How to Play the Game Apples to Apples


There is an old adage about comparing two different things. Doing so is said to be comparing "apples to oranges." The appropriate thing to do would be to compare apples to other apples. Thus, the board game Apples to Apples was born. Made by Out of the Box Publishing, Apples to Apples has become a highly popular game due to its rather loose set of rules. In fact, the winner can be determined on a totally subjective basis.

Set Up

  • Take the card tray out of the box. Arrange the cards so that the green cards are separate from the red cards.

  • Shuffle the cards well.

  • Select a player to be the first judge. This person will also be the first dealer.

  • The dealer/judge should deal seven cards to each player at the table. The dealing should go around the table clockwise. The dealer shouldn't forget to also give himself seven cards.

  • Players can look at the cards only after everyone has been dealt in.

Playing the Game

  • The judge should play a green topic card from the top of the pile.

  • Look at your hand and select the red item card that is the most appropriate match to the green topic card. Lay that card face down in the middle of the table. All players should do the same.

  • Give your card to the judge. The judge collects all of the cards and mixes them up. The judge will then decide which card best matches the green topic card. It's usually up to the judge to present the winning card in any manner of his choosing. Some judges will reveal the cards one by one. Others will deliberate aloud.

  • The person with the winning red card collects the green card for that hand as his trophy for that win.

  • The judge collects the red cards from that hand and takes them out of circulation.

  • The judge then takes the stacks of red and green cards and hands them off the next person in clockwise order.

  • The new judge repeats the same order of play until a winner is determined.

  • Scoring is based on the number of people playing and first person to collect a certain number of cards. According to the official rules manual, in a four-person game, the first person to eight green cards wins. In a five-person game, the first to six words wins; in a six-person game, it takes six green cards; in a seven-person, it takes five cards; and in games of eight or more people, it takes four cards to win.

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