25+ Easy And Classic Card Games For Kids To Play

check_icon Research-backed

Cards games for kids can be a great way of entertaining them, be it any season — scorching heat, chilly winters, or a heavy downpour. Staying indoors can be boring for children, especially those who are more active than their peers. They might try to sneak out and play when they are bored. Parents constantly need to come up with entertaining and constructive play ideas for children to keep them from playing video games or binge-watching television. They do not only help with math skills but also help improve focus, memory, and sportsmanship. Read this post as we bring a list of easy, educational, entertaining, and age-appropriate challenging card games.

In This Article

25+ Best Card Games For Kids

1. Play or pay

Play or pay card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

This easy card game for kids above three years. The objective is to do away with the cards as quickly as possible.

  • The dealer distributes the cards equally.
  • Cards played are arranged face-up in four rows and four suits. The first player may play any card.
  • King holds the highest value and is at the top, and Ace has the lowest and is placed at the bottom. The top to bottom order should be King, Queen, Jack, ten, and so on, until two, and ace.
  • Other players follow suit and build a sequence till all 13 cards of the same suit are laid down on the deck.
  • Players must follow the pattern and keep playing the card as per the sequence on the deck.
  • In case some players do not have the right card to play their turn, they have to pay up by putting candy in the pot placed at the center (that’s pay for no play!).
  • The first player to have played all the cards wins the pot full of candies. For those that are health-conscious, payment can be fruit slices or other healthy snacks.
Quick fact
Playing card games can help children develop agility, dexterity, and eye-hand coordination (1).

2. Peanut butter and jelly

Team spirit and communication are crucial to victory in this game, which is also called Kemps. This game must have an even number of people.

  • Make random pairs and ask the teams to secretly decide a sign that tells the other player they have four of a kind.
  • Deal four cards to each player and lay down four cards face down on the deck.
  • Players get to swap one card from the main deck to make four of a kind. The face-up cards are replaced each time a player swaps them.
  • If a player manages to discreetly signal the partner that he has four cards of the same suit, the partner may call out “Peanut Butter!” and the team wins.
  • In case the player is caught red-handed by a team while signaling, the team may call out “Jelly!” to win.

3. Card dominoes

A classic game of cards known as Sevens, Parliament, or Fan Tan, Dominoes is suitable for children above six years and can be played between two or more people.

  • The cards are distributed, and the players are expected to put their cards into sequences for each suit.
  • The player with the seven of diamonds places it face up in the center.
  • Every player then adds a diamond card to the sequence either above or below, to make a set.
  • The higher ones are to be placed left to the seven and lower to the right.
  • Once done with the diamonds, players can form sets of other suits to continue.
  • Those without a suitable match may skip their turn.
  • The one player with all their cards used up wins.

4. Chase the ace

Chase the ace card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

Best played amongst four or more players, this is a fast game and requires instant decision-making skills.

  • Right at the start, each player is given a pre-set number of lives. The challenge is not to own the card with the lowest value.
  • The dealer gives one card, face-down, to each player who may choose to hold onto it or pass it to the next player.
  • The card with any face value ranging from ten to higher is more valuable and is ideal for holding.
  • Cards with the lower value may be switched with the players next in line, or, if discarded, the player may draw a new card.
  • The player with an ace, considered to be the highest, cannot be forced to desert his card despite the demand to do so.
  • The one who owns the lowest score face card after a round runs out of lives and gets disqualified.

5. Switch

Two or more players can play this card game. The aim is the first player should be able to give up all your cards. This game resembles card games such as UNO, Mau Mau, or even Pinochle cards.

  • Each player gets seven cards, while the remaining cards are placed in the center.
  • The first player puts forth a card similar to the suit or rank of the last card played.
  • So, if the last card played was 10 of spades, you can show any card of either spades suit of number 10.
  • If a player cannot show a card, they should pick one from the center pile.
  • The first person left with no cards is the winner.

6. Sequence

Sequence card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

A game of patience, this can be played by a maximum of five players above six years of age. In this game, the cards are ranked by face value – cards in the same suit form the sequence.

  • Shuffle the deck and deal out equally, placing each card face down.
  • The first player should place for the card with the least value face-up.
  • Next, the one with the card in sequence of similar suit plays.
  • The game continues until the ace of the suit comes in.
  • The player with a card that cannot be followed further gets another turn.
  • The one left with no cards wins.

