Card games for when you’re quarantined

Many college students might find themselves at home with siblings again right about now. Others might want to connect or reconnect with the people around them.

If you play with kids, they’ll never forget it. It doesn’t need to be painful. You’ve probably played Go Fish before, and it’s not too difficult for young kids to understand. There’s always Old Maid, too, although that one isn’t recommended for play with small children since it’s hard to fit all those cards in one tiny pair of hands!

For middle school kids up through adults, these two games come highly recommended.

Hearts

Dealing

For a four player game, everyone starts with thirteen cards. For a three player game, each player gets seventeen cards and the two of diamonds is removed from the deck.

Objective

The player with the fewest points wins. Players want to collect as few points as possible. One heart card is one point, and the queen of spades is thirteen points.

Play

The player holding the two of clubs plays that card first. The next player has to play a club. If they don’t have any clubs, then they can play any card except for a heart or the queen of spades. After everyone has put down a card, the person who put down the highest card of the suit collects all of the cards and puts them aside. After that, the next round starts. Whoever collected the cards at the end of the last round starts the next round.

After the first round, if a player doesn’t have any cards of that round’s suit, they can play anything including a heart or the queen of spades. Once a heart has been played this way, players can start rounds with hearts, but not before that. The queen of spades can lead at any time.

Once players have gone through all their cards, everyone tallies their points. Then you can deal again if you feel like it, or call the game there.

Golf

Dealing

Use up to three decks. Each player gets six cards which stay face down in two straight lines. The top line, from left to right, is cards one, two, and three, and the bottom line is four, five, and six.

Objective

Be the first to get all your cards face up.

Play

The person to the left of the dealer draws one card from the stack in the center.

If the card is between an ace and a six, it can replace one of the player’s face down cards. For example, a two would go in the two spot. The player then flips the face down two over. If it could go in any of the other spots, the player can replace it there. Otherwise, it goes into the discard pile.

If the card is a seven through a king, it goes back into the discard pile. Queens are the exception. They function as wild cards in this game.

Once one of the players has gotten all of their cards face up, the round ends. That player only has five face down cards the next round. The winner of each round decreases their card count by one, and if they get to zero, they win.

There is an optional house rule that allows players to flip all their cards at the end of the round and see if they have all the correct numbers already. If they do, they also get one less card the next round. That makes the game go a bit faster.

Please let us know what you think!

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