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5 Family card games

A deck of 52 cards can go a long way towards family fun. Refresh your memory on these classic card game rules or discover a new game to play as a family tonight!

Family playing card games

Cursive number 1Concentration / Memory

This is a great game for all ages as younger children truly excel in memory and can sometimes outwit their older counterparts. This game is best played with two to six players using a standard 52-card deck. The goal of the game is to collect the most pairs of cards.

  • Shuffle the entire deck of cards and lay them face down. Sometimes it is easier to place them in a square or rectangle layout, but it does not really matter.
  • The youngest player gets to go first and it goes clockwise from that player.
  • A turn begins with a player turning over any two cards. If the two cards match (such as two eights of the same color, or two aces of the same color) he or she keeps the cards. If the cards do not match, the player is then done with his or her turn.
  • The play moves onto the next player.
  • When a player matches two cards, he or she keeps them and continues on picking two cards at a time until they do not match.
  • Play continues until there are no more cards left face down.
  • The player with the most amount of matches wins. Second places goes to the player with the second most amount of matches, etc.

Cursive number 2Crazy Eights

The object of this game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. The game can be played with two or more players. Use a standard 52-card deck. Best of luck collecting those crazy eights, they really help you win!

  • Crazy eightsChoose a dealer. Once done, the dealer will hand out seven cards to each player if there are four or fewer players, if there are more than four players, each player should start with five cards.
  • The remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the playing area in a neat stack.
  • Take the first card from the pile facing down and place it face up on the next to the stack.
  • The player sitting to the left of the dealer always begins play and it goes clockwise from here on out.
  • When it is a player’s turn, he or she adds to the discard pile by playing a card that matches the top card that is in discard pile. This can be done with either a matching the suit or the rank such as a jack or a nine.
  • If a player cannot match the top card that is laid out on the discard pile by suit or by rank, he or she must draw cards from the stack until he or she can play one that matches the card facing up.
  • If there are no more cards in the draw pile, simply use the ones in the pile you have been stacking up. Shuffle them very well so they are in no particular order.
  • The fun part of the game is that all eights are wild cards. These cards can be played on any card during a turn. When you use an eight, you get to choose the new course of the game, either a suit or rank.
  • To win the game you must empty all the cards in our hand.
  • The game can keep going if you want to let others play until only the last person has cards in his or her hand.

Cursive number 3Go Fish

This is a simple game that can be played with two to ten players. It’s great for small children as it is very easy to understand with little strategy involved, mostly luck. The end goal is to have the most piles of cards in front of you at game’s end. This game also uses a standard 52-card deck.

  • At the beginning of the game, five cards are dealt to each player. If there are four or fewer players, deal out seven cards to each player.
  • The rest of the card deck becomes the fish pond. Sprawl the fish pond out in a messy circle in the middle of everyone.
  • The game begins when the first player asks another player for a card that they have in his or her hand such as a jack or a seven. Players must ask for cards that they have in hand, they are not allowed to ask for a card that they do not possess.
  • If the player that is asked has the card, the player must turn it over to the requester.
  • The player who originally asked the question moves on asking for more of his or her cards until someone tells them to go fish.
  • Go fish is told to a player when he or she asks another player for a card and he or she does not have the card. The player is told to go fish in the fish pond, made up for the extra cards at the beginning of the game laid in a messy circle.
  • It is now the next player’s turn.
  • The process is repeated over and over again.
  • Once a player has three of one kind such as three 2s or three kings, he or she places them in front of where he or she is sitting for everyone to view.
  • If a player picks up card that is already laid down in front of another player, then simply add it to the pile and pick another card from the fish pond. For example, if you pick up a 3 and the player to the left of you has already laid down three 3s, place your 3 you just picked up in the pile and take another card from the fish pond.
  • The game continues on until there are no cards left in the fish pond and all the cards are laid in piles in front of players.
  • The winning player has the most amounts of sets in front of them.

Cursive number 4Spoons

This game is for three to thirteen players. You will need a spoon for every player. The object of this game is to collect all four cards of the same rank (all 2s or jacks or aces, etc.) If you’re last to grab a spoon, then you lose.

  • SpoonDepending on how many players you have in the game determines how many cards you will play with. If you have three players, then you will separate out three groups of four of the same rank. For example, pull four 2s, 3s, 4s. If you have five players, pull out five full ranks that will equal 20 cards.
  • Each player will need four cards to begin.
  • Carefully shuffle the cards you are using before dealing.
  • Then place all the spoons in the middle of the playing area, making sure everyone is in arm’s reach of a spoon.
  • To play the game, each player picks one card from their four and places it face down to the left of them.
  • Then each player simultaneously picks up the card waiting for he or she to the right of them.
  • This play goes on until a player receives four of a rank in his or her hand.
  • The player then quickly snatches up a spoon.
  • All other players want to be observant. Once a spoon has been taken from the center, then all other players want to grab a spoon as well.
  • The last person to take a spoon is the loser.
  • Try and take the spoons in a subtle manner to make it more fun.
  • A variation of the game is done without spoons and is called Pig. Instead of spoons, once a player receives four of a rank, he or she puts a finger on the tip of his or her nose. Thus, the last person to realize that everyone else’s finger is on their noses is the loser.

Cursive number 5I Doubt It

This is a fun game for three to five players. If there are more players, than use two standard size 52-card decks. The game is all about bluffing, it’s actually okay to lie in this game, and you have to in order to win. The goal is to get rid of all the cards in your hand.

  • Shuffle all the cards together, even if you are playing with two decks.
  • Deal the cards out as evenly as possible. It is okay if some players have more cards than others.
  • The person who has the birthday closest to the current date goes first and then play proceeds clockwise.
  • The first player plays one or more of his or her cards. All cards must be placed face down. He or she must say one, two, three, etc., ace(s). Even if he or she does not have an ace, the order must start with ace and then descend to king, queen, jack, 10, 9, etc.
  • The next player plays one or more cards from his or her hand, face down, on top of the pile the first player started. He or she must say one, two, three, etc., king(s), even if he or she does not have kings.
  • Play will go on like this for the entire game, but here is the catch. Obviously people are bluffing. In order to call them out, after a player places his or her cards face down on the discard pile, a player may say “I doubt it.” The player who just played the cards face down flips them over. If the cards are not what he or she said they were, he or she must take the entire discard pile. If the cards are what the player said they were, then the person who called “I doubt it” must take the entire pile of discard cards.
  • While numerous people in the game might call “I doubt it,” the first person to call it out is responsible for taking the pile if the truth was told.
  • Players must wait until the card(s) is placed on the discard pile before calling out “I doubt it.”
  • The first player to run out of cards is the winner.
  • Play can continue until only one person has cards left.

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