If you are looking for kids friendly card games, this list of awesome card games for kids are easy and fun!
Whether you’re going camping with the kids or simply want to spend some quality time as a family, a deck of cards is a great way to spend some family time with.
It’s incredible how many different card games may be played with a standard 52-card deck! But which card games are suitable for your children’s age? Which ones are suitable for two players? Or how about three players? And which ones can the whole family enjoy?
I’ve done the legwork for you by compiling a list of the finest card games for kids, where we not only show you how to play, but also set out the ideal age range, number of players, and even offer an online tutorial.
These classic card games are excellent to play outside in the summer (bring a deck of cards to the beach or on your next camping trip for hours of fun!) as well as when the family is confined inside during the frigid winter months.
They’re also fantastic games to play on family game night, and playing them together can be a great way for siblings to bond. Many of these can even assist your young children improve their strategic thinking and math skills. And, best of all, these basic card games are enjoyable without the use of a screen!
Best Card Games For Kids
While everyone has a childhood favourite easy card game for kids, there are a few 2 player card games, simple card games, and toddler card games that stand out as tried-and-true classics that can be played with a standard deck of cards like this.
These are the 15 best, simple card games for kids, ranging in age from babies to teens, that are fun, simple, and certain to get everyone smiling and delightfully competitive.
- Crazy Eights
- Slap Jack
- Old Maid
- Kings Corner
- Go Fish
- James Bond
This is a great game for two people, and it’s titled after the fact that there are no turns — players play at the same time, making for a fast-paced, action-packed game that even older kids enjoy.
Step 1: The dealer gives each player two sets of cards, the first of which consists of five cards that they select up to make their hand, and the second of which consists of 15 cards that comprise their personal draw deck.
The dealer then deals four stacks face down in the centre, each with five cards: stack #1 has five cards, stacks #2 and #3 each have one card, and stack #4 has five cards.
Step 3: To begin, the two centre cards from stacks #2 and #3 are simultaneously flipped over and exposed. The discard piles are made up of these two piles.
Step 4: Players may discard one card at a time from their hand if it is one rank higher or lower than the face-up card on the discard pile. Ace can have both a high and a low value. If there was a “2” in the discard pile, for example, a player may play an Ace or a “3” on top of it. Players do not take turns; instead, the great card game is played all at once.
Step 5: After discarding one of their cards, a player replaces it with the top card from their personal draw deck.
Step 6: If players become “stuck” and no more plays are available, a new card from stack #1 and a new card from stack #4 are each turned over and placed face-up on the two centre discard piles.
Step 7: If stacks #1 and #4 run out, shuffle and re-deal the centre discard piles to construct the same four piles as in Step 2.
Step 8: The winner is the first person to get rid of all of their cards by yelling “Speed.”
Crazy Eights is another simple card game that may be learned by younger children. While there are many variations, we’ve explained how to play in the most basic style, which allows for a rapid game without the need for point computations. The basic principle is quite similar to that of the popular card game Uno.
Step 1: If there are two players, the dealer will deal each of them five cards. Deal 7 cards to each player if there are three or more participants. As the stock pile, any remaining cards are placed face down in the centre.
The dealer turns the top card of the stock pile over to face up. If the card is an 8, it is returned to the centre of the deck, and a new card is flipped over.
Step 2: The player to the dealer’s left takes the first turn. They must place a card from their deck that matches the card’s rank or suit on top of the beginning pile. If the card is the King of Hearts, for example, the player can play any King or any Heart.
All 8s are wild cards that can be played at any moment throughout a turn. The player who places it down has the option of selecting a new suit to play with (regardless of what suit the 8 is). The next player must now play a card from the new suit, unless they may change it again by playing another 8!
Step 3: If a player does not have a card in rank or suit that matches (or an 8 to play), they must draw from the stock pile. They’ll keep drawing cards from the pile until they find one that can be played. To complete their turn, that card is placed on top of the pile.
A player who cannot play from their deck passes their turn if the stock pile is empty.
Step 4: The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins.
Kemps is one of the most popular and well-liked card games for kids. Working with a partner and deciding on a super secret signal that will lead the other to say “Kemps” is the most enjoyable. Kids quickly learn that they can fool the other team(s) with a variety of amusing signals in order to divert their attention away from the genuine one (and therefore avoid stealing the point!). It’s fantastic for sibling bonding!
