The Apples to Apples Game!

Name: Apples to Apples game

Recommended ages: 12 and over

Number of players: A minimum of 4 up to around 10, with between 6 and 8 giving you the best combination of speed and options

Average playing time: 3 minutes per round


If you’re looking for a good party game Apples to Apples is one of the best available. It’s a quick paced game with each round taking a few minutes to play, and the open end format means that you can play as many rounds as you feel like. It is a comparison game where the best answer gets chosen, so fans of games such as Balderdash will recognize the game play.

How to Play

Learning to play the Apples to Apples game is very simple. Each player is dealt a set of seven red apple cards. These contain nouns, in a very broad sense, and may contain:

  • People and places – These tend to be American, but you may end up with The Queen or the Sydney Opera House in your hand as well.
  • Eras – Typically these tend to refer to decades of the twentieth century, but you’ll also find other centuries mentioned.
  • Objects – These are truly random and will span animate and inanimate objects, from the New York Yankees to Twinkies.

One of the best features of the Apples to Apples game is that each of the red apple cards carries a little description of the noun, often in quite a funny way, to clarify it for people who don’t get the reference.

One player is designated to be the first judge and they pick out a green apple card. These all contain adjectives, and also contain other similar adjectives to help clarify the meaning. The rest of the players then pick out the red apple card from their hand that they feel best matches the adjective on the green apple card.

Once all players have made their selections, they hand them in face down to the judge. The judge mixes them up randomly and then reads them all out. They then pick out the one that they feel best matches the green apple adjective. The person who put in that red apple card wins the green card and becomes the judge for the next round. All players who submitted a red apple card take a new one before the start of the new round.

Winning the Game

Winning an Apples to Apples game is a question of winning the most number of green cards. The makers recommend that the winner should be the first person to get seven green cards, but the pack is big enough that you can play as many rounds as you like. You can also change the criteria for winning a green card:

  • Each player must submit the red apple card that they feel least matches the green apple card. This can get confusing, but leads to some very funny answers.
  • No one player acts as judge. Instead, the green apple card is turned over and everyone submits an answer. The whole party must then vote on the answer that they think is most appropriate.
  • No new red apple cards are introduced. Each player must play through their initial set of seven before getting a new hand.


The only real strategy in the Apples to Apples Board Game is to know your opponents and play to their personalities. For example, if you’re playing with a Red Sox fan, you may win a green apple card saying “arrogant” by playing the New York Yankees red apple card.

Final Thoughts

Having an Apples to Apples game in your house will be a great party piece as it gets people talking and laughing. It’s quick enough to keep people’s attention, silly enough for it not to be taken seriously and big enough to allow plenty of replays without the game getting boring.

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