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Old School Card Games

Try one of these throwback games to keep everyone entertained indoors.

If we think back a few years to the pre-iPad era, you’ll see we definitely had some things right with the fun games to cheer us up on those gloomy, snowy days. These old school card games are sure to delight the kids — and kids at heart. Refresh your memory and teach the kids something new!

Crazy Eights

This fun card game is simple enough for children to understand, but is a favorite for all ages. Mimicking the game Uno, players are dealt a predetermined amount of cards (usually 7 — 10), and the rest of the cards are left in a pile. The card on top is turned over and then players each take a turn slapping down cards to match the previous card’s suit or rank. Eights are wild, so a player can use that card and determine the next suit. If you have no cards to play, you must pick up a card from the pile! In this fast-paced game, the object is to be the first one to run out of cards! See official rules here.

Gin Rummy

Similar to the classic game Rummy, Gin Rummy moves a bit quicker, making it ideal for the kids to join in. Players begin with ten cards, and can draw from a facedown deck, or a discard pile, where players also discard unwanted cards. The object is to get sets and runs of cards, which are at least three cards of the same rank, or at least three cards of consecutive numbers in a suit, respectively. There are a few ways to end the game, but be precise to gain the most points! Read through the official rules here. You may need a few practice rounds, but you’ll be playing like a champ in no time!

War

This classic game never gets old. Each player gets half the deck (be sure to shuffle thoroughly), and without looking at their cards, places the top card down. The player with the higher card wins and takes both cards. When both players put down the same card, it’s war! Players will place three cards face down, and another face up, the higher of the face up card wins and takes all war cards dealt! Collect all the cards and victory is yours! See official rules here.

Go Fish

Go Fish is a fun way to introduce the youngest children to a fun game of strategic card play. Depending on the number of players, each person gets 5 — 7 cards. Players ask each other for cards to help them get matches in rank. If the player asked does not have the card in question, the original player must “go fish” in a pile of face down cards. Keep in mind what you opponents ask of you, if a player asks you for a “5,” for example, and you tell them to “go fish,” but a few turns later you pick up a 5, that may clue you in that he or she has your match! Official rules here.

Old Maid

Did you know you can play Old Maid with a standard deck of cards too? Just add a joker as “Old Maid.” The deck is divided between all players evenly, players will make match cards of the same rank and place them down immediately. With their unmatched cards, players take turns fanning out their cards facedown for the player to the left to choose a card from in the hopes that it will make a match. The Old Maid or Joker card has no match, so they player left with that card at the end loses. Check the official rules here.

Blackjack

This casino game is just as fun to play at home on those cold bitter days! The kids can use this game to practice addition as well. Players battle it out to get the closest to a total of 21 between their cards. Play against each other or play to beat the dealer! Refresh the rules here.

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