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DIY Playing Cards & 26 Card Games You Can Play With Your Newly Made Decks!

Fun For The Whole Family!

Card games have always been a very big deal in our family from the time my grandmother was a child and the tradition has continued with our children. We play cards so often we have even made DIY decks of cards as art projects which you can download below and make with your kiddos as well, 100% FREE! I also included a download with all of the games and instructions enclosed as well for anyone that would like to print them out or just have them on hand, easier to access. Many of the games below have several variations and/or different rules that could apply to them. For example, gold fish. This game seems to be pretty different from one home/family to the next. I learned to play one way and when I met my husband discovered he had been taught a completely different way. We settled on a mix of the two ways to teach our children and have played that way since. If you’re a big card player you probably know that basically all card games are meant to be played clockwise and dealt from the left. When we play we are just trying to have fun, what direction everything is played and dealt really doesn’t matter to us. Honestly, we have never really payed much attention to all that, but if it’s important to you that works too. Some of these games are typically played with a betting element. It’s not a must for any of them really, but if you do choose to bet it can be fun, and depending what you use, it can help with learning about money, counting, and other math. We do use fake money sometimes, but other times we use cookies, candy, crackers etc or we may not bet at all and just have fun. All of the instructions and rules for the games below are based on how our family has played each game, you may know them differently but maybe you’ll enjoy our way as well and/or possibly learn some new games! Remember, you can click the download photos to preview packs before downloading.

1. Go Fish

Recommended age: 7+

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This is a classic game that pretty much everyone knows however, it’s one of those card games that has several different “rules” and/or ways to play depending on where you learned it. I have seen it played more ways than any other card game over the years. This is how we play….

If there are only two or three players, each player is dealt 7-8 cards. If there are more people playing each player can play with five cards. The remaining cards are typically placed face down in a pile, however we like to spread them out in a messy random way to make more like a “fish pond.” We play by only needed 2 of a kind however I have seen it done by needed 3 of a kind to make a match.

Once everyone has their cards each player lays out any matches they may have been dealt (i.e. 2 or more of kings lay them out), make sure nobody sees your other cards though. If you have any cards in your hand that match cards other players have laid out you may lay them in front of you, (i.e. if you have a 7 and another player has laid out a pair of 7s you may lay out your 7 by you) you may do this throughout the game anytime you have something that matches something else laid out. The “requester” (normally the person to the left of the dealer) starts the game by asking any other player for a card that will match any card they have in their hand still. If the other player has the card, he must hand them over and the requester continues asking for more cards (to the same or other players) until the players do not have the cards they want. If the player does not have the card asked for, they tell the requester to “Go fish.” The requester then has to take one card from the “fish pond.” Then either player who told him to “Go fish” becomes the new requester or the next person to the left however you choose.

The winner is the first person to get rid of all of their cards. If two people run out of cards together, the player with the most sets wins the game, though that rarely happens.

2. Crazy Eights

Recommended age: 5+

Number of players: 2-4

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions:: In a two-player game, each player is dealt seven cards, for three or four players each player is dealt five cards. The rest of the deck goes face-down in a pile, with the top card turned up next to the pile for the discard pile. The player to the left of the dealer discards a card from his hand that matches either the number or suit of the top card in the discard pile. For example, if the card is a five of hearts, you could play any heart or any five. If you do not have a matching card draw cards from the face-down deck until you get one that is playable. Eights are wild and can be put down on any suit or number. For example, an eight could be played to match a club or nine. The next player must match their card to the number or suit that the eight was meant to cover. Continuing on and on, taking turns, matching the card at the top of the discard pile until someone runs out of cards. The first player to discard all of their cards wins. If the deck runs out before the game is over the discard pile can be shuffled well and used leaving the top card out of the shuffle.