Step 1: Each pair should meet in private to settle on a non-verbal signal that is both hidden and subtle. For instance, winking, scratching one’s head, massaging one’s eye, and so on. To play, partners should sit across from one another.
Step 2: Each participant is dealt four cards, which they can pick up and hold in their hands. In the centre, four more cards are dealt face up.
Step 3: There are no turns in this game; everything happens at the same time. Each player can discard a card from their hand and replace it with any card from the centre when the dealer announces “go” (immediately after dealing the four middle cards). At any given time, a player cannot have more than four cards in their hand.
The goal for players is to have four cards of the same rank in their hand.
Step 4: The game continues with unstructured turns in the centre swapping cards. When play comes to a halt and no one wants to trade for a middle card, the dealer discards all four cards and replaces them with four new ones.
Step 6: When a team earns 5 points (or whatever point value you pick on before starting play!) they are declared the winner.
Slap Jack is a fun, easy-to-learn card game that is also engaging for more experienced players. The rules are simple: be the first to slap the Jacks to win all of the cards, even if there is no real strategy involved.
Allow younger children to keep their hands on the table if you wish to give them a greater chance, whereas adults and older children must keep their slapping hand on their lap or behind their back. Slap Jack will put your reflexes to the test!
Step 1: The dealer distributes the full deck to all players equally. Players place their cards face down in a pile in front of them.
Step 2: The player to the dealer’s left begins the game by flipping their top card over and placing it in the centre of the table for all to see.
Step 3: In a relatively fast-paced game, each player proceeds to flip their top card into the centre pile.
Step 4: If a player places a Jack on the pile, the first person to slap the stack wins all of the cards. They’ll shuffle these cards and place them at the bottom of their personal stack.
If more than one person slaps the Jack, the pile is won by the person whose hands are directly on top of the card. If a player slaps the pile without a Jack being played, they must give the player who just played the top card one card.
Step 5: If a player runs out of cards, they have one last chance to play by being the first to slap the next Jack that is dealt. They are out if they are not the first. If they succeed, they can pick up the pile and continue to play.
Step 6: When one individual has won all of the cards, a winner is declared.
The expressions on your children’s faces when the Old Maid is passed around in this delightful card game are priceless!
The goal of the game is simple: you don’t want to be left with the Old Maid, thus the disappointment of having the card in your hand, or the excitement of having someone else take it away, can be difficult to hide! This game will appeal to players of all ages.
Step 1: Take out three Queens from your deck; the remaining Queen becomes the Old Maid.
Step 2: The dealer deals in a clockwise direction and distributes all of the cards in the deck. Each player examines his or her own cards while keeping them secret from the other players.
Step 3: Put any matching pairs face up in front of you; if you have three of a kind, you can only put pairs on your table, so retain one in your hand.
Step 4: Each player takes a turn (blindly) pulling a card from the person to their right’s hand.
A player can set a pair in front of them if they choose a card from another player and make a match with their own cards.
Step 5: Continue playing until all of the pair matches are face up on the table, and the player with the Old Maid is eliminated!
If you have a Solitaire fan in your household, they will appreciate Kings Corner because it uses the same basic card sequencing and stacking techniques. The game play is relatively straightforward after you’ve mastered the set-up, but it can be quite strategic.
Step 1: The dealer distributes seven cards to each player; any remaining cards are placed in the stock pile in the centre of the table.
The top four cards from the stock pile are flipped over, and one is placed on each side of the middle deck (north, south, east, and west) to construct cross-shaped foundation piles.
If one of these four cards is a King, it is placed to the deck’s corner to begin a corner pile, and another card is drawn to replace it as a foundation card in the cross formation.
Step 2: The player to the dealer’s left begins the game by drawing the top card from the centre stock pile. Within their turn, the player tries to play as many cards from their hand as possible.
If the player’s cards are immediately below the foundation card in rank and of the opposite colour, they may place them on top of the four foundation piles in the cross. A red 9 can, for example, be placed atop a black 10. The highest card is the king, and the lowest is the ace.
