Playing cards was a regular part of life for me and my sisters growing up. When we were bored, cards was always one of our go-to games. Now, with so many other options for kids these days, including technology, playing cards isn’t at the top of the list for most kids anymore.
Sometimes there is a need to go back to basics. There are lots of simple games kids can play with just a pencil and paper and with just a deck of cards. These card games for kids are simple, easy to learn and perfect for playing with a group of friends, siblings and even for a family game night.
The following are some easy and fun card games for kids. All you need is a standard 52 card deck. Other than Solitaire, the games usually require 2 or more people to play. Card games have evolved over the years and so there may be different variations under the same name out there. We like to keep it simple and fun!
Card Games for Kids
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Object of the Game: to get the most matches/pairs
1. Shuffle the deck and hand out 7 cards to each player. If there are 4 players, then reduce the cards to 5 each.
2. Go in a circle. Each player asks the other for a card to make a match with one of their own cards. If a player doesn’t have a card, they say Go Fish. If they have the card requested, then they must hand it over.
3. Once a player is told Go Fish because the card they asked for isn’t available, the player must pick a card from the deck, or the ‘pond’.
3. The player who made a match gets to ask either the same player (if there are 2 people) or move on to the next player for another card that would make a match with their own cards.
4. If they hear Go Fish, they have to pick up a card and then the next player gets to ask.
Object of the Game: to be the first player left with no cards
1. Each player gets 8 cards. The rest of the deck sits in the middle with one card face up beside it. The card that is face up will determine the suit/face of the card that the first player has to follow.
2. 8s are wild and can be any suit. A jack means you lose a turn, the queen of spades means you have to pick-up 5 cards, a 2 of any suit means you have to pick-up 2 cards. If a player puts down more than one 2, the next player will have to pick up 4, 6 or 8 cards, depending on the number of 2s put down.
3. The first player puts down a card. The next player must put down a card of the same suit, or the same number/face card. This would then change the suit as well. For example, if a player puts down a king of spades, the next player can put down as many other kings as they have. The last king on top will be the suit that needs to be followed by the next player unless they also have a king and then can change the suit as well.
4. If there isn’t any card a player can put down, they must pick one from the deck.
4. The player that finishes their cards first wins the game.
Make sure the cards are shuffled really well when playing the next round.
Rummy or Gin-Rummy
The Object of the Game: to get four-of-a-kind of any face value.
1. Hand out four cards to each player and place the rest of the deck in the center.
2. The first player picks up a card from the deck. If it is not the card they need to get four of the same card, then they can discard it and the next player can go. If they do need the card, the player then keeps the one they picked up and puts a different card down that they no longer need.
3. The player to get four-of-a-kind first wins the game.
The Object of the Game: to place all the cards within four groups, creating what’s referred to as ‘foundations’, where each foundation ranks the cards from the king at the top in order going downwards.
Solitaire is usually a single-player game. Check out this short video that shows exactly how this game is played.
This version of solitaire is also referred to as Klondike solitaire. There are other Solitaire games as well like Freecell Solitaire, Pyramid Solitaire and more.
The Object of the Game: to capture all the cards in the deck by slapping the jacks that are at the top of the pile first.
1. Evenly divide the cards amongst all the players.
2. The cards are all kept upside down in a pile in each player’s hands. Each player puts one card down face-up at the exact same time. It’s actually more like throwing the card down quickly so your hand leaves it quickly.
3. When a jack appears at the top of the pile, whoever slaps the jack first gets to keep all of the cards in that pile.
4. Keep playing until one player ends up with all of the cards.
The Object of the Game: to make as many matches or pairs as possible without getting the single card that has no match which is typically one of the queen cards. The single queen card with no match is called the old maid. Players can also use a Joker.
1. Deal the cards out to all the players, one card at a time.
2. Players are not to show anyone their cards.
3. Next, players are to remove any pairs they have in their cards and put them face down.
4. Spread the cards left in your hand like a fan and turn to the next player and have them pick a card without seeing what it is.
5. If the card they choose matches with a card they have, they can put that pair aside. Keep going around until each player gets a turn.
6. When all the cards have been matched, the player that is left with the old maid card loses.
Feel free to call it Old Man and use a king cause it 2022.
