Best Card Games: The Top 20 List

Best Card Games


Best Card Games: Timeless Fun and Competition

You may have a few traditional card games that your family plays, depending on where you were raised. Whether at family get-togethers or with your immediate family, you are sure to have had some fun around the card table. With this list of the best card games, you will be able to take that experience to a whole new level.

These twenty different card games will allow for some diversity when playing cards with your family or friends. Many of them also only require a regular 52-card deck of playing cards. So with only one set of cards, you can play many of the games on this list. Although, we do highly recommend trying out the other card games on this list as well!

And who knows, maybe you will come up with a new family favorite card game that is played at all the family gatherings moving forward.

And, for even more fun family fun, make sure to visit our lists of the best game night ideas and best board games. Both of these lists will provide hours and hours of clean, family fun! And if you really want to have a great night, make sure to visit our list of the best snack ideas and best appetizers because everything is better with the right snacks.



Top 20 Card Games:





Rummy (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-6

Highlights: Strategic matching game.

About Card Game: Rummy is one of those popular card games that millions have loved for over 100 years! There are many regional versions of rummy as well. Classic rummy is straightforward and can be played with 2-6 people. Firstly, players are dealt 6 or 7 cards. The objective is to get rid of all the cards in your hand by matching up 3 or 4 of a kind or by creating sequences of same-suit cards. A card must be drawn from the stockpile or the discard pile each turn. They may lay any melds (matching sets) down now. To finish a turn, they must discard a card. When players get rid of all their cards, they are the winner!






Poker (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Popular strategy game with hundreds of versions.

About Card Game: The classic game of poker can be played in numerous ways, most of which only require a 52-card deck. This game is a combination of skill and luck. Typically it’s played by betting money, sometimes represented with flashy poker chips, and gauging your opponents’ body language and playing strategy. Knowing the basics and some tips for improving your poker game will benefit you greatly when you sit down to play. For example, you must bluff carefully while determining your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. If you are in search of card games for adults, then look for a version of poker that sounds appealing to you!




Uno Card Game


Uno (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-10

Highlights: Easy-to-learn matching game.

About Card Game: Uno is a crowd-favorite and one of the best card games because it’s easy to learn and extremely fun to play. It’s great for family gatherings or parties with friends. First, players are dealt a hand of cards, either red, blue, yellow, green, or wild. They will either show a number or a special action move. On your turn, you must place one card from your hand face-up on the discard pile, but it must either match in color or number. Everyone works to get rid of all their cards, and when someone reaches their last card, they must yell out “uno!” If they can discard their last card on their next turn, then they win.




War Card Game


War Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Fast-paced and straightforward card game.

About Card Game: This game is a great game to play with 2 or 3 people, although it is possible to play with more by adding a second deck. The objective of this game is to acquire all the cards. Players play one card at a time by placing it in the middle of the table. The player with the highest card wins all of them and puts all the cards into their win pile. A “war” happens when there is a tie for the highest card. This is solved by each player drawing four cards. Whichever player has the highest fourth card wins all of them. When your discard pile runs out, you convert your win pile into your new discard pile. When one player has won all the cards, they are declared the winner.




Crazy Eights Card Game


Crazy Eights Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-7

Highlights: Similar to Uno, but played with a regular deck of cards.

About Card Game: Fun card games don’t always need a specialized deck. For this game, each player receives seven cards, then the rest of the deck forms the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is flipped and placed next to the draw pile to create the discard pile. Players take turns laying down one card at a time, matching either the number or suit of the last card on the discard pile. Similar to Uno, certain cards in the deck represent action cards. When a player reaches their last card, they must knock on the table before the next person lays down a card. If they forget or are too slow, they must draw seven cards! To win, you must get rid of all your cards.




Hearts Card Game


Hearts Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 3-7, best with 4

Highlights: Evasion-type game.

About Card Game: Hearts is another classic card game that people have played for over 100 years. While it is best to play with four people, you can make adjustments to accommodate more. For example, if there are only three players, the 2 of clubs is removed from the deck. In this game, clockwise around the table, players take turns leading tricks. The goal is to have the lowest number of heart cards from the tricks that you win, although if you have all 13 hearts and the Black Maria (queen of spades), you get to either subtract 26 points from your score or split it up and add the points to your opponents’ scores. An agreed-upon number, usually 100, is the points cut off. The game ends when someone reaches it, and whoever has the lowest score is the winner!




Spades Card Game


Spades Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 4

Highlights: Trick-based team game.