3. War

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 2

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This game also has a couple of ways to play, however no matter how you play all 52 cards are dealt evenly between the two players and kept face down. Neither player gets to look at their cards. Both players turn over the top card of their piles and put them face up beside the other player’s card. Whoever has turned over the highest ranking card takes both cards and adds them to the bottom of their pile. This continues until two cards of the same value (i.e. two sevens) are put down together, then it’s “war.” To continue, both players take three new cards (representing the word war, a card for each letter) and put two face down on top of the card they already have face up that caused the “war” and placing the third face up at the same time as the other player. Whoever has the higher ranking face up card wins all of the cards in play. If the cards you flip are the same the “war” continues until someone has a higher card to win. The whole game is won by the player who collects all 52 of the cards.

4. Old Maid

Recommended age: 5+

Number of players: 3+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards, but with one queen removed. This leaves a pair of queens in one color and a single queen (the old maid) in the other color.

Instructions: All cards are dealt out, some players may have more cards than others, but that’s okay. Each player sorts their cards into matching pairs of the same number or suit, keeping them hidden from other players. Players pair up matching cards and lay them out face up only in even groups i.e. two or four matching cards. If anyone has three matching cards, you only lay out two (one pair) and keep the third in your hand. If anyone has four matching cards you lay them all out, two pairs.

The player to the left of the dealer typically goes first. They offer their cards to the player to the left of them not letting them see the cards. That player selects a card at random from their hand. If the new card picked matches any of the cards they already have they can put down the pair. If not, they keep it until it’s usable. They then offers their cards to the player on their left. This continues until all the cards have been put down in pairs, except the Old Maid, which cannot be paired. The person left holding this card is the old maid and loses the game.

5. Snap

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Two decks can be used for more than three players.

Instructions: Choose a dealer to deal all 52 cards to everyone. Some players may have more cards than others, that’s fine. Players do not look at their cards but keep them face down in individual stacks.

To begin, the player to the left of the dealer turns their top card over and places it face up next to their own pile. The next player does the same. This continues until a player (anyone) notices that two cards on top of the face up piles are the same (i.e. two kings or two fives.) and shouts out “snap” the player that noticed the match and yells “snap” receives all cards in both of the matched piles and adds them to the bottom of their face down pile. If two players shout “snap!” at the same time, they form a snap pool with the two matched piles of cards placed together in the center with one of the matched cards face up. Play continues until someone turns up a card that matches the face up card in the snap pool. Whoever shouts “snap pool” first takes the whole pool and adds it to the bottom of their face down pile. If a player mistakenly shouts “snap” they have two options.

Give every player one card from their face down pile.

Or

Their entire face down pile becomes a new snap pool.

If a player runs out of face down cards, they can shuffle their face up pile and use them. If a player has no more face up or face down cards they are out of the game. The winner of the game is the player that collects all 52 of the cards.   

6. Slapjack

Recommended age: 4+

Number of players: 2+

Play with a standard deck of 52 cards, but you can use multiple decks when playing in larger groups or for added fun and a longer game.

Instructions: Choose a dealer to deal all 52 of the cards. Players cannot look at their cards and must put them into piles. Some players may have more cards than others, which is fine. The player to the left of the dealer begins by turning the card on the top of their pile face up in the centre where all can see. The game continues with each player adding a card to the face up pile quickly. When a jack turns up players try to be the first to “slap” their hand over the face up pile onto the jack. Whoever slaps their hand on the face up pile first gets the entire stack of cards and adds it to the bottom of their pile. The player to their left starts a new face up pile and the game continues. If a player has no more cards, you can do one of two things.

Allow that player one more chance to stay in the game by slapping the next jack that appears and if they muss they are out of the game for good.

Or

That player is out with no more chances. The person to collect all 52 cards is the winner.

7. Snip Snap Snorem

Recommended age: 4+

Number of players: 3+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This is a popular yet noisy card matching game. It’s great for younger children but also fun for mixed age groups. Deal all 52 cards, don’t worry if some players get more than others. The player to the left of the dealer starts by playing any card. The next player looks to see if they have a card of the same rank. If they do, they play it on top of the card and say “snip”. If they have another card of the same rank, they place it down too and say “snap”. If they don’t the next player goes and so on. Whoever places the final card of that rank says “snorem” and wins the right to start the next round with any card they want, though it is best to lead with a card you have more than one of a kind. The object of this game is to get rid of all your cards first.

