Try out these fun games with your new deck of Games on the Go:
Memory game (Ages 2+)
The objective of the game is to collect the most matching pairs.
All of the cards are laid face down in rows forming a rectangle on the table or floor. In turn, each player chooses two cards and turns them face up. If the two cards are a matching pair (eg. two sixes) the player wins the pair and plays again. A turn is not over until the player is unable to make a matching pair. If the cards are not a match they are turned back over and it is the next player’s turn. Continue like this until all the cards have been taken. The player with most matching pairs wins.
For little children you can match animals. To make the game easier, you can use only some of the cards.
To increase the difficulty of the game, you can add the rule that the pairs must not only match in rank, but must also match in colour. For example a five of clubs and a five of diamonds would no longer count as a match, but a five of spades and a five of clubs would.
Snap (Age: 3+)
The goal is to win all of the cards.
4 or fewer players can play Snap with a single deck of cards. Be careful: your deck may get a beating playing this game!
Deal out the whole deck of cards face-down. Do not look at the cards! Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player takes a turn turning over the top card of his pile and putting it face-up in front of him. Soon the players have a pile of face-up cards on the table. Continue flipping cards over until one player turns over a card of the same rank as the top card on another player’s pile. The first person to call out “Snap!” takes both piles with matching cards and places them face down under his own pile.
When all cards in the pile in front of you have been turned, pick up the pile and use it again without shuffling them.
You are not allowed to turn the card over so that you see it first. You must flip over the card in a continuous, fast motion onto your pile.
If two players call “Snap!” at the same time, the two piles are placed in the center of the table and combined into a face-up Snap pot with one of the two matching cards on top. Play continues where it left off until someone turns over a card that matches the card on the pile in the middle of the table. The first person to shout “Snap pot!” wins the middle pile. New piles that are being created are still up for grabs in the usual way.
When a player mistakenly calls out “Snap!” their pile goes into the middle of the table. If you have little children, you may follow the rule of just giving a top card to the middle pile. You have to play with what you have left, and if you run out of cards, you are out of the game.
The player who ends up with all the cards wins the game.
To eliminate ties, you can put something in the middle of the table that players must put their hand on top of instead of calling “Snap!” – a piece of paper works fine.
Set rules about the proper way to turn over your card. Get an impartial witness to decide on all close calls. If you can, choose someone who isn’t playing the game.
Go Fish (Age: 3+)
The objective is to win the most “books” of cards. A book is any four of a kind, such as four kings, four fives, and so on. The rank is not important. If you are playing with little children, you can play for animals instead.
Deal seven cards to two or three players, and five cards to four or five players. The rest becomes the draw pile. The objective is to obtain as many “books” as possible.
The player to the dealer’s left starts by asking a specific player for all his cards of a certain rank: “Joe, give me your fives please!” The player who is “fishing“ must have at least one card of the rank he asked for in his hand. The player who is asked must hand over all the requested cards. If he has none, he says, “Go fish!” and the player who was fishing draws a card from the pile.
If the player gets the card, either from the other player or the draw pile, he gets to ask again. When a player gets a set of four, he puts them aside. A player who runs out of cards may draw one card unless the draw pile is finished.
When all cards have been played, the player with the most books wins the game.
Old Maid (Age: 4+)
The goal: to form and discard pairs of cards, and not to be left with the hornbill card at the end.
Add a hornbill joker to the deck for this game. Deal all the cards to the players. Players do not need to have an equal number of cards.
Each player removes all pairs from his hand (a pair can be two 5s or two kings). If a player has three-of-a-kind, he removes only two of them. The player to the left of the dealer fans out her cards, face-down, and the player to her left draws one card. The player who is offered the cards must take one and discard any pair that is formed. He then offers his own hand to the player on his left. Play proceeds in this way until all cards have been paired except one – the hornbill. The player who has that card is the Old Maid.
Crazy Eights (Age: 5+)
The goal: to get rid of all of your cards.
Two to four can play. Two players are dealt seven cards, three or four players five cards each. The rest of the cards form the draw pile.
Turn over one card to start the discard pile. The player to the dealer’s left starts. He must match the number or suit in the card on the top card.
If a player does not have a match he may play an eight and name the suit for play. A player who has neither a match nor an eight must draw until he gets one.
