How to Play Munchkin the Card Game

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Munchkin is a non-collectible card game by Steve Jackson Games that combines the elements of a role-playing game and a good old-fashioned card game. The rules are simple, less than one page, and the game is lots of fun. The basic set of Munchkin cards is about thirty dollars, and there are supplemental sets including Munchkin Cthuhlu, Space Munchkin and more. Each set can be played as a stand alone game or you can mix all the cards together and play with one giant deck.

Sort the cards into the door deck and the treasure deck. You can tell the difference by the logo on the back of the card. The treasure deck will have a treasure chest on the back of the card. Shuffle each deck separately and give two cards from each deck to every player.

Give each player a six-sided die and counters, or a ten-sided die to use to keep track of their munchkin's level. Everyone begins at level one.

Determine who goes first by having each player roll a six-sided die. The player who rolls the highest should go first. Players continue clockwise around the table.

Play any card from your hand that will boost improve your munchkin or hurt someone else. Cards which say they may only be played in combat must be saved for later. Then, begin your turn by kicking in the door. The player turns over the top card from the door deck. If a card can effect you immediately--it does. This includes cards which give you a character class, curses and of course, monsters.

Fight the monster. If the first card you turned over was a monster, you must fight it or run away from it. Compare your level to the level of the monster. if your level is higher, declare that you are beating the monster. Other players may then decide to try to make the monster bigger or, if they want to, making you bigger to beat the monster. If you beat the monster, gain a level and the number of treasure cards listed on the lower right-hand corner of the monster. If you fail to run away from the monster, the "bad stuff" listed on the monster's card happens to you.

Look for trouble. If you do not encounter a monster, you may play a monster from your hand and try to defeat it, if you can. Or, you can simply loot the room, by drawing the nest door card and placing it directly in your hand.

Beat your friends. The first person to successfully gain 10 levels, wins.

Things You'll Need

  • Munchkin the card game
  • Dice or counters to track your level


  • You must get your final level by defeating a monster to win.


  • Choosing to fight a big monster from your hand can backfire if opponents have things that can boost the monster.