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Easy Instructions to Play Apples to Apples

Easy Instructions to Play Apples to Apples

Mattel's Apples to Apples is a fun-filled party game. Being a card-based game, Apples to Apples features two types of cards; 'Red Apple' cards and 'Green Apple' cards. The goal is to acquire as many green cards as possible, and get rid of the red ones. Plentifun provides you with easy step-by-step instructions on how to play this exciting game.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Apples to Applause
Apples to Apples was chosen by Mensa International in 1999 as a 'Mensa Select' prizewinner, an award given to five games each year.
Apples to Apples is a fast-moving, fun card game, especially meant for parties. The best part is you can play this game with as many as 10 players, and it is the perfect means of recreation for those small evening parties, bachelor parties, kitty parties, and just any kind of get-together. But do remember to include a minimum of 4 players when playing. The reason it is called a party game is that it has been named the 'Party Game of the Year' in the December 1999 issue of the Game magazine.
In this game, basically, the cards have words printed on them; the green ones have adjectives and the red ones have nouns or phrases. As the game progresses, you go on matching the red apple cards in your hand to the green apple cards in the center. Both the red and green cards need to be related to each other in some or the other way. Let's take a look at the game setup and instructions to help you understand all the Apples to Apples rules better.
What's in the box?
  • Red Apple Cards
  • Green Apple Cards
  • Blank Cards
  • Card Tray
Game Objective
Green Apple cards are your friends and the Red ones your enemies; so don't be Snow White and bite the red ones. Try collecting as many greens as possible.
Game Setup
  • Try and sit in a circular formation because it works best.
  • Make use of the card tray as a discard area for the red apple cards.
  • Shuffle the deck of green apple cards and place it in the center.
  • Choose a player to be the judge for the first round; this could ideally be a person who is well aware of all the rules. This is necessary if there are players who are new to the game and require a demonstration.
  • The judge shuffles the red cards and deals each player a minimum of 7 cards; this number could be increased if you want the game to last longer.
How to play?
Flip the top card from the deck of green apple cards.

Each green card contains an adjective. Let's say this one has the adjective 'Harmful'.

Every player refers to the red cards in their hands which contain nouns and phrases. Here's an example of 7 cards a player might have. ('Caffeine', 'Oxygen', 'Cleaning the Bathroom', 'Gila Monsters', 'Stun Guns', 'My Dreams', and 'Genetic Engineering'.) Each player looks for a word or phrase closest to 'Harmful', and throws the respective card.

The judge chooses the best match, but he is not bound by any rules. He can choose as per his likes. For example, if a player throws 'Caffeine', and another throws 'Stun Guns' for 'Harmful'; both are relevant, but the judge might choose 'Caffeine', as he/she is obsessive about health and not very interested in guns and warfare. The best strategy is to judge the nature of the judge. Play relevant but 'judge favorite' cards.

To avoid any bias, all players place their possible matches on the table, face-down. When everyone has played, the judge picks all the cards and mixes them before he takes a peek. The judge would then choose a card that he finds the best suitable match to the green apple card.

The green apple card is then awarded to the player of the winning card. All the red cards are then discarded in the card tray.

With every round, the judge changes; the new judge being the player on the left of the old judge. The next judge could also be the winner of the last hand.

After each round, the players (except the judge and the winning player of the last hand) would draw a new card in order to maintain the card count. This count is the original number of cards dealt to each player. To make it more simple, if four players throw four cards in a round, one wins and gets a green card in place of the red, the remaining 3 red cards are discarded, in place of which the players need to draw new red cards from the stack.
The player who is successful in replacing all his/her red cards with green cards first, wins the game.
Now am sure you're gonna rush to a nearby store to get a pack of Apples to Apples. It would be best to get the original Mattel version to enjoy the game to its fullest.