Skip to content

9 Fun and Easy Card Games to Play as a Family

There’s a reason some of these games have been popular for decades.

Megan Johnson

GrashAlex / Getty Images

GrashAlex / Getty Images

Playing cards is a fun alternative to screen time that kids and adults of all ages can enjoy. There’s a reason some of these games have been popular for decades. From specialized card games to games using a standard deck, here are the best card games for snowy days indoors, family camping trips, rainy summer afternoons...or just a random Tuesday night together.

1. UNO Flip!

Uno Flip, Mattel

Mattel

2-10 players, Ages 7+

Great for: Matching and strategy skills

UNO is a great card game for the whole family – and Uno Flip! Is like 2 games in 1 with a “Light Side” of the deck featuring classic gameplay, and a “Dark Side” with a special “Flip” card, and harsher penalties for competitors that want to kick things up a notch. Basically, it’s a simple matching game: You match cards by color or number, and the first person to discard all their cards wins. To make things interesting, there are Wild Cards, Draw Four, and Draw 2 cards. You can play by the rules, or play how my family always played: If you don’t have a card you can play, you have to keep picking until you get one. No matter how you play it, you likely won’t play just one round!

2. Go Fish

JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

2-5 players, Ages 4+

Great for: Memory strengthening and matching skills

You can either get a pack of Go Fish cards, or use a basic 52-card deck. This game is perfect for younger kids since it is a matching game, and it can help with learning numbers if you’re using a basic deck.

Bicycle Cards have the full rules on their website

3. Old Maid

Old Maid

Elva Etienne / Getty Images

2-4 players, Ages 4+

Great for: Sharpening matching skills

Like Go Fish, this is also a simple matching game, making it ideal for younger kids. It’s a bit simpler than Go Fish in that all you have to do is pick a card from someone else's hand and see if you have a matching one. What makes this one fun is you don’t want to be left with the Old Maid, so if you do, you can try to find ways to entice other players to get it, or try to make them think you have it when you don’t! You can buy a special Old Maid deck, or take out 3 out of the 4 Queen cards, and the remaining queen becomes the “Old Maid.”

Find the full rules on Bicycle's website

4. The Oregon Trail Card Game

Oregon-Trail-Packshot-with-Pieces

2-6 players, Ages 12 +

Great for: Strategy, teamwork, learning history

It’s the classic computer game that served as social studies class for a generation of Gen Xers, brought to life in cardstock with the realistic graphics fans know and love. So travel back in time and pack up your covered wagon, because we’re headin’ west! Can you stay alive along one of the most treacherous trails in history? To win, you must keep at least one member of your team alive as you cross the country in your covered wagon. Dodge the rattlesnakes, make sure you pack enough food, and be super careful when crossing rivers.  

5. War

Real444 / Getty Images

Real444 / Getty Images

2+ players, Ages 4+

Great for: Learning basic numbers

War is probably the most basic card game there is. In spite of that, it is a lot of fun for all ages! Each player plays their top card, and whoever has the highest ranking card wins that round. If two players have the same card, it’s a “War!” If you have more than 4 people playing, use two decks so the game doesn’t finish too fast (unless that’s what you want!)

See how to play on Bicycle Cards' website

6. Black Jack (21)

GrashAlex / Getty Images

GrashAlex / Getty Images

2-7 players, Ages 7+

Great for: Basic addition

A perfect game for sharpening kids’ math skills, and another one that helps with teaching strategy. Players want their cards to add up to 21 without going over, and whoever beats the dealer wins. Kids need to know some easy addition, so it’s perfect for those that are elementary aged.

Find the full rules here

7. Ridley's Avocado Smash Party Edition

Ridley-s Avocado Smash Party

Ridley's

 2-8 players, ages 6+

Great for: Basic counting skills

Avocados are delicious, nutritious, and are the perfect treat to share with the family! It’s a fast-paced game where you race other players to be the first to smash that avocado – it’s good as toast! Or on toast, in this case. Be the player with the most toppings stacked onto your avocado toast to win, and then take the family out for brunch for the real thing.

8. Golf

Johan Willner / Getty Image

Johan Willner / Getty Image

2-4 players, Ages 7+

Great for: Basic math skills, learning strategy, risk taking

With this game, you want the lowest score, but can only look at half of your cards, so taking a risk is all part of the fun. Kings are worth zero, and my family likes to throw in Jokers, which are worth minus one!

The full rules can be found here

9. Spoons

Doug Menuez / Forrester Images / Getty Images

Doug Menuez / Forrester Images / Getty Images

3-5 players, Ages 7+

Great for: Observation skills

Spoons is a game that is all about fun. To play, you place one less spoon than there are players in the center. Players try to get four of a kind, and when someone does, they reach for a spoon. Once one player does, other players can grab a spoon, and play keeps going until all the spoons are gone. The player without a spoon loses. There is a danger with this game, as fights over spoons can break out!

Bicycle Cards has the full rules