The best hand management games 2024

Looking for a game where the combination of cards makes them stronger and more powerful? Then check out our list of the best hand management games.

What does "Hand Management" mean in board games?

Hand management games are games with cards that reward players for playing the cards in specific sequences or groups. The optimal sequence/grouping can vary depending on the order of players, the cards still available, and the cards played by opponents. Managing your hand means getting the most value from the cards available under the circumstances. Cards can be used for more than one purpose in some games. This can disguise one's actions.

Examples of games with hand management

A good example of a hand management game is the Ticket to Ride series. Here, one manages one's hand by first collecting different colored train cars and then cleverly combining them.

Another example is Love Letter: here you always have a choice between two cards you have in your hand. For example, if you have a baron and the princess, you can safely kick another player out of the game.

List of the best hand management games 2024

This list was last updated on May 13, 2024. We compared 11748 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. SCOUT

    All details for the board game SCOUT and similar games

    SCOUT is an innovative card game that blends elements of hand management and ladder-climbing mechanics. The unique twist in this game is the dual-indexed cards and the restriction on rearranging your hand, creating a challenging and strategic gameplay experience.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2022

    More details for SCOUT
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 15 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  2. Love Letter

    All details for the board game Love Letter and similar games

    Love Letter is a charming and strategic card game where players vie for the affection of a noble Princess, aspiring to become her most trusted confidant. Utilizing a blend of deduction, risk, and luck, players must navigate the royal court by enlisting influential characters to deliver their love letter to the Princess.

    More details for Love Letter
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Love Letter

    • YouTube Review for the game "Love Letter" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  3. The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

    All details for the board game The Crew: Mission Deep Sea and similar games

    The Crew: Mission Deep Sea is a cooperative trick-taking card game that embarks players on an underwater expedition to discover the lost continent of Mu. Building on the foundations of its predecessor, The Crew, this game combines the familiar mechanics of trick-taking with unique cooperative elements and a compelling thematic narrative.

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 2.

    More details for The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  4. Sushi Go Party!

    All details for the board game Sushi Go Party! and similar games

    Sushi Go Party! is an expanded version of the popular card game Sushi Go!, offering more variety and accommodating more players for a larger, more dynamic game experience.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 2.

    More details for Sushi Go Party!
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  5. Jaipur

    All details for the board game Jaipur and similar games

    In the bustling city of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, you find yourself in a fierce competition as one of the two most powerful traders. However, being a prominent trader isn't enough; the ultimate goal is to earn two coveted "seals of excellence" to secure an invitation to the Maharaja's prestigious court. To outshine your direct competitor, you'll need to demonstrate superior trading skills by buying, exchanging, and selling goods at advantageous prices, all while carefully managing your valuable camel herds.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 4.

    More details for Jaipur
    • 2 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  6. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

    All details for the board game Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and similar games

    Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 offers an extraordinary gaming experience as a cooperative campaign game, immersing players in an overarching story-arc that unfolds over 12-24 gripping sessions. The duration depends on your group's performance and the fate of the world. Here's an overview of this thrilling journey:

    Nominated for 21 awards and won 12.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2016

    More details for Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

    • YouTube Review for the game "Pandemic Legacy: Season 1" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Pandemic Legacy: Season 1" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Pandemic Legacy: Season 1" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Pandemic Legacy: Season 1" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  7. Love Letter

    All details for the board game Love Letter and similar games

    In Love Letter, you must compete with other suitors to deliver a romantic letter to Princess Annette, who has secluded herself in the palace.

    Nominated for 14 awards and won 7.

    More details for Love Letter
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Love Letter

    • YouTube Review for the game "Love Letter" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  8. Skull

    All details for the board game Skull and similar games

    Embark on a journey of bluffing and suspense with Skull & Roses. This game is the epitome of strategic cunning, where every move unfolds in the minds of the players. Each participant starts by placing a face-down card, gradually revealing them one by one. The thrill escalates as players confidently claim the ability to uncover cards adorned only with roses. But beware, as opponents can challenge and bid to reveal even more cards. The highest bidder must then courageously unveil the specified number, hoping for a bed of roses and not the dreaded skull. Successfully navigating this bluffing showdown requires a poker face and unwavering eye contact, with victory hinging on two successful challenges.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    More details for Skull
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 15 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Skull

    • YouTube Review for the game "Skull" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Skull" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  9. Heat: Pedal to the Metal

    All details for the board game Heat: Pedal to the Metal and similar games

    Heat: Pedal to the Metal is a dynamic and strategic racing board game that simulates the thrill and intricacies of car racing. It offers players a chance to experience the excitement of racing while managing crucial elements like speed, car upgrades, and varying track conditions.