Matching game (also called memory or concentration)
The Object of the Game: to find as many matches as possible.
1. Place all the cards face down in even rows and columns.
2. The first player flips over two random cards. If they are not a match, then the next player tries to flip over two cards and find a match.
3. When a player gets a match, they get another turn until they don’t get any more matches.
4. The player with the most matches wins the game.
The Object of the Game: to win the most cards. This is usually a two-player game.
1. Deal the cards around to each player face-down so each player has half a deck.
2. Without looking at the cards, players simultaneously turn over one card each.
3. The card with the higher value gets to keep both cards. But if both cards are the same, then its ‘war’
4. Players put three new cards face down and put down one card face-up. The higher card between the two put down face-up gets to keep all ten cards.
The Object of the Game: to put your hand on your nose before the last person when you or someone else gets four-of-a-kind.
1. Each player selects 1 set of four-of-a-kind cards.
2. All of the cards are thrown into a pile and mixed up.
3. Each player gets four cards from this mixed up pile.
4. Each player puts a card face down in front of them and all players simultaneously moves the card over to the person beside them.
5. Each player picks up the new card in front of them and looks at it. Keep rotating cards that you don’t want until a player gets four-of-a-kind. If a player get four-of-a-kind, the player quickly and quietly puts their hand on their nose. It’s up to the other players to see this and do it as well.
6. The player that is the last to put their hand on their nose gets a P. Once a player loses three rounds and gets P-I-G, they lose the game.
31 (aka Blitz)
The Object of the Game: to have three cards that add up to 31 points.
1. Deal three cards per player face-down.
2. The face value for each card is 1 – 10 is the same points as face value, face cards are worth 10 and the Ace is worth 11.
3. Put the rest of the deck in the middle and take turns picking a card and discarding it if you don’t need it or keeping a card and discarding one of the three in hand.
4. When a player reaches 31, the player is to knock on the ground and show their cards.
Four Square or Kings in the Corner
The Object of the Game: to get rid of all your cards first.
1. Deal seven cards to each player and place the remaining deck in the center.
2. Turn the top four cards over, placing one on each of the four sides of the deck like the shape of a cross. Like Solitaire, these will become the foundation piles.
3. The first player puts down as many cards as they can from the seven they have. Like Solitaire, the player puts down cards in a sequence by color and by lower rank. So if there is an 8 of hearts there, then a player must have a 7 of spades or 7 of clubs to go directly beneath it. If there is another foundation pile that starts with a black 7, a player may bring that pile over to another and join them together.
4. Once a player can’t put anymore cards down, the next player goes. If a player doesn’t have the right cards to use, they must pick one from the deck. If they still can’t take a turn because they don’t have the right cards to complete the sequence, then the next player goes.
5. Kings are the only cards that can be played in corner spaces. Once a king is put down, its gets treated exactly like the other foundation piles.
6. The first player to lay down all their cards wins.
The Object of the Game: to win all of the cards.
1. Deal cards evenly to all of the players face-down.
2. Everybody keeps their pile in front of them upside down.
3. Every player quickly turns over the top card at the same time in front of them until a match is spotted.
4. The player who spots the match and says SNAP first wins all the cards in the face-up piles.
Card games with a different deck of cards:
There are many games that come with their own set of cards. They are usually still relatively inexpensive and worthwhile if the game is fun to play over and over like with cards. Here are a few cards games for kids that are just as fun as a regular deck of cards.
The board game Monopoly is fun but it can take forever to finish. How about playing Monopoly and finishing a game in 15 minutes? Yes, this game of Monopoly cards is perfect because it feels like you are playing the game and there is a much faster ending!
We play this game regularly so it was definitely worth the cost.
Uno is similar to the game Crazy Eights. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards first. Certain cards make players lose a turn or pick up extra cards. Definitely a fun card game to keep going back to.
This card game is definitely more challenging than it looks! Players simply have to spot the matching object on both cards that each player puts down without seeing the card first. There are a few different objects scattered around the cards that makes it challenging to easily spot the match! Spot It is a great travel card game as well.
Play cards with the kids for some quality family time or hand them a deck and teach them some games to play with siblings and friends! Card games can require some strategy and even basic math skills that can help kids learn while having fun! Card games are also a good break from screens. So invest in a deck of cards and have some fun playing these classic games.