Oregon State University

5 Fun Card Games by Rex

Playing cards is one of my favorite past times.  Whether I’m playing with my family after clearing the table or struggling to play during a long, cramped car trip, card games have always been a big part of my life.  These are a couple of card games that are both fun and can even be educational.


1. Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights is a game I learned a little later in life and could be a little too complicated for younger kids.  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 and place the reminder in the center.  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 t

playing cards

o miss a turn. The Queen of spades will force the next player to pick up eight.  This game is very similar to UNO, to start the player to the left of the dealer flips a card over from the deck of cards in the middle.  They then have to try and play a card that matches the suit of the card in the discard pile.  If they don’t have a matching suit then they can play a card with the same face value of any suit.  If they can do neither than they have to draw a card and skip their turn.  If a player changes the suit by playing a card of the same value then the next player must first try to match that suit. 


2. 31

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 so 1 – 10 are worth their face value and face cards are worth 11, however Aces can be used as either 1 or 11.



3. 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 from 1 - A, 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. The person to the left of the dealer starts and can either switch with the person to left of them or they can discard their card and draw a new one.  If a player has an Ace, 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 and when someone loses all their lives, they are out


4. Go Fish

Go Fish is a classic card game for kids. The concept behind this game is simple. The dealer will deal each player five or seven 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 any 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 dogs playing pokermatches 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.  You can also play where only full sets count, so instead of getting two of a kind you have to get four of a kind.

5. Snap

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.

These are just a few games to get you started, there are an abundance of card game online that are easy to find and learn. 

Contact Info

OSU KidSpirit
2450 Jefferson Way
125 Langton Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
541.737.KIDS (5437)
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