How to Play Dobble
There are many Dobble versions now available, these rules are for the Dobble classic game, but can be followed for most versions of the game.
What is Dobble?
There are 55 cards in Dobble, with each one containing 8 symbols (out of 50 available in total). From card to card, there will always be one symbol that is identical in shape and colour, but may be different in size. The main focus of the game is to find the matching symbol between cards as fast as possible.
With the Dobble card game, there are five possible games to play with your cards:
- The Towering Inferno
- The Well
- The Hot Potato
- Gotta Catch Them All
- The Poisoned Gift
No matter the game, every player will always be searching for the matching symbol between cards to say out loud in the quickest time.
We will go through the instructions of each of the five mini games to play with your Dobble cards.
Mini Game 1. The Towering Inferno
Goal: Be the player who has gathered the most cards when the draw pile runs out.
|Shuffle all of the cards then place one face down in front of each player, with the remaining cards placed face up in a pile accessible to all players (example shown is for 4 players).||All players flip their cards at the same time and must rush to identify the matching symbol on their card with the card which is face up on the central pile.|
|The first player to notice this match will shout the symbol name aloud then take this card from the pile to place on top of their own card.||Once this card is taken, a new card is revealed on the central pile. Players will continue to find the matching symbols between their top card and the top pile card as quickly as possible.|
Mini Game 2. The Well
Goal: The winner of this mini game is the person who gets rid of all of their cards first, whereas the person who takes the longest is the loser.
|Opposite to the Towering Inferno game, this time all shuffled cards will be distributed evenly between all players. Each player should have a pile of their own cards face down. The final card is placed face up in the middle of players.||All players will flip their piles at the same time, revealing a top card with symbols. The aim is to find a symbol on your own card which matches the central card.|
|This time when the symbol is identified, you will shout out the symbol name but discard your card on the central pile. The middle card will change when a player puts their card on top, so players will continue to find a match with this new card.||Repeat until a player has placed down all of their cards. They are the winner!|
Mini Game 3. The Hot Potato
Goal: Get rid of your cards faster than the other players!
|The Hot Potato is the quickest game which can be played over multiple rounds, best played with 4 or more people. All players will be handed a random card which they will hold face down. All players will turn their hand over at the same time, so that everyone can visibly see each other’s cards.||Players can choose to look at any card of their opponents, but you will race to find the matching symbol between your card and one of the other players’. As soon as a player notices a matching symbol, they will say it aloud then place their card on top of the opponent's card they matched with.|
|This opponent will then use the new card on their pile, if they find a match with another player they will place all of their cards on top of the player’s card. The game will continue until one player is left with all of the cards. Therefore, the aim of the game is to get rid of your card/s as soon as possible.||Considering this happens so quickly, it is recommended that you play this minigame over at least 5 rounds to determine an overall winner.You could choose to continue playing until there are no more cards to hand out. The loser will be the person who has gained the most cards over all of the rounds.|
4. Gotta Catch Them All!
Goal: Collect as many cards as possible before the other players!
|Similarly, Gotta Catch Them All is best played over multiple rounds. Start by placing one card face up in front of players, then place one card face down in front of each person participating. On go, players will turn their card over around the middle card.||Players will race to find matching symbols between all of the outside cards with the middle card. Once you have found an identical symbol, shout this aloud then take the card. This could be your own card or someone else’s, but you must never take the middle card as this remains the same throughout the round.|
When all cards have been taken, and only the middle card remains, a new round can be started by placing the original middle card to the bottom of the main pile of cards and drawing a new one. Gained cards are kept across different rounds.
You could play until there are no longer any cards to be drawn. The winner will be the player who has gained the most cards.
Mini Game 5. The Poisoned Gift
Goal: Collect as few cards as possible from the deck. Arguably the minigame that’s likely to cause the most arguments, this time players could feel sabotaged.
|Place one card face down in front of each player, with the draw pile face up in the middle. All players will reveal their card at the same time, but this time you are looking at everybody else’s cards rather than your own. You must spot the identical symbol between the card in the central pile with any other player’s card.||Once you have identified a matching symbol, you will draw the middle card and place it on top of your opponent’s pile of cards. This will reveal a new card in the centre, continuing the game. The game continues until all cards from the middle pile have been distributed. The winner of this minigame is the person who has the least amount of cards at the end.|
- If players say the symbol at the same time, it is the person who has picked up the card first who wins it.
- If players tie, you can play a ‘duel’ game to determine the winner. Draw one card each and the person who finds the matching symbol first, wins.
How to get better at Dobble
If you take Dobble seriously and you’re looking impress your friends and family with your talent at playing the game, there are three key skills that could help you win!
|Improve your reaction speed||Concentrate as hard as you can||Hand positioning could influence your speed|
|Success at Dobble comes down speed. This card game is easier once you familiarise yourself with the symbols, if you’re serious about winning at Dobble, practising on your own could help.||If you’re the competitive one in the family, get yourself in the zone and don’t be distracted by your opponents as they could disrupt your flow.||If you’re sat far away from the centre pile, you’re less likely to beat someone who is sat close to it. Make sure you get yourself in a good position to reach the pile.|
Popular Dobble versions
Following the popularity of the original Dobble game, there is now a fantastic range of Dobble versions, including, but not limited to:
These games follow the same rules as described above, but with different fun symbols related to your favourite tv show or movie.
You can explore the whole range of Dobble games on the Asmodee website.