About Card Game: If you are in search of good card games that are played with teams, then give Spades a try. Teams of two sit around a table with partners facing each other. Each player “bids” from 0 to 13 how many tricks they expect to win throughout the round. Bidding 0 means you do not expect yourself to win any tricks. There’s a chance for bonus points if you and your partner both successfully bid 0. Alternatively, if you fail, you will be awarded a heavy penalty. Whoever played the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. However, the trick can also be won by the player who played the highest rank of spades if more than one player played spades.




Gin Rummy Card Game


Gin Rummy Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2

Highlights: Creative spin on a classic game.

About Card Game: As the name suggests, this game is similar to rummy, but of course, with a few differences. The main objective remains the same; get rid of all the cards in your hand by creating melds of 3 or 4 of a kind or a run of 3 or more. This version includes a point system, and whichever player reaches 100 points wins through several hands. Points are calculated in relation to whether you or your opponent declare “gin” or “knocks.” You are also awarded points based on the unused cards in both players’ hands. This is one of the best card games to break out when you only have two players.







Dominion (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-4

Highlights: Beautifully designed, tactical game.

About Card Game: The setting of this game has you as a monarch looking to improve your kingdom and make it the best. Your deck is the most important part; it is what betters your kingdom. Each player begins with a small deck and collects more cards for their deck throughout the game. These cards could be resources, victory points, or actions you can do. Popular card games like this one sometimes release new editions. This is the 2nd edition, which has removed the weaker cards and enhanced the gameplay. Another great feature of this game is the different versions that allow you to switch up the game each time, which will enable you to enjoy it longer.




Phase 10 Card Game


Phase 10 Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-6

Highlights: Rummy with a twist.

About Card Game: This is one of the most popular card games, and it takes inspiration from rummy, but with a few changes. Players work to complete all 10 phases and win the game. For each phase, a specific set must be completed, whether it be matching colors or numbers or making a run of sequential numbers. To make the game even more interesting, there are also wild cards that can be used to replace any card in a phase and skip cards to make your opponents lose a turn. Fun card games like this one are easy to learn but are able to be enjoyed over and over again. As a bonus, this one comes in a tin case for storage and easy traveling.




Egyptian Ratscrew Card Game


Egyptian Ratscrew Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Accumulation game.

About Card Game: This game is similar to War, which we mentioned above, but more complex. The objective, like War, is to collect all the cards. Players split the deck evenly among them. If you have a larger group of people playing, it will be useful to add another deck. Next, everyone places their pile face-down before them, and everyone takes turns flipping one card over. When someone plays a face card, depending on which it is, the next player has a certain number of chances to play a face card themselves. If they do, play continues, but if they don’t, the person who played the face card earns the whole pile. Watch out for sets that may appear in the pile, whether they be pairs or sandwiches, because then you can quickly SLAP the pile and win the cards for yourself.




Golf Card Game


Golf Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Straightforward card game where the lowest score wins.

About Card Game: This is a great game for two players, but it can be played with more. Each of the players will get nine cards, and they will be laid out on the table 3 x 3 face-down. The rest of the cards will form the draw pile, and the first card of the draw pile is flipped over to create the discard pile. Gameplay consists of taking turns switching out the cards in front of you with either a draw pile card or the top discarded card to equal the lowest score possible. When the draw pile has been depleted, the game is over, and it’s time to add up the points. For young kids learning math, this is one of the best card games to play to improve their adding and subtracting skills.




Apples to Apples Game


Apples to Apples Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 4-10

Highlights: Hilarious comparison game for adults.

About Card Game: If you are looking for a card game that’s easy to learn, super funny, and is a great icebreaker, then you have to try Apples to Apples. To begin a round, one player is designated the judge. They draw a green card and place it in the middle of the table. Then, the remaining players choose a card from their hand to play with to the judge’s green card. After each person has chosen a card, the judge collects them up and reads them out without knowing who played which one. The judge then decides which card they think is the winner. Whoever played the winning card keeps the green card and whoever collects the most of these wins the whole game. It’s no surprise that Apples to Apples is one of the top card games for adults.




Exploding Kittens Card Game


Exploding Kittens Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-5

Highlights: Game of the Year award winner.

About Card Game: Over 10 million copies of this game have been sold, so it’s no wonder why it is one of the most popular card games around. This fun game is perfect for breaking out at family game nights or parties. It’s packed with kitties, laser beams, explosions, and even some goats! The goal of this game is to avoid getting an Exploding Kitten card. While it may sound like all luck, whether you draw it or not, you will have opportunities to either defuse the Exploding Kitten or use an action card to skip your turn. This game is especially perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours playing because it only takes around 15 minutes to play.