The only cards that can be played in one of the four open corner slots are the Kings.
The bottom card of one foundation pile and the top card of the moving pile must form a proper sequence for the foundation pile to be moved on top of another. To fill the vacated foundation pile, players can play any card from their hand.
Once a player has completed their turn, the process is repeated with the player to their left.
Step 3: If the middle deck is depleted, players can continue to play cards from their hands instead of drawing new cards.
Step 4: The winner is the first person to lay down all of their cards!
“Go Fish” is a fun card game for people of all ages, from toddlers to adults. While it may be played with with two people, it is best played with 3-6. Kids enjoy asking each other for cards and exclaiming, “Go Fish!” if they don’t have any.
Step 1: Deal five cards to each player (or seven cards if playing with two people); the rest of the deck is placed face down in the centre as the stock pile.
No one else can see the cards because they are held in the players’ hands.
Step 2: The person to the dealer’s left is the first to go. They inquire as to whether or not another player has a specific card in their hand. “Suzie, do you have any sevens?” John might ask Suzie, but only if he has at least one seven in his hand.
When a player is asked to hand over their cards, they must do so with their card or all cards of the same rank. Suzie, for example, would give John all sevens she has in her hand if he asked, not just one. This is referred to as “making a catch.”
If a player catches on their turn, they may continue to ask for requests from any other player.
If a player is asked to hand over their cards and they don’t have any matches, they will say, “Go Fish!” The player must then draw a card from the stock pile before passing the turn to the player to their left.
Step 3: When a player’s turn comes around and they make a book (four-card match), they arrange the cards face up in front of everyone to see.
Step 4: When it is a player’s turn, if they run out of cards in their hand, they may draw five cards from the stock pile.
Step 5: When all thirteen books have been disclosed, the game is over. The player who has the most books wins!
Blitz is a fun card game that will help your child improve their math skills by allowing them to keep track of the points in their hand. Winning is a combination of talent, luck, and understanding when to knock to end the round!
Step 1: The dealer deals each player three cards face down and places the rest of the deck in the middle as the draw pile. The draw pile’s top card is flipped over to form the discard pile.
Step 2: On each player’s turn, a card from the draw pile or the discard pile can be selected. This card can be used to replace a card in their hand, or it can be discarded entirely. If a card in their hand replaces another, that card must be discarded, ensuring that players always have three cards in their hands at any one time.
Step 3: Players continue in this fashion until one of them believes their cards have the greatest score. They are now free to knock on the table.
Step 4: After a player knocks, all other players have one final turn before revealing their hands and calculating their score.
The player who has the most cards in the same suit with the highest total value wins.
If a player knocks and a tie results, the knocker loses.
This classic card game is as simple as they come, and it’s perfect for including younger kids — it can even help them learn their numbers and number values. They won’t need much strategy; all they’ll need is a little luck on their side!
Step 1: Deal one half of the deck to each participant (26 cards). Each player keeps their cards face down in a pile in front of them.
Step 2: At the same moment, each player flips over the top card of their pile. For that round, the highest-ranking card wins. The ace is a high card, which means it can beat any other card in the deck.
Step 3: The round’s winner discards both cards and places them at the bottom of their own pile.
Step 4: If all of the cards in play are the same, it’s War! After that, each player places three cards face down in front of them, followed by one card face up.
Step 5: The player whose final face-up card is the highest wins the War. They take all ten cards and put them at the bottom of their stack. If the War finishes in a tie (i.e., both players reveal the identical card), the War continues and Step 4 is repeated until a round winner is determined.
Step 6: When one individual has all of the cards, a winner is declared.
Cheat is a kid’s favourite since when else do they get to lie without getting caught?! It’s a simple game with a lot of strategy involved in trying to get rid of all your cards. It’s also entertaining to watch their faces and try to call other players’ bluffs. A fun card game to play with siblings, friends, or the entire family.
Step 1: The dealer distributes the cards to each player until all of them have been dealt. Pick up your cards and hold them in your hand so that no one else can see them.
Step 2: When the game starts, the cards must be dealt in order, starting with the Aces, then the twos, then the threes, and so on. Play resumes with Aces once the Kings have been reached.
