Entertainment can be expensive. When a movie costs 12 bucks and a night out on the town can cost double (or triple) that, budget-friendly entertainment sounds like a myth. However, it is 100% possible to entertain you and a friend for free!
If you have a deck of cards, then this post is for you.
Table of Contents
- Huge List of Two-person Card Games
- 1. Build a Tower of Cards
- 2. Whist
- 3. War
- 4. Five Card Omaha
- 5. Marriage
- 6. Tuxedo
- 7. Agram
- 8. Humbug
- 9. Hola
- 11. Mate
- 12. Cribbage
- 13. 5 Card Cribbage
- 14. All Fives
- 15. Blackjack
- 16. Strip Poker
- 17. Three Card Poker
- 18. Texas Hold’em
- 19. Hand and Foot
- 20. Stealing Bundles
- 21. Kings Corner
- 22. 52 Card Pickup
- 23. Canasta
- 24. Basic Poker
- 25. 500
- 26. 5 Card Draw
- 27. James Bond
- 28. Steal War
- 29. Spite and Malice
- 30. Snap
- 31. BS
- 32. Speed
- 33. Cricket
- 34. Hockey
- 35. Rummy
- 36. Red Frog Black Frog
- 37. Knock-out Whist
- 38. Irish
- 39. Spider Solitaire
- 40. Pennies from Heaven
- 41. Pineapple
- 42. Cucumber
- 43. Open Face Chinese Poker
- 44. GOLF
- 45. Cuttle
- 46. Badugi
- 47. Spoons
- 48. Slapjack
- 49. Loba de Menos
- 50. Blind Don
- 51. Let it Ride
- 52. Go Fish
- 53. Crazy Eights
- 54. Guadalupe
- 55. Baccarat
- 56. Beggar My Neighbor
- 57. Egyptian Ratscrew
- 58. Chinese Ten
- 59. Arlington
Huge List of Two-person Card Games
Keep reading for a comprehensive list of two-person card games that will have you entertained all night long.
1. Build a Tower of Cards
Although there are no real rules, it can be super fun to attempt to build a house of cards. If they fall down, you can always try again. Good for all ages!
Specifically, German whist. There are other versions of whist but the differentiating factor in this version is that each player only plays two cards in each trick. Whist can be complicated, but most adults can handle it.
War is a very simple game for anyone to play. You just have to decide which of the played cards ranks the highest. Easy game to play with all ages.
4. Five Card Omaha
A variation on Omaha poker that deals five private cards. You can bet on the game and the rules are slightly different than other types of poker.
In Marriage, you’ll need three decks of cards for this one. The name comes from the fact Kings and Queens will get you the most points. This game is better for more advanced players.
You can play this game with 2 to 6 players and you’ll need a deck of 40 Rook cards. The rules of the game are similar to Royal Casino, but with a different type of card deck.
You will only need 35 cards from the standard 52 card deck for Agram. You want to remove the kings, queens, jacks, two and the ace of spades before playing.
It is not a complicated game, but it might seem confusing with the smaller deck. Agram is very similar to “Sink-Sink” and “Fapfap”, so if you like Agram check those out too!
Humbug is another two-person version of whist. It might be the simplest version of whist available. You must try to win tricks in order to win the game. Just the name of the game makes me want to try it!
Hola can be played with two players, but four players may make the game more interesting. Make sure to read the rules carefully because this game can get a little complicated.
Tute has many different variations including tute americano, tute corriente and tute habanero. All of these can be played with two people. A tute is a combination of all four kings or horses in one person’s hand. You earn points based on the number of tute worthy cards in your hand.
Mate is a complicated information based card game that is played over the course of four rounds. You try to gain points by getting a card that your opponent cannot match in either number or suit.
Cribbage or “crib” can be played by 2 to 4 people. You need a standard deck of cards and a cribbage board. The first to 121 points wins! The rules seem complicated, but you will get the hang out it pretty fast.
13. 5 Card Cribbage
This is just an interesting twist on the game above. Definitely worth a try!
14. All Fives
All fives is a variation of the game “All Fours.” There are tricks involved and you want to earn the most points and you can get points by taking certain trumps cards such as the ace, the 10 and the 5. If you like All fives then also try all fours.
Blackjack is a commonly played game in casinos around the world. Any number of people can play this game. You can either win or lose to the dealer. You want the value of your cards to add up to 21, but if you go over you are out. Blackjack is an easy and fun game to play!
16. Strip Poker
Use the normal rules of poker apply, but with the added risk of losing your clothes. Fun with the right people, but definitely not a good game to play with kids.
17. Three Card Poker
Three card poker is a great variation of standard poker. The idea is that the players bet the dealer instead of each other. You only need two people to play, but a few more can make it more fun.
18. Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is a classic poker game in which five shared cards are placed on the table and two private cards are dealt to those in the game. Whoever has the best five card hand wins! You can play with two or more people. If you want to include the kids, then just bet with pennies or candy!
19. Hand and Foot
Hand and foot can be played with 2 to 6 players, but you will need one whole deck of cards per person. The object is to get rid of all the cards in your hands and feet!
20. Stealing Bundles
Stealing bundles is a fairly straightforward game in which you try to get as many cards as you can. The person with the most cards wins. It can be played with 2 to 4 players and it is a simple game to play with kids!
21. Kings Corner
In this game, it will feel like you are playing solitaire next to your opponents. However, there can only be one real winner. You can play with 2 to 4 players. This game is better for adults.
22. 52 Card Pickup
Basically, someone throws all the cards on the ground and the other picks them up. Maybe not the most interesting game, but could be fun to play with kiddos!
You will need three decks of cards for this game. You can earn points by melding cards and the most points wins the game.
24. Basic Poker
If you like the variations already mentions above, then you will definitely like the original poker game. You might want to keep a copy of the ranking of hands list handy because it is easy to forget which hands are actually winners and losers. For instance, I always forget that three of a kind beats two pairs!
500 seems to blend Euchre with Bridge to create a whole new game. You can play with 2 to 6 players and you will need just one deck of cards. Most people play with two teams of two people.
26. 5 Card Draw
5 Card Draw is similar to poker, but all five cards are dealt at once. The fact that there is only one play in the game might make it more or less exciting depending on how you like your card games.
27. James Bond
The name is Bond, James Bond. Just like the movies, the card game is fast-paced. Instead of saving the world, you have to collect as many sets of four similar cards as you can. Although James Bond is the coolest name of this game it as goes by “Atlantis” and “Chanhassen.”
28. Steal War
Steal war is a hybrid game between War and Stealing Bundles. If you liked both of those games, then you will really like this hybrid. The combination is still a simple game that can be played with kids!
29. Spite and Malice
Otherwise known as Cat and Mouse. This game is a game that is based on solitaire but with a competitive edge. It is not an actual race because the players have to take turns, however, is it still has a sense of competition you might not associate solitaire with.
The central feature of snap is the reaction time. You will need to be fast to win this game! It is based on the numbers of the cards, not the suits. Snap is easy enough to play with all ages.
Although this game goes by many names: cheat, I doubt it, bullsh**, liar, and bluff. All of these games refer to the same game in which you try to lie your way to the top. If a fellow player catches you in a lie, then you will be punished. This is a super fun game and can be played with 2 to 10 players of all ages!
Speed is basically solitaire, but a race to see who can finish first. If you are an efficient solitaire player, then you will have a great time with this game.
Not the physical game that is somewhat similar to baseball, but cricket the card game. It was created by two British prisoners of war who desperately missed playing the real cricket, so the card game attempts to recreate a live cricket match with cards. The rules are adapted from the field sport, which definitely keeps it interesting. This one is worth a try!
Hockey is similar to cricket because they are both trying to imitate a physical sport through a card game. Each play represents one team and the cards represent the players. If you don’t understand hockey, then this might not be the easiest game to learn. But if you love hockey, then I cannot think of a better card game for you!
Two players is a good number for this game. You want to get rid of all of your cards in this game. Rummy is a game with many different versions, so if you like it definitely explore more options.
36. Red Frog Black Frog
Red frog black frog is a game that centers around the colors of the cars. Red cards are worth nothing and black cards might be worth something. Interestingly, the ace of clubs is worth nothing but the ace of spades is worth a lot of points. This Thai game is worth trying!
37. Knock-out Whist
Knock-out whist is another version of whist, but it is aimed at a younger audience. The game is still trick based, but it seems to be slower paced for a less intense game.
Irish is a variation of Texas Hold’em that deals each player four hole cards. All of these can be kept until the end of the second round of betting, but then each player has to discard two cards. It is an interesting twist on the classic game. You can play with two or more players.
39. Spider Solitaire
Spider Solitaire is a variation of regular solitaire in which the game is slightly more complicated so you get to complete it with a partner. It might be fun to just be playing the cards instead of each other.
40. Pennies from Heaven
In Pennies from Heaven, most of the rules from canasta apply but there are some variations. You will need four packs of cards. Pennies from Heaven can be played with two people, but up to 6 people can play.
Pineapple is a type of poker that is similar to Texas Hold’em. The variation stems from the fact that the players are dealt three cards each but have to get rid of one of them before the betting begins. It makes it slightly more interesting because you aren’t sure which cards will be most valuable later down the line. You can play with two or more players.
If you like pineapple, then also check out Crazy Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple Hi-Lo 8 or Better. Both of these are variations of Pineapple that make the game slightly more interesting.
