Family game night is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your spouse and kids. Most people probably think about board games on family game night, but playing card games can be equally fun. Maybe you are asking, “Which are the best card games for families?” Or, “Are there any easy card games kids can play?” Keep reading cause here you will find a list of card games for families and kids to play. And more importantly, the top 10 card games for family game night.
The Benefits of Playing Card Games
There are many benefits to playing card games or games in general. Card games can keep a person mentally keen. I realize bridge may seem like an old lady game, and I don’t recommend it for young kids. But it will keep you thinking. Many other games such as Villainous or even Exploding Kittens can keep your mind thinking strategically.
Another benefit to card games is their portability and size. Some card games on my list of card games kids will love even if they are playing by themselves or just with other kids as well as several on my top 10 card games for family night us just standard decks of cards. These decks take up very little space which makes it handy to take on the road. You could pull the cards out at a hotel or even an airport without having used up much of your valuable luggage space.
Finally playing card games is just plain fun. They offer a different spin on family time than just the classic board games. Not that I don’t like family board games cause I do. But it’s nice for a change and they are no less fun.
Why Teaching Kids Card Games to Play is Important
Teaching kids card games is important for several reasons. Card games give them a chance to learn games of their past. Many of their grandparents and great grandparents likely played cards, maybe still do, as a past time. That was their form of entertainment and “hanging out” with their friends. Some of those are easy card games to play and just as fun as board games. My kids and even my husband don’t care for going to nursing homes. I understand and yet I don’t mind going. You read that right. I don’t mind going to a nursing home. Why is that you may wonder? Well, when I was little we went to a nursing home quite frequently to visit my great grandma. But when we went we played cards so it was always fun to go visit her.
Besides just learning games of our heritage, there are many other reasons to teach kids card games. Card games that use traditional decks of playing cards are inexpensive to purchase. A good board game may cost you upwards of $40 or $50 while a deck of cards can cost just a few dollars.
There are many easy card games to play and cards games can also be a way of entertaining your kids without a screen even when you are busy. Yes, I’m all about spending time with your family, but sometimes you may have to get things done. Some of the easy card games are great ways for kids to entertain themselves.
Finally, card games can be educational. Different kids card games can develop their memory skills, counting, and more. Take Skip-bo for instance. It’s all about placing cards from 1 to 12 over and over again. For young kids learning to count, they may need help but it’s a great way to work on those skills. And this is just one example.
So let me give you a list of card games kids will love before I move onto the top 10 card games for family game night.
List of Card Games Kids Will Love
There are several kids card games they will love and they are easy card games to learn. Here is a list of card games kids can enjoy by themselves or with other kids, and maybe even with you if you decide to play.
- Klondike Solitaire
- Osmosis Solitaire
- Old Maid
- Go Fish
- Gas Out
- Exploding Kittens
So now that you have read why card games for families are important and have seen a list of card games kids can play on there own or with you, let’s move onto the main event. The top 10 card games to play on family game night.
Top 10 Card Games for Families to Play on Family Game Night
Now to get onto what you have probably come here to read and are wondering about most. What are the top 10 card games to play on family game night? Well, here they are as well as a little bit about each one.
Villainous is a great game. It’s based upon the Disney Villains and is actually a bit of a card game and board game combination. Each player has their own board which they must use to play the game but all actions and how you win is based upon your decks of cards.
Villainous takes a bit of strategy to win. You will select a Disney villain to play as. The original game comes with 6. You can pick from Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Prince John, Jafar, Captain Hook, and Ursula. Each character wins in a different way so they are countless combinations this game can play out which is what makes it so fun.
I got this game about a week ago for my birthday. As a family, we have played it several times and I love it. I wish I could tell you my favorite character to play as but I can’t. I have liked each one and for different reasons. The one thing about Villainous though is its best for kids who can read if you are playing as a family. Unless you don’t mind reading and helping your kids out. We have to help read the cards to our 7-year-old. He understands the gameplay but still needs help because of the reading aspect. The box says ages 10 and up for this one. However, if your child can read kids ages 7 or 8 and up could learn and enjoy Villainous.
If you like Disney or strategy games, this is a must-have for your family card games collection.
