Apples to Apples Board Game Instructions

Apples to Apples

The Apples to Apples board game instructions are very easy to understand for everyone age 12 and older. Four to ten players can play at a time, so this is a terrific family and childrens board game. It is also a great party game and a fun, educational board game to play in the classroom.

Basic Apples to Apples Board Game Instructions

The Apples to Apples "Partybox" edition of the game consists of two decks of cards:

  • A red apple card deck of 749 cards - Each card is printed with a noun or noun phrase such as the name of a person, place, thing or event.
  • A green apple card deck of 249 cards - Each card is printed with an adjective which is the characteristic of a person, place, thing or event.

The game is played by the judge selecting one card from one deck and dealing cards from the other deck to the players. The object of the game is for the players to select the best card from their hand to match the word on the card selected by the judge.

The game is very easy to learn and moves quickly - it only takes about 20-30 minutes to play. So, it's a great game to play when you or someone in your family is bored.

Setting Up the Game Area

Each stack of cards should be shuffled. The cards should be placed in the card tray:

  • Red apple cards should be placed in the four deep wells
  • Green apple cards should be placed in the narrow wells

Getting Started

The game starts by the players choosing a player to be the starting judge.The judge:

  • Deals seven red apple cards face down on the table to each player
  • Gives himself a card face down on the table

Each player:

  • Can look at their cards
  • Hold their cards with the words facing them

Rules of Play

Apples to Apples

Now that you have the game set up, here are the Apples to Apples board game instructions.

The Judge

  • Picks a green apple card from the top of the stack
  • Reads the word on the green apple card to the other players
  • Places the green apple card face up on the table

Each Player

  • Chooses the red apple card in their hand that is best described by the word that was on the green apple card picked by the judge
  • Places the chosen red apple card face down on the table

Then the Judge

  • Mixes the red apple cards placed on the table, keeping them all face down
  • Turns over the four cards on the table
  • Selects each red apple card one at a time, turns it over and reads it aloud
  • Selects the red apple card with the word that is best described by the word on the green apple card. The official rules encourage the judge to look for matches that are creative, humorous or interesting.
  • Awards the green apple card to the player who submitted the winning red apple card
  • Places all red apple cards played during the round into the game box
  • Passes the card tray to the player on the left. The player on the left becomes the new judge.

The new judge deals enough red apple cards to each player so that each player has seven red apple cards in their hand.

Green Apple Cards Needed to Win
Number of Payers Cards Needed
4 8
5 7
6 6
7 5
8 - 10 4

Winning the Game

The game ends when a player has earned enough green apple cards to win the game:

Variations on Basic Rules

There are a lot of variations of the game.

Apple Turnovers

The roles of the red apple cards and the green apple cards are reversed. Players use the green "adjective" cards to describe the red apple "noun" card.

The judge:

  • Deals five green cards to each player at the beginning of the game
  • Turns over a red apple card and reads it aloud

Each player:

  • Chooses the green apple card in their hand that best describes the word on the red apple card

Then, the judge:

  • Selects the green apple card that best describes the word on the red apple card
  • Awards the red apple card to the player who played the chosen green apple card

Crab Apples

The basic rules are used except that the judge chooses the red apple cards that are least like, or the opposite of, the word on the green apple card.

Other Game Editions

Other versions of Apples to Apples are available with words selected for a specific age group or topic:

  • Apples to Apples Kids - For children age 7 or older
  • Apples to Apples Junior - For children age 9 or older
  • Apples to Apples British Isles Edition - For players age 12 and older who are from the British Isles or those familiar with the area
  • Apples to Apples Bible Edition - For players age 9 and older who are familiar with the New and Old Testaments of the Bible
  • Apples to Apples Jewish Edition - For players age 12 and older who are familiar with Jewish history and culture
  • Apples to Apples Yiddish Edition - For players age 9 and older who speak Yiddis>h
Apples to Apples Board Game Instructions