Simple Card Games for Everyone

By Neal Taparia - 7/8/2024

Card games have been a staple of social entertainment for centuries, providing fun and relaxation for people of all ages. Some of the best simple card games for everyone include Go Fish, War, and Crazy Eights. These games all require a standard deck of fifty-two cards and can be easily learned and enjoyed by novices and seasoned players alike.

Sometimes, you want to take a break from the strategy and complexity. Instead of playing Hearts online, maybe you want a simple game you can play with your niece during the holidays. Here are three games perfect for just that:

Go Fish

Go Fish is a classic children's game that's simple but entertaining. Each player is dealt five cards, and the rest of the deck forms a draw pile–the pond. Players take turns asking others for specific cards to form pairs.

For example, one player may ask another for all their fives. If the asked player has any of the asked-for card, they must give them to the asker. Otherwise, the asking player must ‘go fish’ and draw a card from the pond. The game continues until all pairs are made, and the player with the most pairs wins.


War is a straightforward game suitable for two players. It’s unique in that there is no hand in the game. The deck is evenly divided between the players. Simultaneously, each player reveals the top card of their deck, and the player with the higher card takes both cards and adds them to the bottom of their pile.

In the case of a tie, a ‘war’ is declared. Each player puts the top three cards of their deck face down in front of them, then at the same time, they both reveal the top card of their deck. The winner of the war takes all the cards on the table.

The game continues until one player has all the cards. Sometimes, games of War can be difficult to end, so players might also agree on a time limit before they start playing.

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights can be played by two or more players. If two players are playing, each player is dealt seven cards. If more than two players are playing, each player is dealt five cards. The remaining deck forms a draw pile.

The top card of the draw pile is flipped over next to it, starting the discard pile. Players take turns matching the top card of the discard pile’s rank or suit. For example, if a six of clubs is the top card of the discard pile, the player whose turn it is can play any six or any club.

If the player can’t make a play, they draw from the draw pile until they have a play. Players may also play any eight regardless of the top card of the discard pile. When they do this, they declare the suit that the player after them must follow. If the draw pile is exhausted and a player can’t make a play, they have to pass the turn.

The game ends when a player empties their hand, then players add up the value of the cards left in their hands. Eights are worth fifty, face cards are worth ten, and all other cards are worth their numerical value. The player who emptied their hand first gets the points of everyone else’s hands, and the game continues until a player reaches an agreed-upon number, usually fifty times the number of players in the game.

Simple Pleasures

Some of the best playing card games are simple ones. By understanding the rules and strategies of games like Go Fish, War, Crazy Eights, Rummy, and Euchre, you can enjoy countless hours of fun and social interaction. So, shuffle that deck and start playing–there's a world of card games waiting for you to explore!

If you want to learn about more unique card games, check out our post on card games using Jokers!