Want to learn the rules of the most popular card games? You are in the right place! Below we list the most played card games and go through the rules for each one.
A list of card games:
- 17+ easy card games with rules and how to play (the list grows regularly)
- Takes a maximum of 5 minutes to learn
- Can be played at home with friends & close
List with the best card games ↓
Card games were the most popular form of leisure entertainment before the development of technology and mobile phones.
Unfortunately with the advent of smartphones and other ways of having fun online, playing cards in your spare time has dropped a lot.
But regardless, in this article, we have compiled a list of the best card games that you can play online or with a real deck of cards.
Below we have made a list of the most popular card games that you can play in two, three, four and even as one player.
List with the most played card games!
1. Go Fish (2-5 players)
The only thing you need for the Go Fish fun card game is a deck of cards. Go Fish game is played when five cards are dealt with each player while the remaining cards are kept face down in the pile.
A player chooses to start and asks a player for a specific card rank that they already have. For instance: “John, give me all of your 7s.”
The player must give all the asked rank cards. If there are no cards to give, they say, “Go Fish.”
Then the player must draw a card from the deck. If the card comes out to be of the same rank, you continue with your turn.
Otherwise, it is the turn of the players who said: “Go Fish.” The aim of the game is to collect four cards of the same rank and make “matches”. The game continues until there are no cards left in the hand or the deck.
Go Fish is an exciting learning card game about patterns, pairs, and numbers. Not only is it designed to offer loads of fun, but also allows your kids to learn as they play.
2. Apples to Apples (4-10 player)
The Apples to Apples card game requires 4 or more players and an Apple-to-Apples card set. Start by placing the red apple cards while the green ones are in the tray and choose a judge.
The moderator deals seven red-apple cards to players takes a green apple card from the top of the deck and reads it aloud.
Players are required to choose a red card that is most appropriate to the adjective of the green apple card. It doesn’t have to be an obvious answer, but one that appeals to the judge.
This is where the fun lies. You can be as creative as you want with your choices. Once all the cards are submitted, the judge shuffles them, reminds everyone what the green apple card says and reads the submissions.
Ultimately, s/he will judge which the best match is and the winner gets the Green Apple Card.
Apples to Apples is a game meant to be played with a large group since it has many twists and variations. To speed things up you can even disqualify someone who takes too long to select a red card.
3. No thanks (3 to 7 players)
To have fun and play the No Thanks card game you will require a No Thanks card set, chips, and three to seven players. Every card has a value equivalent to its face value.
The rule of the game is to have the lowest score at the end. Once the cards and chips are dealt, and a card is dealt face-up in the middle, players have two options every turn:
- Avoid picking up the face-up card and play one of their chips.
- Pick up the face-up card (plus the chips if others have played any on that card)
Every chip has a value negative one but can have a higher value in reality as they allow you to avoid drawing the unwanted card.
No Thanks is a card game designed to be highly engaging and test the player’s will and resolve. It can be highly rewarding when playing when seven people at a time.
4. Skip bo (3 to 7 players)
Skip-Bo is a fun card game for 2 to 6 players. The aim is to get rid of your cards while blocking other people from doing so. Skip-Bo is played so that every player is dealt with 10-30 cards – Stockpile.
There are three other piles to know about. The cards that remain after dealing are placed in a Draw pile and players will draw cards from this pile and put it in their Building pile which must start with either a 1 or a Skip-Bo card.
At the end of the turn, the players must discard a card that makes up the Discard Pile.
There can be a total of 4 discard piles for each player and the cards must be facing up. These can be used in subsequent turns to add to build piles.
This allows players to play cards that will block others from being able to play their desired cards from the discard pile.
When playing Skip Bo you must ensure that you play cards from your stockpile before playing from your discard pile to get rid of your cards faster.
5. Uno (2 to 10 players)
Uno can be played with 2 to 10 players. Deal 7 cards to each player and put the rest in the middle, face-down. This is the pile from which players will draw in the game.
Turn over the first card to start the game. Now, players can match the drawn card with the colour, number or, if they choose, the symbol. The next player then matches their card with the previous player’s card, and so on.
If players can’t play a card, they should pick up from the draw pile.
Use action and wild cards wisely as they can keep others from winning and allow you to get rid of your cards faster.
Say “Uno” when you’re left with one card. If they’re caught, they must take 2 cards from the draw pile and continue. The aim of the game is to get rid of the cards dealt.
Uno is truly one of the easiest and most exciting games to play with friends and family. There are many variations available on the net as well that can increase the fun manifold.
6. Nacho Loco (2-6 players)
This card game can be played with up to six players and requires Loco cards which are unlike regular cards. When you rid yourself of your cards, you get one point for every card in your opponent’s hand. The aim is to be the first one to 20 points.
Six cards are dealt with each player and the remaining make up the draw pile.
The first card makes up the playing field while the players match their segment with their cards.
If segments cannot be matched, the player must draw a card from the pile.
If the player matches two segments with one card, other players must pick up one card each from the draw pile; when three segments match, pick up two cards.
