Simple 2 player card games

Go Fish

What rank do you want to ask Bill for?

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Go Fish Rules

Go Fish is a simple game that is popular with children (my 6 year old son for example). There are many variations of it, the rules here describe how it works on this website. It may not be exactly the way you are used to playing.

Objective

To collect as many "books" as possible. A book is four cards of the same rank. The player with the most books at the end of the game wins.

Dealing and setup

The game can be played by 2 - 4 players. First cards are dealt to the players, if there are 2 players then each gets 7 cards, if there are 3 players then each gets 6 cards and if there are 4 players then each gets 5 cards. Once the dealing is done the rest of the deck is put in a random pile on the table.

Asking and fishing

The initial player is selected at random. The player can then ask one of the other players for a particular rank. For example, you might ask Bill if he has any sixes. You may only ask for ranks that you already have at least one card of. E.g. if you don't have any sixes yourself you can't ask for them. If Bill has any sixes, then he must give them to you, and you get another turn and can ask again. If Bill doesn't have any sixes then he will tell you to "Go Fish" which means that you will draw one card from the pile on the table. If you get a six, then you show it to the other players and get to play again. If you get anything else you are finished with your turn and the player next to you plays.

Scoring

If you have 4 of the same rank then you show the cards to the other players, and then place the four cards in a pile next to you. This is called a book. The player with the most books at the end of the game wins.

Drawing new cards

It can happen that you finish all the cards in your hand, either because someone else asked you for the last cards that you had, or you just got a book made up of your last four cards. If you have no cards then you can draw new cards from the pile on the table, the same number of cards as you got at the start of the game.

If there are three or four players then it can happen that one of them finishes their cards and there are no cards left in the pile for him to draw. In that case he is out of the game and will simply have to wait while the remaining players finish the game.

Strategy

Not much to say here. Just watch what the other players are asking for so you can know what cards they definitely have. If you're playing with more than two players make sure to pay attention to what the other players ask each other for and what they say Go Fish too, that way you can learn which cards they definitely have and which cards they definitely don't have.

About Go Fish

This online version of Go Fish was made by me. My name is Einar Egilsson and over there on the left is my current Facebook profile picture! This is the 8th card game I make, the other ones being Whist, Spades, Hearts, Solitaire, Idiot, Shithead and Crazy Eights. Go Fish might seem like a weird game to have a computer version of, but there were three reasons I wanted to make it:

  1. My 6 year old son Daniel likes it
  2. I wanted to see if I could create a cool looking random pile of cards
  3. I thought it would be funny to see a speech bubble with a fish in it

Overall I'm happy with how it turned out. I don't know how much adults will enjoy playing it, but I think (hope) kids will find it fun. At least my son does :)

The game is made using html+javascript+css with jQuery used for the animations. All the graphics used for the game I found at OpenClipArt, a great site with free graphics. The excellent playing card images were made by Nicu Buculei, and the player images were made by Gerald G.

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FAQ

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What is your favorite 2-4 player card game, why?

Magic: The Gathering, because of its massive fantasy multiverse that in theory includes just about any universe. Also, it's not as abstract and arbitrary as normal card games.

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What are some adult 2 player card games.

"Two-player card games" - Beggar-My-Neighbour, Bezique, Gin rummy, Klaberjass, Svoyi Koziri and Mariage (card game). Have fun!

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