8. Beggar My Neighbor

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards for up to 3 players, more than 3 require 2 decks.

Instructions: All 52 of the cards are dealt. Each player collects their cards in a face-down pile and does not look at them. To start, the person to the left of the dealer places their top card face-up in the center. Then the game moves around clockwise, with each player adding one card to the central pile until someone plays an Ace, Jack, Queen or King. The player who plays one of these cards can then demand payment from the next player. An Ace earns four cards, a King earns three cards, a Queen earns two cards, a Jack earns one card. These payment cards are each placed on the central pile. The last player who plays an Ace or Court Card takes the whole central pile and puts it at the bottom of their own. They start the next round, and the game begins again. The winner is the first player to play all of their cards.

9. Rolling Stone

Recommended age: 6+

Number of Players: 4 – 6

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards with the following exceptions:

If four players: Two, threes, fours, fives and sixes removed leaving a 32-card pack.

If five players: Twos, threes and fours removed leaving 40 cards.

If six players: Only the twos are removed.

Instructions: This card game for kids can be a lot of fun but also very frustrating. It reminds me of Spades in a way. Deal eight cards to each player. The player to the dealer’s left plays first and may play any card they decide. The next player must follow suit if possible. Then you can play one of two ways from here.

Keep playing the same suit until a player cannot follow suit. They then must pick up all the cards played to that point and add them to their hand. That player then plays any card they like to start a new round.

Or

Providing everyone follows suit, the player who played the highest card collects the “trick” and places it in a waste pile. These cards do not count as part of the cards in the player’s hand, and won’t be able to be played again. The player with the winning a trick may lead the next round with the suit of their choice.

Like many of the other card games out there, the winner is the player who runs out of cards first.

10. Speed

Recommended age: 7+

Number of players: 2

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: There are turns taken in this game. Each player is dealt five cards to hold, and then 15 more cards face down to make a draw pile. Then, two single cards are placed in between the players, face down, and a pile of five cards on each side of those two single cards, also placed face down. Each player flips the single card at the same time and simultaneously players place cards either ascending or descending in rank according to one of the cards in the middle. For example, if a 7 was one of the middle cards, players could play either a 6 or an 8. The cards can also make a complete cycle, going from a King to an Ace to a 2 or vice-versa. Players refill their hand constantly to have five cards in their hands at all times. A player can take more cards from their drawing pile during any time; however, a player can have no more than five cards in their hand at any one time.

When both players cannot play any of their cards, a card from each replacement pile (the piles of 5 on the outside middle) is turned over and play resumes. If there are no more cards in the replacement pile you flip over the entire pile (so all the middle cards are now upside down) and play off of the top two.

Whoever runs out of cards first yells “Speed” and wins the game. The game is usually a best out of so many type of game to determine the overall winner.

11. Spit

Recommended age: 7+

Number of players: 2

Played with a two standard decks of 52 cards.

Instructions: This one is basically speed with two decks and a few alterations. Each player has their own deck and begins by placing the top four cards from their deck face up in front of them in a row. There should be lots of empty space in the middle of the table between the two players. It may be best to play on the floor, since cards often go flying once the game starts. Players hold the remainder of their deck in one of their hands during play.

You do not take turns in this game either, everyone plays at the same time. When both players are ready, one of them says “spit” and immediately each player takes the top card from their deck and plays it to the center. These first cards should be far away from each other, making two play piles between the players. Players immediately begin playing their cards from their layout onto the center piles. A card can be played only if it is one higher or one lower than the card on the top of the pile. The card’s suit does not matter, and an ace can be played high or low.

For example you could play the 9 from the layout on the 10 pile since it is one lower in sequence.

A player can only use one hand to move a card and may only play one card at a time. Many times both players can play a card on the same pile. In that case the player who gets there first gets the play and the other player must take back their card. This race to play out the cards can get very exciting!

