How Apples to Apples Works

By: Dave Roos

Variations on the Apples to Apples Rules

As you can see from the random selection of cards shown here, the possibilities for matches are just about endless.
Chanel Lee/HSW

Apples to Apples enthusiasts have come up with lots of creative twists and additions to the standard rules. The following variations were culled from the Out of the Box Web site and the official rule sheet for the Apples to Apples Party Box:

Apple Turnovers: Instead of dealing out Red Apple Cards to each player, deal out Green Apple Cards and flip a Red Apple Card for the clue.


Crab Apples: Instead of trying to find the best match, see who can choose the least appropriate match. Example: Appetizing = A can of worms.

Apple Traders: Refresh your hand and sabotage your neighbor by giving one card to the player to your left between each round.

Mr. Nobody: This is especially useful for small groups. When everybody lays down their Red Apple Card, the judge takes another Red Apple Card from the top of the deck and shuffles it into the submissions. You'd be amazed how many times that random card ends up winning the round!

2 for 1 Apples: Instead of turning over one Green Apple Card each round, the judge flips over two green cards. The players have to come up with Red Apple Card submissions that best match both adjectives.

Wild Apples: Insert a number of blank cards into both the Green Apple and Red Apple decks. If the judge flips a blank green card, he or she can write any adjective they want. If a player picks up a blank red card, that player can do the same. It's fun to leave the customized cards in the deck for future games.

Apple's Eye View: In a standard game, the judge is supposed to pick the best match based on his or her personal preference. And if a card reads "My hair" or "My love life," then it's assumed that the card refers to the judge's hair and love life. In this version of the game, the person to the judge's left gets to assign an alter ego to the judge. It can be a famous person or another person in the room. The judge must then assume that alter ego when deciding which card is the best match.

For lots more information on family entertainment, see the links below.

Apples to Apples FAQ

How many cards does each player get in Apples to Apples?
Each player gets seven cards.
Is Apples to Apples kid-friendly?
The original Apples to Apples game is not kid-friendly. However, a version that's just for kids is now available -- it's called Apples to Apples Junior.
What is the objective of the game Apples to Apples?
The objective is to simply match nouns to adjectives. Each player takes turn being the judge who chooses the winning card during individual rounds, and you want your card to be selected so you can collect the most cards.
What's the difference between Apples to Apples and Apples to Apples Junior?
Apples to Apples Junior is designed for kids ages 9 and up and contains cards that are appropriate for young players. The original game, Apples to Apples, is designed for players ages 12 and up with less kid-friendly cards.
How many cards does Apples to Apples have?
Each Apples to Apples game includes 749 red cards and 249 green cards.

Related Articles


  • Munching Apples. "Apples to Apples — Basic Set" (Accessed August 24, 2011)
  • Out of the Box Publishing. "Apples to Apples Party Box: Official Rules" (Accessed August 24, 2011)
  • Out of the Box Publishing. "Apples to Apples Rules Variations" (Accessed August 24, 2011)
  • Out of the Box Publishing. "Awards and Reviews" (Accessed August 21, 2011)