The segments that have a Black X cannot be matched. When action segments are matched, the next player must do as the action dictates.
When a player matches his/her last card, the round is over. The game gets much more interesting as players catch up over multiple rounds and have to outwit their opponents to win.
7. Coloretto (2-5 players)
Played with 2 to 5 players, and requires players to either draw a card to play to a row or to take the whole row of cards and add to their collection.
There can only be three cards to a row which ensures that everyone ends up taking a row at some point. When the rows are all claimed, a new round begins.
The aim is to collect no more than three colour sets. Any additional colour will cost you points.
The jokers allow you to match easily, and +2 get you sure points that come in handy if things don’t turn out right in terms of colour collection.
The round ends when only a few cards remain in the deck. The three-colour stacks get you points, while other colours reduce them.
The first card in a colour gets you +1 point; the second card +2 points, and so on. The player with the highest point wins.
Coloretto card game has many variations that can be taken advantage of when there are only two players and can spice things up for them.
8. Slide 5 (2-10 players)
Deal ten cards to each player, and take the top four from the remaining pile and put them face up to form the playing rows.
At the start of every round, players must choose a card and put it face down.
Everyone reveals the card at the same time. The player with the lowest card places his card in the rows followed by the one who was the second lowest value.
A card can be placed in a row only if it is higher than the farthest card on the right. If the card is added to a row is a fifth of the row, then the player takes all four cards and leaves his card to start another row.
If the player’s card is lower than the farthest card on the right in the row, s/he will be forced to take one of the rows and replace it with their playing card.
The game ends when all the dealt cards are played. For every card with a skier symbol, they get a point. The one with the highest point wins.
9. Crazy eights (2-7 players)
Crazy Eights card game requires a standard 52-card pack and the rule of this game is to get rid of the dealt cards. The one who finishes first will add up the value of the remaining cards in his/her opponent’s hands as follows:
- Eight = 50 points
- Every 10, J, Q, and K = 10 points
- Ace = 1 point
Each player is dealt five cards, and one card makes up the play-field (which cannot be an eight). Every player must match the card in the play-field by suit or number, or an eight (which is a wild card). Players can draw cards from the deck when unable to play.
Card game Crazy Eights is one of the more exciting games on our list that allow you to have loads of fun in a group.
10. Slapjack (2- 8 players)
Card game Slap Jack is a game that can be quite loud and raucous at the time as people become competitive. The deck is divided equally amongst the players with a card. No one can see their cards and only the card that is in the play-field is visible to everyone.
Players start putting their top cards from their respective decks onto the play-field going clockwise.
When a Jack comes up, the first player to slap it, or place their hand on it gets to take the entire pile and add it to their cards face-down. When two players slap the jack, the player whose hand is underneath (or in contact with the jack) wins.
Slap Jack card game goes on until one player ends up with the entire stack, and may require a referee as things can get out of hand while jack slapping.
11. Seven (3-8 players)
Deal the cards equally amongst the players. Players can organize their cards depending on the suit and the numerical order to keep things organized.
Each round starts with a seven, with the first round starting with a seven of hearts.
When the seven of a suit is played, a “layout” starts of which there can be a total of 4.
One can only place cards of the same suit in a layout.
Furthermore, players can only place cards either before or after the cards in a sequence.
For instance, you cannot place a K when the sequence is 4-8. You have to wait until it reaches to a Q.
Once a player finishes his cards, he is declared the winner.
There are various variations of the card game Seven that can change up the game and add some excitement.
12. Card game 500 (2-5 players)
500 is a card game involving trick-taking and utilizes a standard 52-card deck.
In this game, each player is dealt ten cards and later bids to take anywhere from 6 to 10 tricks with his cards.
With 4 or more players, it is played in teams.
When playing with 2 or 3 players, use a 33-card deck with all cards between 2 and 6 removed, and a joker added.
With four players, use a 43-card deck and remove all 2’s, 3’s and black 4’s, with a joker added.
With five players, use a 53-card deck with an additional joker. For six players, a special deck of 63 cards is required.
This is achieved by adding 11’s and 12’s in each suite, a 13 of Diamond and Hearts, and a Joker.
As and when a team reaches 500 points by dint of their trick-taking, the team wins and the game is finished.
13. Klondike (1 player)
Klondike is synonymous with Solitaire. Deal an upturned card to the left of the playing area and six cards down-turned from left to right.
On the down-turned cards, upturned cards are dealt on the pile to the left. Similarly, downturned cards on the other piles have upturned cards.
The goal is to build stacks of cards that start with a 2 and end with a King of the same suit.
When this is done, the cards can be transferred to the foundation where an Ace is placed in the same suit.
This is what a “finished” set looks like. The same needs to be done for all four foundations or suits.
The cards can be upturned one at a time though there is no restriction on how many times they can be passed through the deck.
14. James Bond (2-4 players)
This game is chiefly played amongst four players and each of them is dealt 12 cards each while the last four cards are left upturned in the middle.
When the dealer says “Go”, all the players select a card to discard and pick up one from the middle.
No player can have more than four cards at a time and cannot pick up a card until they’ve discarded one.
