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Exploding Snap

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Exploding Snap is a wizarding card game in which the cards spontaneously explode during games. The game is popular with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students.

In 1992, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley were held back from investigating why spiders were fleeing Hogwarts because the twins Fred and George Weasley delayed them with such a game.

In 1994, Ron singed his eyebrows while building a card house with Exploding Snap cards.

During the 1996–1997 school year, Nanette Desford could often be found in the Clock Tower playing Exploding Snap.


Exploding Snap cup

Known Exploding Snap cards


There are two variants of Exploding Snap. The first one, the "Classical" Game, is quite simple, however it requires some reflex. The rules are simple: when you see two identical pictures, hit the card with the top of your wand – one point is yours. The player with the most points wins the game. The hard part is, the cards shuffle faster and faster. The second one, the "Patience" Game, is a bit harder. You have twenty cards and you reveal them in pairs. You have to find two identical pictures. Cards explode soon after you reveal them for the first time (of course, if you don’t find a pair before).

Behind the scenes

  • In the video games, the game is played with Famous Witch and Wizard Cards, although it is believed that Self-Shuffling Cards are used to play this game.
  • For reasons currently unknown, in the German translations the game "Exploding Snap" is frequently translated with "Snape explodiert" (which would backtranslate as "Snape Explodes" or "Exploding Snape"), creating the image of a game somehow connected to Hogwarts Professor Severus Snape, as if in an attempt to make fun of him. This particular translated word is incorrect, but persistent, and causes uproar among some German fans. In recent editions, this translation error has been corrected. The game is now called "Zauberschnippschnapp" (Schnippschnapp is the German translation for the Muggle game "Snap").
  • In the Hebrew transltions the game is called "טאקי מתפוצץ" (Exploding Taki). The reason for the translation is likely the same as the translation of Sherbet lemon to krembo, as Taki (a game similar to the game UNO) is one of the most common children's card games in Israel.


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