Child Card Games

Easy Card Games for Kids

Child card games have been
popular since Victorian times when parlour games were played by the
whole family as a means of entertainment.

These days they are a great
way to spend time indoors particularly for rainy days or on holidays
where there is no tv! The kids card games here are suitable for children
aged four and up. It is best to start with the simpler games and
gradually teach skills so that they can learn the more complex ones.

child card games

Children can start by
playing with picture cards, often with popular cartoon or television
characters. They can soon move to a real deck of cards and grasp the
values of the jack, queen and king.

Playing child card games gives good
practice with basic mathematical principles and also the value of
gamesmanship which is a valuable lesson for children. These games focus
on fun, some of them can become quite frantic as it is often speed that
becomes the winning factor.

Simple Kids Card Games

Cheat (I Doubt It)
Players– three or more
Duration– 5-10 minutes per round

Shuffle
the cards and deal out the entire deck to the players. Players guard
their hands closely, some players may have one card more which does not
matter.
The first player places a card from his hand face down in the
middle and annouces its rank. He may or may not be telling the truth!
Following players do the same, claiming a higher rank than the previous
card.
At any time a player may call out ‘Cheat!’ or ‘I doubt it!’ as a
challenge. The card just layed down is turned up and if it was
truthfully laid then the challenger picks up the centre pile. If a
falsehood is revealed then the offending player must pick up the pile.
The pressure increases as the card’s rank climbs towards ace high as the players are more likely to have to allege fraud.
The
opening player can choose a middle or low ranking card to start the
game. Similar to poker in the deceptions and ability to maintain a
‘poker face’.

Concentration (Pelmanism)
Players– two or more
Duration– 5-10 minutes per round

After
the cards have been shuffled they are all laid out randomly. Each
player has a go to turn over two cards. If they are a match, the player
keeps them and has another turn. If they are not a match then they are
turned facedown in their original positions.
A game often better for
children as they often have better memory than adults. This can also be
played with picture cards especially for children. The winner has the
highest number of pairs.

Go Boom
Players– two or more
Duration– 10-15 minutes per round

Each
player is dealt seven cards with the remainder going facedown into the
middle as the stockpile. The first player places a card in the middle
faceup. Each player to follow must place another card on top that
matches the previous either in rank or suit. Any player who cannot lay
down a card must begin drawing from the stock, continuing to add cards
to their hand until they draw a playable card. If the stock has all been
used then the player must pass.
The first with an empty hand shouts
‘Boom!’ and is the winner. If the play reaches a stage where all
players must pass then the winner is the player with the fewest number
of cards.

Go Fish
Players– two to five
Duration– 5-10 minutes per round

For
two or three players, seven cards are each dealt out; with four or five
players, five cards each. The remainder of the deck is placed facedown
in the middle becoming the ‘fishpond’. Each player is attempting to
collect a set of four cards, this may change as the game progresses and
new cards fall into their hands.

The first player turns to his right
and requests a card, say a king. If that player holds any kings they
must be handed over. If not he announces ‘Go fish,’ and the original
player selects a card from the fishpond. If the card matches the
original request (in this case a king) then the player says, ‘I fished
upon my wish’ and can now make another demand of the player on his
right.
As each set of four is completed they are laid down. The
player to completely empty their hand by converting it into sets of
fours is the winner, or the one with the most sets when the fishpond
dries up.

Old Maid
Players– three to five
Duration– about 10 minutes per round

Three
queens are removed from the deck leaving the queen of clubs as the Old
Maid. The deck is shuffled and all cards are dealt. From their hand each
player matches up pairs that are the same rank and colour and they are
discarded.
The first player now draws a card from the player on his
right and the game continues until all of the pairs have been matched up
and removed from players hands and only the Old Maid remains. The
player holding the Old Maid loses the game.

Slapjack
Players– two or more
Duration– about 15 minutes per round

All
of the cards are dealt out, it does not matter if some hands have an
extra card. Each player recieves a pile of facedown cards which they
place in front of them, unseen. The first player turns her top card and
places it into the middle. This continues around players until a jack is
turned. The first player the slap a hand over the pile wins it. The
game ends when one player has won all of the cards. If any players run
out of cards they remain in the game as they cab begin playing again if
they can win a pile.

Snap
Players– two or more
Duration– about 15 minutes per round (two decks will be required for four or more players)

Probably the easiest of all child card games.
All
of the cards are dealt out, it does not matter if some hands have an
extra card. The cards are stacked facedown in front of each player.
Starting
to the left of the dealer each player deals one card face up in the
centre of the table, making a pile of cards.This continues until one
player deals one card on top of another player’s card, which is of the
same value, suits do not matter. When this happens the first player to
call out “Snap” and slap the deck wins the pile.
The game continues until one player holds all of the cards.

Spit (Speed)
Players– two
Duration– about 10 minutes per round

The
deck is shuffled and dealt out with each player receiving half of the
deck. Each player lays out their cards the same way beginning from the
left.
A stack of five cards with top card turned over, then a stack
of four, three, two and one. The remainder of each of their hands goes
into the middle  to form two stockpiles, each having the first card
turned up beside it, starting the ‘spit pile’.

Once
the cards have been laid out the players call, ‘One, two, three, spit!’
and the game begins. Each player using only one hand plays cards from
their upturned piles onto their respective spit piles. The cards must
correspond in rank either up or down- so a jack can be covered by a
queen or a ten. Kings are high and can only be covered by queens, and
similarly for aces, they are low and can only be covered by a two.

As
a player removes a card from the layout pile the next card is turned
over. Players can place upturned cards within their own layouts, thus
keeping the game progressing as new cards are exposed.

If the game
reaches a point where neither player can lay down a card then a fresh
card is overturned from each players stockpile and the game continues.
The round concludes when both players stockpiles have been exhausted.
The ultimate winner of the game is the first player to get rid of all of
their cards from both their layout and stockpile, having cards only on
the spit pile.

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