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Five Card Games for the Entire Family

Everyone talks about Texas Holdem' , Stud Poker, and other "adult" card games, but what about games for the entire family.  This article is courtesy of, the official Brunswick Billiards Blog. 

Playing cards games with family and friends is an American tradition.  Some of the best games can be played with regular deck of cards and are great for whole family.  It’s always a great idea to turn off the TV and put down tablets and BlackBerries in order to spend an afternoon or evening with the family playing some simple games.  Of course, toy manufacturers have also produced some fun games too.

We’ve chosen five games that we think are great for family fun.  And if these five aren’t to your liking, is website dedicated to card games with hundreds of options.  What are some of your favorite card games?

And just in case you didn’t know, we do offer a gaming table, perfect for any hardcore gaming family!

Old Maid

Old Maid is an all-time classic card for two to eight players.  Although there are special card decks designed for the game, a regular deck of cards works just fine.  When using a regular deck of cards, it’s common to keep one joker or to remove the queen of clubs to have one unmatchable card that becomes the “Old Maid”.

The object of the game is to continue to take cards, discarding pairs, until all players except one have no cards left. The player left with the single unmatchable card — the “Old Maid” — loses.

How to play: The dealer passes out all of the cards to the players.  Some players may have more cards than others, which is OK.  After reviewing their cards, players discard any pairs they have (for example, two kings, two sevens, etc.) face up. Players do not discard three of a kind.
Beginning with the dealer and going clockwise, each player takes turns offering his or her hand face down to the person on his or her left. That person selects a card and adds it to his or her hand. This player then sees if the selected card makes a pair with his or her original cards. If so, the pair is discarded face up, as well. A player is allowed to shuffle his or her hand before offering it.


Its simplicity makes War fun for young kids. But war is war and competition can be fierce!  To play War, all you need is two players and a standard deck of playing cards. The object of the game is to end up with all the cards to win the game.

How to play: The deck is evenly divided between the two players with all cards passed out face down.  In unison, each player reveals the top card on his or her stack, and the player with the higher card takes both the cards played and moves them to the bottom of his or her stack. If the two cards played are of equal value, get set for WAR!

Each player lays down three face-down cards and a fourth card face up, and the higher-valued card wins all of the cards on the table, which are the winner’s pile or at the bottom of the stack. In the case of another tie, the war process is repeated until there is no tie. 

The player that ends up with all the cards wins the game.

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Go Fish

Plenty of adults have fond memories telling friends and family to “Go Fish” when they were kids.  It’s a fun game worth passing along to future generations.  The game requires two to five players and a standard deck of playing cards.  The object of the game is to end up with the most “books” or sets of four at the end of the game.  For example, having all aces, 10s, 2s, etc. are considered “books”.

How to play: One player is randomly chosen as the dealer, and he or she deals seven cards to each player. The remaining cards become the “fishing pool” and are mixed up into a pile. A player is randomly chosen to start the game.

The starting player asks another player a particular rank (for example, fours), but the asking player must have one of the cards in hand.  The recipient of the “ask” has any cards, then he or she must give them to the asking player and the asking player gets another turn.

If that player does not have those cards, he or she tells the asking player to “go fish” and the asking player must draw one card from the “fishing pool” ending his or her turn.  The player who was asked is gets the next turn. If the asking player ends up with all four cards of a rank, then he or she must put down the “book” face up.

If a player runs out of cards, that player must draw one from the “fishing pool.” The game continues until all cards have been played.


Over the years, numerous iterations of Uno have been released, but you can’t beat the original.  Now manufactured by Mattel, Uno is a card game for 2 to 10 players.   Although the main objective of the game is to be the first player to score 500 points, it’s also common to play without keeping score and instead being the first to get rid of all your cards.

Either way, the objective is to be first one without cards and the cards left in opponents hands are scored with points.

How to Play: An Uno deck is made up of numbered cards (0-9) as well as action cards that force players to change direction of game play, force players to draw more cards and other actions.  To start the game, every player picks a card. The person who picks the highest number deals. Action Cards count as zero for this part of the game.

Once the cards are shuffled each player is dealt 7 cards. The remainder of the deck is placed face down to form a “draw” pile and the top card flipped over to for a ”discard” pile. The person to the left of the dealer starts play. He/she has to match the card on the discard pile, either by number, color or symbol. For example, if the card is a red 7, the player must put down a red card or any color 7. Alternatively, the player can put down a Wild card.

If the player doesn’t have a matching card, then cards must be drawn from the “draw” pile until a matching card is found.   Otherwise, play moves on to the next person in turn. Players may choose not to play a playable card from their hand. If so, the player must draw a card from the “draw” pile. If playable, that card can be put down in the same turn, but the player may not use a card from the hand after the draw.

Most importantly, when a player gets down to one card in hand, he or she must say “Uno”; failure to do so results in having to pickup two cards from the “draw” pile.

For more information about Uno and all the variations available, visit

Scrabble Slam

“Ready, Set, Slam!”  Scrabble Slam is a card game derived from the popular board game from Hasbro for 2 to 4 players.  A fast-paced word game where anything could happen, the object is to “slam” cards down forming four-letter words. It’s a race to get rid of your cards first and win the game.

How to play: A player randomly chooses a four letter word and the remaining cards as dealt. Once all players have their cards, one player says, “Ready, Set, Slam!”  Now, all players race at the same time trying to change the word in the frame by covering any one of the existing letters with a next letter making a different word of four letters.

Players shout out the new word and place their letter card over another letter to change the word on the table to the new word. You can only add one new card at a time.  For example if, Player 1 calls out “fame” and plays the “F” card in the first slot to change “game” to “fame”. A half second later, player 2 calls out “fate” and plays his “T” card in the third slot to change “fame” to “fate”.

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