Cucumber is another card game named after food. However, it is based on trick-taking instead of poker. Your goal is to NOT win the last trick. Quite the twist! You not only want to lose the last trick but also have to give up your lowest card every single trick. It might take a while to master this game, but it seems a new kind of fun! You also have to try to lose in order to win.
43. Open Face Chinese Poker
In Open Face Chinese Poker, you are trying to assemble your best hand. You need to account for 5 cards in the “back” hand, 5 cards in the “middle” hand and 3 cards in the “front” hand. The sheer number of cards on the table makes this game very interesting.
GOLF is a game where you test your memory and attempt to get the lowest score. There are a lot of ways to play this game, but the basics are there are 9 deals and you are trying to keep your numbers small. You can try a 4-card version, a 6-card version, an 8-card version, a 9-card version and a 10-card version. All of these versions are very similar, just different numbers of cards in your hand for each separate deal.
Cuttle is a combat card game in which you attempt to gather enough cards to reach twenty-one points. You can use the numbers on the cards as their values and you can also attack your opponent’s cards to destroy or capture them in an attempt to lower their overall point value.
Badugi is a similar game to poker, but there are four card hands instead of five. The standard ranking of hands will be different in this game because the number of the cards in your hand changes everything.
As the name suggests, you will need spoons in addition to a deck of cards for this game. The goal is to make four of a kind and the spoons add an element of humor to the game. If you get a set of four, then you can collect a spoon. But it is likely you will have to have good reflexes to get a spoon before your opponents.
Slapjack is a simple game where each of the players puts cards down, if the card is a jack then you slap the deck. If you get there first you can keep the cards. The object of the game is to get all of the cards. A fun and simple game that could be great to play with kids.
49. Loba de Menos
Loba de Menos requires two decks of cards plus 4 jokers. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards by turning them into combinations and placing them face up on the table. If you like this one, then also check out the similar game Loba de Mas.
50. Blind Don
Blind Don is the two-person version of Nine Card Don. 18 cards are dealt face down to each player and then 18 more are dealt face up on top of those cards. After the dealing, tricks of two cards are played until 4 rounds of cards have been played. The player with the most points wins.
51. Let it Ride
Let it ride is another game that is similar to poker, but there is a twist. You are still trying to make the best five-card hand, but there are only two cards on the table and three of the cards are in your hand. Check out the ranking of hands list if you forget which hands are winners. You can play this with 2 to 5 people.
52. Go Fish
Most kids learn this game in kindergarten, so go fish might have been the first card game you ever played. Just because it is a classic game does not mean it isn’t worth trying again. The rules are simple and you can play with kids!
53. Crazy Eights
Crazy Eights is another game you probably played when you were younger. With the simple objective of getting rid of all your cards, it is still a good game to play. This game can be played with all ages!
Guadalupe is a variation of Machiavelli without jokers. Each player is dealt 5 cards and you try to get rid of all the cards in your hand.
Baccarat is common in casinos worldwide, but you can certainly play it on your dining room table. The goal is to create a hand whose point value is closer to nine than the dealer’s hand. A crazy twist is that only the last digit of the total counts, so if you have 14 total points you would really only have 4 points that counted.
56. Beggar My Neighbor
Beggar my neighbor is also called “Strip Jack Naked”, “Beat your neighbor out of doors”, “Suck the Well”, “Bataille Corse” and “Taxes.”
A standard deck is divided into two hands. Each player places their cards into a middle pile until a pay card (ace, king, queen or jack) shows up. The other player must pay for that card with ordinary cards (2-10). This is a very simple game that can be played with kids.
57. Egyptian Ratscrew
Egyptian ratscrew is also referred to as “Egyptian war”, “Bloody stump” and “Slap.” It is based on “Beat Your Neighbour Out of Doors.” The basic premise is to slap the pile if the top two cards form a pair and gather as many cards as you can.
Anyone can enter the game by slapping the pile, but you only really need two players to enjoy this game.
58. Chinese Ten
Chinese Ten is similar to Red Frog Black Frog and Main Merah. The difference is that you want to capture different cards in the game because they are worth different values. It is worth checking out if you liked Red Frog Black Frog.
Arlington is as referred to as Oklahoma Rummy. The object of the game is to score points by melding cards to the table. If you have cards in your hand at the end of the game, then those point values count against you. You can play with 2 to 8 players.
Card games can literally keep you entertained for hours and cost you nothing. Plus, as you can see there is no shortage in the number of new card games you can play.
Before you start a game, read the rules to make sure everyone knows what is about to happen. It can be all too easy to start a fight in the middle of a confusing game. You want entertainment, not drama!
Which game will you be playing first?