Recommended Ages: 7 or 8 and up, when your kids can read and begin to strategize.
Exploding Kittens is next on my list of the top 10 card games for families. It’s all about not drawing the exploding kitten, as the name suggests. You take turns going around and playing cards (if you want to) then drawing. If you draw an exploding kitten you’re out. The last man standing wins. This is a very simple description of the gameplay but it really is one of the easy card games to learn and play.
We received this game as a family gift at Christmas. I had seen it in stores but just didn’t know what I thought because of the name. You know, first impressions. But since it was a gift and came recommended we had to try it. And it was worth it. Now it’s a family favorite. The only hard part can be reading the cards. Young kids can figure this one out pretty easily as long as they can read. If they can’t read they will need a little help.
Recommended Ages: 7 or 8 and up. Only because reading is important to fully be able to play this one.
Sequence is another of the best card games. This is also a card game meets a board game. But it doesn’t make it any less fun. The game comes with a board that has it’s own deck of playing cards. Yes, it’s similar to a standard deck of cards but the jacks in it are different. They are wild cards so some have one eye and other’s two. I only mention this as you have to have the sequence deck for the game to play correctly. If you have 4 or more players you can play as teams. This is the way we like to play. But it can also be played with 2 or 3 players.
The game works in that you play a card and put your colored chip on the corresponding space on the board. You are trying to get 5 of your chips in a row. In a four-player game, it takes two sequences (5 in a row) to win.
My grandma was a card player. When she discovered Sequence she had to have it. We played many card games with her, including this one. Now I’m passing it down to my kids. And they love it too. A little piece of my grandma is going to my kids in this one and some of the others on my top 10 card games.
Recommended Ages: 6 and up. The gameplay is fairly simple but does take a little more time than preschoolers may be able to stay engaged.
If you want to start a tradition of playing card games as a family you need to check out Pit. This one is fast paced and a blast. You are out to corner the market on a crop in this one to rack up points for the win. The deck comes with several crops. You pick out the number of crops to match the number of players. Deal all the cards and open the market. Once the market is open you decide which crop you want to go after. Then quickly start saying how many cards you want to trade. Trade the same number of cards with another player. Keep trading until you have just one type of crop in your hand. Then ring the bell.
Pit is such a fun game. We have had it for a while and when I was cleaning out our toy room not long ago I stumbled across it. So we pulled it out and played it on family game night. The kids loved it. It was one of the easy card games to learn that we have so they took to it quick. This one is more fun with more people though. That is about the only downfall I see.
Recommended Ages: 5 and up. The gameplay is fast and kids need to be able to make matches and think quickly.
Pitch is one of the best card games. This one may seem a bit old fashioned and frankly, it probably is. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. Pitch is played by collecting points through taking tricks. You can play with 2 to 6 players. The rules vary slightly depending on the number of players there are. For a 4 player game, you play as 2 teams of 2.
Partners sit across from each other. Cards are dealt out to everyone and then you go around and bid to see who gets to name the suit. Once a suit is determined hands are refilled and the play begins. You go around playing tricks until all cards in the named suit are played. If you took enough points to make your bid you get to count them. If you went set then you have to subtract the points from your total.
This is a very basic description but hopefully gives you an idea of how the game works. The hardest part is learning how to bid. It can be tricky figuring out what is safe to bid on and what’s not. And even then, each person may be different in how they bid. My grandmother used to always say you could be 10 on an Ace-Duece. I’m not quite that daring but it’s something we always joke about. We always play 10 point pitch.
Even though this is another of the great card games for families, it can be a little tougher to learn the bidding. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it for young kids.
Recommended Ages: 8 and up. Kids need to be able to comprehend and begin figuring out the bidding process.
Canasta is next on my list of card games. It is one of the top 10 card games because it is one of the easy card games to learn and very fun. Canasta is played with 2 decks of cards combined. Then cards are dealt (the number depends on how many players there is). Play then begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Players either draw a card or take the pile. The object is to make canastas which are at least 7 of one kind of card. For instance, 7 kings would make a canasta or 4 kings and 3 wild cards. Once you have a canasta the goal is to either gain more points or get rid of all your cards and try to catch your opponents. The first to 5000 points wins.