Cards played from the layout row may immediately be replaced by a new card from the top of the deck.

Players cannot exceed four cards in their layout rows.

The players continue to rapidly play cards to the center and replace cards in their rows until all players get “stuck” and cannot make a play. Often several dozen cards can be played before all players get stuck. When all players are stuck, they say “ready, spit,” and again deal new starter cards to the top of each pile in the center. Play then continues as before.

When a player has played all the cards in their deck, they must continue play using only the cards left in their layout (even though they will not have a card to “spit” with if all players get stuck). When that player “goes out” by playing the last card from their layout row, they win. If both players have run out their decks and get stuck before going out, the player with the fewest cards left wins.

12. Peanut Butter & Jelly

Recommended age: 4+

Number of players: 4, 6, or 8

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: For Peanut Butter & Jelly you play on teams. Each player receives four cards and split into teams to determine what their ‘sign’ will be to use if someone gets a hand of cards that contains all four of the same suit (in sequence or not you’re choice) or face value. Tugging an ear, winking, tapping your nose, a subtle sound etc. You get the idea, whatever you so choose try to be discrete.

The first player picks up a card and can either pass it or put it in their deck in order to build four of a kind or four in the same suit (again in sequence or not you’re choice), then on and on. When a player gets their set, they signal their partner with their signal. If their partner sees it, they yell “Peanut Butter.” That team wins. But, if a player on the other team thinks that they see the other team signaling to each other, they yell “Jelly,” and that team wins even if they haven’t put together four of a kind.

13. Spoons

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 4+

Instructions: Spoons is a lot like PB&J but without teams and with a set of spoons in the middle of the table. You’ll need one fewer spoon than player. It’s more of an “every player for themselves” sort of game. Players sit in a circle with the same setup and objective as PB&J. Each with four cards and still trying to build four of a kind or four in the same suit in sequence. The first player to reach the goal grabs a spoon. If someone grabs a spoon, everyone else can, and the only person without a spoon can’t play in the next round and you’ll remove a spoon for each round. The game goes on until there’s only one spoon, one winner.

14. Pig

Recommended age: 5+

Number of players: 3-13

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This is very similar to Spoons. For each player, take four of a kind (cards of the same number or suit) out of the deck and put aside the remaining cards. For example, if there are three players, take three groups of four matching cards, such as four queens, four fives and four jacks. Which you choose does not matter. Shuffle all those cards together and deal them so each player has four. Players can look at their cards.

To begin each person discards one card from their hand and puts it face down on the table in front of them. When everyone has a face down card chosen, simultaneously pass the cards to the player on the left then pick up the new card that has been passed to you and put it with your others. Continue this until someone has four of a kind. When a player collects four of a kind, they put their finger on their nose saying nothing. When another player sees this, they must also place their finger on their nose quietly, regardless of whether they have four of a kind or not. The last player to put a finger on their nose gets a letter starting with “P” then “I”, then “G”. Once someone gets a letter shuffle and deal again. The first player to reach “P-I-G” is the loser. For a longer game chose a different animal/word to spell out like horse or loser. You can also play with more cards making it harder to get the matches you need. It’s definitely a favorite over here and we do tend to extend the game with more cards and longer words!

15. My Ship Sails

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 4-7

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: The game is like Spoons, Pig and PB&J. Each player gets dealt 7 cards, the rest are set aside. Players pick up their hand and discard one card to the player on their right. Then, everyone picks up the discard card on their right, which becomes a part of their hand. The first player to get 7 cards of the same suit (in sequence or not you’re choice) says “my ship sails” and lays their hand down, face-up. If two players get a suit at the same time, the winner is the player with the highest-ranking card.  

