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Card games are a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged. For anyone looking to take a break from their devices and turn to something timeless, our top recommendation is Go Fish! This simple and thematic game instills valuable skills in kids while providing fun hours!

Because we believe kids can still have fun without their phones, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 card games for kids. From classic to modern, each game is designed to keep them engaged and learning something new. If you want to know more about how we pick our games, check out our selection process here.

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1. Best Overall: Go Fish

Available on
  • Player count: 2-6 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 3+

Go Fish, the card game from our childhoods, takes the top spot in our list for its fun and immersive gameplay. Originating in the middle of the 19th century, this game is all about collecting sets and making good guesses!

Why we love it

Our favorite thing about this game is that it’s easy to learn yet encourages kids to use their brains and hone their memory skills. The rules are simple, and virtually no setup time is required. So you can spend more time playing, and less time teaching!

Go Fish is the perfect way to instill patience, learn pattern recognition, and build social skills among children. Because players will have to wait for their turn to draw or ask for cards, kids will naturally learn to take turns, share, and be respectful of the other players.

Plus, the thematic elements of this card game make playing it so much fun! The deck is called “the pond” and the cards are fish players try to collect. It’s a great way to bring imaginative play into your living room.

We also love how the cards are sturdy and will survive rough play. They’re thick, and even if you lose them and the deck is incomplete, it’s still possible to play with what you have. Perfect for a game night, Go Fish is sure to provide hours of entertainment!

Our only complaint? The cards are pretty small for a game designed for kids. But that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise fantastic game. So if you’re looking for a fun and educational card game, Go Fish is one of the best out there! This classic card game is sure to keep kids entertained for hours.

How to play

Getting started with Go Fish is simple! First, you’ll need the standard 52-card deck. Then, the dealer shuffles the cards and distributes them according to the number of players.

If you have two players, each person gets 7 cards. If you have three or more players, each player gets 5 or 6 cards. The remaining cards are placed in the center of the table, face down. This deck is referred to as “the pond.”

The game’s goal is to collect sets, which are groups of four cards with the same rank. For example, four Kings or four 8s. To do this, players take turns asking other players for cards of a certain rank.

When it’s your turn, turn to any player and ask, “Do you have any 6s?” If they have one or more 6s, they must give them to you. Before you ask this, ensure you have at least one 6 in your hand. If the person you asked has no 6s, they will say, “Go Fish!” and you must go to the pond to get a card.

Once you have collected all four of one rank, place your set face up in front of you. The person with the most sets at the end of the game wins!

2. Best Interactive: Slap Jack

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 30 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 4+

Our second pick is Slap Jack, a fast-paced game of reflexes and reactions. Unlike traditional card games, Slap Jack is all about speed and agility!

Why we love it

The best thing about Slap Jack is that it’s exciting and engaging. Kids love the challenge of trying to be faster than their opponents, and the game doesn’t require any complicated rules or strategies. It’s all about quick thinking and reflexes!

This game is a great way to sharpen kids’ observation skills and teach them the importance of paying attention. When it’s their turn, they need to watch closely and recognize the pattern of the cards being shown to be able to get in the first slap.

You can use different decks with fun themes like animals or dinosaurs to add even more excitement to the game. This can make it even more engaging for younger kids.

The only thing we don’t like about this game is that it can be too fast-paced for some kids. And some may not be comfortable with the pain that comes with a slap to the hand, so check in with the kids before you start playing.

Overall, Slap Jack is a fun interactive card game that keeps kids moving and thinking fast. It’s sure to be a hit on your next game night!

How to play

Playing Slap Jack is easy, and doesn’t require too many rules. To start, all players draw one card from the deck and place it face-up in front of them. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer, and they start the game by dealing the remaining cards to each player, one at a time, face-down.

One by one, the players flip their cards face-up and place them in the middle of the table. When a player flips a Jack, everyone else has to try and be the first person to slap their hand on the card.

The player who slaps it first gets to keep the Jack and all the other face-up cards in the middle. The game continues until all the cards have been used up. The player with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!

3. Best Icebreaker: Crazy Eights

Available on
  • Player count: 2-5 players
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 4+

Get your game night off to a great start with Crazy Eights! A classic card game that’s easy to learn and is sure to break the ice.

Why we love it

Crazy Eights is perfect for introducing new players to card games. It’s similar to other popular card games like Uno, but without the complicated rules that come with the wildcards and special moves. It’s much easier to learn and can easily be played by new players.

This game has an elegant balance of luck and strategy, and the gameplay is straightforward enough for kids to understand. And you can play it with any deck of cards, which is excellent if you don’t have a dedicated card game set.