Go Fish Card Game


Go Fish Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-6

Highlights: Awesome game for kids.

About Card Game: While Go Fish can be played with a standard deck of cards, this one is bright and colorful, making it all the more fun. It’s perfect for children age three and up. It improves their counting and number skills and benefits their social interaction skills. This version of Go Fish comes in a sturdy box and has three different variations for even more fun ways to play. Learning to play this game is easy, and it provides children with a frustration-free challenge. It’s one of the best card games to start a weekly family game night when you have younger children.




Solitaire Card Game


Solitaire Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 1

Highlights: Strategy card game for one.

About Card Game: Good card games you can play by yourself are few and far between. Solitaire is one of the best. It is a relatively simple game, but it requires thinking ahead and planning accordingly to win. Knowing a few handy tips and tricks will help you go far in Solitaire. For example, you should save your empty spaces for kings, and you shouldn’t start building your stacks right away without analyzing all your possible moves. This game is excellent for keeping your brain active and working through puzzling situations. There are also many online versions of Solitaire, so even if you don’t have a deck of cards, you can still play.




Blackjack Card Game


Blackjack Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Popular casino game played against the dealer.

About Card Game: This card game has one main objective, beat the dealer. Your goal is to have your cards reach 21 without going over or to score higher than the dealer. The dealer will give you two cards face-up and themselves one card face-down and one face-up. You then must choose whether to “hit” or “stay,” meaning will you ask for another card to get closer to 21 or keep the number you have?

The dealer will then flip their cards and play their hand. After revealing their cards, the dealer must at least reach 17 points. So if they have not yet reached 17 on two cards, they will draw until they do. This can result in a higher score that may beat you or cause them to bust and lose. If you are closer to 21, you win the hand, but if the dealer gets closer, they win the hand. If you go over 21, that’s an immediate bust, and you lose the hand.





Old Maid


Old Maid Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-8

Highlights: There is a distinct loser rather than a distinct winner.

About Card Game: While this game can be played with a standard deck of cards, it’s much easier and more fun to play with a deck of cards made especially for Old Maid like this one! All the cards are divided among the players. It’s ok if some players receive one more card than others. Next, players remove all the pairs of matching cards they have and discard them from their hands. Then each player takes turns offering their cards face-down to the player next to them. That player pulls one card from their hand and adds it theirs. If it completes a pair, they may discard it. Whoever is left with the unmatched old maid card loses the game.




Skip-Bo Card Game


Skip-Bo Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2-6

Highlights: Sequential stacking game.

About Card Game: To win this game, you simply must play all your cards, but it won’t be as easy as it sounds. Each player gets a stack of 30 cards with the top card is flipped over to face upwards on the pile. Next, each player receives five cards for their hand. The remaining cards form a draw pile, and along with this pile, there will be four build piles. Additionally, each player has four personal discard piles in front of them. Now everyone must play either the next card in sequential order or a wild Skip-Bo card, using either the cards in hand, the top card of their stockpile, or the top card of any of their four discard piles. You must be the first person to play all their cards to win!




Slapjack Card Game


Slapjack Card Game (link)

Number of Players Needed: 2+

Highlights: Wildly fun and easy to learn.

About Card Game: While Slapjack involves slapping, it is relatively painless to play and can be learned in just a few minutes! A standard deck of cards is divided as evenly as possible among all the players. These cards are placed in a stack face-down in front of the players. Each player then takes turns flipping their top card over into the center of the table. Whenever a jack is placed in the center, be the first person to slap the pile and win all the cards! If you lose all your cards, stay alert because you have one more chance to slap the jack and get yourself back in the game. Whoever collects up all the cards wins the game.



Best Card Games Conclusion

Who knew you could have so much fun with a deck of cards? With this list of the best card games, you will be able to maximize a 52 card deck like never before! And outside of a traditional deck of cards, there are also some other really fun card games to take advantage of on this list as well!

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next game night with one or even a few of these different card games. If you are having an adult card game night, make sure to visit our list of the best mixed drinks, best whiskey brands, and best vodka brands. Each of your guests could even bring their own favorite drink so that everyone can try out something new.

Do you have a favorite card game that didn’t make this list? If you do, please comment and explain it below. I am sure our readers would enjoy another great card game.



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