Kids love card games whether it’s a two player game or a game the entire family can play together. This page lists the top 7 card games for children, including brief instructions on how to play. Most of the games have dedicated pages, which we’ve linked – in case you want more information.
1. Crazy Eights
Crazy eights was perhaps my absolute favourite game as a kid and my own children love it just the same. The object of the game is to play all of the cards in your hand first. To begin, the dealer will deal each player eight cards face down. The eight acts as a wild card, while the 2’s force the next player to pick up 2, while a 4 forces the next player to miss a turn. The Queen of spades will force the next player to pick up eight. Check this page for the full list of rules to play Crazy Eights.
31 is a fast and very easy card game to play with kids. This game requires basic addition, as they will need to be able to count up to 31. To start, each player will receive three cards face down. Once dealt, the players will look at their cards. They will then take a turn picking up a card from the pile in the middle and discarding a card. The object of the game is to have a sum of 31 in your hand before the other players. The card face value is used for counting, however Aces can be used as either 1 or 11.
This card game is best suited for children 8 years or older. The object of this game is to create melds using either runs of the same suit of cards or rankings. An example would be 2h, 3h, 4h, 5h or 3, 3, 3. Each player will begin by receiving 9 cards face down and the remaining cards placed in the center. The top card from the center pile will be turned over. From there, the first person to the left of the dealer will start by picking up the center face up card or by choosing the first card from the top of the deck. You should lay down the melds as soon as they are created. The first person to get rid of all of their cards wins. We have a page specifically for Gin Rummy which outlines the scoring rules.
My daughter absolutely loves spoons. It’s a very fast game and one that is simple enough that even a five year old child can learn. To play Spoons you will need a spoon for each player less one. The object of this game is to collect four cards of the same rank before any other player and grab a spoon from the middle of the table before anyone else. Of course the table is short one spoon, which means the player who isn’t quick enough to grab a spoon is out. The next round starts with the players remaining and one less spoon. Check this page for complete rules on Spoons.
Snap is another easy card game for kids. This game requires a standard 52 deck of playing cards and at least two players. To begin, the dealer will deal the entire deck equally among the players (or as equal as possible). The players will take turns flipping over their cards. When two players flip over the same ranked card consecutively, the players in the game can shout snap. The first player to call snap the fastest, wins the two piles of overturned cards from the players who matched ranks. This continues until one player wins the entire deck.
6. Chase the Ace
Chase the Ace is played with a deck of 52 playing cards and at least 3 people, although 4 or more makes the game a lot more fun. To begin, the dealer will deal each player one card and one card only. The cards must remain face down, however the players can look at the cards. The object of the game is to not have the lowest card. Once the deal has finished, players will then look at their cards and choose whether they will pass their card to the player on their left or hold onto the card. The ranks go A – K, which means if you’re holding a card with the face value of 10 or higher, you will want to hold on to it. If you’re holding a low ranked card, you would want to switch with the person to the left of you. If a player has a King, that player gets to hold on to their card regardless of what the other players want to do. In this game, you usually give the player x number of lives, since it is a very fast game to play.
7. Go Fish
Go Fish is a classic card game for kids. If your small children are anything like mine, they will likely end up calling this game the “goldfish” game. The concept behind this game is simple. The dealer will deal each player five cards face down and place the remaining cards in the center of the table. The first player will choose one of their cards and a player, and ask them “Do you have a X”. The player will then respond with either a yes, and give that player the card they asked for, or with a no and say “go fish”. If the player responds with a “go fish”, you need to pick up one card from the pile. If the pick-up card matches the card you asked for, you can remove both cards from your hand and place them face down. The object of the game is to match all of the cards in your hand. The player who runs out of cards is the winner. If you asked for a certain card and the player gives it to you, you get to go again.