OBJECT OF LOVE LETTER: The object of Love Letter is to be the first player to reach the need number of affection tokens.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players 

MATERIALS: A deck of 16 cards, 4 rule cards, heart-shaped affection tokens, and a flat surface. 

TYPE OF GAME: Deduction Card Game



Love Letter is a deduction card game for 2 to 4 players. The goal of the game is to be the first player to reach the needed number of tokens to win. Players accomplish this by either being the last player standing in the round or holding the highest ranked card at the end of the round. 

The rules described below are for the original love letter and not the extended version. 


A random player will deal each round. The 16-card deck is shuffled, and the top card is set facedown to the side and is not used in the game. If playing a 2-player game 3 additional cards are removed but placed face up.  

Each player is then dealt a single card and the remaining deck is placed centrally facedown. Players can look at their card but may not show other players. 

Card Ranking 

There are 16 cards in total in the game their numbers range 1 through 8 as written on the card. The closer to 8 a card is the higher-ranked it is. 


The game starts with the youngest player or the last player to go on a date.

On a player’s turn, they will draw the top card of the facedown deck and add it to their hand. You will then pick a card from your hand to discard and will do so following the effects on the card. Be careful as some effects might have a negative impact on you so always make sure to read your cards carefully. 

Discarded cards are kept in front of the player who played them. And once all effects are finalized a player may pass their turn to the next player.

You should always be trying to keep your card number a secret while simultaneously trying to deduce other players’ card numbers. 

Some cards allow players to knock others out of the game. When a player is knocked out, they will reveal their final card in hand but do not follow the effects of the card. they will be out until the next round of play begins. 


The round ends one of two ways. Either all other players are knocked out and one player remains or at the end of a player’s turn, the draw deck is empty. 

If only a single player remains, they receive a token of affection and the next round begins. 

If multiple people are remaining when the deck runs out, all players will reveal their final card. the player with the highest-ranked card wins the token of affection. In the case of a tie, the values of their discard piles are compared, and the higher value wins the token.

After a round is completed and no winner has been found yet cards are collected, and a new round begins.  


The game ends when a player reaches the needed number of affection tokens. For a 2-player game, 7 tokens are needed, 5 tokens for a 3-player game, and 4 tokens for a 4-player game. 

If you’d like to try another similar game, check out the game rules for Coup! You should also check out our full list of funny card games to play!

Amber Crook
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