    Nominated for 15 awards and won 6.

    More details for Heat: Pedal to the Metal
    • 1 - 6 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  10. For Sale

    All details for the board game For Sale and similar games

    For Sale is a fast-paced, engaging game about buying and selling real estate, involving strategic bidding and sales to maximize profits.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for For Sale
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  11. The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

    All details for the board game The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine and similar games

    The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine is a cooperative trick-taking game that takes players on an adventurous space journey, filled with challenges and strategic gameplay.

    Nominated for 26 awards and won 13.

    ⭐️ Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020

    More details for The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  12. Junk Art

    All details for the board game Junk Art and similar games

    In Junk Art, creativity knows no bounds as players transform a pile of junk into stunning works of art. With more than ten engaging game modes and over sixty vibrant wooden or plastic components, this game invites you to explore your artistic talents like never before.

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for Junk Art
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  13. Unmatched: Cobble & Fog

    All details for the board game Unmatched: Cobble & Fog and similar games

    Unmatched: Cobble & Fog is a captivating expansion to the Unmatched system, featuring a quartet of iconic characters drawn from literary lore, each with their unique playstyle and abilities. This expansion introduces the Invisible Man, Sherlock Holmes with Dr. Watson, Dracula along with the sisters, and the duo of Jekyll & Hyde, all brought to life in a highly asymmetrical miniature fighting game.

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 1.

    More details for Unmatched: Cobble & Fog
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 - 40 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  14. Love Letter: Premium Edition

    All details for the board game Love Letter: Premium Edition and similar games

    Love Letter: Premium Edition is an enhanced version of the beloved game Love Letter, offering both physical and gameplay upgrades to the original. This edition brings a new level of sophistication and enjoyment to the game, making it suitable for larger groups and adding variety to the gameplay.

    More details for Love Letter: Premium Edition
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 20 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Love Letter: Premium Edition

    • YouTube Review for the game "Love Letter: Premium Edition" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  15. Sea Salt & Paper

    All details for the board game Sea Salt & Paper and similar games

    Sea Salt & Paper is a set collection card game that combines strategic decision-making with the excitement of timing your moves just right. Similar to Rummy in gameplay, it involves collecting sets of cards to score points, while also navigating the timing of when to end the round for optimal advantage.

    Nominated for 9 awards and won 3.

    More details for Sea Salt & Paper
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  16. Century: Golem Edition

    All details for the board game Century: Golem Edition and similar games

    Century: Golem Edition is an engaging and visually appealing board game that is a re-themed version of Century: Spice Road. Set in the imaginative world of Caravania, this game combines strategic planning and resource management, appealing to players who enjoy tactical decision-making.

    More details for Century: Golem Edition
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  17. The Quest for El Dorado

    All details for the board game The Quest for El Dorado and similar games

    The Quest for El Dorado is a strategic and adventurous board game that immerses players in the exciting journey of discovering the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Set in the lush South American jungles, this game combines deck-building and racing elements, challenging players to be both cunning and quick.

    Nominated for 13 awards and won 6.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2017

    More details for The Quest for El Dorado
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for The Quest for El Dorado

    • YouTube Review for the game "The Quest for El Dorado" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  18. Star Realms: Colony Wars

    All details for the board game Star Realms: Colony Wars and similar games

    Colony Wars is an engaging standalone deckbuilding game in the Star Realms series, offering both an individual gaming experience for two players and an expansion to the original Star Realms for up to four players.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Star Realms: Colony Wars
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  19. Wingspan

    All details for the board game Wingspan and similar games

    Wingspan is a captivating, competitive board game from Stonemaier Games, masterfully designed by Elizabeth Hargrave. It's a medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building game that stands out with its unique theme and stunning artwork, featuring over 170 bird illustrations by artists Beth Sobel, Natalia Rojas, and Ana Maria Martinez.