For instance, if you have three 2s and there is a 2 in the middle discard the last card and pick up the two.
When a player has four cards of the same denomination, they should call out “James Bond” and win the game.
There are other variations of the game as well that can add additional elements to this exciting James Bond card game.
15. Gin Rummy (2-6 players)
Gin Rummy is a slight variation of the popular game Rummy where players form “melds” of 3 or 4 cards of the same suit.
Players draw a card from the draw pile and discard one from the hand.
Players can “go out” when they have enough non-melded cards which are essential “deadwood” (cards that have a total value of less than 10).
The player that didn’t “go out” has the chance to set his melds and “lay off” his cards that can be added to his opponent’s melds.
Generally, Gin Rummy distinguishes itself from Rummy in that it is a “knocking” game in which the “melds” formed are kept with the player until the end of the deal. It is also possible in Gin Rummy to “go out” without emptying the hand.
16. Spades (2-6 players)
This is another trick-taking game that utilizes a standard 52-card deck.
Each player is dealt 13 cards with a partner sitting across the table.
A player bids the number of tricks that s/he can take and the partner attempts to take as many bids.
The standard tricks apply that follow the suit if applicable, and the spades act as the trump suit.
17. Last Card (2-5 players)
Last Card is the shedding type card game that is played with a standard 52-card deck.
Each player receives the five cards and must match a card number or a suit on a discard pile.
To make a game more thrilled and interesting there are a few special cards.
The winner of the game is a player who first gets rid of all cards in his hand.
This game resembles the Uno and Crazy Eights card games, with a few different rules and card values.
Popular 2 player card games
Most of the games we have listed above are actually 2 player card games, but they can be played in three and four players also. There are one-player card games also such as solitaire, hearts and so on.
But for those who are looking for two-player card games here, we have excluded a couple from the list above and come up with a few more card games that are worth mentioning.
The most fun 2 player card games that we highly recommend you to play are:
- No Thanks
- Crazy Eights
Popular casino card games
We have to mention some popular card games that can be played at home with your friends or online at a casino. These games can be played online for free or for real money.
Card games in casinos are a great attraction. Some of the popular card games include Blackjack, Baccarat and Texas Holdem.
- Blackjack: The goal of the card game blackjack is to beat the dealer by drawing a hand of value higher than the value of the dealer or the dealer has a value that is more than 21, or by drawing 21 in the initial two cards before the dealer does.
- Baccarat: This card game has the player being dealt with 2 to 3 cards. The game can end in the player or banker winning or in a tie. Game participants can bet on the banker’s hand or player hand. Face cards and tens carry 0 points. For a total of over 10 the second digit is the hand value. For winning, you should get a hand that totals to nine.
- Texas Holdem: A community poker card game, the focus here is more on betting. There are two types namely tournament and cash game. The tournament is similar to the basic Hold’em game, while the cash game has two to ten players with the goal of winning maximum chips with 1 point in any given time. You can win the pot by the best card hand or other players can fold making you with the winner.
- Andar Bahar: A card game that comes from India where we have to guess if our card ends up on Andar (inside) or Bahar (outside) before the Joker (house card).
House Edge 2,5%
House Edge 1,4% – 5,0%
House Edge 1,5%
House Edge 2.18%
House Edge 1,5%
House Edge 2.78%
Card games history info
Playing card origin is traced back to the 14th century when they were part of popular culture and played in all types of sizes and shapes.
The card games were first played in China and later spread to India, Persia, Egypt, and Europe in the 14th century.
The card games served as a skill game and for gambling and were considered an alternative to games like dice, draughts, and chess.
The cards also served as a fine art medium in the latter part of the 14th century and were painted by hand or illuminated and used as a display instead of using for play.
Fun facts about card games
Many players do not give much thought to the origin of the card or the significance behind them.
Here are some fun facts:
- 12 royals in a deck represent 12 months
- Of the four suits, hearts indicate the church, spades for military, clubs for agriculture and diamonds for merchants
- Just as there are 52 weeks per year, you have 52 cards in a deck and adding the symbols in a card deck will give you the total number of days per year, which is 365.
- The four different suits related to different money amounts as played by the Chinese in the 15th century.
- The version of suits we now play however is derived from the French version and played so for the past 2 centuries.
Frequently asked questions about card games
What is the proper way to shuffle cards?
Based on the order possibilities number in a deck of 52 cards, it is entirely possible for a shuffled card deck to never yield the same card order in the whole history of card use. Thus any shuffling method ensures that the cards are in random order always.
What are the most fun card games?
Some of the most fun card games are with 52 cards and with some special decks. Most fun 52 card games are Gin Rummy, Slap Jack, Five Hundred, Spades, and Seven. There are also some fun card games like Uno, Skip Bo, Go Fish and Coloretto. Here you can learn how to play these games in just two minutes.
How to play card games online?
Card games can be played online free or for real money. There are a lot of websites that offer free card games to play, and there are a lot of online casino sites where you can play real card games for free without creating an account.
Can i play scratch card games online?
Yes, you can read more about scratch card games and where to play here.