7. Pig

This party game is ideal for children above the age of four and can be played by large groups having four to 13 participants!

  • Organize cards so that each player has a set of four cards. For six participants, the total number of cards will be 24. The rest may be put aside.
  • Shuffle and deal out four cards to each.
  • The children then start passing the cards one by one until they continue receiving from the player before them.
  • The player who collects a set of four similar cards puts the finger on the nose.
  • The others immediately stop passing cards and immediately put their finger on the nose’.
  • The last to do so is the pig!

8. Blackjack

This educational card game for children is based on calculations, making it a suitable card game for six-year-olds. About two to ten players can take part at a time in the game at a time.

In this game, the aces add up to one or 11 points, jacks, kings, or queens are ten each, and the rest are taken at face value.

  • Deal out two cards to each participant. They can stick to the two or ask for more until it is a minimum of 18, but not more than 21.
  • The one who cards add up to a higher number than 21 gets disqualified immediately.
  • Once all are stuck, the one with a hand closest to 21 wins the game.

9. I doubt it!

I doubt it card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

Become aware of your children’s lying potential with this strategy game ideal for three to six players over six years old.

  • The deck is dealt out without the Joker.
  • The one with the Ace of Spades card begins the round by placing the card face down in the center.
  • The next let out the 2’s, in the absence of which, can put forth any other card to keep going.
  • Similarly, consecutive players put down 3’s, 4’s, and so on, all face down.
  • The player who accuses someone of bluffing may call out, ’I doubt it!’.
  • If the guess is right, the accused needs to take in the entire middle stack.
  • On the contrary, if the guess falls apart, the caller has to pick the stack.
  • The player who is done playing all the cards becomes the victor.

10. Old maid (donkey)

The game is meant for children aged above three and is fun playing with three or more players.

  • A random card from the pack is picked and kept aside before the rest are dealt out equally.
  • Each player needs to match up cards of the same value or color they have and place them face down in front of them.
  • The first player then shows the remaining cards to the next player who chooses a card from there.
  • If it matches with the second player’s stock, the pair has to be placed face down.
  • The game continues until one of the players loses by being left with the card whose match was initially put aside.

11. Menagerie

Menagerie is a fun card game for kids over six years old and can be played by four or more children.

  • Each child needs to choose an animal, write its name on the paper, fold it, and put it in a basket.
  • They may take turns to pick a chit. They own the animal mentioned in the chit for the entire game.
  • Deal the cards in a clockwise manner face down.
  • The first player needs to pick a card and build a face-up pile. Every player follows suit.
  • When one player notices another player’s card matches theirs, the name of the other player’s animal has to be called out thrice.
  • If the call is right, the player may claim the entire face-up stack of the other.
  • A wrong call has to be paid with the caller’s own face-up stack.
  • One who gets all the cards finally wins.

12. California speed

California speed card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

The two-player card game for kids aged six and above needs them to be agile and quick as they try to be the fastest ones to get rid of the cards.

  • Cards are distributed equally among the players, and each player places forth four cards face-up.
  • Both players have to find cards that match any they have, like two fours, two queens, and so on.
  • If a match is found, they must immediately cover that card with a card from their stack.
  • With new cards on the pile, players continue to look for new matches and match them as fast as possible.
  • Once all the eight piles are stacked up with unmatched cards, each player may pick up and add the four piles in front of them to the bottom of their stack.
  • The game continues till one player runs out of cards to win.
Quick tip
While playing card games with children, it is important to make the game exciting and playful to keep them from getting bored and tensed.

13. Slapjack

Slapjack card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

Slapjack is for three to four children at least over four years old.

  • Shuffle and deal out the whole pack equally among the players.
  • Each takes turns to flip the topmost card in their set and place it face up to create another pile for themselves.
  • In case one of them flip over a jack, everyone will compete to put their hand first on the card calling out ’slapjack!’
  • The one to slap first gets to win the entire pile, which they then may shuffle and add up to the bottom of their original pile.
  • If any player slaps a card that’s not a jack in excitement, the player whose card is slapped deserves another card from the player who slapped.
  • The player left without any cards gets one more chance to continue until the next jack is flipped. If they fail to ’slapjack’ it, they are left without a pile and are out of the game.

14. Go fish

This is one of the most popular card games for four-year-olds. It can have a maximum of four players.

