Simple card games for two

Easy card games for kids

A set of 4 playing cardsDon't forget that card games are also great for holidays - both for travelling and ideal for filling long evenings once you are there and your younger children are tucked up in bed.

Snap (2 or more players)

An oldie but a goodie, and an ideal first card game to learn - plus it's one of the simplest 2 player card games around. Deal out the whole pack between the players. The players take it in turn to place cards down (either in one pile in the middle or in a pile each in front of them). When two people put down matching cards then the first person to shout SNAP wins the pile/s and puts them to the bottom of their stack. The winner is the person that wins all the cards. There are many variations of this game.

Clock patience (In theory for one person, but fun to do together)

There are different variations of the patience card game but we like clock patience best...

Deal 13 cards out - make a circle of 12 (for each point on a clock) and put one in the middle. Now deal out the rest of the cards on top of those (don't forget the middle one each time you go around) - you will end up with four in each pile.

Start by picking up one of the centre cards and look at the number / rank.

Place it face up next to the point on the clock where it belongs (ace is one, jack 11 and queen 12. If you pick up a King it goes next to the pile in the centre).

Then pick up a card from the pile that you just put the card next to, and see where that one goes.

You keep going until you can't go any more (you get stuck when you use your last King).

The aim is to have ALL the cards face up at the end, but it doesn't happen very often, so you can also count the number of face down cards to see how close you got.

Beggar my neighbour (for two players)

The aim is to end up with the whole pack and for your opponent to run out of cards.

Deal out all the cards between the two of you.
Take it in turns to turn one over from the top of your pile and put it on the table between you (as with snap!) If you turn over a Jack, Queen, King or Ace, the other player must put down more cards as follows:

Jack - one card
Queen - two cards
King - three cards
Ace - four cards

If no picture cards are turned over in this time, you collect all the cards from the table and put them at the bottom of your pile.
However, if a picture card WAS turned over, your opponent immediately stops their 'pay out' of cards, and YOU have to pay them by putting down one, two, three or four cards, according to the rank, as above.

Sometimes, it can go back and forth a few times, and stops when someone pays out with only number cards, and the other person collects all.

Keep going until one of you runs out of cards.

Predictions (for two or three players)

The simplest card game ever!

All the cards are dealt out between two or three players. Take it in turns to place your top card on the table. Just before you turn over your top card, you must say a number or rank of card out loud.

You are trying to predict what the next card will NOT be!

You are not allowed to keep saying the same number over and over, or say what the previous person said. Other than that, it's entirely up to you.

Easy card games for kidsIf you call out a card number and the one you turn over matches, you're out of the game.

The aim is to get rid of all your cards without predicting any of them (Sounds easy? Give it a go!)

Go fish(for three or more players)

Deal five cards to each player. Put the remainder face down in the middle of the table.

You take it in turns to ask other players for cards, and the aim is to get as many sets of four as possible before the game finishes.

When it's your turn, you can ask anyone for a card, as long as you have a card of that number or rank in your hand. If they have one or more cards that you've asked for they have to give it to you, and then you get another go (you can ask the same person or someone else - and again ask them for anything as long as you have it yourself).

If you ask for something and the person hasn't got it, they say (or shout) 'Go Fish!'. You pick one up from the centre pile. IF the card you pick up happens to be the same as the one you'd just asked for, then you continue your go. Otherwise the person who said 'Go Fish' has a turn next.

If you collect four cards of the same rank you put them in front of you face up.

The game finishes when someone runs out of cards. (If the centre pile runs out before that you keep going but just can't pick up when Go Fish is called). The winner is the person with the most sets of four.

Old maid (2 or more players)

The aim of the game is to make pairs and disgard them. Start the game by removing one of the queens from a pack, then deal the remaining cards evenly between the players.

Each player picks up their cards and removes all pairs and puts them face down in front of them. If a player has three of a kind, he removes only two of those three cards. The person on the left of the dealer then takes one of the dealers cards (without looking at it). If they can make a pair, they do so and then they offer their remaining cards to the person on their left, who takes one. This continues until all cards have been paired except one - and the player who has that card is the Old Maid!

Pig (or Spoons) (3 or more players)

This is a very funny game which you can also play with spoons (pick up a spoon instead of touch your nose when you have a set of 4). Deal out 4 cards to each player. The players look at their cards, then each player passes one card to the left and picks up the card passed by the player on his right. This passing continues as rapidly as possible so that players find it difficult to keep up. As soon as a player has 4 of the same in their hand (4 threes for example), they stop passing or picking up cards and put a finger to their nose. The other players must now stop and touch their nose too. The loser is the last person to notice everyone touching their noses. If you play this with spoons it can be more clear cut who the last person is. The loser then sits out while everyone else plays again. The rounds continue until you have just one player left: the winner.

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What are some popular card games that are played with two people and a standard deck?

Some popular card games that you can play with 2 people are: War, Fish, and Slap Jack. Have fun!

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