In Exploding Kittens, it is possible to have an empty hand. When using Favor or Two of a Kind, what happens if the chosen player's hand is empty?

First, consider what happens if Favor is used on a player whose hand is empty.

Force any other player to give you 1 card from their hand. They choose which card to give you.

It seems like there are two possibilities, but which is intended?

  • A player whose hand is empty cannot be selected. Favor and Two of a Kind are unusable if everyone else's hand is empty.
  • The selected player gives nothing. Favor and Two of a Kind are usable without effect if someone's hand is empty.

The same question as above applies to using Two of a Kind on a player whose hand is empty.

"everyone else's hand is empty" is a rare game state, but it seems reachable by having 2 players left:

  • P1 has 3 cards and uses uses Three of a Kind, asking for a card that P2 doesn't have
  • P1 draws 1 card
  • P2 uses Two of a Kind to empty P1's hand
  • P2 uses Favor on P1

1 Answer 1


You have it right: the selected player gives you nothing. Whether you want to restrict playing the card (or pair) in that way (to no effect) is up to you (EK is not the kind of game to get official answers on such things), but since playing the card/pair that way is only bad for the player playing it, the restriction won't come up.

  • 2
    It makes a notable difference, as it results in two different games. During your turn if anyone has an empty hand, one game allows you to move Two of a Kind or Favor from your hand to the discard pile without side effects, and the other does not (it either prevents the move or requires you to take a card from another player).
    – Victor
    Sep 25, 2020 at 1:16
  • Ah, yeah, there's that. I'd go with "it is allowed" to target a player with no cards (for no effect) then, but it could go either way, really. Sep 25, 2020 at 1:52
  • So the answer is really that there is no official ruling, and there probably won't be?
    – Victor
    Sep 26, 2020 at 15:50
  • Not sure what would be the benefit of discarding more cards than necessary? Feb 18, 2021 at 18:18

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