If you’re looking to spice up your next game night, all you need is a deck of cards. The games we’ve chosen can all be played by just 2 people. While some are all about strategy, others are light-hearted entertainment. Either way, you’ll definitely pick up a few from this list that you’ve never heard of before. So don’t forget to remove the jokers and start shuffling! We’re sure you’ll want to try all of these card games.
Easy & Traditional Games
This is a super fun game that’s similar to the game of Uno. Players try to get rid of the cards in their hands by placing them in the center of the pile. You go back and forth by placing a card of the same suit or number. 8’s are wild and there are a number of other rules that can be applied to the cards as well such as reverse and skip if you’re playing with more than 4 people. Everyone has their own fun little twists to add to the game so be sure to check out some variations online.
This is a classic game that requires very little strategy and is much more a game of chance. The entire deck is dealt face down with players taking turns over a card at a time. Whoever has the highest card picks up the cards with the goal of collecting the entire deck. The war aspect of the game comes in when both players turn over the same card. You both then count out the number of cards for the matching number of 10 cards if it’s a face card, all face down. Turn over the last card and see who wins the battle. War is a fast-paced game that’s sure to pass the time!
This is a simple, schoolyard game that can be fun as long as the slaps aren’t too hard! Deal out all of the 52 cards face down and then take turns turning one over at a time in the center. When a jack is placed down, the first person to slap the deck gets to pick up the cards. The winner is the one who gathers the entire deck of cards.
You’ll have a great time playing this game as there are technically no turns and just very quick thinking! You’ll both need your own deck of cards to play. Start with four cards placed face up in the middle. When you’re ready, the first player will say Spit!” and their partner will take a card from their deck and place it in the middle. The goal is to play your original four layout cards to win the game. When placing cards in the center, they can be either higher or lower. If you’re not fast enough, you may have to take your card back! Make sure you have a lot of space to play this one and even consider setting yourself up on the floor.
This card game is a classic that’s been making a bit of a comeback in recent years. You’ll both seed to start by deciding who the dealer will be. You’ll each have 10 cards to start the game and this is a scoring game with each card holding their own numerical value and face cards being scored as 10. Your overall goal is to create what are called runs and sets in your hand. You may take a card from the center pile or the discard pile while only keeping 10 cards in your hand at a time. You are also trying to go ‘Deadwood’ or ‘Gin’ in order to score bonus points. Many of these terms are unusual but don’t worry, there are plenty of video tutorials that will teach you the rules of the game in no time. Once you’ve both got it figured out, you’ll spend hours playing this classic game!
It is always amazing to see how many people know of blackjack but have never played it before! This is a classic card game where you try to beat the dealer. Take turns being the dealer and try to gamble on whether you will go to 21 points or bust. Remember that the cards are all worth their value, face cards are worth 10 and aces are worth either 1 or 11 and maybe changed depending on the situation you are in. While you are expected to bet on your hand in a casino, this can also be done away with or you could find an interesting way to incorporate that aspect. As the pros say, “winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
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Here’s a fun game that originally comes from Denmark. It is sometimes called Agurk which is the Danish word for cucumber. Whoever is the dealer should shuffle the cards and deal out a hand of 7 to each player. One person at a time places one of the cards in front of them to create what is called a trick. Whoever plays the highest card from their hand wins and the points are tallied. After 21 points, you are declared a cucumber and you lose the game. It sounds difficult to explain but the rules are really simple once you’ve played a couple of rounds! There are also some variations of the game that are worth checking out, including a Swedish version of the game where only 6 cards are dealt or rules where aces have special powers.
Open Face Chinese Poker
This is one of our favorite games to play at home and you’ll love the different take on playing poker. The dealer deals out 5 cards to begin which you then place into three separate hands consisting, eventually of 5 cards, 5 cards, and 3 cards. Once you choose where to place these initial cards you are not allowed to change them! Next, you’ll be dealt one card at a time, face down and you must complete your hands on the table. At the end of the round, follow a scoring method to determine who wins. It’s good to know the terminology in poker such as a “flush” or a “straight” before getting started. Once you learn the rules, you’ll be addicted to playing this game. There are many other variations available as well.
They call this card game somewhat of a combat card game and it’s one of the earliest examples of this type of game too! The goal is to be the first person to get to 21 points. The dealer starts with six cards and the other player receives seven cards in their hand. Each card has a certain rule attached to it. During your turn, you can choose to draw a card from the pile, play a point card, or play a card that will have a one-off or permanent effect on the game. It’s worth digging into all of the rules of this game because it will probably become one of your go-to’s when you’re deciding on a card game to play! Not only that, but you might also even become good enough to compete in one of the national or international Cuttle Championships – who knows?
This is another trick-based game that’s broken up into different phases. You’ll both start with 13 cards and a draw pile. The first phase of the game starts with a revealed trump card and continues until the draw pile is depleted. This leads into the second phase of the game which is played using only the cards you have left in your hand. This is definitely a game of strategy because you really should focus on setting up your hand for phase 2. You can bluff and intentionally lose a trick or also count cards to really improve your chances of winning!