16. I Doubt It/Cheat (AKA ‘Bullshit’ but we’re keeping it kid friendly here.)

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 6-12

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: Deal all 52 cards. Some players will have more cards than others, that’s okay. You can look at your cards but don’t show any other players your cards. The player to the left of the dealer normally goes first. Players must announce the cards as they lay them. The game starts with aces. The first player places the card(s) they wish to discard face down in the centre of the table saying “two aces” or whatever the amount of cards are played. You can play up to four cards at a time, saying they are the required cards. But are they? The game continues clockwise to the next player, who is supposed to be discarding twos. The following player will announce they are discarding threes, and so on. Keep in mind that players don’t have to play the cards they announce, they may be lying. Even if you do not have the required card to discard, you must put down and name claim to have that card(s) anyway. For example, if it is your turn to discard sevens, you can actually discard sevens and any other card(s) and claim they are all sevens. If you have no sevens at all you will be forced to play anything else and must lie saying what you played was a seven card(s). Start again with aces after kings have been played.

After each turn, allow a moment to let anyone challenge the player by saying “I doubt it”, “cheater” or “bs” whatever you so choose. Remember to challenge a player only if you think they might be lying about the cards they are playing. When a challenge occurs, the challenger can look at the discarded cards only. If they match what the person who played them said, the challenger picks up all cards in the discard pile and adds them to their cards. If the cards are not what the person said they were, the player who discarded them must pick up the entire discard pile. After the challenge is resolved continue in normal rotation. The player to the left of the one who was challenged plays and calls the next rank in the sequence. The player to get rid of all of their cards first wins.  

17. Menagerie

Recommended age: 6+

Number of players: 4+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: Menagerie is a really high-energy, funny game. Typically each player chooses an animal name however you could use anything that is long and hard to say. Each player writes up the names of the animals (or whatever type of words you have decided to use) on slips of paper, folds them up and mixes them together either in a box shaken similar to charades or however works for you as long. Each player takes a random slip of paper out of the box and reads it aloud. Whatever they grab is their animal/

word for the rest of the game. Cards are then dealt and kept face down. How many cards varies from 5 each to the whole deck dealt out to every player.

All players turn the card on top of their deck over to start a pile that’s face-up. When a player notices that another player’s face-up card is of the same rank (i.e. number or King, Queen, etc) they have to shout the name of the other player’s animal/word three times. The first player to shout three times without messing up wins the other player’s face-up pile and adds it to the bottom of their face-down pile. The game is over when one player collects all the cards and wins!

18. Play or Pay

Recommended age: 7+

Number of players: 3+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: In Play or Pay, Kings are high and Ace’s are low. Deal all 52 cards in the deck, players can look at their cards. The goal of the game is, like so many others, is to be the first player to get rid of all of the cards. All cards that are played remain face-up on the table in four rows of four suits. The player to the left of the dealer typically begins. The first player can play any card they have. Whatever suit the first player puts down has to be built upon until all thirteen cards are played and the sequence has to work in a continuous pattern, you can’t play all randomly through the deck. For example, if the player starts the row with an 8 everyone will have to go to 9, 10, J, etc. Until you reach the King and then can play the Ace, 2, 3 etc. To finish the suit row. If a player can’t play a turn, they’ll need to pay! They have to put one chip (cookie, candy, crackers whatever you want to use) in the “pot”. Whoever plays the last card needed in the suit of any suit can choose any card from their hand to begin the next series. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins all the loot.  

19. Hearts

Recommended age: 9+

Number of players: 4 is best but can be done with 3-8

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: Hearts is a trick-taking game for three to six players. It’s similar to Bridge, Spades, and President, which are also trick-taking games for those that may not know them. The rules can sound a little bit complicated, but like other trick-taking games, it’s easy to get a handle on after you play a round or two.

Deal the cards one at a time, face down to each player. In a four-player game, each is dealt 13 cards; in a three-player game, the 2 of diamonds should be removed, and each player gets 17 cards; in a five-player game, the 2 of diamonds and 2 of clubs should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards. Of course you can always follow my grandparents lead and play with a “dummy” hand, which just means dealing a hand to nobody and playing the top card from that hand randomly. They also did this with spades.

