There are lots of games designed for two players. Some of these require a deck of cards, a board or other equipment, which can be purchased at toy or department stores and range in price and quality from inexpensive to deluxe. Other games can be played with no equipment except a pen and paper. You are sure to find games you enjoy, whether you prefer strategy or puzzles, numbers or words.
There are many card games that are just right for two people. In most cases, all that is required is a deck of cards and a paper and pencil for scoring. Crazy eights, gin rummy and double solitaire require some strategy but are simple enough for children to enjoy. War is another child's favorite. Cribbage is a more complicated game that requires math skills as well as a complicated strategy. It also requires a crib board for scoring.
Checkers is an old standby, with simple rules that a young child can grasp. It is also a favorite with some adults who enjoy the challenge of developing strategies for winning. Dominoes is another game that both children and adults can enjoy. There are many variations of the game, from simply matching numbers to earning points with a complicated scoring system. Dominoes also can be used to build structures or rows for toppling.
While not a strictly a game, jigsaw puzzles are a fun way for two people to enjoy time together. Other puzzle games require motor skills, such as Jenga® and pickup sticks.
Backgammon requires an understanding of not only the complicated rules, but also a grasp of successful strategy. One of the challenges of this game is doubling, which is a way of wagering on the outcome. Chess is another two-player game with complicated strategy. While many people believe it is a game for geniuses, anyone with an interest in strategy can enjoy the game. Other strategy games for two include Othello®, mankala and Blokus®.
Scrabble® is a favorite with people who are more talented with words than numbers. The game requires a board with letter tiles. There are variations on the game, including a three-dimensional version called Upwords® and Scrabble® crossword. Other word games, such as Boggle®, require special dice.
Some games require just a pencil and paper. These include hangman and dictionary. Or you can pick a word and see who can list the most words made up of the letters in that word.
Phee Paradise began writing professionally in 1996 when she covered town government for "The Sentinel," a weekly newspaper in Belchertown, Mass. She has written how-to manuals for student leaders and currently writes book reviews for a writers' blog. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.