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Card Games

Card games are educational, teach social skills, and are just plain fun.

In this day of computers and video games, some children have never played cards games. We have forgotten how much fun it is to play with a simple deck of cards.

It is up to those of us who remember the hours of fun we had as children to get them away from their computer and video games and teach them some of these old favorites..

The following are some fun card games for kids, with all the rules necessary for playing, plus some variations to add variety to even the easiest, most common card game.

Card decks are inexpensive and portable, making it possible for families to enjoy a game together anywhere. Children can play in groups and some games are designed to play alone. Card games for children provide hours of fun.


The perfect way to learn about numbers, pairs and patterns, this is a great ‘first’ game for little ones who love the thrill of winning. Go Fish is a fun and easy card game for the whole family.

How to Play

Five cards are dealt to each player if three to six players are involved.

With only two players, seven cards are dealt to each.

All remaining cards are placed face down in a pile.

First, choose a player to go first.

On each person's turn, ask any player for a specific card number. For example: "Sarah, please give me all your 9s." You must already hold at least one card of the number you ask for.

If the player you ask has any cards of the requested number, she must give all of her cards of that number to you. In the example, Sarah would have to give you all of her 9s.

If you get one or more cards from the player you ask, you get another turn.

It starts again and you may ask any player for any number you already hold, including the same one you just asked for. If the person you ask has no relevant cards, they say, "Go fish."

You then draw the top card from the draw pile. If you happen to draw a card you asked for, show it to the other players and your turn continues. Otherwise, it is the next player's turn. You add the drawn card to your hand.

NOTE: The "next player" is the one who said "Go fish." When you collect a set of four cards, immediately show the set to the other players and place the four cards face down in front of yourself. That is a "match".

Go Fish continues until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the draw pile runs out.

The winner is the player who then has the most matches (sets of four). For younger children you can deem "matches" a pair of numbers (2 cards instead of 4) which allows them to "win" a few extra times and keeps the game moving.


A game that requires both focus and patience. Crazy eights is a fun card game that allows players to use their concentration skills. The winner is the clever shark who gets rid of all his cards first!

How to Play

Each player is dealt seven cards.

The remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table, forming a draw pile.

The top card of the draw pile is turned face up to start the discard pile next to it.

First player adds to the discard pile by playing one card that matches the top card on the discard pile either by suit or by rank (i.e. 6, jack, ace, etc.).

A player who cannot match the top card on the discard pile by suit or number must draw cards until he can play one.

When the draw pile is empty, a player who cannot add to the discard pile passes his turn.

All eights are wild and can be played on any card during a player's turn.

When a player discards an eight, he chooses which suit is now in play.

The next player must play either a card of that suit or another eight.

The first player to discard all of his cards wins.


This old-fashioned, fast-paced game is a great introduction to the world of cards. Snap is a popular card game that can be played over and over again. Children use their reflexes and sharp observation skills to play the game. Get set, be ready and fine-tune your reflexes as you set about trying to win the entire deck of cards!

How to Play

One player deals out all the shuffled cards around the group until there are no more left.

The players don’t look at their cards, but hold them in a stack in front of them, face down.

To begin, the player to the left of the dealer takes his top card, turns it over and places it face up next to his own pile.

Then, the next player does the same, starting a pile of his own.

If, at any point, a player runs out of face-down cards, he simply overturns his face-up pile and starts again.

This is continued until a player notices that two cards on top of any of the face-up piles are the same, such as two fives or two eights.

If a player notices this, he says “snap!”.

The first to do so receives all the cards in both of the matched piles and adds them to the bottom of his own face-down pile.

The game then continues and the winner is the player who ends up with all the cards.


You can also play the easy snap game. This variation of the game has only one central, face-up snap pile.

You can also play speed snap a very fast version of the game, with everyone turning their cards over at the same time, instead of in turn.


The aim of this card battle is to snare the entire deck by always playing a higher card than your opponent. Easier said than done, when the pressure is on. This is a great card game to teach the kids. It will keep them entertained for hours as they try to beat their opponent. With a little bit of guidance, the kids will be beating you in no time.

How to Play

The object of Battle is to win all the cards in the deck. Aces are high, 2s are low.

All 52 cards are dealt to each player (if you have two players, each player has a total of 26 cards).

You do not look at your cards - they are placed in a stack face-down.

Holding the stack of cards face-down in one hand, you use the other hand to flip the card face-up on the table in front of you.

Each player flips a card, so if you have two players you will have two cards facing up in front of you.

The highest card wins the hand and the hand winner takes the 2 cards and places them at the bottom of his or her stack of face-down cards.

You continue play like this until one of you has accumulated all the cards.

In the game of Battle, a battle is a means to break a tie.

When two cards of the same rank are played, you break the tie by playing new cards in addition to those already on the table.

The player with the highest-ranking new card wins the tie breaker and all the played cards.

If you both play a card of the same rank - let's say you both play a Jack - you have to have a battle.

You leave the Jacks face-up on the table and put one card on top of your Jack - face-down - and then another card face-up on top of the face-down card.

So you'll have the following configuration of cards in front of you: the tied Jack, a face-down card, and a face-up card.

The person with the highest face-up card takes all the cards on the table and places them face-down at the bottom of their stack.

If the top card is another tie, you place another face-down card, then a face-up card - basically, you keep going until someone wins the war.

This is the best and fastest way to accumulate cards.

If one of you runs out of cards in the middle of a battle, the other player wins.


Memory is also known as Concentration. This fun card game can be adapted for all ages and abilities – from very young children to adults. Additionally, this game improves memory skills and concentration.

One standard deck of cards is needed, adapted as appropriate for age and ability. You can select any number of cards for playing. You can also use pictorial learning cards (colors, numbers, alphabet, etc.).

How to Play

Shuffle the cards and spread them face down on the table between the players. For younger players, lay the cards out in a grid as it makes it easier to remember where the cards are. For older children, use a random arrangement.

The object of the game is finding matching pairs. To do so, you need to remember where the cards are when they are turned over.

Players take turns turning over two cards. It they are a matching pair, the player keeps the pair, and gets to go again. Of not, play passes to the next player.

When all cards have been paired up and removed from the playing area, each player counts the number of cards they have collected. The player with the most cards is the winner.

You can make the game a little harder for older children by leaving one card without its pair.

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