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How to play Cards Against Humanity online with friends, family or on your own

It's not really 'cards', but it's the next best thing - here's how to play Cards Against Humanity online and stay connected with those you love

Person learning to play Cards Against Humanity online
(Image: © Cards Against Humanity / TechRadar)

Learning how to play Cards Against Humanity online was hugely popular during the global Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 as it was one of the main ways that families and friends around the world were able to bond and stay connected with one another. 

While things are slowly starting to open up again and international travel is beginning to resume, Cards Against Humanity remains one of the most popular web-based games. It's a great option for those of you who don't want to buy a card set or aren't able to physically be in the same room as your opponents. 

Learning how to play card games online is slightly different from playing face to face, but once you get the hang of it, you'll find it's super easy and in terms of entrainment value, Cards Against Humanity is pretty darn hard to beat. 

A popular card game which challenges players to come up with funny answers to a question in order to win rounds, Cards Against Humanity is the perfect opportunity to bring out your inappropriate side in the name of winning the game. 

When it comes to time to play Cards Against Humanity online, you'll love that it doesn't require you to buy any fancy gadgets or even the cards themselves - in fact, most of the options for playing this game are completely free. That being said, if you don't already have one, we recommend you invest in one of the best webcams as it means you'll be able to keep an eye on everyone's facial expressions while you're playing.

You can absolutely play Cards Against Humanity online via your smartphone, but if you're like us and prefer a bigger screen, the the best iPads and best Android tablets are well worth checking out as you may find these little beauties make playing this game more enjoyable. 

The options for playing Cards Against Humanity online have become rather limited over the past 12 months with some long-running websites that used to offer it ceasing to function. But don't worry, we'll talk you through the options that you've still got available to you, including an AI supercomputer you can play against alone, and the option to physically print out Cards Against Humanity packs.

Here's everything you need to know to play Cards Against Humanity online, and, if after having a good virtual laugh with family and friends you're looking for some new face to face options that you can play together when you reunite, check out our guide to the best board games where you'll find plenty of fun to be had!  

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Cards Against Humanity on CAH Store (opens in new tab)
If you've seen all these options and still want to buy a physical set of Cards Against Humanity, because you like real objects or just want to support the creators, the game's store has sets for you. In addition its extra boxes with 300 cards, or smaller themed expansions with 30 cards, are all available too.

How to play Cards Against Humanity online: your three options

  1. Cards Against Humanity Labs: a single-player experience testing future cards out.
  2. All Bad Cards: a new Cards Against Humanity site that seems very reliable.
  3. Just printing the cards out yourself: don't rely on tech.

How to play Cards Against Humanity Online: our guides

Cards Against Humanity

(Image credit: Cards Against Humanity)

Option 1: Cards Against Humanity Lab

Play alone to help the game

Specifications

Players: One
Expansions: Just future cards

Reasons to buy

+
Your online friend is a computer

Reasons to avoid

-
New cards

Cards Against Humanity has its own way to play online, of sorts, but it's not exactly a social experience. 

CAH Lab is an AI that plays you a black card, and gives you a selection of white cards. You have to choose the funniest, or proclaim that none are funny, and keep playing. The point of this is not for you to have fun, but for the AI to learn which cards are best, but it's still a pretty enjoyable experience if no-one's around to play.

The CAH AI can come up with some pretty spectacular choices, and it can be familiar to anyone who plays the base game with the 'Rando Cardissian' rule, which involves playing an extra white card each turn on behalf of a ghostly extra.

Lots of the cards that you find in the CAH Lab are ones that aren't actually in the game packs. This can give you an insight into future expansions, and can be refreshing when games with the base pack quickly become routine. Some of them are... less than funny though.

Play: head over to this website (opens in new tab)

Cards Against Humanity

(Image credit: All Bad Cards)

Option 2: All Bad Cards

Your best bet for playing with friends

Specifications

Players: ?
Expansions: ?

Reasons to buy

+
Reliable interface

Reasons to avoid

-
No instructions for newbies

While the prior entries on this list are long-standing sites, All Bad Cards was created for all the people looking for online versions of Cards Against Humanity during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The game is created by member of Bungie's team (developers of Halo and Destiny) and feels a little smoother and easier to use than the prior entries of this list. The game is more automated too, and you don't have to drag the cards around yourself, making it better for people who aren't so tech-savvy.

The site also hosts custom Cards Against Humanity packs made by players - some of the popular ones we can see include plenty of Coronavirus and Harry Potter-themed ones, amongst others.

Play: head over to this website (opens in new tab).

Option 3: Pretend You're Xyzzy

A solid back-up option

Specifications

Players: ?
Expansions: ?

Reasons to buy

+
One of the OG CAH sites

Reasons to avoid

-
Interface isn't great

Pretend You're Xyzzy might not be as aesthetically pleasing as All Bad Cards, but it's a solid option if you can't use the former for whatever reason. It's pretty popular too.

Pretend You're Xyzzy is one of the stalwart Cards Against Humanity online sites - it was one of the few around before the 2020 lockdown, and while it's gone down a few times, it's still pretty reliable.

Play: head over to this website (opens in new tab).

Cards Against Humanity

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Option 4: Use the internet to print off the cards

Old school style

Specifications

Players: As many as you want
Expansions: None

Reasons to buy

+
You don't need to use a computer

Reasons to avoid

-
Killing the environment

If a computer or smartphone is something you use only begrudgingly, you don't need to play a whole game of Cards Against Humanity on it if you don't want, as you can actually print off the cards from the game's website.

If you head to cardsagainsthumanity.com (opens in new tab) one of the top options is to view a PDF of all the cards. Simply open this, print if off (check out this guide if you need to buy a printer) and cut the sheet into the cards. The Cards Against Humanity Family Edition (opens in new tab) is also available this way.

Only the base game is available to print off, so if you want expansions you're going to have to buy them, and of course printing out loads of paper isn't exactly eco-friendly, so perhaps this is better as a last recourse if computers aren't for you.

Play: head over to this website (opens in new tab).

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