Photo by Kate Kalvach on Unsplash
Large gatherings, while fun, aren’t always feasible – especially when you’re social distancing or you just want to get together with a couple close friends. If you’re worried that smaller get-togethers won’t be as interesting, though, you couldn’t be more wrong.
There are tons of games that cater to small groups of people. In fact, it’s probably much easier to find a great card game that can support four people than, say, ten or more.
To show you what I mean, I’ve gathered a list of the best card games for four adults. Whether you’re just playing with friends or you’re on a double date, these games will be perfect for you.
Best Card Games for Four Adults
Clue the Card Game
Chances are, you’ve played a game of Clue at least once growing up. If you’re looking for something to appeal to your nostalgia, the Clue card game is a great option.
In this game, the classic that we all know and love has been revised to be even quicker and easier. All the details of the crime are hidden under a crime card, and players must pretend to be investigators by asking each other questions.
The next time you’re hanging out with your friends or family on a rainy day, consider adding this game to the mix. Who doesn’t want to solve a murder mystery together?
- Based on the classic board game that most people are familiar with.
- It can be played relatively quickly, so it won’t take up a lot of your time.
- Great for those mystery lovers you may have in your social circle.
- It’s easy for beginners to learn.
- The fast-paced gameplay might feel a little too fast for some.
Exploding Kittens is the kind of game you play with total beginners or when you’re in the mood for something zany that will make you laugh. For one thing, its cards are full of fun, colorful art that all cat owners will get a kick out of.
Then, for another thing, it has high-speed and beginner-friendly gameplay. Anyone can learn to play it within a couple of minutes.
Basically, your only objective is to outlast other players by avoiding drawing exploding kitten cards. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself, such as playing a defuse card that prevents kittens from exploding or playing cards that prevent you from drawing at all.
Games end fairly quickly, as exploding kittens are common. This means you can play it while waiting for your food at a restaurant, or you can squeeze a game or two in at the bar comfortably.
- Super simple to play.
- Fun artwork and cat theme that cat owners will enjoy.
- Games don’t take too long, so you can play multiple or move on to another game.
- If you want to spice things up, there’s an adult version of the game you can get.
- Some people might find the humor cringey, immature, or unnecessarily vulgar.
- It’s not the kind of game you pick if you’re looking for something to play for hours.
Magic: the Gathering Game Night
Have you ever wanted to get into Magic: the Gathering, but felt it was too complicated and expensive? There’s a solution to that: Magic: the Gathering Game Night.
It comes with everything you need to start playing, including five pre-built decks. Each player can simply choose the deck they’re most interested in and then start duking it out.
Plus, once you get more comfortable with the game, you can start revising the decks. Find any of them boring? Mix them up with cards from other decks to build entirely new strategies.
- This is probably one of the best ways to introduce new players to MTG.
- Includes five pre-made decks so you don’t have to struggle with deck-building.
- Comes with five dice for keeping tabs on your life totals.
- Highly strategic gameplay that can feel different every time.
- You can mix up the decks once you feel more comfortable playing the game.
- There’s a bit of a steep learning curve with Magic, so be patient with yourself as you learn to play.
More MTG Advice: Best MTG Sets for New Players
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is one of those games that’s ubiquitous. It spawned a whole genre of prompt and answer party games that parties around the world have enjoyed.
So, why not go back to the classics? This is a good pick for you if you want something foul-mouthed, adult, and easy to play. It would work particularly well when you’re drinking.
The drawback to CAH is that it needs a minimum of four players to play. It tends to work better the more people you have, because you’re less likely to know who submitted what card. However, it can still work with four people.
- Extremely easy to play.
- It has a more adult sense of humor that may appeal to your gathering.
- Has tons of prompt and response cards that you likely won’t work your way through in a single game.
- Should you ever choose to play with more people, it can support up to 20 players.
- Can feel repetitive if you play with the same people over and over again.
Are you tired of playing card games that feel the same every time you play them? Do you have a game on your shelf that you only played once, and you’ve never bothered with it again?
In that case, Oh Fruck! could be the versatile option you’re looking for. Because the rules can change with every game you play, no two games will feel exactly alike.
Your goal is to attempt to empty your hand. However, there are rule cards that players can put out to alter the ways in which players must behave or dispose of cards. Some rule cards even force you to draw more cards.
The result is something that cannot be predicted. Each game will feel totally unique.
- The changing nature of the gameplay prevents it from getting old.
- Includes a weird Benevolent Order of Fruckers membership card? I’m honestly not sure what you’re supposed to do with it, but it’s there.
- Fairly simple to learn, especially if you’ve played Uno before.
- Fast-paced gameplay will keep you on your toes.
- Some owners feel that the game is a little costly, considering the quality of the materials.
If you don’t have any filters with your friend group, consider whipping out Red Flags. This game has the potential to make a few people uncomfortable, but it’s also a blast.