Step 3: During a player’s turn, they must play 1-4 cards from their hand and announce what they are laying down on the pile, even if the cards are still face down. As previously indicated, play begins with Aces, therefore the first player will discard their single or duplicates of that rank while saying what they are doing so.
Step 4: If the player does not have the card that is in play for that sequence, they may “lie” and place down a card that is not the correct rank. For instance, if a player doesn’t have any twos, they can discard a Queen and say “one two.”
Step 5: If a player suspects their opponent is lying, they might yell “Cheat!” This must be completed before the following player’s turn begins. The cards that were put out must next be disclosed to determine if they were accurate or not.
Step 6: If the cards were correct, the player who shouted “Cheat” must take the entire stack of discarded cards and add it to the game.
Step 7: If the player was caught lying, they must add the entire discard pile to their hand.
Step 8: The winner is the first player to run out of cards. If the final player runs out of cards but is labelled “Cheat” by an opponent, they do not win unless they have told the truth. If it was a genuine cheat, they would gather up all of the discarded cards and continue the game.
Unlike many card games, where the goal is to acquire the highest score, golf is a game where the goal is to receive the fewest points possible.
The excitement comes from the mystery cards you’re given, which you can’t flip over until you’ve replaced them…hopefully with a lower point value, but chance rarely favours you, and you’ll end up discarding a jewel for your opponent to happily pick up. Because the rounds are short, it’s an excellent card game for younger players.
Step 1: Each player receives six face-down cards. Players do not examine their playing cards. To make a stock pile, arrange the remaining cards face down in the centre. The top card is then flipped over, and a discard pile is created next to it.
Players should make two rows of three cards with their own cards. After that, they can choose any two cards to turn face-up. The rest should be placed on their backs.
Step 2: Each player may draw from the stockpile or the top card of the discard pile on their turn.
The card drawn can be exchanged for one of their six cards or discarded; if it is exchanged for a face-down card, the new card must remain face up from now on. Players try to exchange out cards that would score higher in order to have the lowest card value possible.
Step 3: When one person has turned over all six of their cards, the round is done. Each player’s points for that round are counted and recorded.
Step 4: Each game consists of nine rounds, or “holes,” with the player with the lowest total score declaring the winner.
- A pair of same-rank cards in the same column = 0 points for the column
- King = 0 points
- Ace = 1 point
- 2 = minus 2 points
- 3 though 10 = face value
- Jacks and Queens = 10 points each
Garbage is an entertaining card sequence game that is simple to learn but can take a long time to complete if played in its full, making it ideal for family game night, summer camp-outs, or those dreary winter days. It’s also the one time when your kids are allowed to yell, “You’re Garbage!” after a win!
Step 1: The dealer deals each player 10 cards, face down, in two rows of five cards each. Players are not allowed to peek at their cards. As the stock pile, the remaining cards are laid face down in the centre.
Step 2: In the first round, each player has ten card spots ranging from Ace to ten, starting at the top left. The top card from the stock pile is drawn by the first player. If a number card is drawn, it should be placed face-up in the lineup where it belongs.
The face-down card in that area is then turned face-up and, if accessible, can be placed in its proper placement, displacing the face-down card that was previously there.
This continues until the player encounters a card that cannot be put, such as a Queen, a Jack, or a number card that is already occupied by that number. The unusable card must then be discarded, leaving a face-up pile adjacent to the stock pile.
Step 3: The game passes to the next player, who has the option of drawing a new card from the stock pile or picking up the top card from the discard pile. They’ll then put that card in the appropriate spot in their sequence and keep going until they run into an unplayable card, which they’ll discard to finish their turn.
Step 4: The hand is won by the player who completes their Ace-10 sequence first. After that, all other players have one final turn to try to finish their sequence.
Step 5: In the second round, any player who completed the Ace-10 series will be assigned nine cards to play an Ace through nine sequence. If a player does not finish their 10-card sequence, they will be dealt another ten-card sequence.
Step 6: For each round, winning players are assigned one fewer card than the next round; losing players are dealt the same number of cards as the previous round until they win.
Step 7: The winner is determined by the first player to flip an Ace in the last round.
