Top 10 card games for families to play over the long weekend

Last Updated: 09 Apr 2020
Nikolai Blazeski

Playing Cards is the ultimate entertainment tool. One or two packs of 52 cards and you have hundreds of games and limitless hours of fun at your fingertips. Teach the kids how to play some of the old favourites like bridge, rummy and poker (for chips of course) or get them to teach you some of theirs. Here’s a Top 10 to get you going.

President (also known locally as Presidents & Arseholes)

This is a popular game with kids and based on a card game popular in Japan called Daifugo (or president). The objective is to get rid of all your cards first. The first to do so is president, the last is naturally the arsehole. It’s a hilarious game for kids and adults alike and best played with four to ten players. Each round is discrete so you can play for as little or as long as you like.

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In this war you win by playing a higher card than your opponent. This is easier said than done, though. You need to do some planning with where you will put your best cards, which is where the strategy aspect comes in. This is a 2 player game.

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Go Fish

This two-player game is the definition of a classic. Not a lot of rules, very easy to pick up and uses a regular deck of cards. You get sets of 4 cards by asking the other person if they have one. If they don’t, they go fish.

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Gin Rummy

Another piece of old gold, Gin Rummy is the game of matching cards and trying to have the lowest unmatched cards. Rummy has been around forever and you’ll find out why by playing. This game is for 2 or more people.

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Hearts (also known as Black Bitch)

This is another game where you want the lowest score, but this time you get it by avoiding hearts and the queen of spades. Players take turns laying out their cards with the aim of winning the least cards so they can have the lowest score. This game can be played with three or more people.

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In Between

This is a simple yet cruel gambling game that’s popular with kids. Each player puts money into the pot to play and is dealt two cards. In turn, each player then has the option to bet any amount, or the whole pot, that the third card is in between the first two. It’s suitable for 2 to 8 players.

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Poker (Five Card Draw)

Teaching the kids when to hold them and when to fold them is a great way to pass some time. It’s also a great lesson in poker-face, as most kids are ridiculously easy to read and simply can’t understand how mum and dad can tell when they are bluffing. One of the easiest varieties of Poker to learn is five card draw. Take a bit of time to run through the basics and you and your kids will be off to the races. This game can be played with 3 or more people.

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Beggar My Neighbour

This game starts with both players having half a deck each and ends when one player has the whole deck in complete victory. The players flip cards onto a pile until they get penalties for certain cards and then have to pay up to their opponent. This two player game is full of fast-paced fun.

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Old Maid

It’s all about making pairs. People make pairs with all the cards they can, while drawing from the dealer’s deck. It ends with someone being stuck with the single queen, making them the old maid. A schoolyard classic and a very simple one to get younger kids into. This can be played with 2-5 people.

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Crazy Eights

In crazy eights, you have to try and discard a card and if you can’t, you draw. What makes the eights crazy is that when they are played they can switch the suit that must be played. You win by successfully getting rid of all your cards. This game is for 2-7 players.

For more detailed instructions, see here

Families Card Games

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