One person takes the role of the judge every round. The other players must take three cards from their hands – each one depicting a desirable trait – and choose which ones they think the judge would find most attractive. Then, once the cards are down, each player attempts to sabotage the person to their left by choosing a “red flag” card from their hand, which portrays a negative trait.
It could be anything. You might have card that says something like, “keeps talking about their ‘hot cousin,’” or any other range of horrible qualities. The combinations are endless, ranging from disturbing to hilarious.
The judge then decides which person, based on the traits for each player (including the red flag), is the most date-worthy. Whoever ended up making the least repellant person wins that round.
- The combinations can be hilarious.
- It’s highly replayable, since there are so many combos.
- Perfect for groups of people who have no filter.
- Easy to play.
- Has the potential to make some players uncomfortable.
- You need to know everyone you’re playing with really well to succeed.
New Phone, Who Dis?
If you like the kind of gameplay used in Cards Against Humanity but are looking for a fresh take on it, New Phone, Who Dis? is potentially a great option for you. It has the same prompt and response format, but with a twist.
Players must basically simulate text conversations, and the judge for the round will decide which one they felt was the funniest. One card, the prompt, represents the text you receive. If you’re not the judge, you submit a card representing the text you would reply with.
I don’t know how much older adults would enjoy this, but younger ones would likely get a kick from it, especially if they’ve been paying attention to meme formats from recent years.
- Everyone can learn to play this quickly.
- Supports both large and small groups of players.
- It has tons of reply and inbox cards so there’s a huge range of combinations.
- Will likely make you laugh.
- May feel repetitive if you play it with the same group repeatedly.
- The humor may not appeal to older adults.
Truth or Drink
This is another game you may want to save for your more open-minded friends. If you’re not totally comfortable with each other, you might end up finding things out about each other that you’d rather not know.
The premise of the game is simple: tell the truth in response to a card or take a drink. You may want to alternate your drinks with water, though, because you’ll definitely find yourselves getting tipsy, otherwise.
- You may learn more about your friends.
- Easy, clear-cut gameplay.
- Great if you’re looking for a way to incorporate alcohol into your game night
- If your friends have no filter, you may find out too much about them.
More Like This: Best Drinking Card Games for Couples
How to Choose a Card Game for Four Adults
Number of Players
You’ve already decided the number of players you’ll have if you’re looking at this guide: four. You don’t need to decide how many people are going to play at this point, but you do need to ensure that the card game you end up choosing supports the requisite number of people.
This is fairly easy information to find. Most card games will say it right near the top of the product listing, but if they don’t, you can confirm the number of players by looking at pictures of the box.
One thing to keep in mind is the maximum number of players the game supports. If the maximum number is significantly larger than four, you may find that playing with four people makes the game feel totally different. The same thing applies if the minimum number of players is four.
In situations like this, be patient with the game if it doesn’t quite feel right and play it with more people when you can.
Average Game Length
Another thing I personally always recommend thinking about is how long the card game goes on. If you’re gathering with a few other people, chances are, you have other plans for the evening.
If you’re going out, ordering in, watching a movie – literally anything else – you’ll want a card game that’s shorter. These types of games are especially good to play while you’re waiting somewhere.
On the other hand, longer games can be excellent for when you want to stay in and spend the evening on a single game. Even short games can work for this, though, if you’re willing to play them more than once in a row.
In every single guide I write about card games, one of the things I consistently suggest looking at is theme. You and your social circle have unique interests. Even if you would otherwise like a particular game, the wrong theme can make it feel less fun.
For example, you may enjoy shedding games that require you to empty your hand. But if they have a dry historical theme, you could find them uninteresting.
There are thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – options out there. No matter what interests and hobbies you have, there are card games to support it. Don’t be afraid to look for fantasy games, sci-fi games, or even romance-themed games – the sky’s the limit.
Ask yourself about the experience and comfort of the people you’ll be playing with. Are they experienced card game players, or are they beginners?
Answering that question will help you determine what kind of learning curve you’re looking for. Beginners or casual players will appreciate you bringing out a card game with a shallow learning curve that can be picked up quickly.
On the flipside, seasoned card game players who love deep strategy will love games that challenge their critical thinking skills.
Learning curve, unfortunately, is something that isn’t always easy to determine at a glance. The description will give you an idea of how difficult the game is to learn, but if you’re still uncertain, try reading a few customer reviews.
It would be too easy to recommend an ultra-popular game like Cards Against Humanity to you. Although I think that’s an excellent game for four adults to play, I also think that it works better for slightly larger groups.
If you’re still not sure what to pick, my recommendation is Red Flags. I’ve played it a few times and had a blast every single time. It’s amazingly easy to introduce new players to, and casual and seasoned card game fans alike seem to love it.
Plus, you’ll love seeing the crazy combinations that occur with this game. If you end up playing it often and get bored of the base set, there are even expansions you can buy.