We’ve seen and played card games, we loved them so much, and got bored of them so much. 

You google to find versions, or visit their websites, and you end up reading terms like expansions, editions, series and such. 

At some point you can get into the “???!” mode. That’s exactly why we decided to explain each of those (sometimes) confusing terms you stumble upon.

  • What is a Core Game?
  • What is an Expansion Pack?
  • What is a Stand Alone Expansion Pack?
  • What is an Edition?
  • What Is A Card Game Series?
  • Where Can I Purchase Expansion Packs, Editions, or Series of Card Games?

What is a Core Game?

A Core Game of a card game, is usually also called the Main Game. It is the original game. It usually has more cards, and it is launched before its editions or expansion packs. 

A Core Game has a set certain number of players. Meaning, it is a number of players which it can be played by. 

There is also a time duration of that card game, which depends on the number of cards, and rules of the card game.


Cards Against Humanity has 600 cards. It can be played by 4-20 people at once. It can last 30-90 min. It has plainly simple rules, very understandable. 

Despite the simplicity of the game, the number of cards, and the rules of C.A.H are enough to make the game last longer than most games. 

What is an Expansion Pack/Box?

A card game Expansion Pack, is also called an Expansion, or Box. It is a set number of cards that is meant to be added to the Core/Main Game. 

They can be themed based on a movie/movie series, a character, culture, etc. But they can also be a simple expansion, with a set of cards without a certain theme. 

The expansion packs can be official (released from the manufacturer), and unofficial (fan made). 

The main card games tend to get a little boring, or repetitive when they’re played too many times. An expansion pack will refresh the game, or in other words, it will add the fun back to the game. 

Example of Expansions Pack

There are a lot of examples out there. Cards Against Humanity, What Do You Meme?, Exploding Kittens, and a lot of other card games that we love.

Let’s start with Cards Against Humanity. It has more than 28 expansion packs, official and unofficial. 

The C.A.H expansion packs are mostly themed, but there are also a few which don’t have a certain theme – they’re extra cards alike with the core game.

It has expansions like: Weed Pack, Design Pack, Absurd Box, Green Box, Period Pack, Pride Pack, and so on. You can check out other expansions on the link above. 

Next is What Do You Meme?. It has 12+ expansion packs, official and unofficial. Just like C.A.H, What Do You Meme? has themed and not themed expansions. You will find a few examples below.

Unthemed expansions: Fresh Memes #1 Expansion Pack, Fresh Memes #2 Expansion Pack.

A few of the themed expansions: Spongebob Expansion Pack, Stoner Expansion Pack, The Office Expansion Pack. 

Exploding Kittens. Has 3 expansion packs, they’re official. They have new cards, which also change a bit of the way that the game is played (Including the duration).

Here: Imploding Kittens – First Expansion, Streaking Kittens – Second Expansion, Barking Kittens – Third Expansion. We reviewed each of them and more, you can find it in Best of Exploding Kittens Games, Editions & Expansions.

What is a Stand Alone Expansion Pack?

A card game Stand Alone Expansion Pack, is an expansion pack which can be added to the game, but can also be played as a game itself. 

Usually, for an expansion to be a stand alone expansion, a higher number of cards is required. Since a small number of cards will make it difficult for a certain number of players to play the game.

It also requires a well thought combination of cards, depending on the card game.

Example of Stand Alone Expansion Pack

The card game Buzzed has an expansion pack called Buzzed – The Expansion Pack #1. It has 180 cards, and it does not require the main game (Buzzed) to play it. 

Meaning, you can play this expansion independently if you wish. But you can also add it to the main game which will make it more fun.

What is an Edition of Cards?

An edition of a card game, is a certain version or form of the Main Game. Usually the rules are the same, or if they’re different there is a minimal difference to the game. A card game edition can be themed, and not themed. 

The main/core card games are also called original editions. Which makes sense if there are other editions of that exact game. 

Most of the adult card games have another family edition. Usually because of their popularity, and the demand of the kids to play the ‘forbidden’ card game.

There are plenty of editions of our favorite card games. You will find a few examples below.

Example of Edition

Cards Against Humanityhas more than four editions, only 2 of which are official. 

The two official editions of Cards Against Humanity are the Original Edition/Main Game, and the Family Edition.

However, besides the officials, C.A.H has a lot of other unofficial editions. I’ll name a few of them:

Cards Against Disney, Cards Against Star Wars, Cards Against Kardashians. If you want to explore more of C.A.H editions, check out the 12 Best Cards Against Humanity Editions Review in 2021.

What Do You Meme?Has two official editions besides the original edition: TikTok Edition, and Family Edition.

As you can notice, the TikTok edition is some TikTok themed. Meaning, it includes jokes about TikTok, or famous TikTok personalities. 

Meanwhile the Family Edition is obviously a family friendly version of the main game. Since the main game (What Do You Meme?) is a 17+ game. The Family Edition, is a version of that game, but family friendly (regarding its content).

What is a Series?

A Card Game Series is a set of related card games. They can be themed, or not themed.

They can be released at once, or one after another. Depending on the manufacturer. They are related to the main game, at least the rules of the game, and (most of the time) the design. 

Example of Series

What Do You Meme? Career Series – There are three of these: Real Estate Agents, Nurses, Teachers. 

They are related to one another, and the main game, but still they differ based on their ‘theme’. 

As you can tell by the name, they include cards based on the name of the profession of the game. Who knows, perhaps they’ll launch another one? I’d suggest they make something about writers!

Where Can I Purchase Expansion Packs, Editions, or Series of a Card Game?

Most of the card games have their official websites where you can directly purchase the items you wish for. However, you can find them on Amazon too. Or other pages, like DuoCards

In DuoCards’s Shop, you can find things that are not available on Amazon, or the official websites. Since, as mentioned above, not all expansions/editions are official.


Our favorite games are still our favorites. Even though those terms are at times confusing, with a little bit of thinking, they can be figured out. But why do that when we do it for you?


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