The player holding the 2 of clubs after the cards are dealt leads. If the 2 has been removed for the three handed game, then the 3 of clubs would lead.

Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player can not Follow suit, a card of any other suit may be played. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be played. The highest card of the suit led wins that trick. The winner of the trick collects it and places it face down and that player leads next. Any card they choose with the exception that hearts can not be led with until a heart has been played in a different trick or the queen of spades has been played in general. The queen does not have to be played at the first opportunity, but can be led at any time. There is no trump suit in this like there is in spades.

You can play for fun or keep score, we have played both ways. We have also played by keep traditional score and by simply counting the number of tricks each person has at the end of each round and the person with the least (sometimes we go the other way with it and try to get the most to mix it up why not right it’s just a game) would be the winner. The traditional score keeping instructions are below.

At the end of each hand, players count the number of hearts they have taken as well as the queen of spades, if relevant. Hearts count as one point each and the queen counts 13 points.

Each heart = 1 point The Q = 13 points

The collective total of all scores for each hand must be a multiple of 26.

The game is usually played to 100 points (some play to 50).

When a player takes all 13 hearts and the queen of spades in one hand, instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and every other player score an additional 26 points.

To win be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. When one player hits the agreed-upon score or higher, the game ends and the player with the lowest score wins.

20. Rummy

Recommended age: 7+

Number of players: 2-6

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: The object of the game is to get rid of your cards as you group them into “melds.” A meld is a set of three or four of a kind, or a “run” (three or more cards in sequence of the same suit, i.e. the 4, 5 and 6 of clubs).

Basic rules state you deal the cards one at a time to each player as follows: For two players you get 10 cards each; three or four players get seven cards each; five or six players get 6 cards each. We always played with 8 cards each no matter how many players we had. The remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the players and serve as the “stock” pile. The top card of the pile is turned face up and set next to it to begin the “discard” pile which is more like a row as you should be able to see all of the cards being discarded. It will make it easier to see the melds in players hands if each player groups all matching cards and runs together in their hand prior to play. Do not show the other players your cards.

The player to the left of the dealer normally plays first. Take the top card from either the stock pile or the discard pile. If the player has a meld, they will lay it down so all cards in the meld are visible. Then they will discard another card from their hand by placing it face up in the discard pile. Players must discard a card every turn. If a player needs a card from the discard pile that has other on it the player must take the card they need and all on top of it and the player must play the top card they picked up. Players can also place a card down on any existing meld if they have a card that matches the meld or if they draw a card that matches the meld. For example, a player could lay a King down onto an existing meld of three Kings.

Call rummy when a player notices a card discard that could have been played on a meld but not until the discarders turn is over. Whoever calls rummy then takes the card that could have been played and lays it in front of them. You do not have to pick up any cards that may be on top of the card you have called rummy on.

The game continues with players drawing a card from the stock or discard pile, making melds, laying down cards in the discard pile/row and calling rummy until someone goes out. The first player to get rid of their cards wins. This game is often played best out of five.

21. Three Thirteen

Recommended age: 8+

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards, though it is often played with multiple decks especially for more people.

Instructions: Three Thirteen is a variation of Rummy. The goal of this game is to use the cards in your hand to make sets and runs while trying to accumulating the fewest possible over 11 rounds. All players get three cards in the first round then continue adding a card per round. For example the second round all players get 4 cards, then 5 in the next and so on until the final round when everyone gets 13 cards. All remaining cards are placed face down to form the draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is turned face up to start a discard pile.

When it’s a player’s turn they draw one of two cards. They can draw the top card from the discard pile or the top of the deck. Then they discard one card from their hand and place that card on the discard pile to conclude their turn. Players may not add cards to sets or runs played by other players.

On a player’s turn, they can go out if, after drawing the top face down card on the draw pile or the top face up card on the discard pile, they can arrange all of the cards in their hand into sets, with one card left over to discard.

If a player goes out, they announce it and then play their set and discard their final card. The other players each have one more turn before the round ends and score is tallied.