The first to get rid of all of their cards wins.
To play a longer game, add up the cards remaining in the losers’ hand and give the points to the winner: 10 points for each face card, 50 points for each eight, and face value for the other number cards. Play up to 200 or any other designated number.
Spoons (Age: 5+)
Minimum three players. You will also need spoons, one fewer than players.
The goal: to collect four of a kind, and grab a spoon
Place the spoons in the middle of the table or on the floor. Deal each player four cards. The dealer takes one card from the deck. If it helps her get four of a kind, she adds it to her hand, and discards another card, which she slides to the player on her left. If not, she passes the drawn card on. The player on his left does the same until all players are passing cards. You are always holding four cards.
When play reaches the person to the dealer’s right, their discarded card is left to create a second pile. Play continues with the dealer again taking a card from the central pile (the faster the game is played the better). If the central pile runs out, pick from the second pile. The dealer picks up and discards cards as quickly as possible, there is no need to wait until the first card gets all the way around the table.
The first player to collect four of a kind quietly takes a spoon. When the others see the spoon taken, they grab for a spoon. One player will be left without a spoon and is eliminated from play. Play continues until one player is left.
For a game with many rounds: whoever does not get a spoon earns a letter in the word “spoons”: first “S”, then “P”, etc. Players are out of the game once they have spelled “spoons”, the winner is the one still in.
Beggar My Neighbour (Age: 6+)
The goal: to win all of the cards
For 2-4 players.
Deal the cards as evenly as possible. Players keep their cards in front of them, face down. The player to the left of the dealer starts by turning up his top card and playing it in the middle of the table. If the card has a rank of 2 to 10, play passes to the left and the next player does the same.
When a face card or an Ace (court cards) is turned up, the next player must pay an “honour” as follows:
- An Ace: the next player must turn over four cards, one at a time.
- A King: the next player must turn over three cards, one at a time.
- A Queen: the next player must turn over two cards, one at a time.
- A Jack: the next player must turn over one card.
If all of the cards in the honour are number cards, the player who played the orgininal court card collects all of the cards on the table. However, if only one of the cards in the honour is a court card, the player paying the honour stops immediately and the next player must pay an honour based on the schedule above. If that honour is paid with only number cards, the cards in the middle of the table are collected by the last player who played a court card.
This continues until one player wins the pile. That player then puts the pile at the bottom of his stack, face down. When a player runs out of cards, he’s out of the game and the others continue to play. The first player to win the entire deck of cards is the winner.
Variation: A game of Beggar My Neighbour may take a very long time, so you may agree that the player with the most cards at the end of a pre-determined time is the winner.
Rolling Stone (Age: 6+)
For 4-6 players
Goal: To get rid of all of your cards
If six players: Remove the twos
If five players: Remove the twos, threes and fours
If four players: Remove the twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes
Deals 8 cards to each player. The players sort their cards by suit in their hand. The player to the left of the dealer plays one card, face-up. The next player must follow suit. A player who cannot follow suit must pick up all the cards and add them to their hand. That player then starts the next round by playing any card.
If everyone follows suit, the player with the highest card collects the trick, but places it in a waste pile. The advantage in winning a trick is that the player can choose the suit.
The winner is the player who runs out of cards first.
3 or more players
Goal: to get rid of all your cards
Deal the cards out evenly. If there are cards left over, place them face down in the center of the table as the beginning of the discard pile.
The player to the left of the dealer places the Aces in his hand face down on the discard pile and announces his play to the table: “One Ace.” If the player does not have any Aces, or if he wishes to get rid of more than one card, he may bluff and play non-Ace cards while announcing: “Two Aces.”
The next player plays 2s, the next player plays 3s, and so on. If a player doesn’t believe an announcement, he can call out: “Cheat!” The person who played the cards must turn them over and show the others whether he is bluffing or not. A player who is caught bluffing must pick up the entire discard pile and add it to his hand. If the challenged player is not bluffing, the challenger must pick up the pile. When the rank to play reaches Kings, it then goes back to Aces and the numbers start again.
According to some, you can declare the values of the cards to be either the same, 1 up, or 1 down from the previous player.
For more fun card games, check out this page!