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Matching games are games that require players to match similar elements. As the name implies, participants need to find a match for a word, picture, or card. For example, students place 30 word cards; composed of 15 pairs, face down in random order. Each person turns over two cards at a time, with the goal of turning over a matching pair, by using their memory. This is also known as the Pelmanism principle, after Christopher Louis Pelman, a British psychologist of the first half of the 20th century.

For example:

Most matching games are objective, with correct answers in the rules for what counts as a match, pair, etc. Some however, like Dixit (card game) or Apples to Apples, are about subjective matches picked by one or more judge players. Here the correlation between a match holds value only as other players decide it, but rules dictate who will make those decisions and when.