Our next game is played a lot like solitaire except the setup is a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Each player receives 7 cards in their hand. The remainder of the deck is placed in the middle with four cards face up around it. These cards should be placed in the north, south, east, and west position. Alternating black and red, you’ll both take turns building onto these cards. However, you may also draw from the center, move a pile, or place new kings down in the corner to start a new column. The winner is the person who is able to get rid of their entire hand first. King’s corner is a great game that can have multiple outcomes and is a lot of fun to pass the time.
This card game is based on the popular sport and therefore the setup is also very similar. One person starts as the batter while the other player is a bowler. The batter deals 10 cards in a pyramid formation. Then, you’ll look for any patterns and cover them up with new cards from the deck. This process is repeated until there are no more batters left. Score the points and switch roles, just like in a game of cricket! The game is played for four ‘innings’ and whoever has the highest score wins. This is a great card game for any sports enthusiasts and can get quite competitive, especially if you see a pattern that the batter doesn’t!
For this game, each player starts with five cards. Each deal, you’ll attempt to use your hand to create tricks and collect points by forming what are called marriages. Each trick is scored and the first person to reach 66 points wins the game. There is also a version that is very similar called Sixty-six with the only difference being that each player starts with six cards instead of five. This game has been around for hundreds of years and has many additional rules that can be added to make the gameplay more competitive. Check out some different versions from different countries to decide how you’d like to play.
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Games for All Ages
A favorite of kids and adults alike, Go Fish is often used as a way to teach kids about numbers and pairs. Each person starts the game with seven cards. This is a good time to teach kids to place their cards in order in their hand. Then, each person takes turns asking each other for a specific card that they may have. If the person doesn’t have the card requested, they say “Go fish!” and the player instead will have to pick a card from the original deck. The goal of the game is to get rid of all of the cards in your hand and make pairs with them. One of the fun parts of this game is when you are forced to draw a card from the deck and you pick up the one you were looking for. In that case, you’ll say “I fished my wish and my wish came true!”
Here’s a fun new card game where the goal is to get four of one card in all of your piles of four. Cards are dealt out evenly to each player with the last four cards face up. Once someone yells “Go!” you’ll be allowed to go through one pile at a time trying to find the cards you need. It’s a fast-paced game that doesn’t require a whole lot of mental energy and can easily make the time pass by.
Red Frog Black Frog
This game has origins in Thailand and is very common among the older children there. It’s also sometimes called Chinese Ten. Each player gets ten cards to start and the goal is to capture other cards from the layout of four cards with pairs. Scoring is an optional component to the game and you can decide if you’d like to tally the score or not!
Here’s another card game based on a sport! You can choose to play 6-card golf or 9-card golf. Players lay their cards in a grid without looking at them. The goal is to turn over two cards at a time and get the lowest score possible. This is a fun and easy game to play that’s mostly to do with luck. If you have a young player, it’s also a great way to teach basic math skills!
Build a Castle
Ok, so maybe this isn’t exactly your idea of a card game but it can definitely be a lot of fun! Check out some tips and techniques online and try to build the biggest castle you can without knocking it over. It requires a lot of patience and precision and can be very rewarding once you build your first card fortress!
Hand and Foot
For this game, it is important to note that the jokers are included! It begins with each player trying to pick up 11 cards at a time from the stack in the middle, one for their hand pile and another for their foot pile. Then, taking turns, each person draws two cards and attempts to create melds with their hand pile. Their turn is ended by placing a card in the discard pile. The goal is to go through your entire foot pile of cards and get the highest score. It’s a great game for older children to learn rules and patterns.
Again, maybe this isn’t exactly a card game but it’s great fun to throw your deck of cards around the room and time how long it takes your partner to pick them up in order!
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Games for Adults
Find out if your friend or partner is a good liar or not! In the UK this game is called Cheat and in some other places it’s referred to as Doubt It. All of the cards are dealt out and the goal is to get rid of everything in your hand. To do this, you’ll go back and forth putting cards down beginning with Aces, Ones, Twos, etc. The twist is that you have to announce what cards you’re playing but you’ll be placing them face down. If the other person doesn’t believe you, they can call out “Bullshit!” If you told the truth, they must pick up the deck. If you were lying, then you’ll have to pick all of the cards up. This game is always a lot fun and you’ll be laughing watching your partner try to hold all of the cards in their hand after catching them in a lie.
This is the classic cason card game that includes bluffing and having a good poker face! If you don’t have poker chips, you can play with coins or even pasta for betting. It’s ok to get a little creative!
This might be the perfect game to suggest if you’re trying to hint at a wedding ring from your partner! This game is similar to Rummy where the goal is to get sets of cards that are equal. A marriage consists of 3 cards. Once you get the rules down, it’s a lot of fun to play.
If you and your partner are feeling a bit frisky, you could decide to play a game of Str#p Poker. Try to make sure you’re wearing as many articles of clothing as possible to make sure you win in the end!
Str#p Jack Nak#d
Alright, this game is actually popular among small children. However, we suggest trying the game out in a literal sense! Sometimes called Beggar My Neighbor, it involves flipping over cards and penalty cards. This could be a fun way to incorporate some naughty dares and make your date night more interesting!
How Will You Choose Which Game to Play First?
Now that you have so many new card games to try out, it might be difficult to decide where to begin. Some of these card games are classics and some are fun new twists on your favorite deck of 52. The next time you’re locked up at home and bored, try one of these 2 person card games. Who knows, you may even find a new favorite past-time!