    Nominated for 26 awards and won 16.

    ⭐️ Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019

    More details for Wingspan
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 40 - 70 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Wingspan

    • YouTube Review for the game "Wingspan" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  20. Hanamikoji

    All details for the board game Hanamikoji and similar games

    Hanamikoji is a strategic card game set in the historical context of Geisha culture in Japan. The game immerses players in the role of patrons who are competing to gain the favor of seven renowned Geishas by collecting items related to their art and performances.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Hanamikoji
    • 2 Players
    • 15 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Hanamikoji

    • YouTube Review for the game "Hanamikoji" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Hanamikoji" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  21. Flamme Rouge

    All details for the board game Flamme Rouge and similar games

    Flamme Rouge presents an exhilarating bicycle racing experience where strategy, timing, and tactical decisions are paramount to success. This fast-paced game captures the intensity of a real bike race, offering players a blend of excitement and strategic gameplay.

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 2.

    More details for Flamme Rouge
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Flamme Rouge

    • YouTube Review for the game "Flamme Rouge" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Flamme Rouge" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Flamme Rouge" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  22. Sushi Go!

    All details for the board game Sushi Go! and similar games

    Sushi Go! is a dynamic, fast-paced card game set in a sushi restaurant. Players aim to grab the best sushi combinations as they come around. It's all about strategy, from picking the perfect sushi rolls to collecting sashimi sets. Boost your scores with wasabi-flavored nigiri, and don't forget to load up on pudding by the end!

    Nominated for 9 awards and won 2.

    More details for Sushi Go!
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 15 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  23. Lost Cities

    All details for the board game Lost Cities and similar games

    Lost Cities is a two-player card game focused on building profitable archaeological expeditions. Part of the Kosmos two-player series, it features a deck with cards ranked 2–10 in various colors, including a new sixth color added in 2019. The game also employs "handshake" cards as multipliers for scoring.

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 2.

    More details for Lost Cities
    • 2 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  24. Unmatched: Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot

    All details for the board game Unmatched: Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot and similar games

    Unmatched: Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot is a duel to the end between two iconic legends, offering a unique and highly asymmetrical tabletop experience. This set pits the cunning archer Robin Hood and his band of merry outlaws against the elusive and powerful Bigfoot, accompanied by the mystical Jackalope. Designed for two players, this game can also integrate with other Unmatched sets for up to four players, providing endless possibilities for epic battles.

    More details for Unmatched: Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  25. Marvel United: X-Men

    All details for the board game Marvel United: X-Men and similar games

    Marvel United: X-Men is an expansion to the cooperative board game Marvel United, focusing on the beloved X-Men universe. This game invites players to embody iconic Marvel heroes, joining forces to thwart the nefarious schemes of a villain who is orchestrating their master plan behind the scenes. With a mix of strategy, collaboration, and superhero flair, this game brings the X-Men's battles and stories to life on the tabletop.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Marvel United: X-Men
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 40 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  26. Skull King

    All details for the board game Skull King and similar games

    Skull King is an exciting and competitive trick-taking game that adds unique twists to the traditional format found in games like Oh Hell!, Wizard, Euchre, and Spades.

    More details for Skull King
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Skull King

    • YouTube Review for the game "Skull King" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Skull King" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  27. Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One

    All details for the board game Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One and similar games

    Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One is a highly asymmetrical miniature fighting game that brings together a roster of legendary figures, each represented by a unique deck that reflects their individual style and mythology. The game combines tactical movement with a no-luck combat resolution system, offering a distinct play experience that emphasizes skill and adaptability.

    Nominated for 5 awards.

    More details for Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 - 40 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  28. Star Realms

    All details for the board game Star Realms and similar games

    Star Realms is a fast-paced, deck-building card game set in the vastness of space. Designed by renowned game creators, it combines the excitement of deck-building with the strategic depth of combat trading card games.

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 3.

    More details for Star Realms
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  29. Rhino Hero

    All details for the board game Rhino Hero and similar games

    Rhino Hero is a dexterity-based card game that combines elements of building and strategy. Players take turns constructing a skyscraper with walls and roof cards, while moving a heroic rhino figurine up the building.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Rhino Hero
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 5 - 15 Minutes
    • 5+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  30. Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West

    All details for the board game Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West and similar games
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 20 - 90 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

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