, risqué memories and heartfelt desires with this “shameless” activity. As the name states, it's an open-minded collection of conversation and action prompts, encouraging you to come clean about your dirty secrets, and to see who else can relate. Reviews say it's best played with people who will tell the truth.

"Dirty and scandalous! Super fun to play on a bachelorette party weekend! The game really is shameless but make sure whoever you’re playing with is willing to be open and honest or it won’t be fun!" — Nicole
12
For truly frivolous fun
"'Exploding Kittens’ tends to be more teenage [and] college age," Schenck said. "The artist also has a webcomic but it's just a silly game of trying not to explode." It has over 56,000 positive reviews on Amazon, citing how fast-paced and silly it is.
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