Rat-A-Tat-Tat is a fantastic card game that combines memory and chance. Kids adore getting a sneak peek at two of their cards, and the Jack and Queen’s special abilities allow them to obtain even more glances or blind swaps, which adds to the excitement.
Cards are not kept in the hand, which is ideal for smaller children who may become frustrated if they try to hold them. This game has an added bonus: the students must use their arithmetic skills to sum up their scores!
Step 1: The dealer distributes four face-down cards to each participant. All remaining cards are placed face down in the centre of the table in a draw pile. The discard pile is formed by turning over the top card and placing it next to the draw pile.
Step 2: In front of each player, put their cards face down in a line. After then, players can look at their first and last cards. Because this is the sole chance to look at the card values, players should endeavour to remember them.
Step 3: The first player has the option of drawing from the top of the draw pile or picking up a card from the discard pile. They can examine their chosen card and determine whether or not to swap it for another card in their lineup.
They must then place the card from their line-up face up on the discard pile if they wish to trade.
Players will seek to replace any cards in their line-up with lesser ones selected from the deck/discard piles in order to obtain the lowest score in the round.
- Kings =0
- Aces = 1
- Each number card (2-10) is worth its face value
- Jack = 11
- Queen = 11
So a hand with 4 Kings (total score of 0) would be the best score possible.
When picked from the draw pile, however, Jacks and Queens have special abilities:
- A Jack gives you the ability to peek at any of your cards. Place the Jack on top of the discard pile after peeping. The next player cannot pick up the Jack and use it as a peeking device; instead, they must choose from the draw pile.
- A Queen allows you to trade a card with any other player in exchange for one of your own. During the switch, all cards must be face down. The Queen is discarded, and the next player must pick a card from the draw pile instead.
Step 4: When a player believes he or she has the lowest score, they bang on the table and say “Rat-A-Tat-Tat.”
Before everyone gives up their cards, the other players will get one last turn. When all of the players’ scores are added up, the individual with the lowest total is named the winner!
Elevens is a great one-player card game to play with your kids if you’re looking for a fun one-player card game. The principle is simple, yet winning is more difficult than you might expect. We love that there’s math involved, and we’re sure they’ll be captivated once they start playing!
Step 1: Shuffle the cards and deal nine cards face up in three rows of three cards each. The draw pile is made up of any remaining cards.
Step 2: Examine your cards to see if there are any pairs that total up to eleven. Any matching pairs can be taken out of the game and replaced with a card from the draw pile.
Each number card has a face value of two to ten points, with aces costing one point.
Only the Jack-Queen-King trio of face cards can be removed from the board. The only cards that can be removed as a trio rather than a pair are these.
Step 3: To win, all cards from the draw pile must be used.
James Bond is a fast-paced card game that can be played by two, three, or four players. There aren’t many rules to memorise, which is perfect for small children, and the goal is simple: make 4-of-a-kind sets with all of your cards to win.
Step 1: The dealer deals each player a set number of cards based on the number of players:
- 2 players: 24 cards each
- 3 players: 16 cards each
- 4 players: 12 cards each
Players then arrange their cards into smaller four-card piles, face down in front of them:
- 2 players: 6 piles with 4 cards in each
- 3 players: 4 piles with 4 cards in each
- 4 players: 3 piles with 4 cards in each
The final four cards are laid face up in a row in the center of the players.
Step 2: The game begins with the dealer calling “go!” The game then begins at the same time; there are no “turns,” so the faster you work, the better.
Step 3: Each player takes one of their piles, examines the four cards, and decides whether or not to trade one of them for the face-up card in front of them. For each pile, players must generate four-of-a-kind matches.
At any given time, players can only work with one pile of cards and trade one card from that pile.
Each mini pile must always contain four cards, with four remaining face up in the centre of the players.
Step 4: To confirm their victory, the first player to match four-of-a-kind in each of their piles must exclaim “James Bond!” and then turn over their piles to expose the matches.
Card Games For Kids
With so many simple card games for youngsters, keeping a spare box in the glove compartment might be a good idea.
They not only give screen-free entertainment, but they also provide opportunities for engagement and tradition-building that even the best entertainment applications can’t equal.
You might even get the idea for a new card game that’s just right for your family.
Free Resource For You
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