Family game night is a great way for families to have fun and spend time together. Whether it’s a rainy summer night or a designated device-free evening at home, game night can prove a bonding experience for both parents and children.
If board games have lost some of their luster, parents may want to break out a deck of cards. In such instances, these three family-friendly card games can make for a fun activity.
1. Crazy eights
Crazy eights requires between two and seven players, making it an ideal card game for families. The winner is the first player to discard all of his or her cards. A basic 52-card deck is used when playing with five or fewer players, while two 52-card decks are used when there are more than five players. When playing with more than two players, each player is initially dealt five cards, and the remaining cards are then placed face down at the center of the table. The game begins when the top card is turned face up. Players can discard their cards by matching the rank or suit with the top card of the discard pile. If they cannot match the rank or suit of the top card and are not holding an eight, players must draw a card from the stockpile. Players also may play an eight at any time, and when they do, they must declare the suit the next player must play. The next player can either play that suit or play an eight if they have one. The first player with no cards left is the winner.
2. Go Fish
Go Fish is a great game for young children. To begin, each player is dealt five cards from a 52-card deck (or seven cards if there are three players or less), and the remaining cards are then shared between the players. Players whose turn it is ask another player for his or her cards of a certain face value. For example, a player may ask “Dad, do you have any twos?” Players must ask for a face value they are already holding. Therefore, in the above example, the player who asks for the two must be holding a two. If the player has cards of that value, then he or she must hand them all over to the player who asked. If the player has no such cards, the player who asked must draw a card. If it’s not the two the player asked for, the player must keep it and allow the next player to take his or her turn. If the card is a two, the player must show it to the other players and then select another card. Players who have all four cards of a face value are said to have a “book,” and books must be placed face up in front of the player as they’re accumulated. When all cards have been laid down in books, the player with the most books is the winner.
3. Old Maid
Old Maid can be played with a 52-card deck. In such instances, one card must be added or removed. That leaves one unmatchable card. At the beginning of the game, the designated dealer deals all of the cards, and some players can end up with more cards than others. Once the cards have been dealt, players look at their hands and discard all pairs, but not three of kind. Each player, beginning with the dealer, offers his or her hand, face-down, to the player to his or her left. The player offered must select a card without seeing which card it is and add it to his or her hand. If the card chosen matches a card the player is holding, then the pair can be discarded. The player who chose a card then offers his or her hand to the player to his or her left, and the game continues in this vein. Players can shuffle their hands before offering them to other players. The game ends when all pairs have been discarded and one player is left holding the unmatchable card, which is referred to as the “old maid.”