  • After shuffling, the dealer gives seven each for two, six for three, and five for four players.
  • The rest are randomly placed in the middle.
  • The first player asks another whether the player has any card of a specific value.
  • If the player has a card with a similar value, it should be handed over.
  • After that, the first player takes another turn.
  • In case any participant fails to match the call, the player can ask the caller to ’Go Fish.’
  • The caller then picks any card from the middle. Every time any player gathers four similar cards, they are added to their winning deck.
  • The person with the most sets of four cards wins.

15. Happy family

Happy family card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

A simple card game for kids over four years old in which a minimum of two and a maximum of four players can participate at a time. The idea is to collect the entire family of a particular color. It is similar to Go Fish but is played with a deck of Happy Family cards.

  • Each player gets six cards.
  • The player to the dealer’s left starts by asking the next player for a specific card.
  • If the player has it, they must hand it over to the one who had asked for it. If not, they can tell them to ’pick a card.’
  • If the player who asked for the card picks the card they asked for, they must say ’lucky dip’ and continue another turn. Otherwise, the next player gets to ask.
  • Thus, the game continues until one person collects four cards of the same family and calls out ’Happy Family.’
Do remember
Playing cards with your children can also provide a great opportunity for you to interact and bond with them while teaching them patience and fair play (1).

16. My ship sails

My ship sails card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

This card game is for kids aged six years or above and can be played by four to seven players.

  • The aim is to sort the cards by their suit in secrecy and strategize to collect a particular suit, which can be decided based on the cards picked.
  • Shuffle and deal out seven cards to each player and put the remaining away.
  • At every turn, the players put one unwanted card face down, which the next player picks.
  • The player with all the cards of a suit wins and yells, “My Ship Sails!”

17. Golf

Two to four players can play this game of luck and skill.

  • Each player is dealt four cards face-down.
  • The players aim for a lower total than the opponents’ cards.
  • The winner is decided based on the score of nine rounds.

The players may only look at any two out of the four cards they possess and are unaware of the other players’ cards.

18. Garbage

This game aims to complete a set of ten cards in sequence. There will be a dealer and two opposing players.

  • Each player draws ten cards each but without seeing them.
  • The dealer then picks a card from one of the decks and places it on one side.
  • The first row will have Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5 cards while the second row will have the remaining numbers.
  • The player has to draw a card then and replace it with the one facing down. This step repeats until the player
  • finds a card that cannot be replaced. And then, the second player starts their game.
  • When the first player completes the ten-card sequence, the game ends.

19. Crazy eights

The crazy eight card game for kids is perfect for a group of five children, all above the age of four.

The core idea is to strategize and let go of all the five cards before the other players.

  • Each player is dealt five cards, and the remaining stack stays in the center.
  • The top card of the pile needs to be flipped to create a faceup pile.
  • Every player takes their turn to match the suit or number of the face-up card, else- play an eight.
  • The one playing eight gets to choose which suit the player next will play.
  • The player who finishes the earliest wins.

20. Snip snap snorem

Two to ten players aged above four may participate in the game.

  • After the cards are dealt equally, the first player chooses to place any card right in the middle, face-up.
  • If the next three consecutive players can match the card, they call out ’Snip! Snap! Snorem!’ one after the other.
  • The player who calls last starts the next round.
  • The player who loses all the cards fastest wins the game.

21. War

War card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

This is a double player game, in which each owns half the deck face-down right at first.

  • Each player flips one card each, and the one with the maximum points gets to hold both.
  • When both cards match, it becomes a ’war,’ and players may continue with three cards face down, followed by one face-up.
  • The one with the highest score wins all the ten cards.
  • The war card game for kids goes on till one of the players runs out of cards entirely.

22. Memory

Memory card games for kids
share button

Image: Shutterstock

This fun card game for kids aged three or more can be played by up to four players. It is a great game to teach focus and strengthen memory.

  • After dealing out equally, each player takes a turn to flip-over two cards.
  • If the pair matches (in color or value, as decided at the beginning of the game), they win it and get another turn.
  • If not, it is the next player’s turn.
  • The one left with the maximum cards wins.

23. Kings in the corners

Kings in the corners card games for kids
share button

Image: IStock

Luck and skills are what the children need to play this game designed for a minimum of two and a maximum of four players, each above five years.