Some people like to play with one of the cards being wild in each round. That card can be substituted for any other card in a set or run. The wild cards are normally as follows: Round 1: 3s, Round 2: 4s, Round 3: 5s, Round 4: 6s, Round 5: 7s, Round 6: 8s, Round 7: 9s, Round 8: 10s, Round 9: Jacks, Round 10: Queens, Round 11: Kings. You can also leave Jokers in to be wild, use the same card as wild each round or use one of the DIY deck you can find FREE on the HHD site that includes wild cards!

During their final turn, (after someone has gone out each round) each player arranges his or her hand into as many sets and runs as possible. Any leftover cards are scored as penalty points. Scoring is as follows:

Ace: 1 point each, though many people use Aces as low cards and/or high cards. If that’s the case, it’s worth 15 penalty points if left over at the end of the round.

All number cards are worth the rank stated on the card in penalty points: 2s = 2 points, 3s = 3 points and so on to 10s. Jack, Queen, King are all worth 10 penalty points each.

The player who has the fewest points and two sets at the end of the final round wins. It’s a little more involved than other games, so playing a few rounds to get the rules down before keeping score might be a good idea.

22. 21/ Blackjack

Ages: 6+

Players: 2–10

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This is a quick game to play and can be helpful for working on mental maths. There are many variations of this game, though a few things do remain the same. However you do play you always need a dealer. You can take turns in being the dealer or choose one person to do it the whole time, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to bet but if you do it can also help with learning about money and/or counting depending on what you’re betting with. As I said before we do use fake money sometimes, but other times we use cookies, candy, crackers etc or we may not bet at all and just have fun. Whatever you decide is up to you, have fun with it!

This is a simple version that is suitable for children who are familiar with addition and subtraction. The goal of the game is to get cards that add up to 21, but no more than that or it’s a bust.

Cards are worth the following amounts:

Aces are worth either 1 or 11 points, the player who holds the ace gets to choose the value of the card.

Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 points.

Number cards are worth the rank stated on the card.

Shuffle the cards and deal 2 to each player, including the dealer. With the exception of the dealer, the players have their cards face up. The dealer has one card up and one card face down. Players are not competing against each other, but against the dealer.

Each player looks at their hand as the dealer asks each player one by one if they want another card/hit or if they’d like to stay/stick. Each player needs to decide carefully if they want another card/hit or not depending on what they have at that time. You can have as many cards as you like however, if at any time the value of the cards in your hand go over 21, you immediately lose/bust.

At the end, after all players have decided to stay/stick, everyone must show their hand. The winner is the player whose cards add up to 21 or the closest to 21.

Or

At the end, after all players have decided to stay/stick, the dealer then turns over their other card and needs to decide what to do. If the dealer has 16 or under then they must take another card. If the dealer has 21 (Ace and a ten value card) the dealer wins. If the dealer goes bust then everyone else wins.

Reshuffle the deck of cards well after every game.

23. 31

Recommended age: n/a

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Instructions: This one is kind of like 21/Blackjack with some twist, but can also be good math practice. Like 21 and many other games, you typically bet when playing this game but it isn’t necessary to have fun. Three cards are dealt face down to each player, then three are dealt face up to be the “widow.” The player to the dealer’s left gets to play first. On each turn, a player can take one card from the widow pile and replace it with one card from their hand. They want to try to find cards that will help them meet their objective which is to either have a count that totals 31 of one suit or obtain a hand at the “showdown” which is the higher than any other player. Aces are high and two’s are low. An Ace is worth 11 points, J, Q, K are 10 points each, and all others are their face value.

Players take turns until one player believes that what they have will beat the other players. A player says they’re ready by knocking on the table, and all other players can get one more turn to exchange cards. Then it’s “showdown” time. The players reveal their hands and compare. The player with the highest value total of cards of the same suit wins. The winner get’s the whole “pot” if you have choose to bet.

