[DRAFT] Bored? Here are 5 classic card games you should play with your family at home

Graphics and Words by Jhanine Caoile

Playing Cards have become a classic recreational activity over time, as it was introduced back in the 15th century and was eventually brought down to the proceeding generations to enjoy. May it be your grandparents, your parents, or your cousins, they would undoubtedly admit that these cards have become a great part of their childhood.

These cards would not let you down, because there are just way too many things you can do with them. With just a deck of 52 cards, the possibilities are endless. This will not only entertain you with the parlor games you may already know of, but it is also commonly known to be used to perform cardistry, fortune-telling, magic tricks, card throwing, or even building a house of cards.

(ALSO READ: Have Nothing to do During the Break? Never be Bored Again With These Board Games)

The complex combination of colors, suits, and numbers may intimidate you from learning these games at first, but it brings much more bliss than entertainment alone. Without a doubt, a complete deck of cards may just be sitting on your cabinet at home, waiting for you to pick them up. What else are you waiting for? Drag your family along as we learn these 5 traditional card games together!

5. SlapJack

@slapjack @cards @games

SlapJack is a fast-paced accumulation game that can be played between 2 or more players. The dealer must distribute the whole deck of cards evenly among all the players. The players must not look at their own respective cards. The game starts as the player at the left of the dealer flips down his top card to the center pile, facing up. The proceeding players continue flipping down their top cards too, as quickly as possible. However, all the players should watch out for Jack. Once the Jack card is discarded to the center pile, the players must beat each other to slapping this card first. The first player to slap Jack gets the entire center pile. This player must drop his/ her top card in order to continue the game.

Players who have no more cards may still join the game. Once they get to slap Jack first, they are still awarded the whole center pile. The winner goes to whoever retrieves all of the cards on the deck first.

A twist can also be put to the game of SlapJack by counting while each player discards a card. This is how the sequence goes: “Ace,” “two,” “three,” “four,” “five,” “six,” “seven,” “eight,” “nine,” “ten,” “Jack,” “queen,” “king,” and back to Ace. The counting goes on and on until a Jack is played, or once the card played matches the number count, thus making the first player to slap the one to win the center pile. As the game recontinues after a card is slapped, the counting must restart and go back to Ace.

4. Crazy Eights

@crazyeights @cards @games

Crazy Eights is a shedding game that is played between 2 or more players. The dealer must shuffle the whole deck of cards and deal 5 cards to each player. The remaining cards will be used as the draw pile; however, the top card of this pile will be the first to discard. The first player must get rid of any of his cards that have a matching number or suit to the top card of the discard pile. After the first player does so, the second player proceeds to do the same, and so on. If a player does not have anything that matches the said card, he/ she must draw up to 3 cards until the player retrieves the card needed. Once the player retrieves a suitable card, he/ she continues to play his/ her turn and the game goes on. However, if the player does not get the needed card even upon retrieving the third card, he/she must pass his turn to the next player.

The 8 card serves as a wild card that signifies as any card in the pile and can be discarded at any time in the game. The player that discards the 8 card must state any suit for the next player to discard a card of the requested suit.

The first player to finish all of his/ her cards will be the winner. The number of points the winning player obtains is based on the cards the remaining players have. For every 8 cards, the winning player gets 50 points. For every K, Q, J, or 10 card, he/ she gets 10 points. Every ace is equivalent to one point, and each of the remaining cards is equal to its pip value.

3. Go Fish

@gofish @cards @games

Go Fish is a collecting game that is played between 2 or more players. If the game is played with 2 players, the dealer must distribute 7 cards for each player using a whole deck of 52 cards. However, if the game is played with 3 or more players, each player must start with 5 cards in their hands. The remaining cards are placed at the center of the table.

The first player must ask any opponent for a specific rank of a card of his/ her choice. The player “fishing” must possess at least one card of this certain rank as well. The player addressed must submit the requested card/s to the player “fishing.” If he does not have the card requested, he must “go fish” and draw the top card from the center pile. Once a player receives one or more cards of the requested rank, he/she must ask another player for a certain card of either the same or different rank. As the player succeeds in “fishing,” he/ she continues. The player must reveal everything he “catches” in order to verify this with the other players. Once a player gets all 4 cards of a certain rank, he/ she must reveal the set onto his/ her side of the table and must play his/ her turn again. However, a player with an unsuccessful catch passes his turn to the next player.

The game ends once all 13 ranks are won. The player with the most “books,” or complete sets wins the game.

2. Old Maid

@oldmaid @cards @games

After removing 1 Queen, a deck of 51 cards is to be distributed among 2 or more players.

To start the game, all the players must drop all their pairs facing down. The first player must draw a card from the previous player. If the drawn card forms a pair with any card in his/ her own set of cards, the pair must be placed down, and the game proceeds. If the drawn card, does not form a pair with any other card, the next player proceeds with his/ her turn and continues to draw a card from the previous player. The goal of the game is to avoid becoming the old maid by pairing up all his/her cards without holding the last Queen. The first player to pair up all his/ her cards is the winner, while the last to do so will be called the “Old Maid.”

1. Bluff

@cards @bluff @games

Bluff is a shedding game that can be played between 3 or more players. The dealer shuffles and distributes the whole deck of cards among all the players. All the players are allowed to look at their cards and must not let the other players see.

The game of Bluff follows the sequence that goes from Ace to King (“Ace,” “two,” “three,” “four,” “five,” “six,” “seven,” “eight,” “nine,” “ten,” “Jack,” “Queen,” “King,” and back to Ace). The first player must start and discard any 1-4 card/s and say “Ace.” However, the player can either tell the truth or bluff.

Note that all cards being discarded must be placed face down, letting nobody see them, as the other players must detect whether or not the player is bluffing. If the other players are convinced that he/she is telling the truth, no one calls on a bluff and the game continues, thus requiring the next players to proceed and place down the card/s corresponding to the sequence during his/ her turn.

However, once a player objects that the player is bluffing, he must call on “bluff” and pick up the player’s card/s to inspect. If the player is not bluffing, the objector must retrieve all the cards on the discard pile and the player gets to play another turn. However, if the player is bluffing and is caught doing so, he must pick up all the cards in the discard pile and have the objector play his turn. Whoever is doomed to keep the whole discard pile should be the one to recontinue the game and discard their Aces.

The main goal of the game is to discard all their cards before the other players do so without being caught bluffing. Thus, if no one objects on the player during his/ her turn, the game goes on until a player runs out of cards. Once this happens, he becomes the winner of the game.

These games are simple yet fun, making them just the perfect recreational activity for both children and the elderly alike. However, all traditional card games each have their own set of versions and variations. Mentioned above are just the most common and universal ways to play the said games. The game instructions above may not certainly align with the way your family traditionally plays it. Thus, it is up to your discretion to follow whichever way you enjoy most. Nonetheless, we truly hope that you and your family had as much fun playing these games as much as we did.

Which card game was your favorite? Let us know in the comments.


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