Fun Card Games for Kids

By Ticara Gailliard
Standard deck of cards.
spreaded deck of cards image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

Adults enjoy card games such as poker, gin rummy and blackjack. For kids, these games may be a bit too advanced. However, cards aren't only for older people. Kids have several age-appropriate card games to keep them occupied. Card games for kids provide entertainment and in some cases educational merit.

Go Fish

The simplicity of Go Fish makes it an ideal game for young children. Two or more players play this game using a standard deck of 52 cards. For larger numbers of players, add another deck of cards to the deal. One player volunteers to be dealer and deals out a certain number of cards per player. Usually, the hand consists of seven cards, but any odd number works. The remaining cards are placed into a center pile.

Players look in their hand and, when their turn comes, lay out any matching pairs of cards they have. For instance, two 2s are a pair, or two Jacks. If a player has no matches in a hand, they must ask another player for a card they desire, to make a match with a card in their hand. If the other player doesn't have that card, they will tell that player to "Go fish." The first player draws a card from the center deck. The object of the game is to have the most pairs once the center pile of cards is gone.

Old Maid

Specially made decks for Old Maid are available in the toy department at many stores. You can use a standard deck, but three of the four queens need to be removed in order to have the single queen act as the Old Maid. The game is playable with two people, though more people involved may make the game more interesting. The dealer deals out all cards in the deck. Like Go Fish, Old Maid involves matching cards in pairs of two.

Upon a player's turn, after all matches have been made from the hand, the player can then draw a card from the hand of the player to the left. If this card makes a match, the player continues drawing from the other player until there are no more matches. The object of the game is to have all cards laid out in matching pairs, as long as you don't have the Old Maid. The player holding the Old Maid card at the end of the round automatically loses.

War

War is one of the first card games that many children learn because of the simplicity of the game. This game involves two players and a standard deck of 52 cards. The dealer deals out all cards in the deck, and they must be kept face down. Then, both players flip a card and lay their cards next to each other. The player wins if his or her card is higher-ranking. For example, if one player has a 4 while the other has a 9, the player with the 9 card wins both cards and adds the cards to the bottom of the pile.

If both players flip cards of equal value, war is declared. The players take two additional cards and put one face-down on the original cards, then one face up. The player with the higher face-up card wins all six cards in the war. The object of the game is to win all cards in the deck.