If players tie for the highest score, the player holding the highest ranking card wins. Any time a player holds exactly 31 points they can knock immediately and win! If a player knocks before the first round of exchanges starts, the “showdown” happens immediately and players don’t get a chance to exchange cards to try to win.

24. Concentration/Memory

Recommended age: 3+

Number of players: 2+

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards using all or any even number of chosen cards.

Instructions: This isn’t a “card” game per se, not like the others above are card games, and I think everyone everywhere knows this game, but in case you don’t…. This is definitely a game for the younger kiddos, and great for memory. Shuffle and lay out the cards face down between the players. Cards can be laid in a random pattern or in a grid. The object of the game is to find matching pairs. Players take turns turning over two cards. If they match keep them and go again. If they are not a matching pair, try to remember what and where they are, give all the players a quick moment to see them and then turn them back over. The next player does the same. When all cards have been matched, each player counts up the number of pairs they have collected. The player with the most pairs wins.

You can also download several versions of cards specifically made to play this FREE on the games page!

25. House of Cards

Recommended age: All

Number of players: Any

Played with as many standard decks of 52 as you’d like. You can even use jokers for this one!

Instructions: Not so much a game as it is a way to stay entertained and annoyed simultaneously or at the very least entertain (and possibly annoy) your children for a little while. Build a house of cards. Spend hours doing it. Try not to cry and/or cuss when it falls apart. Cry some. Cuss some. Cry and cuss a lot.

26. 52 Card Pickup

Recommended age: 2+

Number of players: 1

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards.

Like the house of cards, this isn’t really a game either, but it should entertain your children for a little while, at least younger ones. The older kids don’t find this as amusing sadly.

Instructions: One person (normally an adult looking for anything to entertain a child at that moment and possibly hold on to some of their sanity) throws 52 cards on the ground. Someone else (usually a very young child probably bugging the parent a lot that day) picks them up. Kind of a “last ditch effort how to entertain your kids” type of game, but that’s fine from time to time right?

17 pages of fully colored DIY playing cards, ready to print (laminate is always a good idea) and play. Mix and match the pages to create your own deck! There are 7 A, K, Q, J pages and 8 number card pages to choose from. Pick your favorite 4 face card and number pages to make a complete deck of 52! There are even 2 pages to make card backs as well!
15 pages of partially colored DIY playing cards and card backs. For the cards in this pack the numbers have been left blank so your kiddos can mix and match all of the cards and make their own suits however they’d like by simply coloring the numbers on the cards. Use the 7 from one page but the 4 from another, however you want to make your suits! Just remember to use only one of each card for each color you decide to use for the numbers/letters! laminate is always a good idea.
24 pages of DIY cards your little ones can color and mix and match however they want to make their own suits and create their own deck of cards! Remember you need four of each card to make a deck of 52 and these can be colored and mixed and matched in many ways! You can make suits by using the full page as a set or by coloring the desired cards from each page the same color to make a crazy, fun, unique set! it’s all up to you, Have fun with it! There’s even pages to make card backs! laminate is always a good idea.
8 pages of blank cards to make you own decks. Just numbers/letters in a few styles and colors with no photos.

For your convenience and easier access, this download contains all of the games and instructions you see here so you can have them on hand at any time.

All Available Themes

Click any of the themes below to be quickly redirected to the page/post containing all of the FREE downloads currently available in your desired theme, as well as any crafts or other shared materials, info, videos etc that may also be useful in that theme! Remember, you can click the pack images to preview the contents of each pack before downloading.

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Thank You Everyone!

I greatly appreciate everyone’s support! I honestly do work hard on all of this, so I am so happy it’s helped so many people! If you like what I’m doing here please continue the support and spread the word, pay it forward, help me reach as many people as possible so they to can enjoy and benefit from the FREE downloads and other things I offer every week! Thank you for following me on this crazy, but still incredibly wonderful journey! I hope you get something out of this, big or small.

Keep learning! Keep teaching! Be happy! Enjoy!

One reply on “DIY Playing Cards & 26 Card Games You Can Play With Your Newly Made Decks!”

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