8 easy card games to learn and play
Card games have been around for centuries because they are fun and there are so many kinds that everyone can find at least one game that suits their taste. This great variety is also reflected in the games’ difficulty. There are complex, strategic, soothing, and easy card games that everyone can learn and play, even kids.
Here are some easy card games that you can quickly learn and quickly play anytime, with your kids, family, and friends, or simply when you are alone and looking to have a good time without straining your mind.
1. Crazy Eights
Crazy Eights is a shedding card game that can be played by 2 or more players. The goal is simple: get rid of all your cards. The first player to do so wins. Its gameplay is very similar to UNO’s (minus the special plus cards that drive everyone insane).
The first player sets a card on the table. The next one can top it with a different card from the same suit, or a card with the same denomination but with a different suit. For instance, you can top a Jack of diamonds with any other card of diamonds or a Jack from a different suit. The players can draw a card from the pile whenever they want, even if they have a playable card in their hand.
The eights are the special cards of the game. You can play them on top of any card (regardless of their denomination and suit) and choose the suit the next player must play.
2. Go Fish
When it comes to easy card games, Go Fish is probably one the most famous worldwide, especially among kids. Depending on the country, there may be some variations to the game (notably how the stock is displayed on the table and who you can ask for cards) but the principle is the same everywhere.
The goal is to build as many “books” of four cards as possible (e.g., four Kings make a book) until no cards remain on the table.
If there are 4 or 5 players, each receives 5 cards. Then, the players take turns asking each other for cards. They must state out loud the name of the person and the cards they want (e.g., “Bill, I want Fours”). If the other player has the requested cards, they need to hand them over. If not, they say “Go Fish!” and the player asking for the card must draw one from the pile. If they draw the card they were asking for in the first place, they have a second chance to ask for more cards. If not, it will be the next player’s turn.
Tripeaks is one of the Solitaire games with the easiest rules. All you have to do is keep collecting cards one number higher or lower until none is left on the table.
The game starts with three pyramids laid on the tableau. All cards are facing down except for the bottom row. Players must then remove a card from the stockpile. Based on its number they can remove from the tableau those which are one number higher or lower. The last card removed becomes the base for the next turn. For instance, if you start with a 3 and remove a 2 from the pyramids, then, on the next turn, you can only collect either a 3 or an ace.
You can only turn forward a card on the tableau when they become free (they have no other cards on top of it). When you cannot collect any cards from the pyramids, you may turn up one stockpile. But be careful! Once that pile is over, you cannot use it again.
War is a 2-player game. The goal is to collect the full deck to win the game.
It uses a 52-card deck, divided equally among the players. They must stack their cards face down in front of them. Then, each player turns up a card at the same time. The one with the highest number wins and can add the two cards to the bottom of their stack.
If it is a draw, then it is war! Each player draws a card from their stack and places it face down on the table. Then they turn up a card from the stack. The player who wins gets to collect the cards that led to war, the cards that went to “battle” and the ones facing down (6 cards in total).
Snap demands a lot of concentration, but it is also one of the most exciting easy card games to play. The rules may seem complicated when written, but the actual gameplay is very simple, and you will catch up to everything right away.
It uses a 52-card deck that is handed out to all the players, one card at a time. It does not matter if a player gets more cards. The goal is to collect all the cards.
The players stack their cards face down on a pile in front of them. Then, each takes a turn turning up one and places it face up into a second pile next to the other one. When a player turns a card that matches one that is already facing forward on a table, they can shout “Snap!”. The first player to shout wins both piles facing forward (theirs and of the other player) and can add them to the bottom of their facedown pile.
If both players shout “Snap!” at the same time, their piles are placed in the center of the table to form the “Snap pot”. When a player spots a card that matches the one on top of the “Snap pot”, they can shout “Snap pot!” and collect those cards.
The game continues until a player holds the full deck and wins the game.
6. Old Maid
Old Maid is a classic easy card game for families and friends. No one likes to be called an old maid, thus the goal of the game is to try to avoid becoming one!
The gameplay is simple. The game uses a standard 52-card deck, minus one Queen. The players must form and discard pairs of cards until they have none left. The player that ends up with the odd Queen becomes the Old Maid and loses the game.
The dealer hands out all the cards, one by one, to the players. It does not matter if a player receives more cards. They first must remove any pairs they may have. Then, they spread their cards face down and offer them to the player on their left to pick one. If the player forms a pair, they can discard it. If not, they spread their own cards and offer them to the next player. The game keeps going until all the possible pairs are formed and only the odd queen is left.
7. Solitaire Klondike
Klondike, also known simply as Solitaire or classic Solitaire, is one of the most famous card games in the world. The fact that it was one of the first games included in Microsoft’s Windows software certainly contributed to expanding its popularity but being an easy card game to learn and play also helped.
The goal is simple: organize the cards by suits into four piles (foundations), starting with the aces and ending with the kings. The game uses a standard 52-card deck. 28 of those are set into 7 columns on the tableau and the others are kept in a stockpile. To build the foundations, the players must turn the cards on the tableau by creating descending sequences (from king to ace). The players can use the stockpile to find cards that help them build these sequences.
Memory is a classic matching card game, often used as a learning strategy for kids using special decks. However, it can be played with a standard deck. The goal is to form and collect pairs of cards. The player with more pairs at the end wins the game.
The cards are laid down on the table, facing down. Each player turns up two cards at a time. If they form a pair, they can collect them from the table. If not, they turn the cards down again.
The game is called “Memory” because the player should memorize the position and the number of the cards that were already turned up. That way, when a matching card comes up, they can quickly turn up its pair too.