Crazy Eights also teaches kids about the basics of set collection, probability, and matching. Kids need to recognize similar cards and create sets of matching numbers or suits. As they gain experience, kids can translate these skills learned into more complicated card games.

The most significant downside to this game is that the box it comes with falls apart easily. It’s also a bit anticlimactic when the game ends, as it can be a bit slow-paced. But regardless, Crazy Eights is a fantastic card game for kids to have fun with and learn the basics of card games.

How to play

In this game, all players try to get rid of their cards first by playing matching cards. Each player is dealt five cards, and the rest are placed in a pile in the center of the table. The top card of this pile is flipped over to reveal the first playable card for everyone else.

On their turn, players must either play a card of the same rank or suit as the top card on the pile in the center of the table. For example, if the top card is a four of hearts, players can either play another four or any other heart-suit card.

If they have none of these cards, then they must draw a new card from the pile in the center and skip their turn. Players can also play eights any time to change the suit, and other players must follow the new suit.

This continues until one player has no cards in their hand and is declared the winner!

4. Best Competitive: Blackjack

Available on
  • Player count: 2-10 players
  • Duration: 30 minutes average playing time
  • Ages: 8+

For a game that’s sure to get the competitive juices flowing, give Blackjack a try! Test your counting and strategic skills in this classic card game that has been a favorite for centuries.

Why we love it

What makes Blackjack so great is that it’s perfect for practicing math. Players need to know how to count and add up the total of their hand, making this game perfect for older kids who are starting to learn about numbers.

This game is also an excellent way to teach kids about risk assessment. Since you’re going to want to get closest to 21 without going over, players have to weigh their options carefully and assess the risks of drawing another card or staying with what they’ve got!

Plus, the tension-building and suspense of waiting to see what card comes up make it so much fun! We can’t get enough of the thrill that comes as everyone reveals their hands.

This game’s only drawback is that some players may not like the player elimination aspect, which can happen if they go over 21. But thankfully, Blackjack’s other great features more than make up for this. We guarantee that kids will love the challenge and excitement of this popular card game.

How to play

Each player begins the game with two cards. The dealer also gives themselves two cards, face up and face down. From here, the players must then decide whether they want to “stick” (keep their current hand) or draw more cards until they reach a total of 21.

The value of the cards is as follows:

  • Aces are worth either one or eleven points.
  • Face cards are worth ten points.
  • Numbered cards are equal to their face value.

The object of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. If a player goes over 21, they are “bust” and out of the game. The last player standing with the highest hand is declared the winner!

5. Best Classic: Kids Against Maturity

Available on
  • Player count: 4-10 players
  • Duration: 30 to 90 minutes
  • Ages: 10+

In a child-friendly twist on a classic game, Kids Against Maturity combines the best adult-only card games with age-appropriate content for kids. Despite being created for a younger audience, adults can still have a great time playing this game with the family!

Why we love it

We just love how Kids Against Maturity brings an old-school card game into the new age. Despite its family-friendly nature, this game is so much fun and is geared toward older children and teens with its humor and content.

This game encourages creative thinking and social interaction as it challenges players to come up with their unique answers to the questions. The more creative the answer, the better! It also allows everyone to be silly and laugh at themselves, which is always a plus.

Plus, the game is straightforward to learn, requiring only two decks of cards and minimal setup. All you need to do is take turns being a “judge”, who reads out the questions and decides which answer is funniest or most appropriate.

However, this game contains many references specific to the US, so some players from other countries may not find the content relatable. Nevertheless, we assure you Kids Against Maturity will still provide hours of laughter and fun for the whole family.

How to play

Setting up Kids Against Maturity is a breeze and no different from the original card game. Each player takes a hand of ten Answer cards, and one player is randomly chosen as the judge for the round.

The judge then reads a question from one of the Question cards, and all players must choose one Answer card from their hand to submit. The judge then reads out all the answers and picks the winning answer.

The player who submitted the winning answer then receives the Question card, and a new round begins with a new judge. The game ends when all the Question cards have been collected. The player with the most Questions cards at the end wins the game!

How we picked and tested

PsyCat Games is built by people who know how to have fun! We’ve been researching parties and games since 2018 and have published 400+ articles on our website. That’s why we’re confident that we know what we’re talking about!

We want you to have the best time possible and not waste your money on a subpar product. That’s why we spend over three months testing 20 games with groups of kids. We’ve ranked the games by the fun factor, player experience, and replayability!

Our ranking is subjective, but we’ve tried our best to be as impartial as possible. However, if you stumble upon a card game for kids that you think deserves a spot on our list, please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.

PsyCat Games is supported by readers clicking on our affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we might earn a commission if you buy something through our links.

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