Canasta is another family favorite. This along with pitch, bridge (yes I learned how to play bridge), Hand and Foot, and sequence were family card games my grandma taught me. I remember every summer spending a week with her and we always played cards. We might invite my aunt over who lived next door or a friend of my grandma’s who lived in the same town. However we did it, it was always a good time. Now my kids are learning and playing canasta with their grandparents and us.
Recommended Ages: 7 and up. This is because of the time factor. Canasta takes a bit longer so you need a little more attention span with this one. Otherwise its one of the easy card games to learn.
Hand and Foot
Hand and Foot is not the disease. Ok, not funny, I know. It is similar to Canasta but has some differences. You still try and make Canastas which are still 7 of a kind, but in this version, you have to have 4 of them: Two with wilds and two without. Another big difference is you start with 2 hands. One you look at and play from right away. When it runs out you pick up the other, called your foot, and play it. There are a few other rule differences but those are a couple.
This was a favorite of mine growing up. I loved Hand and Foot. As I mentioned above this was one I played and learned with my grandma. We didn’t play it often, but I wish we had. Now it’s time for me to pass it to my own kids.
Recommended Ages: 7 and up. For the same reasons as Canasta
Gas Out..well, what to say about this one. It made the list of the top 10 card games because, despite the crudity of the game, it really is a fun one to play. This is one of the those “play a card and push the thing in the middle game” until it goes off. Last man standing wins. However, as you listen to the mounting pressure and try to guess when he might “pass gas” the game becomes quite amusing. You can figure out when might be your best option for playing high numbers vs. low numbers but overall there is mostly chance involved in this one. The gameplay also moves quickly so you can play a game or two in little time. These things make it an ideal family game.
Recommended Ages: Kids of all ages will like this one and should be able to play Gas Out.
Skip Bo is a great one of the card games for families. It doesn’t use a standard deck, but a deck that contains the numbers 1-12 and skip bo cards. The skip bo cards are wild. This is a great game cause it can be used to practice number skills. The point is to get rid of your pile. Each person starts with a pile of cards. On their first turn, they draw their “hand”. If they draw a 1 or skip bo they can start a pile in the middle of the table. The point is to play cards to get rid of the top card on your pile. When you play the last card on your pile, you win.
My family enjoys skip-bo. I loved that my youngest could practice number order as he played. It’s a competitive game as you block your opponents and try to play your own cards. It’s one of the great card games for families.
Recommended Ages: Preschool and up. This may seem young and preschoolers will likely need help. You may also have to shorten the game so they don’t lose interest, but it’s a great way to work on numbers with them.
Uno, who doesn’t love a good game of Uno. You probably don’t need a description of how this one works but just in case, here it is. Uno is played by dealing hands to everyone. A card is turned up. Play begins with the person to the left of the dealer. That person has to either play a card of the same color or same number that was turned up. The only other option would be to play a wild card. The object is to get rid of all your cards first. But watch out, if you don’t yell Uno when you get down to one card left before your opponents do, you have to draw cards.
This is my husbands favorite from the list of card games to play. From the time we were dating he talked about loving Uno. So, of course, we got it. Now my kids have come to love it too. When we want to mix things up we will pull it out and play a round. And if you want to mix it up you can try any of the other versions of Uno: Uno Dare, Uno Attack, DOS, etc. No matter which deck you choose or whether you try one of the variations, you will love this classic.
Recommended Ages: Preschool and up. Once again be ready to help your kids if you are playing with preschoolers, but even young kids should be able to begin learning and enjoying UNO.
Please note the recommended ages on this list may not match the manufacturers recommended ages. It’s my recommendations after playing these games with my own kids.
Other Family Games to Play At Home
I wanted to touch upon a couple of other family games to play at home. Even though this is all about the best card games to play, playing other family games at home can be just as fun. Board games are a great way to spend time together, especially when it’s cold outside. If you are needing some board game ideas, check out the post on the best board games.
But if you are looking for other family games to play at home that are a bit different than the classic board games and card games look no further. Read the post on Family Game Night Ideas. It contains ideas for the top 3 board games, video games, sports games, outdoor games, and card games for families to play on family game night.
Whatever you decide to play, the quality time with your family will be time well spent.
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