  • Shuffle and deal seven cards to each player.
  • The top four cards of the remaining deck of cards are turned face up and placed in four sides – North, East, West, and South.
  • The first player starts the game by drawing a card from the pile and plays to discard the cards in their hand if they form a sequence with the four cards.
  • Each player can discard as many cards as possible in one go. When they have no valid moves, the next player gets a turn.
  • The first one to play out all cards wins.

24. Spoons

A card game for eight-year-olds, this can be played amongst three to 13 players. The ultimate deal is to put together four cards of a similar suit.

  • Organize four cards of the same suit for each player before dealing out.
  • At a point, each player should have a maximum of four cards.
  • Place as many spoons as players, minus one, in the center.
  • Players may choose a card from their hand and pass it to the next.
  • If any player has four cards of the same suit, they may take a spoon and place it in front of them.
  • The last one to grab the spoon is disqualified.
  • The two players who continue playing till the last round are the winners.

25. Snap

Snap is a card game for kids ideal for children over three years and is played best with three or more players.

  • Divide the cards equally and ask everyone to place it face down.
  • The idea is to match the cards with the ones in the center pile that the first player starts building.
  • Everyone takes turns to turn over the card at the top of their pile and add it to the center.
  • The moment two cards match, the first player to tell ’snap’ wins all the cards in the center pile.
  • Those who run out of cards get disqualified.

26. Spoons card game

It’s a quick card game where players aim for four of a kind, snatching spoons as they go.

  • Gather around a table or in a circle on the ground. The dealer hands out four cards to each player and places one fewer spoon in the center.
  • Players inspect their cards while the dealer adds a card from the pile to their hand and passes one to the left.
  • Play moves in a circle, with each player picking up a card from the right and deciding to keep or pass it to the left. The goal is to collect four of the same card.
  • The thrill builds as a player with four identical cards quietly takes a spoon. Others quickly follow suit, creating a lively moment.
  • The player without a spoon gets a letter (S-P-O-O-N). Restart for more laughter and speedy moves.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does playing card games help your brain?

Children can learn memorization, matching, number and pattern recognition, probability, and statistics by playing card games like Solitaire, hearts, and poker. It also teaches patience, sportsmanship, and the importance of fair play.

2. Why do kids love to play card games?

Card games are engaging, fun, cheap, and can be played anywhere – at the airport, in the car, or when waiting at the airport. A deck of cards can be used to play multiple games. This factor of versatility and re-usability may make children love card games. It is one of the few games parents also enjoy.

3. How can playing card games help children develop social skills?

Playing card games helps children develop sportsmanship and communication skills through interactions with others. They will also learn to be patient and wait their turn and follow the rules for fair play (2).

4. Are there any risks associated with kids playing card games?

Though there are no known risks to playing card games for children, online card games may expose them to certain risks. For example, children may become a target of cyberbullying or could get addicted to online gambling involved in some of these card games. There is also a risk of them being exposed to online predators through chat groups in the game.

5. What are the differences between playing card games with adults and playing card games with kids?

Card games for both children and adults provide relaxation, fun, and learning. The play can have rigid and complex rules with adults and may sometimes involve betting. In contrast, the rules are more flexible and simpler with children, and the cards may typically be more colorful with animals or cartoon characters. Moreover, children’s card games should not involve gambling or betting.

Card games for kids are a great way to improve their memory, focus, and cognitive skills. If your children are bored and stuck indoors on a rainy day, teaching them some of these card games can help them pass the time. Games such as peanut butter and jelly, switch, and I doubt it, can guarantee a fun time and offer an opportunity for the whole family to spend some fun time together. In addition, these card games can help improve their decision-making and strategy skills.

Infographic: Simple And Interesting Card Games For Children

Card games are cognitive games that help children exercise their brain function while having fun. In the infographic below, explore a range of card games you may select from to teach your child and play with them. All the games in this list are easy-to-learn and will give you hours of fun together.

classic card games for children of all ages (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Apart from being entertaining, card games have several benefits, such as increasing patience, concentration, sportsmanship, memory, and discipline.
  • Card games also help children develop strategic and rational thinking.
  • Card Dominoes, Chase The Ace, and I Doubt It are some fun card games to make your child’s indoor time exciting.
Card Games For Kids_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Discover how to play the classic card game Go Fish! Perfect for children of all ages, it’s easy to learn and fun to play.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Benefits of playing card games with children; World Bridge Youth News
  2. How Playing Games Benefits Children
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.